Built to order: HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11z-e000, $499
Selected by: Joshua Goldman
Maybe I'm an oddity these days, but when I'm at home, I work on a desktop. That means I don't need a ton of power and performance from a laptop, just something small and reasonably light for a daily commute or moving around the house. The HP Pavilion 11z is perfect: Since it starts at $399.99, I was able to move up from the dual-core AMD CPU to a quad-core version with improved integrated graphics and double the RAM to 8GB and still come in at $499.99. It has a touch screen, too, which I find more useful on smaller laptops since you're closer to the screen, and rearranging windows and moving files can just be done with your fingertip.