The Best Laptops of 2011

Though tablets stole the spotlight this year, we reviewed some of the best notebooks we’ve ever tested over the past 12 months. From the super-slim, fast-booting MacBook Air to the record-breaking speed of the Alienware M17x, this was a banner year for laptops. Here are our favorite machines of the year, broken down by category.

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  1. Dave Says:

    My vote is for the x220. It is not quite a ultraportable, but I love my x220 so much that I have given up my MacBook Pro for the foreseeable future.

  2. Benign Says:

    I second your vote for the X220 — it is much more comfortable to use over long periods of time, although one needs to use the TrackPoint for the best results. Aside from the T420s, the X220 is the fastest-booting notebook I’ve owned so far — only 12-14 seconds with the SSD and a UEFI-based configuration.

  3. Phillip Says:

    I really like my HP Dv6t for best multimedia. Though the Dell XPS15 impresses I was able to get an i5 with 750gb at 7200 with radeon hd6700 for only 700$. The beats audio is a great addition and the fingerprint scanner with Simplepass is very convenient. Overall a great laptop.

  4. Chris Says:

    I never understand why this and other magazines choose the T420 over the T420s. The latter is 4 pounds and is considerably lighter with no compromises in power, screen size or available configurations. Lenovo often discounts their Thinkpads, and I’ve seen their high-end T420s for under $1000. It’s almost 2012- nobody should buy a 5 pound 14″ laptop any more.

  5. Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director Says:

    @Chris, The T420s is extremely light and powerful and we love it for that. However, the T420 edged it out on our best of the year list due to its much longer battery life.

  6. David Says:

    I bought a new macbook pro 13.3″ 2 weeks ago, deciding to abandon windows, and have def. not had the best or even good experience, hence began looking around. in the first week, the mac ran very hot, suddenly some blue steaks/spots appeared on the screen, subtle but noticeable, an oversensitive touchpad and finally, which i have seen many are experiencing, some lousy internal speakers. $1300 w. tax., and thats included questionable service, which after 3 months i believe requires a whopping $250 more if one wants continued apple “care”. =Not sure if thats for two years more though.

    This shouldn’t happen…especially degrading the unit and the Apple name by saving a couple of bucks on a “hard not to distort” speaker system, quite embarrassing i think.
    Then i saw the Dell, which appears could be my mac model’s worst nightmare as competition, with the 15″ mac at $1800…

    The “geniuses” should have, i feel, said without hesitating “money back or a new unit sir?”, considering all issues, but nope, too generous i guess….though if i “strongly” insisted on a return, i would expect a go.

    I have had Dells before and with a good plan, at least in 05/06, service way above expectations.

    If this Dell performs as most users say, it should become a big problem for Apple sitting an a cloud of dust…hands down.

  7. David Says:

    Oops, the above was meant for the Dell XPS 15, which i saw on Amazon, a newer model even, at $1080.

  8. clemenza Says:

    best pc out there is hp is hp dv6-6118nr kind of pricy but well worth it. 640gb hard drive intel i-5 processor is robust best money erver spent on pc by it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it is my 5th hp pc the best yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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