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Sony VAIO Z (VGN-Z540)
The Best Notebooks of 2008



The VAIO Z is a breakthrough ultraportable for two reasons. This 3.4-pound carbon fiber beauty is the first 13.1-inch notebook with a 16:9 aspect ratio display, which is ideal for working on two open windows side by side or watching flicks using the optional Blu-ray drive. And it’s the first notebook of any kind that allows you to switch between using Nvidia graphics (for when you need a speed boost) to Intel’s integrated graphics (when you want long battery life). In our tests the VAIO Z lasted 5 hours in Stamina mode, and both productivity and graphics performance were significantly better in Speed mode.

Road warriors will love the look and feel of the VAIO Z, too, from its isolated keyboard and cylindrical hinges to the aluminum keyboard panel. That includes the brilliant XBrite-Duraview display with 100 percent color saturation, making this ultraportable ideal for presentations as well as enjoying movies and photos on the go. Integrated mobile broadband from Sprint solidifies the VAIO Z as an excellent choice for travelers who refuse to compromise.">Read Review  |  Compare Prices: $1,325.00

The Best Notebooks of 2008

Apple MacBook

Price: 1,299.00

Apple has raised the bar for performance and design in its new 4.5-pound MacBook.
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Toshiba Satellite A305-S6883

Price: $899.00

Toshiba’s mesmerizing Fusion finish makes the Satellite A305 one of the sexiest 15.4-inch notebooks yet.
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HP Pavilion dv5t

Price: $725.99 (1 Seller)

Decked out in onyx and chrome, HP’s Imprint 2 finish isn’t the only thing that’s attractive about this 15.4-inch system.
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Acer Aspire one

Price: $349.99 (1 Seller)

This mini-notebook is a steal for students or anyone looking for a pint-size complement to a larger laptop or desktop.
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MSI Wind

Price: $619.97 (1 Seller)

Refreshingly free of compromises, the 2.6-pound MSI Wind remains our top pick in the field of mini-notebooks with 10-inch displays.
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Lenovo ThinkPad X301

Price: $2,199.00 - $2,499.00 (8 Sellers)

Apple’s improbably thin MacBook Air has an iconic design, but we’d rather carry and use this thin, full-featured ThinkPad.
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Acer Aspire 8930G

Price: $1,699.00

The Aspire 8930G breaks the mold in more ways than one.
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Sony VAIO FW Series (VGN-FW290)

Price: $1,277.00 - $1,375.12 (6 Sellers)

A big-screen notebook in a mainstream notebook’s body, the VAIO FW series, like the VAIO Z Series, is one of the first laptops to feature a screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio, which means its stunning 16.4-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel display is ideal for watching Blu-ray movies.
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Alienware Area-51 m17x

Price: $2,194.00 (1 Seller)

This beast of a notebook beats out every other gaming rig we’ve tested in every respect.
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Gateway P-7811 FX

Price: $1,359.00

This rig is done up in a glossy black finish with a copper and silver trim—just the right amount of bling.
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Dell Vostro 1310

Price: $599.00 (1 Seller)

Designed for small-business customers looking for a system that will make their lives easier—even without an IT—the 4.8-pound Dell Vostro 1310 bundles many helpful services and utilities.
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HP EliteBook 6930p

Price: $1,132.00 - $1,349.99 (12 Sellers)

This is executive-class material.
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Lenovo ThinkPad X200

Price: $1,023.88 - $1,440.99 (11 Sellers)

This 12.1-inch cousin to the X301 omits the optical drive but boasts snappier performance and longer battery life—9 hours and 18 minutes, to be exact.
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Lenovo ThinkPad X200 Tablet

Price: $1,884.00 (1 Seller)

This convertible combines the portability of the ThinkPad X200 with excellent tablet functionality.
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Panasonic Toughbook 30

Price: $3,357.99 - $3,651.99 (3 Sellers)

The Toughbook 30 is ideal for field workers who want a system that can handle the harshest of environments.
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