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CostHelper.com > All Electronics > Laptops

Laptops Prices, Reviews and Specifications

     
 


Laptops are quickly replacing desktop computers as a required piece of technology in daily life. Starting with the smallest and lightest netbooks that are handy for traveling professionals to small and portable notebooks for students, laptop computers are available in a variety of sizes and configurations.

 
 

Netbooks

Acer Aspire One AO756-2626
$250-$350

The Acer Aspire One AO756-2626 is an 11.6" netbook that runs a Windows 8 operating system. It is light and portable and works well for basic computing tasks.

While it runs a Windows 8 operating system, the netbook does not have any touch-screen capabilities, a feature found on some small laptops. It has a high-definition screen with a 1366x768 resolution, which is higher than some other netbooks, and the screen can be mirrored on a larger screen in full 1080p through the HDMI port. It weighs just over 3 pounds, putting it on the heavy side for a netbook - some 11"-13" laptops weigh less.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Asus Eee PC Flare 1025C
$250-$401

The Asus Eee PC Flare 1025 is a 10.1" netbook that runs a compact version of Windows 7. The model is highly portable, weighing less than three pounds, and works well for basic computing tasks such as surfing the Web and checking email.

The Asus Eee PC comes with plenty of connectivity options including three USB ports, a VGA port and an HDMI port that can mirror high definition images onto a HDTV. It also has an SD card reader and an RJ-45 internet input.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Gateway LT4010U
$228-$228

The Gateway LT4010U is a lightweight and portable netbook that runs on a compressed version of Windows 7. Gateway is now part of Acer, another popular maker of netbooks and laptops.

It has Wi-Fi connectivity and is meant for on-the-go basic computing needs such as answering emails and keeping up with social networks. It has one-touch integration with Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube. It also has several connectivity options, including three USB ports, an HDMI port and a VGA port.

The Gateway LT4010U runs Windows 7 Starter, a smaller, more-compact version of Windows 7. With a basic version of Microsoft Office installed (Word and Excel only), the model can be good for children.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 

11" to 13" Laptops

Acer C7 Chromebook
$199-$280

The Acer C7 Chromebook was released in late 2012 on the heels of Samsung's Chromebook release -- both Samsung and Acer created the ultrabooks with Google. The Acer C7 Chromebook is a basic lightweight laptop, or ultrabook, with limited capabilities, power and storage but with an appealing price tag. The C7 Chromebook works well for web browsing and writing email, but doesn't excel in productivity applications and multimedia use.

The Acer C7 Chromebook comes with a 320GB traditional hard drive and uses a Chrome operating system, which functions primarily as a browser. Users can access Google's extensive range of services, including Gmail to Google Docs. While apps from Google Play can be added, no software can be loaded.

There are plenty of connectivity options for Acer C7 Chromebook including VGA and HDMI ports for mirroring images on larger screens. The Chromebook also has three USB ports and a 2-in-1 card reader, but there is no optical drive for reading or writing CDs or DVDs. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Apple MacBook Air 11
$599-$1,199

The 11" MacBook Air is light and versatile, making it well-suited for traveling. It is designed primarily for web browsing and returning emails, but is not ideal for intensive multimedia use.

Updated in mid-2012, the current MacBook Air comes with an Intel Core i5 processor and a solid-state drive that starts at 64GB capacity. The 11.6" screen has a 1366x768 native resolution and a built-in web camera offers 720p Face time chats that can connect with other MacBooks or iPhone 4 or later.

The MacBook Air comes with a versatile Thunderbolt port that allows VGA, HDMI, and DVI outputs -- but adaptors for those tasks are sold separately.

The MacBook Air comes with OS X Mountain Lion installed, the most recent Apple operating system for MacBooks. Standard software includes Safari, FaceTime, iCloud, Calendar, Messages, access to the Mac App store and integration with Twitter and Facebook.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Apple MacBook Air 13
$599-$1,299

The 13.3" MacBook Air is light and versatile, making it well-suited for travelling. It is designed primarily for web browsing and returning emails, but is not ideal for intensive multimedia use. The model is consistently a best-seller at national retailers including Best Buy and Amazon.

Updated in mid-2012, the current MacBook Air comes with an 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor and a solid-state drive that starts at 128GB capacity. The 13.3" screen has a 1440x800 native resolution and a built-in web camera offers 720p Face time chats that can connect with other MacBooks for video chatting.

The MacBook Air comes with a versatile Thunderbolt port that allows VGA, HDMI, and DVI outputs -- but adaptors for those tasks are sold separately. It also has a SD card reader, but it lacks at optical drive for reading and writing CDs and DVDs.

