First of all Happy New Year infinigeeks! We had a great year in 2014 and looking forward to another great year with you guys! We appreciate all of the love and support. Starting into the new year doesn’t mean we have to talk about 2015 gadgets, there are PLENTY of awesome laptops from last year that are STILL awesome and this post is dedicated to uncovering some of the best laptops from the last year (and some even older if they are still contenders!)
The State of Mobile Computing Technology
Never before have we had more options than we do now. Mobile phones that are just as powerful as laptops once were, tablets, chromebooks, ultrabooks, wearables, you name it, they are all competing for our attention and dollars. Because of this though we have the most fully functional and premium laptops ever!! Whether you are a fan of Microsoft, HP laptops, dell laptops, Lenovo, or Asus, no matter what profession, student, power user, gamer, whatever, there’s a laptop here for you. If you are a casual web surfer then really any laptop will do you just fine – you have to be doing some pretty hardcore tabbing to warrant a souped up ultra book, but it is always nice to have isn’t it? Dat horsepower!
I remember the days when computers cost a TON – my first desktop was around $3,000 – and laptops back in the 90’s were outrageously priced for such potato-esque tech. These day’s laptops are very nicely priced in comparison – I can hardly believe sometimes that you can buy a decent desktop replaceable laptop for well under $1500! What is even more amazing is the price of chromebooks, a fully functional notebook that can do everything I need online for practically nothing? Sign me up! Be sure to check out the best chromebook under 300$ reviews if you are looking for the most basic budget device to get your work done online.
In this post I won’t bother wasting my time and yours listing off every spec on these machines (which could each be covered in their own posts easily), i’ll only mention what counts and you can look up the specs in the usual way (dat google). There are so many aspects to laptops these days but when you think about it, very little actually matters if you don’t enjoy the experience and usability the laptop gives you. This list contains some of the best laptops from the past year, i’ve personally tried some of these like the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro (which I own, and love) so I will give you the details on why you should buy it over the others if you are on the market for a new laptop in 2015 – new year, new laptop, let’s make this happen!
Asus ROG G751JY-DH71
If you’ve got the money, and need a beast, look no further, just pick up this bad boy. All the laptop you’ll ever need. Having said that, the 17-inch G751JY weighs in at 8.4 pounds, not the most portable machine in the list for sure. Why all the weight? Those quality components, like the 90 watt-hour battery. Also probably one of the most expensive options in the list, it retails at $2,500, which is the least expensive version available that also includes the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M GPU. Asus is making quite a name for their Republic of Gamers line of laptops.
Dell XPS 13
Dell spared nothing on the internals of the Dell XPS 13 (which starts at $1,299). Sporting Haswell (4th generation) Intel Core processors, starting with 8GB of RAM, an SSD drive, all in a thin and light frame with a 1080p 13-inch touchscreen that can give you enough room to work. If you just need an epic workstation, this is one of the choices you can count on for the workday slog.
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
I actually have this one and I love it. You may think to just go with the latest version, which is the Yoga 3 Pro – but i’ll let you know why I chose this one. More cost effective, if budget counts then go with this bad boy – comes with a massive resolution (3200×1800) in such a little 13.3″ QHD+ LED Glossy Multi-touch display – I got the 8GB ram version with the 256GB SSD – and i’ve been very pleased with it – i’ve read that people have had issues with the wifi card but I have one of the later models which was upgraded to a AC wifi card (model #59418309) – the trackpad is awesome, the thing screams, tears through photoshop and any app you throw at it – it can even handle some gaming, played Garry’s mod on it and a few other (not bleeding edge games) and they all worked just fine. The only complaint people have with it is the super HD screen makes some apps seem too small but this is easily remedied by scaling back the resolution (which still gives you a crisp and nice experience). I very much enjoy typing on the keys and using the touch screen for various different tasks, really a time saver (so there is my mini review, will do a full review in a few weeks). If you are on the fence about a surface pro 3 or a yoga 3 pro, and budget is a concern, i’d just go with the Yoga 2 Pro, which actually has a faster processor than the Yoga 3 Pro.
Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro
The same great look and function with the different flexible modes that the Yoga 2 Pro had, this one packs a Intel Core M 5Y70 processor which is just a bit slower than its predecessor which was a bad move but still an overall great laptop experience and there aren’t many other changes from the Yoga 2 Pro other than it is thinner and lighter, so pick your battles if you are deciding on this other the other 2-in-1 laptops featured.
