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Best Laptops for 2013


The previous year saw the markets being flooded with laptops of all sizes and configurations. While the hardware on board these laptops and ultrabooks seem to be increasing, the machines themselves seem to be on a no-fat diet. With more and more players coming into this highly competitive market of laptops, the consumers are bound to benefit as the prices come plummeting down. CES 2013 saw the unveiling of some really interesting laptops, but these are yet to hit the markets. Here's a look at some of the top laptops available in the market across the various segments.

Best Ultraportable Laptops 2013
first
Apple MacBook Air (11")
Processor 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory 4GB
Storage 64GB flash storage
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4000
Screen 11.6"
Price $999
Website apple.com
The ultra-stylish, ultra-thin MacBook Air from Apple is truly an engineering feat in itself. At just 11 inches, it is by far one of the most stylish laptops. The use of nanotechnology, makes this an extremely light and portable machine. The powerful i5 processor, along with Intel HD Graphics 4000 make sure that this little beauty packs quite a punch. The only thing that seems to be a chink in its armor is the paltry 64GB of on-board disk space.
second
Dell XPS 12
Processor 2.6 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory 4GB
Storage 750GB
Graphics NVIDIA S9500
Screen 12.5"
Price $1,199
Website dell.com
Dell XPS 12 sports a very interesting design. The laptop has a convertible screen, which can be used as a tablet, by flipping it over and laying it flat on the keyboard. You can then enjoy the goodness of Windows 8, with the wonderful touchscreen. The laptop comes with a rather impressive spec sheet, although the price seems to be just a tad on the higher side.
third
Sony VAIO SVE11125CXW
Processor 1.7 GHz AMD Dual Core
Memory 4GB
Storage 750GB
Graphics AMD Radeon HD 7340M
Screen 11.6"
Price $449
Website sony.com
The latest offering from Sony, the VAIO E Series 11 laptop has become quite the crowd puller. The ultra-compact laptop comes at an almost unbelievable sub-$500 price. The laptop is far from perfect, but at such a price we really couldn't ask for more. Sitting pretty at a screen size of just over 11 inches, this one makes for a great replacement for your tablet, and has a nice keyboard to go with it.

Best Budget Laptops 2013
first
Dell Inspiron 14z
Processor 1.8 GHz Intel Core i3
Memory 4GB
Storage 500GB
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4000
Screen 14"
Price $599
Website dell.com
The Dell Inspiron 14z has all the makings of a great budget laptop. There are laptops in the market priced much lower than it, but there are few which match up to the hardware and features of this machine. The laptop features a very capable processor, a great on board graphics card, and ample storage space to go with it. Dell has produced an absolute gem, without one needing to spend a fortune to get it.
second
Acer Aspire M5-481PT
Processor 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory 6GB
Storage 500GB
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4000
Screen 14"
Price $799
Website acer.com
The Acer Aspire M5 is a great laptop, packed in a classy-looking metal body. The touch screen makes for a great Windows 8 experience, and the machine handles most operations smoothly. The touch pad on the laptop however, leaves a lot to be desired, and is not the best around. The laptop all in all makes for a good Windows 8 machine, without costing a hand and a leg.
third
HP Envy Sleekbook 6
Processor 2.1 GHz AMD A6-4455M
Memory 4GB
Storage 500GB
Graphics AMD Radeon HD 7500G
Screen 14"
Price $499
Website hp.com
True to its name, the Sleekbook sure is a sleek and good-looking machine. The design is probably one of its key USPs. The laptop also comes with Beats Audio, which will definitely bring a smile on the faces of most music lovers. The processing power and the graphics however, will constantly remind you that you are handling a budget device. A complete mixed bag, the HP Envy Sleekbook 6 still makes for a great buy with a price just a shade under $500.

Best Gaming Laptops 2013
first
Alienware M17x R4
Processor 3.14 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory 6GB
Storage 500GB
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
Screen 17.3"
Price $1499
Website dell.com
Alienware has always been known for their high-end gaming machines, and M17x R4 is another such beast to roll out of their stables. The laptop offers a great screen, a Blu-ray drive, HDMI-in, great 3D performance, and superior processing power. On the flip side though, you will most definitely 'feel the weight' of all the gaming power. Also the sub-par battery means that you will need to keep your charger close to you at all times.
second
Dell XPS 15
Processor 3.1 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory 6GB
Storage 750GB
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
Screen 12.5"
Price $1,199
Website dell.com
The XPS 15 from Dell is an absolute stunner. But it isn't just good looks, the laptop has some very impressive specs, which will get all the gamers out there drooling all over it. The screen is an absolute beauty, and the powerful GPU churns out some buttery-smooth graphics. The laptop is on the heavier side but with specs like these, it makes it a real 'heavy-weight champion'.
third
Samsung Series 7 Gamer
Processor 2.30 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory 16GB
Storage 1.5TB
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M
Screen 17.3"
Price $1,899
Website samsung.com
Don't let the simple name fool you, the Samsung Series 7 Gamer is one real impressive machine. It sports an absolutely drop-dead gorgeous display, fantastic battery life, great keyboard and touch pad, a unique Mode dial feature to change its power settings, and a fantastic processor to power it through. It isn't without its share of problems, like the at-times flimsy lid, loads of bloatware, and the practicality of the different modes on offer.

