Apple MacBook Pro ( 15-inch, 2015)
Current 15-inch MacBook Pro owners won't feel the need to upgrade, but the handful of tweaks included here keep this expensive system at the top of the list for powerful midsize laptops.
Lenovo LaVie Z 360 ( 2.40GHz 1600MHz 4MB)
The Lenovo LaVie Z is an impressive engineering feat, but unless you need the touch screen and 360-degree hinge, stick with the less-expensive, lighter, non-touch model.
Lenovo LaVie Z HZ550
Despite a few design quirks make it feel less than premium, the Lenovo LaVie Z can't be beat for a combination of light weight and processor power.
Razer Blade ( 2015, QHD+)
Whether it's for gaming, multimedia enjoyment, work or all of the above, the Razer Blade is a fantastic choice if you need high performance but don't want to sacrifice mobility to get it.
Nextbook Ares 11
Although affordable, the Nextbook Ares 11 isn't fit to be your next workstation or tablet. You'd be better off investing in an inexpensive Chromebook.
The Hisense Chromebook offers just enough power and comfort for far less money than the competition.
Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi
This good-looking fanless hybrid works as a slim Windows tablet or an ultra-portable laptop, but still suffers from the same awkward marriage of base and screen as many hybrids.
Google Chromebook Pixel ( 2015)
The updated Chromebook Pixel sets the bar for high-end for Chrome OS hardware, but its browser-based operating system imposes far too many limitations to justify its lofty price point.
Acer Aspire V Nitro 7-791G-77JJ
A thinner, lighter gaming laptop, the Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition satisfies with an excellent screen and performance and understated good looks.
Dell XPS 13 Non-Touch ( Core i5, 4GB, 128GB)
Taking a second look at the new XPS 13, this lower-end version costs less and has better battery life, but isn't as tightly designed.