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The Best Laptop Computers

Posted by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 11:27 PM
  • 15 Replies
Lenovo IdeaPad U260

We looked at laptops for every type of user: the student who needs a superlight classroom companion, the multimedia multitasker who wants a powerful desktop replacement, and plenty in between. The following five aced our tests.

Lenovo IdeaPad U260

Starting at $700 ($999 model tested)

Pros: This tiny, 3-pound 12.5-incher was the darling of consumer testers, thanks to the simple keyboard, trackpad, and navigation (plus its sleek cover, in orange or brown). It booted up and transferred files in seconds, and has a superb battery — we got 6.5-plus hours on a charge.

Cons: With less-than-stellar audio and video quality and a petite screen, it's not ideal for watching m

Apple MacBook Pro 13

 

 


Apple MacBook Pro 13"

Starting at $1,134
($1,199 model tested)

Pros: The MacBook Pro (or, for $100 more, the super-slim Air 13") was a winner even with begrudging PC fans. Highlights: its multi-touch trackpad, speedy processing, admirable screen and sound, impressive battery life (6.5 hours), and its weight — just 4.5 pounds.

Cons: Fewer ports than most. With just two USB slots, you may not be able to connect, say, your external drive, camera, and mouse at once.

Dell Inspiron 14R N4110

Dell Inspiron 14R N4110

Starting at $500 ($550 model tested)

Pros: This well-priced Dell impressed our engineers with speedy boot-up and file-transfer times. Its high-quality video and graphics and great-sounding audio are perfect for watching a movie on a plane. Consumers liked its keyboard, 14-inch screen, and fluid navigation.

Cons: Customizable covers, though cool-looking in 11 styles, make it seem thick. Its battery lasted only about 3 hours.



HP Pavilion G6
Photo: Lara Robby/Studio D

HP Pavilion G6

Starting at $430 ($550 model tested)

Pros: The affordable 15.5-inch HP zipped through our file-transfer tests. Its screen display is clear, even at a broad angle — great if family gathers 'round to view photos. Testers enjoyed typing on its keyboard and using its trackpad, which is textured for a more "in control" feel.

Cons: It may be a little too large for frequent traveling. The battery was only OK, lasting a smidgen over 4 hours on our tests.


Samsung RF711
Photo: Lara Robby/Studio D

Samsung RF711

Starting at $920 ($1,100 model tested)

Pros: This 17.3-inch, 6.4-pound behemoth isn't one for a road trip, but it's sure to wow at home. Testers were pleased with the screen quality, the keyboard's spaciousness, and the computer's overall intuitive navigation. Files transferred in a blink, and graphics are stunning for showing movies and video games alike.

Cons: A laptop in name only, as few would want this 6.4-pounder in their laps or weighing down a bag. Short battery life: just over 3 hours.

by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 11:27 PM
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Replies (1-10):
sheri305
by Bronze Member on Aug. 17, 2011 at 11:28 PM

Cant speak for all of them,but I love my pink baby "Dell",lol. And Dh like his Pavillion to.

suziejax
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 11:36 PM

Thats awesome. I took advantage of tax free weekend and bought my son a new laptop! I saved a lot of $$

singlemomof2nok
by Bronze Member on Aug. 18, 2011 at 10:33 AM

 Thanks for the info

lalasmama2007
by on Aug. 18, 2011 at 10:34 AM

We love our Macs!

Tabby57
by Bronze Member on Aug. 18, 2011 at 10:35 AM

I have a new gateway,love it!

mumsy2three
by on Aug. 18, 2011 at 3:41 PM

My dd gets her school issued Mac book for the school year. They started it when she was a freshman. This year she will be a senior and we will have the option to purchase it at the end of the year for around $120.

I have a little Acer netbook that I bought at Wal mart a few months ago, I like it.

sheri305
by Bronze Member on Aug. 18, 2011 at 4:49 PM


Quoting mumsy2three:

My dd gets her school issued Mac book for the school year. They started it when she was a freshman. This year she will be a senior and we will have the option to purchase it at the end of the year for around $120.

I have a little Acer netbook that I bought at Wal mart a few months ago, I like it.

Thats a great deal.I wish my kids school had that program.Im gonna suggest it in the first PTA meeting,lol.

Joeygoat
by on Aug. 18, 2011 at 5:54 PM

I am really hard on laptops.  I spend so much time on them, writing, doing budgets, etc., that I have chewed up several.  In 2009, I killed off five different laptops in one year.  My current laptop is a Sony, which I like because of the separate keypad, bluray, large screen and great software that 'talks' back to me what I type.  It helps when I type faster than I think.

powow65
by Bronze Member on Aug. 18, 2011 at 6:08 PM
I have almost just like that dell & i have to say i think its all pro's no con's in my eye's!
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usmclife58
by on Aug. 18, 2011 at 10:28 PM

I like my Sony Vaio

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