Spring 2010 retail high-end laptop roundup

Find out which high-end laptop came out on top in the spring 2010 edition of our retail laptop roundup.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
2 min read
Watch this: Dell Adamo XPS

To ring the closing bell on our spring 2010 roundup of retail laptops, we're taking a look some high-end laptops you'll find on store shelves. These are a relative rarity, as brick-and-mortar outlets such as Best Buy tend to focus on Netbooks and budget systems, leaving little room for more expensive products.

But if you're ready to drop $1,000 or more on a laptop, and want that hands-on instant gratification you get from buying retail, there are a few options to consider. Not surprisingly, we were generally pleased with all the laptops in this price category. They offered appropriate high-end components and features for their high-end prices, with Blu-ray drives and gamer-friendly graphics cards (but not in every system).

Our overall favorite was the The Sony Vaio VPCF115FM/B, which packs in Blu-ray, decent graphics, a 1080p screen, and a superpowerful Intel Core i7 processor, all for $1,349.

The Dell Adamo XPS is a notable outlier, as its one of only a handful of $2,000 laptops we can even think of anymore. It deserves serious credit for taking some major design risks, and it is certainly a cool conversation piece, but poor battery life keeps it from being a great on-the-go laptop.

Note: For our roundup of retail laptops in all price ranges, check here.

Check out details of each system below:

Dell Adamo XPS
The bottom line: Dell's high-concept Adamo XPS deserves credit for taking some serious design risks. It's a cool conversation piece, but poor battery life keeps it from being terribly useful.
Read the full review.

Sony Vaio VPCF115FM/B
The bottom line: With great processing power, Blu-ray, and a 1080p display for $1,349, the Sony Vaio VPCF115FM/B is one of the best high-end all-around laptops we've seen in a while.
Read the full review.

Sony Vaio VPCS111FM/S
The bottom line: With an Intel Core i5 processor and Wireless Display technology packed into a 13.3-inch laptop, the Vaio VPCS111FM/S is a great all-around, small notebook that costs a little more than we'd like to pay.
Read the full review.

Asus G73JH-RBBX05
The bottom line: Other than some niggling design complaints, the Asus G73JH-RBBX05 is an excellent, well-priced, high-performance desktop replacement for gaming or other demanding tasks.
Read the full review.

>Get all the latest laptop and Netbook news and reviews at our laptop page.
>More laptops, games, and news live every Monday on the Digital City podcast