Let’s be honest: The ultrabook phenomenon is by and large Intel's and the rest of the PC industry's reaction to Apple’s MacBook Air. Just take a look at a lot of the designs and the features: the influence (and in some places the outright imitation) is obvious. However, while the ultrabooks on the market today have all tried to mimic and beat the Air on one thing or another — price, more storage, and so on — none have managed to pull it off.

In fact, I’ve concluded in almost all of The Verge’s ultrabook reviews that it’s probably worth spending a bit more and buying an Air. However, I’ve realized (thanks to a number of readers) that really isn’t an apples to apples comparison: the Air doesn’t run Windows 7, at least not out of the box, and many who are buying ultrabooks are likely looking for a very thin and light Windows PC, not a Mac OS X laptop.

A MacBook Air running Windows 7 costs a minimum of $1,419 — if you go with the lowest end 13-inch Air ($1,299) and Windows Home Premium ($119.99) — which is quite a bit more than the average $1,000 ultrabook. So, is it worth the extra cash? Are there any tradeoffs? Does Apple make the best Windows ultrabook? Let’s finally make this a fair comparison and find out.