Top Laptops

Compare laptops with confidence

The best way to approach your search for a new laptop is to think through your performance and usage requirements. If all you need is a reliable laptop so you can do schoolwork and surf the ‘net without being tethered to a desk, then an economical or entry-level model will probably meet your requirements. On the other hand, if you’re a busy professional on the go and you need a computer that you can rely on in all sorts of working conditions, then ultrabooks and laptops with top-of-the-line processors, extra memory and long battery lives will be more reliable.

When you compare laptops, consider the features like screen size, computer weight, battery life, CPU speed, RAM and hard drive sizes, and communications capabilities. Weigh these features relative to the price of the model you’re considering.

If you’re on a budget, avoid the temptation to get a laptop with all the bells and whistles. You might want an Intel Core i7 laptop processor, but you’ll be paying a pretty penny for that technology, so ask yourself what you truly need and what you can live without. Instead, be pragmatic in your approach and use our helpful laptop reviews to start your search.

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MacBook Air

Apple’s MacBook Air scores high points for style and practicality, weighing in at a paltry 2.9 pounds with a maximum width of just over half an inch. Overall, its design is very impressive. Easy storage and outstanding portability are among its most desirable features.

You may be wondering just how much computing power Apple is able to pack into such a small, light package, and the answer is plenty. It has a seven-hour battery life and runs at high speeds very reliably, even if you have a lot of applications open at the same time. The computer awakens quickly when roused from its sleep mode, and boots up very quickly from a full shutdown. Its stereo speakers provide excellent sound, which is one of the computer’s most impressive features when considering its nimble design and slight weight.

While some consider its 4 GB of RAM to be a drawback, there’s no question that this computer makes an ideal choice for those who want to combine portability with power. However, you should note that the SD card slot is only available on the 13.3 inch model, so if this is a feature you want, you’ll be shelling out a little more to get it.

Specifications:

  • Processor: Core 2 Duo i5
  • Display screen: available in 11 inches or 13.3 inches, 1440 x 900 pixel resolution
  • Graphics processor: Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • RAM: 4 GB
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Samsung Series 9

Samsung laptops have always scored well for reliability and performance. The company’s Series 9 makes an excellent alternative to the MacBook Air for PC users. The Series 9 laptops are as light and as thin as MacBook Airs, and feature a strong protective casing to safeguard the components.

Samsung’s original Series 9 offering was already one of the thinnest and lightest PC laptops on the market, but the company has found a way to trim another 4 millimeters from its width while improving its performance. However, this computer comes with only 128 GB of built-in memory, which isn’t a whole lot. If you need more storage space, picking up a peripheral storage device or adding more hard drive space to the computer when you purchase it is recommended.

On the whole, this is a quality product that provides PC users with portable, strong, reliable and powerful alternative to the MacBook Air. It is one of the top thin PCs on the market, and if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re urged to check out this product.

Specifications:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5
  • Display screen: 13.3 inch SuperBright backlit screen
  • Graphics processor: Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • Memory: 128 GB solid state hard drive
  • Multimedia: 1.3 MP HD webcam, 3 W stereo speakers with HD audio
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Dell XPS 13

This sleek ultrabook is comparable to the Samsung Series 9, and the difference between the two is little more than a question of stylistic preference. They perform similarly and have nearly identical specifications, though the XPS 13 has a slightly shorter battery life and is just a touch heavier. This is Dell’s top of the line laptop, combining strong performance and considerable computing power into a sleek 5-pound package.

However, like the Samsung Series 9, the Dell XPS 13 comes with only 128 GB of memory unless you pay to upgrade it. If you don’t need a thin and light computer, you might be better off investing in a model that offers a little more built-in storage. But if it’s thin and light that you’re after, this and the Samsung Series 9 are what you’re looking for.

Specifications:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-2467 M
  • Display screen: 13.3 inches
  • Graphics processor: Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • Memory: 128 GB solid state hard drive
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Acer Aspire Ethos

The Acer Aspire Ethos is priced lower than the sleek ultrabooks and is an excellent choice if multimedia capabilities are a priority for you. It also has a very powerful processor and lots of RAM and memory, which deliver excellent performance. However, it is a touch on the heavy side, but it does offer a generous screen and has a decent battery life.

Specifications:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7
  • Display screen: 15.6 inches, 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution
  • Graphics processor: NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M
  • Memory: 750 GB hard drive
  • RAM: 6 GB
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Sony S Series

The Sony S Series strikes an excellent balance for the consumer who wants a light, portable laptop with decent multimedia capabilities without breaking the bank. However, this laptop is recommended for less demanding applications, as it has a relatively small hard drive and a functional but middling processor.

Specifications:

  • Processor: Intel Core i3-2310 M
  • Display screen: 13.3 inch backlit LED screen, 1600 x 900 pixel resolution
  • Graphics processor: AMD Radeon HD 6630
  • Memory: 320 GB hard drive
  • RAM: 4 GB