TechSpot's Laptop Buying Guide: Q3 2011 Update

By on July 28, 2011, 5:46 AM

After an initial hiccup at the beginning of the year which resulted in launch delays across the board, it's back to business as usual for Intel with another successful notebook platform powered by their second-generation Core processors. AMD responded to the threat with their first Fusion chips aimed at mainstream notebooks, the A-Series, but so far they've failed to make major inroads into the market the way they did at the entry level with the E- and C-Series APUs.

To help ease the hassle of going through countless notebook models getting released week in and week out, we've compiled a list of our favorite notebooks available right now and grouped them into six different categories: ultraportables, business & general purpose laptops, desktop replacements, gaming notebooks, budget laptops, and netbooks.

Ultraportables Thin and light notebooks serve as a bridge between netbooks and full-fledged laptops, balancing portability, performance and battery life.
Business Business notebooks offer a combination of mid to high end components with an emphasis on durability, security and battery life.
Desktop Replacements With the most complete set of features and performance, desktop replacements often forgo battery life and portability for extra horsepower.
Gaming Serious gamers will always lean toward desktop PCs for their flexibility and sheer power, but if mobility is also a priority, there are some solid choices in this category.
Value Laptops in this category are usually hot sellers in the back to school season as they offer a good balance of price and features.
Netbooks Netbooks work perfectly well as travel companions or secondary systems. Most of them feature full-fledged operating systems, 10- to 12-inch screens and a standard set of hardware specs.

User Comments: 5

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Route44 Route44, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

That Lenovo x120e is a very nice netbook. Configure it with 4 gigs of RAM and it performs well. Nice to see Lenovo offering it again after an almost 2 month delay due to the earthquake in Japan.

tractorphil said:

The Samsung 9 series laptop works quite well. I have had for over week and it has performed everything I need it do for work\college. It is the lightest laptop I have ever owned and the hibernation mode works seamlessly with the closing of the lid.

Guest said:

Except for the X220, why are the other non-mac ultraportables so damn expensive? Damn. Also, isn't Asus supposed to release sandy bridge upgrades on the U3x models?

Guest said:

I just bough a HP dv6-6110SG and for only 600 euros. Got a quad core computer that can run Crysis 2 with easiness (at least in the default settings, haven't tried the others), I say the combination of both AMD A6 3410mx and the Radeon 6750m really helps a lot to this computer.

tonylukac said:

Don't be worried about the "high prices." I check the newspapers for the sale ads and Micro Center has gobs of laptops at about half these prices in their fliers in the mail.

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