Top 10 Laptops for the Holidays

by Reads (35,918)

You might feel like there’s plenty of time before Christmas, but Santa’s elves might not be able to build the perfect laptop for you or your loved ones before the big day. We’ve singled out ten of our favorite netbooks, ultrabooks, and laptops/notebooks from this year.

Whether you need a low-cost family PC, a well-balanced business laptop, or a high-performance gaming notebook, we’ve got just what you’re looking for. And, if none of our top picks looks like the perfect fit under your Christmas tree, be sure to visit our discussion forums for help finding the best notebook.

TOP NETBOOK

HP Pavilion dm1z

The HP Pavilion dm1z (also called the Pavilion dm1) is an 11-inch notebook that uses the latest AMD Fusion technology to combine a fast, dual-core processor and powerful graphics inside a budget-priced netbook alternative. Unlike the under-powered netbooks that use the Intel Atom processor, this little laptop has plenty of performance to handle whatever you need to do while on the road.

Read the HP Pavilion dm1z Review

Buy the HP Pavilion dm1z for $524.99

TOP ULTRABOOK

Toshiba Portege Z835

The “Ultrabook” category of laptops is new for 2011, but there are already at least a half dozen Ultrabooks available in stores for the holidays. This $799 Best Buy exclusive features a 13.3-inch display, 128GB solid state drive, backlit keyboard and six hours of battery life. The Toshiba Z835 is a real winner in the Ultrabook category and offers great build quality, battery life and good performance at a fair price.

Read the Toshiba Portege Z835 Review

TOP 14-INCH FAMILY LAPTOP

HP Pavilion dv4t

The HP Pavilion dv4t notebook brings satisfactory performance and a good keyboard to the table for a street price of less than $500. This affordable 14-inch laptop is ideal for home use with good battery life and an impressive range of customizable options on the HP website.

Read the HP Pavilion dv4t Review

TOP 15-INCH FAMILY LAPTOP

HP Pavilion g6

The 15.6-inch HP Pavilion g6 might just deliver the best bang for your bucks if you’re looking for a well-rounded notebook that can replace a desktop PC. Even better, the HP g6 is available in most retail stores and comes in a wide range of configurations and prices to suit your needs. However, shoppers looking for a better multimedia experience should consider HP’s higher end Pavilion dv6 or Dell’s XPS 15z.

Read the HP Pavilion g6 Review

Buy the HP Pavilion g6-1b70us for $599.00

TOP 17-INCH FAMILY NOTEBOOK

HP Pavilion dv7t

The 17-inch HP Pavilion dv7t is the new quad-core lineup of multimedia notebooks by HP. This desktop-replacement is available in multiple configurations from basic budget machine to powerful multimedia notebook with a good combination of processor, storage, and graphics performance. We didn’t love the touchpad or battery life on this notebook, but many people who buy 17-inch notebooks keep them plugged in and use an external mouse.

Read the HP Pavilion dv7t Review

See all pricing for the HP Pavilion dv7t

TOP MULTIMEDIA NOTEBOOK

Dell XPS 15z

The Dell XPS 15z has an ultra-thin metal chassis, a beautiful 1080p display and a backlit keyboard. Add to that an Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce dedicated graphics for serious multimedia performance. The XPS 15z makes an impressive alternative to a 15-inch MacBook Pro if you can live with a less-than-perfect keyboard.

Read the Dell XPS 15z Review

Buy the Dell XPS 15z fully equipped from Dell.com for $1,237.99

TOP LOW-COST LAPTOP

Toshiba Satellite L745D

The Toshiba Satellite L745D-S4220 is a simplified and affordable 14-inch laptop designed for limited budgets. Although it doesn’t offer extreme performance, it is more than powerful enough for a student laptop. Packed with a battery-friendly AMD dual-core processor and graphics, Toshiba promises this notebook will make the grade.

Read the Toshiba Satellite L745D Review

TOP BUSINESS ULTRAPORTABLE

Lenovo ThinkPad X220

Lenovo’s newest 12-inch business notebook, the ThinkPad X220, offers the latest Intel Sandy Bridge processors, a high-quality IPS display, and battery life that is so incredible you’ve got to see it to believe it. The ThinkPad X220 is quite simply the best 12-inch business notebook we’ve reviewed so far. With a starting price of just $899, there is no reason to even consider a different thin and light business laptop.

Read the Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Review

See all pricing for the Lenovo ThinkPad X220

TOP LOW-COST BUSINESS NOTEBOOK

HP ProBook 5330m

The ProBook 5330m is an attractive business notebook with excellent durability and performance at a low price of $899 or less. The HP ProBook line of business notebooks has always attempted the meet the needs of businesses and consumers alike. The new ProBook 5330m looks like the perfect solution if you want a powerful, aluminum-wrapped laptop for work and play but can’t afford a MacBook Pro.

Read the HP ProBook 5330m Review

TOP GAMING NOTEBOOK

ASUS G53 (G53SX-A1)

This latest addition to the ASUS G-series gaming notebook lineup has fantastic performance, a great 15-inch 1080p screen, and a stealthy design. The ASUS G53SX-A1 offers fantastic performance, a great screen, sharp design, and even has decent battery life for full-throttle gaming. If you or someone in your home is a serious gamer who wants to be mobile, the ASUS G53 belongs at the top of your Christmas wish list.

Read the ASUS G53 Review

Buy the ASUS G53SX-A1 for 1,179.99 at Amazon.com

 

 

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