TechSpot's Laptop Buying Guide: Q4/2010

When shopping for a new laptop it's important to know beforehand how you plan to use it. Whether you want a multimedia or gaming powerhouse that will only move from your desk occasionally, or something that hits the sweet spot between performance and portability, there are plenty of good options if you know what to look for.

To help ease the hassle of going through countless product pages and bookmark the ones you like, the TechSpot Laptop Buying Guide consists of a regularly updated list of our favorite notebooks in each of six categories: Thin and light, business or general purpose, desktop replacements, gaming, value/budget offerings, and netbooks.

Ultraportables

Thin and light notebooks serve as a bridge between netbooks and full-fledged laptops, offering a smooth blend of performance, portability and battery life.

Business

Business notebooks offer a combination of mid to high end components with an emphasis on durability, data security and battery life.

Desktop Replacements

With the most complete set of features and performance, desktop replacements often forgo battery life and portability for extra horsepower.

Gaming

Serious gamers will always lean more toward desktop PCs for their flexibility and sheer power, but if mobility is also a priority, there are some solid choices in this category.

Value

Laptops in this category are usually hot sellers in the back to school season as they offer a good balance of price, features and portability.

Netbooks

Netbooks are perfect as travel companions or secondary systems. Most of them feature 10- to 12-inch screens and an almost identical combination of hardware under the hood.

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13 Comments

Doesn't seem that there's much coverage of touch-screen or tablet style machines in this set of reports. At least not as it's own category.

The best mobile gaming laptop is alienware m15x. It is incredibly cheap, and it can outperform any 1.5k US$ laptop computer.

I don't know why it wasn't mentioned as of gaming machines.

Jose_49 said,
The best mobile gaming laptop is alienware m15x. It is incredibly cheap, and it can outperform any 1.5k US$ laptop computer.

I don't know why it wasn't mentioned as of gaming machines.

I was wondering the same thing (though I may be a bit bias since I own one), but given they had laptops in size up to 17" I would've though they'd include the M15x. It's a great laptop for the price and the build quality is great I find (granted it's no lightweight).

I just ordered an m15x, I wouldnt say its the best but dells financing makes it amazingly easy to handle with only 1.5% interest

Rudy said,
Looking at maybe getting another macbook pro... still trying to convince my gf hahhah
done....I'm picking it up tonight

I just got a Envy 17 a few days ago, and it's amazing, It games really well too, just don't except great battery life, but that probably why they give you two battery's

Alienware laptops are so ugly, need companies to start producing laptops with decent graphics cards which don't look like things made for 12 year olds.

Minimoose said,
Alienware laptops are so ugly, need companies to start producing laptops with decent graphics cards which don't look like things made for 12 year olds.

+1. It's actually fugly.

Minimoose said,
Alienware laptops are so ugly, need companies to start producing laptops with decent graphics cards which don't look like things made for 12 year olds.

its not ugly once you actually see one, my coworkers bought em and it lead me to buy one, cause theyre affordable and fast

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