Very quiet, Long battery runtimes
The MacBook Pro 13 with Retina Display is an excellent notebook. Compared to the predecessor it is now thinner and lighter with better performance and longer battery runtimes. Case, input devices, emissions and the screen are still the benchmark in many respects. However, there are also some drawbacks. Our test showed the average WLAN performance and especially the maintainability and reparability are a big problem. We also did not like the poor Windows support via Boot Camp.
The Perfect Laptop
If you're looking at this machine, you're either new to Mac, in which case buy this and don't look back. Or, you're looking at upgrading. If you had an Air, you're not likely to notice the weight difference, and the size itself is actually a little more compact feeling. If you're a MacBook Pro user, this seems like a great update if you weren't already on the Retina machines.
When you factor in size, power and battery life (which is about twice that of my old Air), this is the perfect laptop.
Powerful, great screen, good design, brilliant battery life
The question here isn't whether the MacBook Pro is better than the 2012 model or whether it stacks up against the 15-inch version - which has also recently upgraded to include the intel Haswell processor - but whether it makes more sense than a MacBook Air.
It's a tough decision. Both devices just work, and effortlessly, which is pretty much a given. Compared to the Air the Pro offers a better screen and the potential for more power.
Excellent build quality, Very thin and light
The MacBook Pro 13 banishes any questions about its place as king of the ultraportable market. While there are some ultrabooks which match its display, battery life or performance, there are none that can do all three, and those that try (such as Dell's XPS 13 with 1080p display) are actually more expensive.
In fact, the price drop is the standout feature of the new Pro. $1,299 is still a lot of money, but it's slightly below the competition's average MSRP.
Good performance, Dedicated graphics
Overall, the Asus is a superb gaming laptop. With the Blu-ray drive, it betters the Alienware 17 (its top competitor), but both seem expensive compared to other options on the market. A high-end gaming laptop may be a step too far for your wallet. But, if you can afford it, this is a superb buy.
Excellent CPU and graphics performance, relatively cool and quiet
Go buy one, I did. If you're a gamer this is a superb choice. The price is reasonable for what you get, and I personally prefer the ASUS ROG G750's cooling and trackpad to its most direct competitor in price and features, the MSI GT70. In fact, I prefer the keyboard too because the game-centric SteelSeries keyboard design on the MSI doesn't work as well when using the machine for productivity (the Windows button moved to the right side drives me crazy).
Bright Full HD IPS display with high contrast
Light, thin and elegant. Samsung Series 9, Apple MacBook Air 13, Acer Aspire S7 391 and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon - all devices make compromises to meet these requirements. The Vaio 13 Pro is the lightest Ultrabook (1,066 grams/~2.4 pounds) within this competition; the just 10 mm (0.4 inches) thick base results in a reduced keyboard quality and problems with the torsion resistance. The case material of carbon fiber is unbreakable but still flexible.
Very light, easy to carry, yet comfortable to use
The Vaio Pro may fall short in some areas, but that's only because it aims so high. Its weight and size are truly impressive, and bode well for the coming generation of Haswell laptops. However, the flexible carbon fibre doesn't instill confidence and battery life isn't on a par with the MacBook Air.
Excellent Build Quality
Razer's new compact gaming laptop is an amazing feat. That they could pack in such performance into a system that is generally half as thick and a third lighter than most gaming rigs. The big drawback though is the display with its lower resolution and mediocre picture. It would have been nice to see a somewhat better panel especially given the price tag of the system which is just under $2000. Of course, you won't find a more capable gaming laptop with such compact dimensions.
Great looking laptop, Comfortable, responsive keyboard
In terms of performance, very few laptops of this shape and size are capable of rivaling what Razer has created. Even Apple's highest-end laptop-the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display-only has an Nvidia GeForce GT 650M as its dedicated graphics unit.
With all this in mind, we happily recommend the Razer Blade as an ideal gaming/work/road laptop.
Incredibly slim given the hardware
This leaves gamers with a choice. Big laptops like the Asus G-Series and Samsung Series 7 Gamer offer a better display and somewhat quicker hardware, yet the Blade is more portable and more usable as a day-to-day PC. Neither option is obviously superior, but at least Razer's laptop presents a strong alternative for those who don't want to lug around a brick.
Impressive portability, particularly for a gaming rig
I don't need to heap on the praise for this machine. It does everything it's designed to do and more. No hiccups or driver issues (a popular complaint with past Razer machines), no weird fit and finish problems. Yeah, it's a $1,999 laptop, but that's a dollar cheaper than Toshiba's far less interesting KIRABook, which didn't even have fancy green keyboard backlights. Come on!
Matte and bright display, Full HD with high contrast ratio
The GS70 Stealth is an attractive and powerful device for gaming enthusiasts who want to use the 17.3-inch notebook on the road. The build quality is good, the design is appealing and the weight is not much higher than a standard multimedia notebook. All of this is combined with a high-contrast and bright display that is well suited for gaming and movie playback.
