Class-leading performance, Multimedia-oriented features
Watching movies on a tablet is well and good, but to get real immersive entertainment, a 15.6-inch laptop with multiple speakers like the Asus N550JV-DB72T is the portable equivalent of a home theater system, plus it also qualifies as a power user system.
Big storage capacity, attractive case, backlit keyboard
The Asus N550JV-CN201H convinces with a decent system and gaming performance. Although the CPU significantly throttles (down to 800 MHz) under full load, you will hardly experience this in practice. The benchmark results are as expected. In addition, the notebook features a bright, contrast-rich and matte IPS display and a big storage capacity and can read Blu-ray disks. The battery life is also appropriate for a notebook with that much performance.
Attractive multimedia laptop with impressive audio and video capabilities
The slow hard drive is a cost-cutting weakness in a laptop costing almost £1000, and leaves it looking expensive in a crowded market. Nonetheless, the N550JV is an attractive multimedia laptop with impressive audio and video capabilities that could make it suited to presentations at work, or entertainment at home.
Good build quality, Spacious keyboard
Acer's rush to offer one of the first low-cost Haswell laptops has paid off. Compared to the hordes of competitors still sold for between $600 and $800 with 3rd-gen processors, the new Aspire M5 offers superior battery life, better game performance, and cooler operation. Buyers should keep a keen eye on upcoming laptops, however. The M5's weaknesses may hold it back when the competition catches up to its hardware.
Backlit keyboard, Decent sound
Buyers looking for a versatile and a (still) attractively priced gaming laptop and who can live with the listed shortcomings should give the 15-incher a chance. The non-SLI version is not quite as interesting due to superior and/or cheaper alternatives. The surcharge for the dual GPU model is definitely worthwhile in view of performance.
Responsive high-quality keyboard
Even though the Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 clearly has a gaming focus, the device feels more like an all-around notebook.
The dual NVidia GT 650M GPUs can offer solid performance if the game is compatible, but games like Far Cry 3 which aren't currently compatible with SLI won't offer the performance you might expect from dual graphics cards.
Solid-performing gaming laptop in a smaller, lighter, cheaper package
The Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 is a great choice as a gaming laptop that's lighter and cheaper than your typical desktop-replacement monstrosity. Despite a few minor drawbacks, overall it's a great machine that offers excellent performance and specs for the price.
Excellent gaming laptop, but a few issues
I am absolutely thrilled with this purchase. If you're looking for an extreme gaming laptop for a moderate budget, I really don't think you can beat this laptop. i7, Dual SLI video cards, 1080p display, 8gbs of ram (got my 16gb to max out the board on its way now), backlit keyboard, and an amazing fit and finish. You really can't go wrong with this one!
Including gamer-level graphics, a swappable accessory bay
For those looking for something more than a feature-light ultrabook, the gamer-friendly Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 is close to brilliant, and several configurations are currently available at a deep discount -- but I can't believe it doesn't have a touch screen.
Good value, Comfortable, red backlit keyboard
The Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 is a powerhouse 15-inch laptop with a 1080p display, a comfortable backlit keyboard and an affordable price. It does suffer from below average-battery life and it does get quite hot, but overall it's a fantastic laptop for the money.
Matte Full-HD display, Chassis is slim and not very heavy
The Acer Aspire E1-572 is a slim and light business notebook with adequate "office" performance. The system is speedy enough to handle everyday tasks and also handles the playback of Full-HD material without any issues. The integrated GPU is sufficient for older and less demanding games. We really like the matte Full-HD display panel, which is a positive surprise - despite the lower brightness and contrast - considering the price point of around 400 Euro (~$540).
New and Faster Core i5 Processor, Thinner and Lighter Than Past Model
Acer has addressed many of the issues that existing with the previous Aspire E1 model with the new Aspire E1 572-6870. The big surprise is the new and faster Core i5 processor included with the system. This allowed Acer to trim some weight and thickness off the system by using a smaller battery. The big downside here is that the battery life did decrease a bit and there is no DVD burner which is something that can be found on competing systems of similar dimensions and weight.
