Laptop shopping made easy: Retail laptop review roundup, Q1 2009

We've rounded up the laptop configurations and models you'll find boxed up and ready to go in traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

We've scoured the retail shelves of big box electronics stores, searching for the specific laptop configurations and models you'll find boxed up and ready to go, or listed in Sunday newspaper sales circulars (be on the lookout for Presidents' Day sales on many of these).

Bookmark this page and check back regularly to follow these links to the full reviews, which we'll be publishing over the next several weeks. We'll also be picking our favorite in each category, showing you who offers the very best bang for your buck.

Some of the exciting laptops we'll be reviewing in this roundup.

Entry level ($599 or less)
Compaq CQ60-215DX[Reviewed: 2.5 stars]
Dell I15-156B[Reviewed: 2.5 stars]
Gateway MD2614u [Reviewed: 3 Stars]
Toshiba L305D-5934 [Reviewed: 3 Stars]
HP G60-235DX [Reviewed: 3.5 Stars]
Toshiba L355D-S7901 [Reviewed: 3 Stars]

Budget ($600 - $899)
Dell I15-157B [Reviewed: 3 Stars]
Toshiba A305-S6905 [Reviewed: 3 Stars]
Asus X83VB-X2 [Reviewed: 3.5 Stars]
Gateway MD7818u [Reviewed: 4 Stars]
HP Pavilion dv7-1245dx [Reviewed: 3 stars]
HP Pavilion dv5-1235dx[Reviewed: 3.5 Stars]
Sony Vaio NS240E/W[Reviewed: 3 stars]
Dell S17-162B [Reviewed: 3.5 Stars]
HP Pavilion dv4-1275mx [Reviewed: 2.5 Stars]
Sony Vaio CS215J/W[Reviewed: 3 stars]
Toshiba A305-S6916 [Reviewed: 3.5 Stars]

Mainstream ($900 - $1,200)
Dell SX13-163B[Reviewed: 3.5 stars]
Sony FW351J/H[Reviewed: 3.5 stars]
Asus G50VT-X5[Reviewed: 3.5 stars]
Gateway FX P-7805u [Reviewed:4 Stars]
HP dv7-1285dx [Reviewed: 3.0 Stars]

About the author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.

 

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