Everyone remembers that Goldilocks preferred the baby bear’s porridge, chair, and bed. But lost in that story is the fact that the furniture and food of two other grizzlies worked just fine for them. The same goes for entertainment notebooks: some users might like a massive 17-inch screen with a full keyboard and number pad, while others may want something they can carry easily through the forest. Regardless, that notebook has got to play videos well, and let users kick back with more intense games than just Farmville, which is why most of the systems in this roundup have discrete graphics chips. But whatever the size or weight, we think everyone will agree that the starting price for all these notebooks—$900 or less—is just right.
Gaming muscle meets long battery life in this 13-inch notebook that can automatically switch between discrete and integrated graphics modes. The ASUS U30Jc-1A is powered by a Core i3 CPU and lasts 7 hours on a charge. Overall, it’s a good value for those who want graphics oomph without sacrificing endurance.