Powerful gaming laptop surprisingly thin and light
The MSI GS70 Stealth combines style and substance to stunning effect, with huge power levels inside a chassis that's slimmer and smarter than any other gaming laptop. The 17in screen still means this laptop isn't exactly portable, though, and the high price puts it out of reach for most gamers. If you can afford £1679 and like your laptops to make a statement as well as play any game around, the MSI excels in every important department.
Haswell processor, powerful Nvidia graphics, bright, high-quality screen
The MSI GS70 is a fantastic marriage of style and substance: plenty of power and a great screen crammed inside a chassis that's thinner, lighter and better-looking than most of its rivals.
Heavy, staid machines such as the Schenker XMG P703 are better for pure power, but if you want a machine that's powerful and portable - and you can afford the £1,679 price tag - the MSI GS70 is a contender.
Lightweight for a 17-incher, Very slim lines
MSI has delivered outstanding bang for buck in the GS70. Not only does it include a huge 17-inch monitor at 15-inch pricing, but it does so in a package that weighs much less than many smaller gaming laptops. Obviously, MSI has borrowed some TARDIS technology to get the GS70 into such a svelte package.
Good performance, Great battery life, Digitizer support
The Sony VAIO Duo 13 is a slick-looking hybrid ultraportable that gives you solid performance and a full workday's worth of battery power. The 13.3 inch touch screen display delivers a crisp picture with brilliant colors but its viewing angle performance could be better.
Not too bulky in tablet mode, Good build quality
Sony has chosen the right direction constructing a 13-inch sibling to the 11-inch Duo 11. The ultrabook hardware is top-notch: A fast SSD, an economical yet fast Haswell generation CPU with an integrated GPU even better suited for casual gaming. The high-resolution Full HD IPS panel offers great brightness levels, vibrant colors and superb viewing angles (although falling short of covering all of sRGB space).
Great, but has room for improvement!
I like this convertible ultrabook very much and I can picture myself using it for years to come. I can recommend it to others .
- It is overpriced but you get what you pay for (powerful CPU/GPU, good battery life, beautiful display, quick SSD [probably the most expensive part], solid and thin build). This is a premium ultrabook .
- The battery life, screen, keyboard and weight could use some improvement to earn another star.
Increased battery life, Bigger screen looks fantastic
The Sony Vaio Duo 13 is an excellent product, and probably the best hybrid Ultrabook/tablet device we've seen, but with such a hefty price tag it's still not enough to convince us to ditch our separate laptops and tablets.
It's a shame, because for £500 less we wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Sony Vaio Duo 13 that ticks most of the boxes and improves on a lot of its predecessors faults.
Extremely light, No screen wobble when touched
If you value portability over all else, or need a tablet that handles handwriting with ease, the Duo 13 has a lot to commend it. However, measured alongside other highly portable transformers like the Dell XPS 12, the Duo 13's specs leave a lot to be desired. If you need a Windows 8 machine that you'll barely notice carrying all day, it doesn't get much lighter than this. But you'll end up paying a high price for a machine that is thoroughly out-specced by the competition.
Superb full HD display with wide color gamut, fast performance
As is often the case with Sony, we've got a groundbreaking great product that's not perfect, but it's so much closer than the Vaio Duo 11. Unless you're a digital artist, there really isn't a single fatal flaw. Quite the opposite, in fact: the machine is very fast for an Ultrabook thanks to Sony's use of cTDP to bring up performance above and beyond many Ultrabooks that don't surpass the 17 watt CPU power ceiling, the full HD display is one of the best on the market and the tablet has so...
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.
Good performance, Excellent build quality and design
The Razer Blade Pro is an innovative high quality entry into the gaming notebook market. This 17.3" notebook is impressively thin (0.88") and lightweight (6.58 lbs.). Its all-aluminum chassis is both strong and well designed. The most unique aspect of the Blade Pro is its Switchblade user interface - the multifunctional LCD trackpad with built-in apps. Other highlights of this notebook include a good quality keyboard, beautiful 1920x1080 display and decent battery life.
More portable than its rivals, Generally understated design
The Razer Blade Pro is a great gaming laptop, offering a mix of performance, style and quality at a premium price. It'll handle every game you throw at it right now with aplomb, producing gorgeous visuals on its big 1080p 17-inch screen.
Our few complaints are minor, such as the placement of the trackpad, the lack of 802.11ac networking, and the omission of a card reader.
Haswell chips and Mavericks increase battery life
We can see why Apple decided the time was right to offer a 15-inch MacBook Pro without nVidia or AMD graphics. Intel's Iris Pro has finally brought the kind of improvement that unlocks decent gameplay and rendering power. Power users will still be looking to the dual-graphics top model, and we'll publish our full test of that machine shortly to see just how much difference lies between them.
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