Bright Full HD IPS display with strong contrast
Sony Vaio Pro 11 offers a rare combination of attractive attributes: our test model weighs less than 900 grams (2 pounds), has a good Full HD IPS display, a stylish design and sufficient performance for most tasks. Overall, a good mix of important attributes.
Extremely thin and light
The 11-inch model is worse. The even-smaller, even-thinner body only exacerbates the build quality problems, and coupled with a touchscreen that's probably too high-res for this screen size, it just falters. Battery life is great, but performance lags a bit behind the larger counterpart - and when the 13-inch Pro is so thin and light anyway, it's hard to think of a reason to buy the 11-inch model unless you're desperately trying to save $100.
The lightest laptop we've ever felt
Despite a few flaws, Sony's VAIO Pro 11 is one of the more impressive machines we've seen, creating a proper PC experience in one of the lightest designs yet.
It's also nice to see that Sony is competing with the prices of other Ultrabook manufacturers, and with a starting price of $1299 and featuring an excellent screen, decent processor, and amazing weight, the Sony VAIO Pro is a top choice. Recommended.
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.
More RAM for better, zippier performance, Swappable 6-cell battery lasts longer on the road
Though it still has a couple of faults, the new version of the Acer C7 Chromebook is faster, longer lasting, and better all around. All this and its very low price tag makes it the best inexpensive Chromebook on the market.
Limitations of Chrome OS, Poor battery life
Well, you might just prefer having a familiar laptop experience, complete with keyboard and trackpad, and if you're already living the Google life with Docs, Calendar, Gmail, Hangouts, Google+ and more, you'll immediately feel at home as soon as you sign into a Chromebook. And that's fine. If that's you, we think you should consider one.
Basically, then, we like the idea of a Chromebook; we just don't particularly like this Chromebook.
Chrome is getting better all the time
The jury may still be out on whether or not Google's Chromebook concept can really change the laptop market, but if you're a light user or tend to spend most of your time on the web, then the Acer C7 Chromebook is worth considering. The boot time may be longer than the Samsung Series 3, but it's still quicker than most traditional laptops, and the way Chrome seamlessly backs up your files is impressive.
Good keyboard and touchpad, Attractive display
Acer's C7 Chromebook is a stunning value. The only major sacrifice a buyer has to make is accepting the Chrome OS, which is becoming easier over time. Chrome OS is now capable of performing all the basic tasks the average user requires and many apps can be used offline.
It's a shame, then, that portability is exactly where the C7 falls short. Using this laptop at your local coffee shop isn't a hassle, but even a short trip by train, plane, or automobile will tax the battery.
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.
Anti-reflective Full-HD display, Very good application performance
The Aspire V3-772G (RRP 1,499 Euros, ~$1992) with the brand-new Haswell platform can certainly not be criticized for the performance: 99% in our sub rating is an excellent result. The 17-inch notebook offers workstation performance in regard to the quad-core CPU, graphics card and storage solution.
Long battery life, Good application performance
The Vaio SV-E14A3M2ES impresses with its good applications performance and the long battery life. We also liked the low system noise in idle state and low temperatures of the case. In addition, the notebook has a handy keyboard. The touchscreen works perfectly and leaves a good impression, but is nothing more than a fancy gadget. It is available at Sony's online shop at a surcharge of 100 Euros (~$130). Those who can do without it will save money.
Sony VAIO E Series
I was very happy when I received this laptop. After doing research and looking at my budget, I thought this would be the best fit for me. I am mainly using it for web browsing and photo editing. So far, it does everything I need it to.
If you're looking at a higher end windows product, I would go with a Sony Vaio E series. I'm particularly an Apple fan, but a Macbook pro was not in my budget. So I went with the next best thing!
Offers sufficient power to daily amount of activities
The Sony VAIO Laptop E Series SVE14132CXW confident with a good application performance and long battery life. Even the quiet operation in idle mode and the low temperature rise like. In addition, the laptop is equipped with a usable keyboard and leaves a good impression.
High Resolution Touchscreen Display, Affordable For Features
Toshiba has put out a very interesting option for those wanting a high resolution laptop that features a touchscreen at a relatively affordable price point with the Satellite P55t-A5202. For most people, it will work just fine provide enough performance for what they want to do. The downside is that there are a number of compromises to make it affordable including a larger overall size than the competition, less running time and a dimmer screen.
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