Best Laptops for Holiday 2012
For the home: MacBook Pro with Retina Display
Bing Shopping: MacBook Pro with Retina Display
Top of the heap in laptops with the chops to replace a desktop computer, the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display boasts impressive specs: a quad-core 2.3 GHz processor, 256GB of flash storage, 8GB of RAM and an awesome Nvidia GeForce graphics card. Eight hours of battery life doesn’t hurt, either.
For the home: Samsung Series 7 Chronos
Bing Shopping:Samsung Series 7 Chronos
A well-reviewed desktop replacement, this baby pairs a large (17-inch) screen with a lightweight chassis and packs it with multimedia firepower. Plus, 8GB of RAM, 750GB of storage space, a third-generation Core i7 processor and a discrete Nvidia GT650M GPU add up to a machine that masters graphics rendering and massive gaming sessions with ease.
For the home: HP Envy 17
Bing Shopping:HP Envy 17
PCMag.com reports the HP Envy 17’s Radiance Full HD Infinity display is one of the best laptop screens they’ve ever seen. Add in a DVD burner, impeccable sound via Beats Audio and a built-in subwoofer, plus more than seven hours of battery life, and you’ve got a laptop that could put desktops out of business.
For the home: Dell XPS 15
Bing Shopping:Dell XPS 15
Dell offers its XPS 15 in a base model with 500GB of space and 6GB memory, but it's the optional Core i7 processor that really juices things up and earns it a 4.5 out of 5 rating from PCWorld.com. A high-resolution display and Nvidia graphics provide a great view, too.
For the road: MacBook Air 11 inch
Bing Shopping: MacBook Air 11 inch
The MacBook Air 11 MC968ll/A is Apple's latest update to its famous line of ultraportables. Armed with third-gen Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, weighing in at a lithe 2.34 pounds and not much thicker than an iPad, this baby aced CNet's benchmark tests, with performance levels close to a 13-inch MacBook Pro.
For the road: Acer Aspire S5
Bing Shopping: Acer Aspire S5
Weighing just over 2.5 pounds and with a superslender profile, this elegant road warrior is even lighter and smaller than a 13-inch MacBook Air. Acer doesn’t skimp on the power, though. With 256GB of space, 4GB of memory and a potent 3rd Generation Core i7 processor, small is mighty.
For the road: Toshiba Portege R935-P322
Bing Shopping: Toshiba Portege R935-P322
If you’re looking for truly impressive battery life, lots of features, a processor made for mobile laptops and a lower purchase price than other ultrabooks, check out this Portege. Toshiba adds an optical drive, Bluetooth and WiDi connectivity, and that all-important freedom from the plug – more than nine hours between charges.
For the road: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Bing Shopping: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
ThinkPads are already a favorite workhorse of business travelers, and the X1 Carbon improves on that reputation. An SSD (solid state drive) is both sturdy and speedy, the backlit keyboard is ideal for working in dim conditions (think cross-country red eye flights), plus it offers seven hours of battery charge and weighs less than 3 pounds.
For gaming: Alienware M18x
Bing shopping: Alienware M18x
Pricey but worth it to hardcore gamers, the Alienware M18x offers a massive 1T of storage and a processor that can max out, with Turbo Boost, at 4.0GHz. Add 16GB of dual-channel RAM, and two Nvidia GeForce graphics cards overloaded with memory, and this puppy is blazing fast — “one of the fastest notebooks ever” according to PC Labs.
For gaming: Alienware M17xR4
Bing Shopping: Alienware M17xR4
Compared with the high ticket price of the M18x, this Alienware model is almost affordable. Reviewers love the 1080p screen, the Ivy Bridge processor, Nvidia Kepler Graphics card and a 3-D capability that “rivals” the dual-card system found in the M18x. Even the multicolor lighting zones are noteworthy (and drool-worthy).