To bring you our laptops you'd configure and buy online from Dell or HP, but these models are fixed configurations, have slightly different names, and are often a better deal compared to building the same system online., we've been testing and reviewing boxed versions of popular PCs--from entry-level systems starting at $329 to massive $2,000 gaming monsters. These are very much like the
In the "Mainstream" category, covering laptops from $600-$999, we found a lot of variety. While there were a couple of clunkers in this group, mostly because they charged mainstream prices for budget components, we were please to find a couple of real winners as well.
In the end, we couldn't pick a single favorite, so instead we have dual recommendations. The
We also quite liked the
Note: For our roundup of retail laptops in all price ranges,.
Check out details of each system below:
The bottom line: The Dell Studio s15z-2249CPN is a worthy mainstream laptop that aims to satisfy a lot of what consumers crave.
The bottom line: As one of the first laptops to feature Intel's Wireless Display technology, the Toshiba Satellite E205-S1904 is a slim, fast, and affordable package for mainstream users.
The bottom line: While the Toshiba Satellite A505-6025 has a rock-solid combination of computing power, graphics, and battery life, its price and bulk may be hard to swallow.
The bottom line: People who would rather have a big screen instead of great battery life will be happy with the HP dv7-3165dx.
The bottom line: The excellent-performing HP Pavilion dv4-2165dx has a long battery life for the money, but it'll cost you some portability.
The bottom line: A fast hard drive and a peppy processor help make HP's Pavilion dv4-2155dx a solid mainstream laptop, as long as you don't need good battery life.
The bottom line: The Toshiba Satellite P505D-S8007 may look like a sleek big-screen laptop, but underneath it has some seriously hobbled performance compared with its competitors.
The bottom line: With switchable Nvidia graphics and a thin design, the Asus UL50VT-RBBBK05 sacrifices power for longer battery life, while still managing to be a gaming-capable notebook. For its price, though, you could buy a laptop with a faster Core i3 CPU.
The bottom line: The Asus U50F is one of the best values for an Intel Core i3 laptop we've seen, offering a great all-around package for its price--save for shorter-than-average battery life.
The bottom line: The Dell Inspiron i1564-6980CRD is a good, but basic, laptop -- essentially a no-frills workhorse.
The bottom line: The Samsung NP-R580-JSB1US is the best bang for the buck we've seen in a current mainstream laptop, with great processing, graphics, and Blu-ray to boot.