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.

There's an evolving concept of what makes a good ultraportable today than it did a year ago. Same goes for other categories, so first we'll define what we are looking for under each type of notebook. Then we'll do a brief recount of what makes each of the laptops listed special and why we believe it's worth considering. Needless to be said, we don't pretend to be perfect, so please if we've overlooked your favorite system feel free to let us know in the comments.


Thin and light notebooks serve as a bridge between netbooks and full-fledged laptops, balancing portability, performance and battery life.


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.


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.


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 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.