Surface Pro 3
So much hype! Did it live up to all of it? I think so. Everyone loves the Surface Pro 3, including me. Ever since the original surface people were really excited about it. Each revision got a little closer but no cigar, until this one, this is the closest they’ve made it to an amazing experience. The only thing keeping this one from catching fire is the price and people debating whether they can deal with the “kickstand” laptop – if those things aren’t an issue for you then you can safely purchase this laptop/tablet combo and enjoy productive work days to their fullest with the freedom that the surface pro line is known for – replacing your laptop and tablet in an easy to use package. Even adobe picked up this little guy and chose to give some away at Adobe Max this year, which leads us to believe the surface pro’s pen and adobe’s creative suite of apps are going to make some really cool things happen soon. So if you are looking at the surface pro 3 and you are a creative, designer, or artist – you should probably just go ahead and get this thing, why are you still reading?! Not so much for the gamers though, although it does play older games just fine – don’t expect it to be as good as the gaming rigs we have featured alongside this when it comes to bleeding edge games.
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro
This thing is a true gaming machine – quite the beast – a beast of beasts if you will. The V17 sports an Intel Core i7 processor, 256 GB solid-state drive, 1 TB hard disk drive, 16GB DDR3 memory, Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M graphics card, a 1920×1080 HD display and Dolby audio from four built-in speakers. It’s pretty clear that with all that stacked inside, it can replace pretty much anything you want to replace – and best of all, it will play ALL the games. The bottom line is that Acer brings us a very stylish and powerful Windows 8.1 laptop that will handle just about any kind of productivity software you can throw at it, and when you are done it becomes a great gaming machine and media player. Not too hefty either compared to the ROG from Asus – at 16½”x11½” and weighing just over six pounds it is lighter (but not the lightest in the list) than most other super gaming rigs.
Ah the classic. I don’t think we need to even describe this one at all. Apple fanboys have evangelized the Macbook Pro enough – designers and developers, almost all creative types and hipsters have been using these things for years – they are great, if you have the money for them. If you want to drink the kool aid you won’t be let down – they are good I used a Macbook Pro for years, nothing wrong with them, this time though I just wanted to get back to my windows roots and get something a little easier on the wallet.
Not mentioned as much as the others but one to watch for in the future. Not the cheapest gaming laptop but this one is surely a beast with SEVERAL SSD drives (that’s right, more than one) and some top notch components – it runs a little loud and hot, and the battery life sucks, but it’s a gaming laptop – this thing is SUPPOSED to scream lol. Maybe future versions of this laptop will hit the sweet spot of value and performance but right now you would probably be better off with one of the other gaming rigs – but just knowing that this option exists is it’s purpose in this list (knowing is half the battle, after all).
MSI GS60 Ghost Pro 3K
MSI gives us a great gaming rig with a super clean 2,880 x 1,620 IPS display bringing you a premium 3k experience that isn’t cheap but worth it starting at just $1,699 for the 1080p version with a GTX 860M. If you are looking for battery life (not something gaming notebooks are known for) then you better look elsewhere for those spreadsheet crunching moments. In the end its a sexy little 15 inch HD gaming beast!
Acer Aspire S7
The Acer Aspire S7 comes packed with a very nice HD touchscreen (2560 x 1440) and several other features that make it worth your attention if you are on the market this year for a new daily driver laptop. If you inspect the build of the laptop you’ll see a clean MacBook-like look sporting a gorilla glass frame with generous room between function keys and hinges. There have been complaints about battery life and a non future proofed wifi card (not 802.11ac) but other models from other companies (like the yoga 2 pro) had similar issues, which the company did resolve in later versions of the model – and it looks like Acer joined the bandwagon a little late, so perhaps you want to pick up the latest version of the models listed here
Honorable mention, Alienware of course! I’ve always loved how they look, back in the day Alienware was the best value, these days they seem expensive – but you are really paying for the ferrari of laptops, you definitely get what you pay for. If you have the budget and just want an epic gaming laptop, that is exactly what Alienware sells. Like I said not only is the performance top notch but the build quality is simply one of the best. A comparable MSI model with similar specs shows clearly the build quality of the Alienware is far superior. So if you are indeed looking for a ferrari on your desk, and don’t mind spending the cash, this is what you’ll get.
Hope you enjoyed this list! Do you own any of these laptops? Let us know what you think about them in the comments, or let us know any good ones we missed! Thanks for reading!