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Christmas Gift Guide

Apple iMac (3.1GHz 27-inch, Spring 2011)

Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, Summer 2011)

Digital Storm ODE Level 3

Toshiba Portege R835-P70

Samsung Series 7 all-in-one

Dell Inspiron 14z

HP Pavilion G4-1215dx

Apple's higher-end iMac still has the largest screen of any all-in-one computer. It's also one of the fastest all-in-ones, as well as the best looking. You don't get the touch software, and it's not as user-friendly for those looking to turn an all-in-one into a media hub, but the iMac remains the elite product in its category overall.
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The slim MacBook Air has successfully evolved from its original position as a niche product. Now that it uses current-gen Intel CPUs, this is definitely a viable everyday laptop--if you can live with smaller SSD hard drives--and that large trackpad is impossible to beat.
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Digital Storm is not one of the most well-known boutique gaming vendors, but it impressed us earlier this year with its pre-configured ODE Level 3 desktop that nailed the sweet spot of price and performance. Even if you don't know a graphics card from a power supply, Digital Storm makes it easy to pick out a powerful, well-crafted gaming PC.
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The Portege R835 is still one of the best overall values in the 13-inch laptop category, with a solid magnesium alloy chassis and a thin and lightweight design. It even beats out the more expensive 13-inch MacBook Pro on battery life (topping 7 hours), while offering some step-up features (USB 3.0, eSATA ports, integrated DVD drive) rarely found in many competing models in this weight and size class.
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The design of Samsung's debut all-in-one looks like something out of the Service Merchandise catalog, circa 1985, but in a way that's surprisingly refreshing compared with its glossy black competition. An easy-to-use tablet-style touch interface, a smart assortment of connectivity and control options, and an approachable $1,099 price tag make this system a winner for families interested in an all-in-one that can double as a home media hub.
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This slimmed-down version of the usually quite sedate Inspiron 14z has a clean, thin design, a backlit keyboard, very good battery life, and strong performance. Even better, the $599 starting price is a decent deal for a laptop that's at least in the same ballpark as expensive ultraslim models.
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The best thing about the HP Pavilion g4-1215dx is its $379 price, which usually is a warning sign in the case of midsize laptops. Of course, price is meaningless if the performance doesn’t stack up, but the new AMD A4 CPU is fast enough for most basic purposes and can even handle some basic gaming.
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