CNET Top 5
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Windows 7 is more than what Vista should have been, it's where Microsoft needed to go. How much damage Vista did and whether Windows 7 is enough for people to finally abandon Windows XP are questions that nobody has the answers to right now.
It's not as much of a conversation piece as the tank-like Alienware 18, but the slimmer, lighter Alienware 17 is arguably more practical for serious gamers with realistic budgets.
There's a premium to be paid, but the massive Alienware 18 is a show-off-worthy desktop replacement that takes down even the newest PC games, and is just plain fun to use.
Dell has revamped its gaming line, including the new Alienware 14. The design changes don't go nearly far enough, but no complaints about the performance.
The Samsung Series 7 Slate 700T is the fastest Windows 7 tablet we've tested, and paired with its optional accessories, it provides a very laptop-like experience, but one marred by the typical awkward onscreen Windows typing experience.
A high-end big-screen multimedia laptop that's pretty portable (for a desktop replacement), the Samsung Series 7 Chronos is what we imagine a 17-inch ultrabook would look like.
With a fair price, decent performance, and dead-simple setup, the SMC SMCWGBR14-N Barricade N router is about as well-rounded a Draft N router as you'll find. It also boasts impressive range and a smart design. We strongly recommend it for general home use.
The Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t convertible Netbook tablet is priced to compete with the iPad, but underwhelming battery life and unpredictable touch response mar an otherwise sharp-looking portable.
Windows Phone 8.1 is the best update yet, thanks to its revamped design and modern features, but it lags behind iOS and Android.
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Nvidia's Ion graphics chip gives the Asus Eee Top ET2002 better-than-average video performance for a Nettop, but that does little to spare this system from its weak overall performance and the variety of competitive, more well-rounded alternatives for low-cost video and gaming. Nettops might be competitive someday, but for now this category as a whole is a disappointment.