The MacBook Air comes with OS X Mountain Lion installed, the most recent Apple operating system for MacBooks. Standard software includes Safari, FaceTime, iCloud, Calendar, Messages, access to the Mac App store and integration with Twitter and Facebook. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Apple MacBook Pro 13
$1,050-$1,499

The 2012 MacBook Pro 13 laptop is a popular model for students and professionals alike, and is a best seller at several nationwide retail outlets.

There are two models of MacBook Pro 13 available: The base model comes with a 2.5Ghz Intel Core i5 processor while the faster and more powerful 2.9Ghz Intel Core i7 is packed inside the more expensive model. The 13.3" screen has a native 1280x800 screen resolution.

Customers can customize the memory and storage capacity of the MacBook Pro 13. Both models come with a standard hard drive: the base has 500GB, the upgraded model has 750GB. Customers have the option to upgrade to a solid-state drive (a hard drive without moveable parts) in sizes ranging from 128GB to 512GB.

The MacBook Pro comes with a versatile Thunderbolt port that allows VGA, HDMI, and DVI outputs -- but adaptors for those tasks are sold separately.

The MacBook comes with OS X Mountain Lion installed, the most recent Apple operating system for MacBooks. Standard software includes Safari, FaceTime, iCloud, Calendar, Messages, access to the Mac App store and integration with Twitter and Facebook. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Apple MacBook Pro 13 with Retina Display
$1,399-$1,699

The MacBook Pro 13 with Retina Display was introduced late in 2012, ahead of the holiday shopping season.

There are two models of MacBook Pro 13 with Retina Display available: Both are equipped with a 2.5Ghz Intel Core i5 processor (upgradable to a 2.9Ghz Intel Core i7). The models have varying storage capacities, the base model has 128GB, the higher model has 256GB, but both can be upgraded with up to 768GB.

The 13.3" monitor with the touted Retina display has a native 2560x1600 high-definition resolution.

The MacBook Pro 13 with Retina Display comes with a two versatile Thunderbolt ports that allow VGA, HDMI, and DVI outputs -- but adaptors for those connections are sold separately.

The MacBook comes with OS X Mountain Lion installed, the most recent Apple operating system for MacBooks. Standard software includes Safari, FaceTime, iCloud, Calendar, Messages, access to the Mac App store and integration with Twitter and Facebook.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A
$989-$1,499

The Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A is a light and portable 13.3" laptop with a solid-state drive. With the Zenbook Prime, Asus tries to combine work and play needs with features that boost productivity and entertainment value.

The Zenbook Prime can be configured with either a Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, making it perform tasks such as photo and video editing quickly. The 13.3" display has full 1080p resolution and functions well for consumers interested in gaming.

There are currently two models available: The UX31A-DB51 has an Intel Core i5 processor and a 128GB solid-state hard drive; the UX31A-DB71 has the more powerful Core i7 processor and the larger 256GB solid-state hard drive.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Dell XPS 12
$1,000-$2,000

The Dell XPS 12 is a convertible 12.5" laptop with a flipping front screen that also doubles as a Windows 8 laptop. While the front screen can open as a traditional clamshell laptop, it also has a flip-and-fold motion that turns the model into a fully functional laptop.

The Dell XPS 12 runs Windows 8 operating system, which uses the touch-screen capabilities of the model. The base model comes with a 128GB solid-state hard drive and 4GB of RAM; the more expensive models upgrade RAM to 8GB and upgrade the hard drive to a 256GB solid-state drive. Customers can also pick between an Intel Core i5 processor or the more powerful Intel Core i7.

The model has fewer ports than most similarly sized laptops -- there is no HDMI port for mirror images on a larger screen and there is no memory card reader. Also, there is no optical drive for reading and writing CDs and DVDs.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Dell XPS 13
$740-$2,000

The Dell XPS 13 is a compact 13.3" ultrabook that is highly rated and a best-seller at many retailers. It's a durable computer that is highly portable. While the base model is good for basic computing needs, the higher-priced configurations can handle more intensive tasks.

While there are still models available with the Windows 7 operating system, new models have Windows 8, the late-2012 release, installed. The model is available in different configurations, with a base model coming with 4GB of memory and a 128GB solid-state drive. Various configurations offer up to 8GB of memory and a 256GB solid-state drive.