Best Ultrabooks 2013
first
Apple MacBook Air (13")
Processor 1.8GHz Intel Core i5
Memory 4GB
Storage 128GB flash storage
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4000
Screen 13"
Price $1,199
Website apple.com
The new MacBook Air from Apple offers a slight upgrade from the same model released the previous year. The latest model further works on the hugely successful predecessor, and brings in some major changes, the most significant of them being the price being slashed by $100. It now has the all-new Intel CPU, improved battery life, and now supports USB 3.0. The fact that the laptop itself has not really changed by much in its new form may not be to everyone's liking.
second
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13
Processor 3.10 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory 8GB
Storage 256GB
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4000
Screen 13.3"
Price $1,529
Website lenovo.com
The IdeaPad Yoga 13 has both an interesting name, and an equally interesting design to go with it. The market seems to be flooded with convertible laptops, and this laptop from Lenovo seems to be amongst the best ones out there. The screen can be rotated in 360, which helps it transform from a standard ultrabook to a tablet, all by rotating the screen. The only problem with the design is the fact that when you turn the laptop into a tablet, it leaves the keypad exposed. Also, most ultrabooks with similar specs are available for much lesser in the market.
third
Acer Aspire S7
Processor 1.9 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory 4GB
Storage 256GB
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4000
Screen 13.3"
Price $1649
Website acer.com
The Acer Aspire S7 is one of the finest-looking ultrabooks in the market today. The laptop feel solid in the hand, and has some really great internals. Images come to life on the brilliant HD screen, and the touch screen is extremely responsive. You won't be looking around for a charging point every other hour, as the S7 has a very good battery life. While you might end up paying quite a princely sum for it, the S7 makes for a great ultrabook.

Best Business Laptops 2013
first
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Processor 3.20 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory 8GB
Storage 128GB
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4000
Screen 14"
Price $1,749
Website lenovo.com
The new ThinkPad X1 Carbon is an upgrade on the same model from the previous year. The laptop now sports a touch screen which comes in handy when using Windows 8. The laptop maintains the rugged shell, and the solid keyboard of its predecessor. The top cover of the X1 is made of carbon fiber, and gives it a very premium look. The internals too are great, although they don't quite justify the high price tag of this beautiful laptop.
second
Acer Aspire S5
Processor 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory 4GB
Storage 128GB
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4000
Screen 13.3"
Price $1049
Website acer.com
The Aspire S5 from Acer has all the makings of a great business laptop. The machine has a very innovative and interesting way of hiding away its ports behind a motorized door. It even features a Thunderbolt port, a rather rare sight in such small laptops. What is even more remarkable is the fact that the S5 maintains an extremely slim profile, in spite of having some great internals. The only problems with the machine are the durability of the port door, the poor battery life, and the lack of a backlit keyboard.
third
Dell XPS 13
Processor 1.70 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory 4GB
Storage 128GB
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 3000
Screen 11.6"
Price $1149
Website dell.com
The Dell lineup of XPS devices are known to have a very solid and eye-catching construction, and the XPS 13 is no different. The laptop has a very ergonomic design and is very easy to handle. The screen is protected with a layer of Gorilla glass, which makes it quite resistant to scratches. The laptop boasts of some real impressive specs, and is priced rather reasonably. Amongst its major cons are a below-par display, low battery life, and the lack of an HDMI port.

Best Multimedia Laptops 2013
first
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 15"
Processor 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory 8GB
Storage 512GB
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M
Screen 15"
Price $2,799
Website apple.com
The MacBook Pro caters to a very niche segment of users, who don't mind spending the big bucks to stand out from the crowd. The MacBook Pro is undeniably a beautiful machine, and now Apple brings the fantastic Retina display to it. Little needs to be said about the eye-popping beauty of the Retina screen, and images and videos alike look beautiful and vivid. The powerful i7 processor ticking inside, along with a great GPU make this the ultimate multimedia laptop.
second
Samsung Series 9
Processor 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory 8GB
Storage 128GB
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4000
Screen 15"
Price $2,354
Website samsung.com
The Samsung Series 9 is one of the most impressive ultrabooks of the year. Although it doesn't have as much firepower as its competitors, especially when it comes to raw processing power, it more than makes up for it with its brilliant matte display, and superb styling. The Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU and 8GB of RAM make the multimedia experience on this laptop an absolute delight.
third
Lenovo IdeaPad Y480
Processor 2.30 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory 4GB
Storage 750GB
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT640M
Screen 14"
Price $1,039
Website lenovo.com
The Lenovo IdeaPad Y480 is a great choice for a multimedia laptop. It strikes an almost perfect balance between a laptop for serious work, and one for all the fun and games that follow. At the heart of it is a powerful i7 processor from Intel, and a NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M LE GPU to handle all the graphics. It also offers ample storage space for all your multimedia content, and has a great battery life.
If the current market trend and the laptops featured in this year's CES are anything to go by, 2013 promises to be an even better year for buying your dream laptop. Happy shopping. Cheers!


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