These days, Windows 8 is about as popular as Carrot Top. From usability experts who claim that the "Modern" UI is a cognitive burden to analysts who are blame the software for poor PC sales, Microsoft's new OS isn't getting much love. Fortunately, laptop shoppers who don't want to deal with Windows 8 still have options. Though it's getting harder to find new notebooks with Windows 7 preloaded, you can still get them if you know where to look.. Based on our top-rated reviews over the last year, here are 10 systems you can still buy with Windows 7.
The $1,099 ASUS Zenbook Prime improves upon one of the best Ultrabooks by adding a 1080p IPS screen, backlit keyboard and speedy 3rd generation Core i7 processor. The bang & Olufsen speakers produced solid audio and the sleek design is definitely drool-worthy. We like this laptop so much we gave it 4 stars and an Editors' Choice award.
Lenovo's ThinkPad Edge E430 offers small business users a stellar typing experience and solid performance. We loved the nearly 7 hours of battery life, and the $472 affordable price is equally exciting. And for those who need it, there's also a DVD drive on board.
This stunning 14-incher is the first laptop to feature a glass lid and palm rest, making it one of the sleekest machines we've seen. However, the HP Envy 14 Spectre is much more than a pretty face. It packs a Core i5 processor, 128GB SSD, a bright 1600 x 900 display and Beats Audio for your multimedia pleasure. In another first, the Spectre comes with a built-in NFC chip that can be used with an NFC-capable smartphone. And now this Ultrabook is just $839, a definite buy.
Under that arresting 14-inch Ruby Red chassis, the $799 Lenovo IdeaPad U410 has a lot going for it. Packed with Ivy Bridge and discrete Nvidia graphics, this sub-$800 Ultrabook is a mobile powerhouse that will appeal to both consumers and business users alike. You also get Lenovo's AccuType keyboard and Dolby-powered stereo speakers, which helped lead this notebook to a 4-star review.
Providing power and portability, the $1,604 Alienware M14X R2 makes high-quality fragging on the go fun. We bestowed this gaming rig with 4 stars and an Editors' Choice award for its powerful graphics, a customizable multicolored keyboard and a beautiful display. And the stellar performance provided by the 2.3-GHz Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 750GB 7,200-rpm hard drive with 32GB mSATA SSD cache didn't hurt.
It's tough to believe, but true. Our LAPTOP Battery Test proves that the Lenovo ThinkPad T430 offers more than 13 hours of battery life. We also praised the comfortable Precision keyboard and helpful ThinkVantage apps in our 4 star award review. You can pick up this Windows 7 business notebook for just $773.
While there are some consumer-friendly Windows 7 machines still on the market, it's the business realm where the change-over to Windows 8 is definitely slower. And that's a reason to cheer for such 4-star notebooks as the Dell Latitude E6430. This 14-inch business notebook, which features a durable tri-metal chassis, responsive keyboard, and long-lasting 9-cell battery, can be had for just $739.
A near-perfect gaming laptop, the Alienware M17x R4 (2012) earned 4.5 stars and an Editors' Choice award in our review. That's because this rig delivers fantastic gaming performance, a gorgeous full HD display, tons of fun lighting options and more than 5 hours of battery life. Alienware's latest iteration of its 17-inch gaming notebook differentiates itself in a couple of big ways--namely with a third-generation Intel Ivy Bridge processor and Nvidia's newest and most powerful mobile GPU. Just be prepared to spend a cool $2,599.
Workstations can be great laptops too; particularly when they are the Windows 7-powered Lenovo ThinkPad W530.This 15-inch powerhouse features an Intel Ivy Bridge CPU, Nvidia graphics and a new island-style keyboard, which make the W530 even more formidable. It will cost you $1,231 for this 4-star laptop, but it's worthwhile for those in the market for a super-powerful business system.
With record-breaking speed, a superb display and excellent keyboard, the Samsung Series 7 Gamer is one of the best gaming laptops to hit our labs. Games ran smoothly even at their highest settings and videos and Web pages looked spectacular on the full HD display. And let's not forget the Gamer's impressive audio. This 17-inch system will cost you $1,899, but you won't regret it.