The Dell XPS 13 strays from the standard aluminum composition of most laptops models, using instead a carbon fiber body and a sturdy Gorilla Glass screen. The XPS comes with two USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack and a display port. The display port, a video connection, is not as commonly used as HDMI or VGA ports. The XPS 13 lacks a memory card slot, which is found on most 13" laptops. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Google Chromebook
$249-$249

The Google Chromebook, manufactured by Samsung, is a basic ultrabook with Web browsing capabilities that operates on Google's Chrome OS. With an 11.6" display, 2GB of memory and a 16GB storage capacity, the Chromebook is a no-frills machine. But it's lightweight and portable, making it a good travel companion.

The Chromebook is ideal for web browsing and using many of Google's cloud-based services, but not meant for intensive multimedia work. The Chromebook makes use of Google's various platforms -- easily moving from Gmail to Google Docs to YouTube. It also has pre-installed virus and malware protection, which Google touts as worry-free.

Google advertises the shareability of the Chromebook, noting it can switch between multiple customizable user profiles in seconds.

A 3G Chromebook is in the works and will be available with a two-year wireless plan. While it is available for pre-order, a release date has not yet been announced. The 3G model will cost $330.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Google Chromebook Pixel
$1,299-$1,449

Chromebook Pixel is aimed at users who operate mostly online, and it comes with 3TB of Google cloud space. With 32GB-64Gb of solid-state hard drive space, space for personal documents is limited.

The Google Chromebook Pixel follows the release of several low-priced Chromebook options. However, the Chromebook Pixel is not one of those light-weight, low-cost laptops. With a starting price of nearly $1,300, Chromebook Pixel is clad in a tougher aluminum exterior than its predecessors.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13
$899-$1,549

The IdeaPad Yoga 13 is an aptly named laptop because it comes with a hinge that allows 360 degrees of movement, so the entire screen can fold back and lie flat like a tablet. The Yoga 13 bridges the gap between tablet and laptop, allowing users to take advantage of both modes.

The model is good for everyday tasks such as surfing the web and writing emails; it also functions well for streaming HD movies and editing photos in Photoshop. But, it is not intended for any heavy gaming use.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 has a 13.3" display screen and runs Windows 8. It takes advantage of the touch-screen capabilities that the Windows 8 operating system offers and allows users to personalize how apps and software function on the device.

The base model of the Yoga 13 has a 128GB solid-state drive, 4GB of memory and an Intel Core i3 processor. Stepping up $100 doubles the memory and the boosts the processor to an Intel Core i5. The two higher-end models have an Intel Core i7 processor. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Lenovo ThinkPad X230
$774-$961

The Lenovo ThinkPad X230 is a versatile small laptop with a 12.5" screen and plenty of connectivity options. There are ports for VGA, HDMI and DisplayPort video connections as well as a 4-in-1 SD card reader and multiple USB connections. Unlike most other small laptops, the Lenovo ThinkPad has a TrackPoint nub in the center of the keyboard in addition to a touchpad mouse.

The ThinkPad X230 is configurable with either Windows 7 or Windows 8. The base model has an Intel Core i5 processor, but it can be configured with the more powerful Intel Core i7 processor.

The ThinkPad is designed for work at all hours of the day: It features a backlit keyboard and an overhead light allows for reading of documents.

Lenovo catered the ThinkPad X230 for professionals, making it highly portable at less than 3 pounds. It has security features than include a fingerprint scanner and a 30-day Norton Security trial. In addition, the ThinkPad X230 comes preloaded with software packages including a Microsoft Office starter pack and Skype. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Samsung 9 Series Ultrabook NP900X3C-A01US
$1,116-$1,704

The Samsung 9 Series Ultrabook is a compact, lightweight and fast laptop that works well for a variety of needs: It's half an inch thick and weighs less than 3 pounds, making it highly portable. In addition, the 9-hour battery life can make it through a professional's work day and the speedy processor can handle a heavy gamer's needs. The machine is so fast, Samsung claims it boots up in 8.4 seconds.

The Ultrabook has a 128GB solid-state hard drive, which has no moving parts and accesses information more quickly than a standard hard drive. But, there is no optical drive for reading or writing CDs and DVDs. A peripheral drive can be purchased separately and connected through the one of the two available USB ports.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 

14" to 16" Laptops

Alienware 14
$1,100-$2,899

The Alienware 14 is a 14" laptop that was completely redesigned for 2013. It is meant to be a gaming machine. It boasts high-definition GeForce graphics cards and powerful Intel Core i7 processors, even for the base model. Each model also has an 8x optical drive, for loading PC gaming software.

