Tablets and Tegra dominated this year's CES, but we also saw a lot of notebooks worthy of coveting on the show floor as well. We're looking forward to a powerhouse first quarter with so many notebooks featuring Intel's Sandy Bridge chips or AMD's Fusion APUs inside. And don't forget the gaming power of Nvidia's GeForce GPUs. Dozens of notebooks were announced during the show, but here are the 10 that interested us the most.
This Editors' Choice-winning powerhouse from last year is getting a refresh that features Intel's next-generation Core i5 and Core i7 quad core Sandy Bridge processors. Dell is so proud of their work, they're calling this the most powerful laptop in the universe.
Dell XPS 17
The XPS 17 comes with Nvidia’s 3DTV Play software, which allows users to output 3D content — like Blu-ray movies or games — to compatible 3D televisions for an even bigger multimedia experience. You’ll need the Nvidia glasses for all of this, of course. On the CPU side, consumers will be able to configure the XPS 17 with next-generation Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 processors (dual or quad core, where applicable). Core i7 chips now support Optimus, so you won’t have to sacrifice too much power to feed your graphics lust.
Fujitsu Lifebook AH572
The Fujitsu Lifebook AH572 is out to steal every media maven’s heart with its 15.6-inch dual-function 2D/3D display. If you’ve got an urge to do more than watch 3D Blu-rays with the included 3D glasses, the notebook also records 3D video via the dual integrated cameras. We can’t wait to see this particular feature in action.
HP Pavilion dm1
Just because the once-hot netbook category is getting pushed aside by tablets, that doesn't mean consumers don't want a low-cost ultraportable that performs. And that's what HP has delivered with the new Pavilion dm1, an 11-inch notebook featuring AMD's new Fusion processor. Starting at $449, this 3.4-pound machine blows past Atom-based netbooks while providing enough endurance to see you through the day. Add to that a stylish design, excellent audio, and a comfy keyboard, and you've got a superior take-anywhere laptop.
Lenovo IdeaPad Y570
The Y series features high-performance multimedia systems that include the latest Intel Core processors and tout an amazing 10 second boot time when configured with Lenovo’s RapidDrive technology, which uses a small Intel mSATA SSD for the OS and applications while providing a full size hard drive.
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E220s
The most interesting new feature available on the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E220s is the optional Rapid Drive technology, which combines one of Intel’s new SSD 310 mSATA solid state drives with a standard 5,400 or 7,200-rpm hard drive to give users both high-speed and high-capacity storage. With Rapid Drive, the operating system, program files, and some documents are stored on the SSD while the majority of the users’ data sits on the hard drive. This allows extremely fast boot times and application opens, but still gives the user enough space to hold a ton of files.
The GT780 gaming notebook includes goodies such as a full HD screen, 2nd Generation Core i7 processors, and a high-end Nvidia GPU. But what really makes the notebook stand out are the unique touches such as the brushed metal design and custom-configurable backlight keyboard. More important than the aesthetics are the all-new Dynaudio speakers, which MSI says are the best in the business.
Samsung 9 Series
If you’re thinking about ditching Windows to get a MacBook Air, you might want to think twice. The Samsung 9 Series, which goes on sale next month, is sexy, slim, and oh so fast. Weighing in a 2.89 pounds and measuring just .64 inches thick (versus 2.9 pounds and .68 for Apple’s 13-incher), the 9 Series is just as portable. But there’s a lot more to this notebook.
Sony VAIO Concept Designs
They don’t have model numbers yet, but while at Sony’s CES booth we got some time to lay our fingers on two new design concepts that couldn’t be more different. Both of these laptops will have second generation Core processors and launch sometime this year. The 14-inch VAIO design concept, which could be a successor to the 14-inch EA series, sports a raical translucent plastic design that looks like it stepped off the set of Tron. The green and orange models on display use acrylic in a way that makes it look like certain areas of the notebook are backlit. They’re not; it’s just the way the material plays with the light.
Toshiba Satellite E305
Hooking up for the third time, Toshiba and Best Buy have overhauled their exclusive 14-inch Blue Label laptop to include Intel’s new Sandy Bridge goodness and an all-new design. The Satellite E305 is decked out with a champagne aluminum finish that’s less fingerprint prone than the glossy blue E205 we reviewed last year yet weighs less (4.9 vs 5.2 pounds). A second-generation Core i5-2410M processor with Turbo Boost 2.0 technology runs the show, which integrates Intel’s beefed up integrated graphics.