Sleek and appealing design, Sturdy and well-built chassis
The 15.6-inch Samsung Ativ Book 6 is a mainstream notebook designed to address the needs of a broad user base. The build quality is high and the aluminum and fiber glass design is sturdy, sleek, and visually appealing. Too bad there wasn't enough room for Samsung to include an optical drive.
Unique Casing, Strong Performance
There's a lot to like about the Samsung ATIV Book 6. The device may not offer an incredibly thin form factor, but it's built well and the cobalt blue casing provides a nice unique aesthetic that is all too hard to find in today's market. Best of all the Samsung ATIV Book 6 boasts incredible performance along with its sleek visuals.
Defective but otherwise good
So in quick summary computer initially has lots of wifi issues/drop-outs and is prone to become a bit hot/noisy under heavy loads. Unable to turn off keyboard back-lighting during the night and smudging is pretty common on the casing (but not too bad). Battery life was about 4.5 hours in my case which is alright considering the i7 and graphics card inside this laptop.
Great battery life for its size, Balanced performance
The ATIV Book 6 comes close to being an exceptional mid-range machine. It's classy, beautiful, offers good battery life, and has the potential to serve as a potent content creation machine or even a medium-duty gaming rig. But its exceptionally reflective LCD and the sluggish 5400RPM hard drive detracted from the experience for us. At around $1100, we simply expected a more fluid performance across the board.
Good input devices, Very bright display, Fast SSD
The Dell Latitude E6540 is a business notebook, so the display, input devices, quality and service are especially important. The E6540 does not disappoint us and is convincing in these categories. The slightly bouncing keyboard and the small quality problem at the display cover are compensated by the matte Full HD display.
Appealing design, fit and finish, Excellent contrast ratio
While the current price point of around $1000 doesn't seem unreasonable, the slightly thicker, but much more performance-oriented Asus N550JV with the high-end quad-core Intel Core i7-4700HQ, matte 15.6-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, and dedicated Nvidia GeForce GT 750M seems like a much better option - especially considering that it only costs about $100 more.
Very impressive battery life, especially under heavy load
The VivoBook V551LB is a mixed bag of highs and lows, with very good battery life, but a sub-par screen. It has a mostly premium-feeling shell, but lacks the solid-state storage or backlit keyboard that we've come to expect with a system priced at near $1,000.
That doesn't make the VivoBook a bad option by any means. It's just not the best-balanced choice for most users.
Genuinely useful multi-position hinge
We praise Acer for their innovation and the Aspire R7 has one of the cleanest hinge designs we've seen for a contortionist convertible. This is a good looking machine that's quick, cool and not noisy. It's the perfect family PC because it can be easily moved from room to room, yet the full HD 15.6" panel and loud stereo speakers offer a pleasing multimedia experience.
Good screen, Well built
Acer's Aspire R7 challenges the concept of conventional notebook layout by placing the touchpad above the keyboard. Ultimately, it's what makes the R7 so hard to get used to, even after prolonged usage. We like its screen though, and the Ezel hinge allows it to be positioned in many interesting ways. Don't consider this model unless you want more of a touchscreen experience than a traditional notebook experience.
Mediocre performance and battery life
In a fit of late-night frustration, I picked the R7 up, held it aloft, and shouted at it: "WHAT ARE YOU?!" I still don't know. It's too big and cumbersome to be a really useful laptop - even for a 15-inch device it's pretty enormous. But it's too small to be an all-in-one, and not powerful enough to really qualify as a desktop or desktop replacement.
Nice Audio From Speakers, Above Average Keyboard and Trackpad
The ASUS X550CA still remains as a solid value for those looking at a basic laptop computer. The problem is that it doesn't really distinguish itself from the competition in any real way. In fact, the laptop design really needs to be updated to address the limited number of USB ports which is as much as half as many as the competition. In addition to this, the battery life is still on the low side for the budget segment.
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