The Alienware 14 also has a keyboard that lights up and is visible in dark conditions. While it is a 14" laptop, it's not the most portable, weighing in at more than 6 pounds and being close to 2" thick.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Alienware M14x-R2
$999-$1,734

Updated: The Alienware M14x was discontinued in 2013 and replaced with an all new Alienware 14.

The Alienware M14x is a 14" laptop that tries to bridge the gap between portability and intensive gaming use. Alienware is the gaming arm of Dell Computers.

The Alienware M14x is the entry-level gaming laptop and comes in three main configurations, which can be modified or upgraded to meet a user's needs. The base model includes an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 500GB magnetic hard drive. Upgrade options include adding an Intel Core i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM or a 1TB hard drive. A 512GB solid-state drive is also available.

The Alienware M14x offers plenty of connectivity options including multiple USB ports, a 9-in-1 memory card reader, an HDMI port, a VGA port and an Ethernet port. While many laptops in the 13"-14" range lack optical drives, the M14x comes with a drive for reading and writing DVDs and CDs. The optical drive also has the added benefit of reading Blu-ray discs, a feature not found on most laptops. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Apple MacBook Pro 15
$1,698-$1,799

The MacBook Pro 15 was upgraded in mid-2012 and offers many of the same features as its predecessor.

There are two models of 15.4" MacBook Pro available: The base model has a 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, the more expensive model has a 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7. Both models also have traditional hard drives with varying storage capacities, the base model has 500GB, the higher model has 750GB. Both models can be upgraded to a 1TB hard drive or to 128GB-512GB solid-state drive.

The MacBook Pro 15 comes with a versatile Thunderbolt ports that allow VGA, HDMI, and DVI outputs -- but adaptors for those connections are sold separately.

The MacBook has OS X Mountain Lion installed, the most recent Apple operating system for MacBooks. Standard software includes Safari, FaceTime, iCloud, Calendar, Messages, access to the Mac App store and integration with Twitter and Facebook.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Apple MacBook Pro 15 with Retina Display
$1,899-$2,799

The MacBook Pro 15 with Retina Display was introduced in mid-2012, the first model with the upgraded high-definition Retina screen.

There are two models of MacBook Pro 15 available: Both are equipped with a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, but the base model runs at 2.3GHz, while the upgraded model runs at 2.6GHz. The models have solid-state drives with varying storage capacities, the base model has 256GB, the higher model has 512GB, but both can be upgraded with up to 768GB.

The 15.4" monitor with the touted Retina display has a native 2880x1800 high-definition resolution.

The MacBook Pro 15 with Retina Display comes with two versatile Thunderbolt ports that allow VGA, HDMI, and DVI outputs -- but adaptors for those connections are sold separately.

The MacBook comes with OS X Mountain Lion, the most recent Apple operating system for MacBooks. Standard software includes Safari, FaceTime, iCloud, Calendar, Messages, access to the Mac App store and integration with Twitter and Facebook. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Dell Inspiron 14Z Ultrabook
$550-$1,151

The Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook is a 14" computer that pushes the definition of ultrabook. The model is slim at .8" thick, but not as slim as others. It weighs in at just over 4 pounds, a full pound heavier than competing 13.3" ultrabooks.

The Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook runs on the Windows 8 operating system and includes plenty of apps including Skype for video chatting and Absolute LoJack for computer security.

The Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook comes in a variety of configurations, starting with a base model that offers 4GB of memory and an Intel Core i3 processor. The more-expensive models increase memory to 6GB to 8GB of RAM and boost the processor to an Intel Core i5 processor. All models come with a hybrid drive: a 500GB standard hard drive and a 32GB solid-state boot drive. The hybrid drive allows for a faster boot-up time than traditional drives.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch
$1,215-$2,029

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch is a 14" laptop that was built for Windows 8 and includes a touch-screen display for using Microsoft's newest operating system.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch is both durable (with its carbon fiber shell) and portable (with a starting weight of 3.4 lbs.). The laptop is tailored toward corporate use and is easily managed, making it ideal of executives on the go who need a powerful machine.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Samsung 3 Series NP305E5A-A06US
$549-$599

The Samsung 3 Series NP305E5A-A06US is a basic 15.6" laptop that performs well for basic tasks such as web browsing, returning email and word processing. It also works well for intensive gaming, providing smooth graphics and quick response times.

The Samsung 3 Series NP305E5A-A06US comes with a 1.5GHz AMD quad-core processor and a 750GB standard hard drive. There are 6GB of memory and the screen has a 1366x768 resolution that is found on most laptops. In addition, the model comes with an optical drive for reading and writing CDs and DVDs.

