Apple, Asus Dell Models Among the 10 Best Notebooks of 2013

1 - Apple, Asus Dell Models Among the 10 Best Notebooks of 2013
2 - MacBook Air Is Still the Ultimate Notebook ($999)
3 - HP Chromebook 14 Packs a Bunch on a Budget ($299)
4 - Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Touch Offers Great Value ($380)
5 - Lenovo IdeaPad Y410p Ideal for Gamers ($729)
6 - MacBook Pro Adds Retina Display, Is Hard to Beat ($1,200)
7 - Asus N550JV Offers a Great Multimedia Experience ($999)
8 - Panasonic Toughbook F9 Can Take a Beating ($2,999)
9 - Samsung Series 9 Offers Power, Style ($1,239)
10 - Dell XPS 12 Successfully Combines Elements ($799)
11 - HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 Is Pressure-Sensitive ($1,299)
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Apple, Asus Dell Models Among the 10 Best Notebooks of 2013

by Nathan Eddy

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MacBook Air Is Still the Ultimate Notebook ($999)

The 11-inch Air provides up to 9 hours of battery backup, whereas the 13-inch model provides up to 12 hours, making this notebook a true all-day performance machine. Apple updated the Air to include the latest Intel processors and a next-generation flash storage system that is up to 45 percent faster than the previous generation. Apple also added the latest 802.11ac technology for WiFi, so wireless Web surfing is even faster.

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HP Chromebook 14 Packs a Bunch on a Budget ($299)

The 14-inch notebook offers up to 9.5 hours of battery life, starts up in 7 seconds and includes built-in virus protection. You also get 100GB of Google Drive free for two years to store all your stuff, as well as a TrueVision HD Webcam, optional T-Mobile 4G connectivity, a full-size HDMI port and compatibility with Bluetooth 4.0.

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Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Touch Offers Great Value ($380)

With this touch-enabled notebook, you get Windows 8.1 and an 11.6-inch touch screen, with 2GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive, as well as a slim, 1-inch-thick design that weights just 3 pounds. A built-in media card reader, USB 3.0 and Ethernet ports, and a fourth-generation Intel Core processor all add value.

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Lenovo IdeaPad Y410p Ideal for Gamers ($729)

The IdeaPad Y410p sports a 14-inch screen and, while battery life isn't astounding, the notebook does feature a potent CPU and GPU that can handle sophisticated games. The Y410p also boasts a whopping 1TB of storage capability and an Nvidia GeForce graphics card.

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MacBook Pro Adds Retina Display, Is Hard to Beat ($1,200)

A fourth-generation Intel Core i5 processor and super-fast flash storage drive make the MacBook Pro with Retina display a heady mix of panache and performance. The showstopper here is the eye-popping 2,560-by-1,600-pixel display, which outshines the competition, not to mention Apple's world-class design aesthetic. In addition, in-plane switching (IPS) technology gives you a wide, 178-degree view of everything on the screen, and Intel Iris graphics make colors and textures pop.

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Asus N550JV Offers a Great Multimedia Experience ($999)

Boasting a beautiful 1080p touch-screen display, loud quad-array speakers and impressive graphics performance, this notebook is ideal for those who love to listen to music or watch films and TV while on the go. Asus includes intuitive Smart Gesture software for toggling various commands and includes dual fans, twin heat pipes and vents to keep the machine cool.

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Panasonic Toughbook F9 Can Take a Beating ($2,999)

Ready to move at the speed of life, the lightweight, 3.6-pound notebook offers a 14.1-inch widescreen display, a DVD drive, a handle, WiFi, Bluetooth and optional Gobi2000 mobile broadband. The durable machine also comes standard with a 320GB shock-mounted flex-connect hard drive, spill-resistant keyboard and Intel Core i5 vPro processor for added security and remote management.

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Samsung Series 9 Offers Power, Style ($1,239)

Powered by a third-generation, low-voltage Intel Core i7 dual-core processor, the Series 9 also boasts updated Intel Turbo Boost Technology. It includes a Full HD 1080p 13.3-inch SuperBright Plus display with HD+ technology, a 128GB solid-state drive (SSD), 4GB of system memory and up to 9 hours of battery life. The polished aluminum unibody design amps the style factor.

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Dell XPS 12 Successfully Combines Elements ($799)

While most tablet-notebook hybrids fall short of the mark when it comes to design, the XPS 12, with its 1080p display that flips backward within its bezel to turn this lightweight laptop into a 12-inch Windows tablet, navigates more nimbly than most. It's also made of black carbon fiber and lined with precision-cut aluminum for a durable and refined finish.

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HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 Is Pressure-Sensitive ($1,299)

HP's thinnest Ultrabook to date features Synaptics' ForcePad technology, which replaces the traditional touchpad with a buttonless, pressure-sensitive surface. The notebook is packed with ports, too, including two USB 3.0 ports, a DisplayPort connection, a headphone and microphone combination port, a slot for the power connector and a microSD card reader.

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