Top Laptops

  1.  Microsoft Surface Pro 3 12” Touchscreen, Intel Core i3-4020Y, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB HDD, Windows 8.1 Pro……..$979

surface 6The Surface Pro 3 isn’t a laptop—at least not technically.  But Microsoft’s entry into the tablet wars deserves entry into our list because it’s the first tablet that is a legitimate contender as a laptop replacement. Microsoft’s previous attempts at this product suffered from nearly fatal flaws, but the Surface Pro 3’s large, wonderful screen, improved kickstand and Type Cover connection, the Ultrabook-class processors hit home giving us what we truly want.  A laptop/pc replacement in the form of a convertible tablet.  Don’t sweat the small HDD, you can use up to a 128 GB SD Memory card.

The base price starts at $800 (though you’ll likely want the $1,000 Core i5 model), but anyone who wants to unlock the full potential of the Surface Pro 3 will also need to pick up that $130 Type Cover to complete the laptop look-alike package.

  •  12″ touch screen with 2160 x1440 QHD resolutio
  • Windows 8.1 Pro operating system
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Core i3-4020Y 4G 64GB
  • Dark blue type cover and docking station

4.   Asus Transformer Book T100 11.6” Touchscreen, 1.33 GHz Intel Quad-Core, 2 GB RAM, 64 GB SSD HDD, Windows 8.1….$374

asus transformer t100This is not an iPad killer, or even a rival to the Surface Pro 2. But at $374 it is a compelling deal. The Asus Transformer Book T100T is a compact device that offers true functionality and decent performance. And it is a truly portable office PC. Three things make this system stand out: 1) Pre-installed full license of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013, 2) Pre-installed Windows 8.1 (the full version, not RT), and 3) Includes the keyboard dock with a USB 3.0 port.  Given all of that and more, students, school children, home PC users and office road warriors could easily spend more and get less.

  • Preinstalled Full License MS Office Home & Student 2013. Full Version Win 8.1.
  • Includes Keyboard Dock with USB 3.0 port.
  • Intel Quad Core Baytrail-T Z3740 1.33GHz. 2GB RAM.
  • Storage Capacity: 64GB Solid-State in tablet.
  • 11-Hour battery life. 1.2MP Webcam. mHDMI, mUSB, mSDXC slot. BT 4.0. Wireless Dual-Band 802.11N.

    3.  Apple Macbook Pro with 15.4” Retina Display, 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB Flash based storage….$1949

macbook pro3What can I say?  Apple again defines just what a laptop is. The next generation of Apple’s MacBook Pro takes inspiration from the MacBook Air and iPad, coming in at .71-inches thin and weighing under 4.5-pounds.  But they didn’t just stop there – somehow they still managed to fit in a 15.4-inch “Retina display” with a 2880×1800 resolution and 220 PPI. They did not however manage to fit in an optical disk drive but at this point, who cares?  All I can tell you is once you get over paying such a price for a laptop you will be glad you did…….for years after your friend’s Windows machines have long died.

  •  2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 Processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.4 GHz, 6 MB shared L3 cache)
  • 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3L RAM; 256 GB PCIe-based Flash Storage
  • 4-inch IPS Retina Display, 2880-by-1800 resolution
  • Intel Iris Pro Graphics
  • OS X Mavericks, Up to 8 Hours of Battery Life

2.   Samsung ATIV Book 9 (2014 Edition) 15.6” Touchscreen, 1.8 GHz Intel Core i7 4500U, 8 GB RAM, 256 SSD HDD, Windows 8.1..$1800

Samsung Ativ Book 9bNow this is a laptop that will make head turns at the next board room meeting. Samsung’s beautiful laptop is just 0.63-inches thick and ultra-light thanks to its all-aluminum chassis. Sure, you won’t win a specs war with its 15.6-inch 1080p display, a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD, but that load out works perfectly for business and casual users.

It’s not all roses though. At $1,800, Samsung’s laptop sells at a high premium, especially considering the somewhat skimpy Intel hardware you get for the price.

  •  Intel Intel Core i7 4500U 1.8 GHz (4 MB L3 Cache)
  • 8 GB DDR3L SDRAM
  • 256 GB Solid-State Drive
  • 6-Inch Capacitive Touchscreen, Intel HD Graphics 4400
  • Windows 8.1, Up to 8.8-hour battery life

    1.  Apple Macbook Air 13.3”, 1.3 GHz Dual–Core i5, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB Flash storage, OS X Mavericks……….$949

apple macbook airLet’s see, this year’s #1 laptop gets a big yeah for a battery life like no other laptop in the competition, a big yeah for improving their graphics over last year’s model with an integrated Intel HD Graphics 5000.  Apple also beefed up the harddrive with a much faster flash storage (in fact it’s up to 45% faster than last year’s model).  This Macbook Air also becomes one of the first laptops to offer us faster wifi with 802.11ac.  Not the only one, but one of the first.  802.11ac is up to three times as fast as wireless n and at the same time offers much better range.

All in all, Apple has again set the standard for all of the other competition.  This is after all the laptop that Intel had in mind when they started releasing Ultrabooks.

  • 3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz) with 3MB shared L3 cache
  • 4 GB of 1600 MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory
  • 128 GB PCIe-based flash storage
  • 3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display; Intel HD Graphics 5000
  • OS X Mavericks; Up to 12 hours of battery life

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