The model is sold with Windows 7 Home Premium operating system installed, but consumers can buy an upgrade to Windows 8.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Samsung ATIV Book 5 NP540U4E-K01US
$850-$950

The Samsung ATIV Book 5 is a 14" ultrabook with a touchscreen and a Windows 8 operating system. It comes with a hybrid drive: 500GB of traditional hard drive space as well as what Samsung calls a 24GB Express Cache. It does not have an optical drive, which is common on many 14" laptops.

One of the touted features is SideSync which allows easy sharing of information between Samsung devices (such as a Galaxy phone or tablet).

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Vizio 14" Thin + Light
$849-$849

Updated: The Vizio Thin + Light was discontinued in 2013 to make way for a similar model with touch-screen capabilities.

Vizio, the company known primarily for affordable televisions, ventured into laptops with the introduction of the Vizio 14" Thin + Light.

The model comes with a 128GB solid-state drive and a 1.7GHz Intel Core i5 processor. Unlike many ultra-portable models which have a 1366x768 basic HD resolution, the Vizio Thin + Light offers a 1600x900 resolution.

The model offers several options for connectivity including two USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI port for mirroring images on a larger screen. But, unlike other models, there is no optical drive for reading or writing CDs and DVDs. The model also lacks a card reader and a backlit keyboard.

The model weighs less than four pounds, making it a highly portable. It comes with Windows 8 installed and a variety of Microsoft-based software offerings. It can handle tasks from web browsing to gaming, but the limited hard-drive space limits its multimedia storage capabilities. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 

17" to 18" Laptops

Alienware 17
$1,499-$4,499

The Alienware 17 is a 17" laptop that was completely redesigned for 2013. It is meant to be a gaming machine.

The Alienware 17 is built to be durable and has a sturdy magnesium alloy frame. It boasts high-definition GeForce graphics cards and powerful Intel Core i7 processors, even for the base model. Each model also has an 8x optical drive, for loading PC gaming software. It also has plenty of space and can be customized with up to 1TB of space(four 256GB solid-state drives).

The Alienware 17 also has a keyboard with programmable light-up zones and is visible in dark conditions.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Alienware M17x-R4
$1,699-$2,449

Updated: Alienware discontinued the M17x-R4 in 2013. It was replaced by the all-new Alienware 17.

The Alienware M17x-R4 is a best-selling gaming laptop that also functions well as a desktop PC replacement. With a powerful graphics card and optional upgrades for memory and storage, this 17.3" laptop works well for entertainment purposes, as well.

The Alienware M17x-R4 comes in three basic configurations and it includes several customizable elements including upgrades for the processor, the hard drive and memory. All Alienware M17x-R4 models have a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor. Memory on the base model is 6GB, but can be upgraded to up to 32GB of RAM.

The Alienware M17x-R4 has plenty of connectivity options including an optical drive with an optional Blu-ray disc reader. There are 4 USB 3.0 slots and a USB 2.0 slot, 2 HDMI ports and a 9-in-1 multi-card reader.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Asus G75VW-BBK5
$1,999-$1,999

Updated: The Asus G75VW-BBK5 was discontinued in 2013.

The Asus G75VW-BBK5 is a 17.3" laptop that can be used for high-intensity gaming or entertainment. It also functions well as a replacement for a bulky desktop PC.

The Asus G75VW-BBK5 comes with a 1TB traditional hard drive and 8GB of memory with room to expand to up to 16GB. The NVIDIA GeForce graphics card is designed to work well in demanding environments, such as graphic-heavy gaming sequences.

The model excels in connectivity, offering 4 USB ports, and HDMI port for mirroring images on an HDTV, and an 8-in-1 memory card reader. It also has an optical drive that can read DVDs and CDs.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Samsung Series 7 Chronos NP700Z7C-S01US
$1,500-$1,500

Updated: Samsung discontinued the Series 7 Chronos in mid-2013.

The Samsung Series 7 Chronos NP700Z7C-S01US is a 17.3" laptop that functions well as a replacement for a desktop PC. Its powerful graphics card means it works well for gaming and heavy multimedia use.

The model comes with a 1TB traditional hard drive and a 8GB solid-state cache drive. It uses JBL speakers to provide sound and the model is touted for an entertainment experience. High multimedia use is expected.

The Chronos comes with plenty of connectivity options including a 4 USB ports, a VGA port and an HDMI port. It also has a 4-in-1 SD card reader.

The Chronos comes with Window 7 Home Premium installed, but it is compatible with Windows 8.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]