CNET Top 5: Best laptops (Spring 2012)
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CNET Top 5: Best laptops (Spring 2012)

3:45 /

We have the best all-around laptops that aren't trendy ultrabooks or wimpy Netbooks!

I bet you've noticed all the buzz these days around portable computers centers on ultrabooks. That would be that Mac Book Air and all those Windows machine. They wanna be a Mac Book Air. But I got a sneaking suspicion you might just be part of that silent majority that just wants a good laptop, not little skinny thing or a wimpy little netbook. You don't mind handling a little luggage for a machine that can really get the job done. I'm here to help. I'm Brian Cooley with Just What You're Looking For: The Top 5 Laptops That Do It All And Do It Well. Number 5, the Samsung Series 9. This guy is fresh out of the gate. We just reviewed it. Look how sleek and thin it is. Kinda ultrabook like but its still got a generously large screen that makes it more even sleeker and thinner. Great to carry if you like attention from hipsters with ironic beers. This one's got big buzz around it. But for the $1,500 price, it's basically a larger version of the much cheaper 13 inch cousin and for that price, they should have found a way to wedge in an HDMI and Ethernet without using dongles that are bulkier than the computer itself. Number 4, the HP Pavilion Dm4-3090 Beats Editions. Here's a 14 inch laptop. Its got one of those cool hybrid hard drives. Part rotating, part solid state. A great matte finish display. I don't see that many of those and a red backlit keyboard I could live without. The built-in subwoofer is part of what makes it a Beats Edition. However, if you're looking at this one, you need to also look at the not much more money HP Envy which we will do in just a minute. Number 3 is the Samsung Series 7. Here's a 15 inch model that lets you exit plastic land. Thank you. It's got a metal chassis, a thin screen bezel, great power, good battery life, dedicated graphics. All that rolls up to remind you why you spent $1,300 bucks on a laptop. About all we can find the great doubt on this one is the lack of Blu-ray drive and the screen cannot show full res 1080p display which would make this kind of a good value in a home theater to go. Number 2 is the HP Envy 15. Seriously, I don't know why Apply hasn't sue HP over this one. See what I mean? It looks just like a Mac Book. Slap an Apple Sticker on the lid and a smug look on your face and people will think you're rolling Coopertino style from 5 feet away. Beyond looks, this is a great performing 15 inch for about $1,100 list and see, this is important, its got a little wheel for the volume control. You won't know how much you've missed that until you try it. Okay. Our number 1 laptop these days is the Apple Mac Book Pro. Yeah, still. I guess it's only fitting that the one machine that tops that HP we just saw is the one that it actually looks like. The Mac Book Pro 15 inch with a 2.4 gig quad-core i7 CPU and dedicate AMD graphics is serious. This is that rare laptop on which you can edit video and not watch your grand kids grow up and go to college while things render. The touchpad still feels like Apple has a patent on the whole idea and 7 hour battery life, that's coast to coast and a little bit more. Now, a $2,200 bucks, the way we reviewed it, it's not cheap and the upgrades, they go north from there and annoyingly HDMI and built-in Blu-ray cannot be among them. Those are the best laptops we like right now but this market changes all the time folks. If you're looking for one, make sure you go check out our latest reviews at CNET.com. I'm Brian Cooley. Thanks for watching.

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