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5 of the best Haswell-powered notebooks you can buy today

Michael Brown | Sept. 24, 2013
Tablets are great for what they are. When you need real computational power on the go, however, only a full-fledged laptop will do the job.

Acer selected a more powerful discrete graphics processor for its Aspire V7 (Model 482PG-9884), and the company's engineers larded this laptop with 12GB of memory as well. It costs about $350 more than the HP Envy TouchSmart 15t, but it also delivers about 30 percent more frames per second playing hard-core games such as BioShock Infinite. And if battery life is a concern for you, note that the Aspire V7 will last nearly 2 hours longer than the Envy TouchSmart because it uses a lower-voltage CPU. This machine combines the sleek looks of an Ultrabook with enough horsepower for real gaming. 

If you're hunting for mobile power in the sleekest, slimmest package you can find, take a long look at Sony's VAIO Pro 13. This stunningly beautiful Ultrabook is one of the thinnest on the market, measuring 0.68 inch at its highest point. It's outfitted with a drop-dead gorgeous display, featuring some of Sony's best image-processing technology from its TV division. Don't buy this machine if you intend on gaming, because it uses integrated graphics. However, it weighs less than 3 pounds--including its power brick--and it offers nearly 6.5 hours of battery life. Best of all, you can get one with a Core i5 processor and 4GB of memory for just $1400

For a notebook that can do everything from burning Blu-ray discs to editing digital media to playing hard-core games, you'll need to sacrifice battery life and weight. You'll also need to open your wallet. Toshiba's Satellite Qosmio X75 A7298 weighs nearly 8 pounds, its battery peters out in less than 2.5 hours, and it costs $1900 (list). But it is blazing fast, and it can handle just about any task you'd expect a desktop PC to do. 

 

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