Best Notebooks For Your Money

Obviously, the Apple Macbook Pro ought to have been on this list as it does a fantastic job running Windows via boot camp. Yet again, Acer and Lenovo seem to be coming out on top. Frankly, I think Acer makes a great notebook with Lenovo remaining a crowd favorite amongst the enterprise class.

What I have been trying to figure out is “why”?  What about those two models has people feeling so confident in the two offerings? Each is generally well made to be sure, but there are HPs that might in some instances, surpass the quality if not blow it out of the water in a collective sense.

Think you have a notebook that is better than any of the ten listed? Want to share which one it is? Hit the comments and sound off with what you believe to be king of the notebooks and why.

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  • Davis McCarn

    Raw computer performance improves as the result of changes in core components and 2007 saw two quantum leaps; memory performance increased significantly and, more importantly, hard disk performance virtually doubled from what was the norm in 2005.
    Unfortunately; the powers that be at Microsoft counter these increases with software that demands more hardware performance for the same percieved speed to the user. Windows XP toodles right along with 512 Megabytes of ram for most users; Vista needs 3 times that to be happy, and the deamand on the hard disk drive is proportionally greater, too.
    Why this is important is because there is a door soon to be closing in that Windows XP will cease to be available from OEM’s (Dell, HP, Gateway, etc.) on June 30th and, until then, laptops with a perceived performance higher than most desktops are available for a pittance.
    Lots of folks love to go Dell bashing; but, in terms of shear “bang for the buck”, they are offering some incredible deals if you resist the 30 buttons of upsell and buy the sale unit.
    How about an AMD laptop, loaded and running XP for $399 or an Intel for $549. Both have more ram than XP needs, performance that will knock your socks off, and almost no junkware.
    Go here and click on the Laptop tab:
    P.S. I don’t work for Dell or get any compensation; I just hate to see folks spend way more than they need to.

  • Doug

    I have to say that the MacBook Pro is intend the best all-purpose laptop on the market. Apple provides users with everything they need related to hardware right out of the box. Bluetooth, Web Cam, Higher GHz Processors, Wireless N, 15 inch screen, mid-range Graphics Cards, and decent battery life for the average user.

    Most importantly, if you buy your own copy of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and use Boot Camp along with Fusion or Parallels, and you can run as many operating systems as you want. I keep all of my virtual machine hard drives on an external hard drive connected through an eSata Express Card and as I need each operating system. I simply drag to over to my main hard drive and 3/4 minutes later I can use it without jeopardizing internal hard drive capacity.

    The MacBook Pro may cost more but you can do a lot more with it.

  • NewJohnny

    17″ hp pavilion. Half the weight and thickness as the previous years model, and great looks. The AMD version is always on sale and plenty fast.

  • Aryeh Goretsky


    My personal preference has been for IBM (now Lenovo) ThinkPads since I first used one in the 1990s. They had brigher, higher-contrast screens than models from other vendors, but what really made the difference after using one for a while was the quality of the materials, manufacturing, design and the inclusion of a full-pitch, full-travel keyboard. After using other notebooks which had plastic fracture or shatter around hinges and locks, doors that broke, et cetera, it was nice to have one that just worked. And worked. And worked.

    Other advantages to the ThinkPad, for me, were the wide availability of parts and support (you can get a five year NDB on-site support contract with many models) and the online communities that evolved to support them (mailing lists, web forums and wikis). Lenovo even has their own set of blogs and a web forum now, as part of their “social media” initiative.

    There are some disadvantages to Lenovo’s ThinkPads. The first one is cost. Historically, they have cost more than most other comparibly equipped notebooks. When you amortize the costs over a longer lifecycle, though, I suspect it would not just even out, but be less expensive. The difference in pricing has come down a little since Lenovo’s acquisition of the ThinkPad line from IBM. The other thing I have noticed is that ThinkPads seem to ship with discrete graphics chips which are older or less powerful than those from other manufacturers. Not really a big deal unless you are a gamer, but more and more people have only a notebook for their computer and want to do the same types of things they can do on a desktop.

    Right now I am on a Lenovo ThinkPad T61p I purchased at the end of last year. It was a “CTO” (configure-to-order, Lenovo-ese for “custom hardware configuration”) machine so I cannot give an exact model, but if you visit their web site, you can select this model and try designing your own configuration.


    Aryeh Goretsky

  • eRRR a lenovo notebook

    any t series thinkpad laptop — it is a easy answer