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5 of the best Haswell-powered notebooks you can buy today

At a Glance

This notebook boasts a Core i7 processor, a discrete Nvidia GPU, and a 1920-by-1080 display. It's a very good value.

Price when rated: $1059

Pros

  • Intel Core i7 mobile processor
  • Discrete Nvidia graphics processor
  • 15.6-inch, 1920-by-1080-pixel display

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Lousy battery life
  • Single-band Wi-Fi adapter
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At a Glance

This is one of the most affordable Ultrabooks we’ve seen, and the compromises Lenovo made to get there are not showstoppers by any stretch.

Price when rated: $700

Pros

  • Elegant design
  • Excellent backlit keyboard
  • Very long battery life

Cons

  • Resolution limited to 1600 by 900
  • Only one USB 3.0 port
  • A little heavy for its size
 Compare

At a Glance

The Acer Aspire V7 has a few idiosyncrasies—primarily its poorly located ports and power button—but it delivers credible gaming performance in a superslim package.

Price when rated: $1300

Pros

  • Bright, vibrant display
  • 12GB of DDR3/1600 memory
  • 24GB SSD cache
  • Discrete Nvidia graphics processor

Cons

  • Poorly located power button
  • Only one USB 3.0 port
  • Single-band Wi-Fi adapter (2.4GHz only)
 Compare

At a Glance

The VAIO Pro 13 trades some performance for looks; but this Ultrabook is so beautiful, you won’t care.

Price when rated: $1400

Pros

  • Supremely thin and light
  • Exquisite carbon-fiber design
  • 128GB SSD

Cons

  • Single-band 802.11n Wi-Fi adapter (2.4GHz)
  • Enough real estate for only two USB ports
  • Flat keys
Sony VAIO Pro 13
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At a Glance

Toshiba's Qosmio X75 is loaded with high-end components and delivers impeccable performance. If you need a desktop-replacement laptop, this is definitely one to consider.

Price when rated: $1900

Pros

  • High-end components deliver impressive performance
  • Surprisingly light for its size
  • 4K video via HDMI

Cons

  • Single-band (2.4GHz) 802.11n Wi-Fi adapter
  • Half-size arrow and function keys
  • No touchscreen
 Compare

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Buy the best PC laptop: 5 gotchas to avoid

Dec 10, 2014 10:27 AM

Buying a laptop is a critically important tech decision—so avoid these five pitfalls at all costs.

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Buy the best PC laptop: 5 gotchas to avoid

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