Top all-purpose laptops

These midsize laptops are often very affordable and offer more options for hardware and features than smaller laptops, yet are more portable than desktop replacement models

You can pack a whole lot of features into the fat chassis of a 17-inch laptop, but 17 inches is also a whole lot of laptop to carry around. These exceptional 13-, 14-, and 15-inch laptops do a nice job of packing high-end features into sleeker and slimmer form factors that (barring one nine-pound exception) are far easier to tote. Ranging from $700 to $1,500 (plus one nine-pound, $2,500 outlier), these systems offer fast Intel Core processors, gobs of RAM, gaming-ready GPUs, fast 7,200-rpm disk drives, and even solid-state and hybrid drives. Watch out for bugaboos such as overdone displays, lousy sound, limited ports, and short battery life. 

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TOP ALL-PURPOSE LAPTOPS:

Acer Aspire TimelineX 5830TG

Dell XPS 14z

Dell XPS 15z

Gateway ID47H02u

HP EliteBook 8460p

HP Pavilion dv6

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E420

Lenovo ThinkPad T420

Maingear EX-L 15

MSI X460DX-006US

Acer Aspire TimelineX 5830TG
Acer Aspire TimelineX 5830TG Review, by Jon L. Jacobi July 6, 2011

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