Five machines that put tablets and Netbooks in their place: the toy box.
Top 5 Laptops in October 2010 Hello, gang. BC here with another T5, this time Top 5 laptops as of this mid-October 2010. You know, laptops aren't the other computer anymore. For most folks, they are the computer, so don't buy a crappy one. Here are five that are the opposite of that. Number five is the delightfully named Sony Vaio VPCZ128GX. It gets an 8.0 CNET rating, though, and big buzz from CNET users. Now, sit down. This one starts at $2000.00 and our test unit, $3400.00 But the design is slick, and the hard drive is an exotic 512-gigabyte solid state drive, and it's just about the most desirable thing this side of something with an apple on it. We did find the battery life to be just fine, but it does have switching graphics. That's the hot new technology that moves between a high-powered dedicated graphics card, or a less power-hungry integrated graphics chip depending on your task. It's one machine that actually lets you sit down next to somebody with a MacBook Pro and not feel like a tool. Number four is the new MacBook Air with an 8.2 CNET rating. So slim you'll worry it will cut you. The new Air uses solid state disks only, no mechanical ones, so it boots like an iPad and has major battery life. We tested the 11-inch and got like 4.5 hours on a charge. If you get the larger 13-inch model, battery life gets up near 7 hours. Now, it starts at a grand so kind of pricey, especially considering it uses an older Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and only the 13-inch model even offers an SD card reader, but you don't buy the new MacBook Air to win a brag war over specs with your geek bodies. Besides, they'll be too busy booting their laptops and dabbing the sweat from carrying them. Number three, another slick looker, it's the HP Envy 17. CNET rating? 8.2. Gorgeous design, Blu-ray playback, 17-inch 1080p display, HDMI and DisplayOut ports, as well as USB 3.0, but the battery life's a little short and that ATI Mobility Radeon HD5850 is your only graphics choice, but at a snick under $1300, we're still on board with this guy for affordable luxury. Number two, the Toshiba Portg R705-P25. It also gets an 8.2 CNET rating, but it's got an Editors' Choice attached to it, and got big CNET traffic lately. Another sophisticated laptop but not as pretty as the HP or the Sony we just saw, so why the buzz? Value is the story here. At around $900.00, and down as low as $800.00 street, it juggles beautifully the balance of performance, design, and cost. Now, no one thing stands out, but it does have a great keyboard and touch pad, you'll use those quite a bit, and Intel's Wireless Display technology for that second monitor. And our favorite laptop, number one on the list, is the MacBook Pro with an 8.3 CNET rating. Let's face it, these guys invented lustable design and the latest MacBook Pro looks no different, but inside is now available a Core i7 CPU, an Nvidia GeForce GT330M graphics that switch flawlessly with the integrated Intel graphics chip for the common tasks. The multitouch track pad is the best in the business. It has really powerful, one-, two-, three-, or four-finger gestures including the one you might just give every other laptop in this list after you play with this little ingot of aluminum for a few minutes. Now, it really should offer HDMI out, Blu-ray, 3G, but Apple has instead doubled down on what their machine already did well. Expect to pay $2200.00 or so for the best 15-inch factory config, that's what we tested. So there you go. Your iPad is now officially a toy again, and you can give your netbook to the kids. Five really great laptops, and the latest list, you can check out from Dan Ackerman and Scott Stein, it's over on CNET.com or just bounce over to top5.cnet.com. I'm Brian Cooley, thanks for watching.