10 Potent PC Models Worth Buying in 2012

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-05-03
 
 
 

Apple MacBook Air

Apple's MacBook Air is arguably one of the best notebooks on the market right now. The device is running Mac OS X, and is thin enough to compete with the Ultrabooks on store shelves. The MacBook Air is one of the more expensive options in this roundup, starting at $999, but it's not a bad price for such a high-end model boasting your choice of an 11- or 13-inch screen.

Apple MacBook Air

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

Continuing on the Ultrabook theme, Dell's XPS 13 might just be the best option for Windows shoppers. The device is ultrathin, comes with a 13.3-inch screen, and runs Intel's second-generation Core processors to boost performance. Not bad for a starting price of $999.99.

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

Velocity Micro Raptor Signature Edition

OK, so maybe you have a big budget and you want one of the most powerful computers on the market. In that case, look no further than the $4,999 Velocity Micro Raptor Signature Edition. Boasting the Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition i7-3960X processor, liquid cooling, 8GB of RAM and a host of other specs tech enthusiasts would love, it's tough to find a PC that's more capable, if decidedly pricey.

Velocity Micro Raptor Signature Edition

HP TouchSmart 520t

Although debate rages on as to whether it's a good idea to have a desktop with a touch-screen, HP believes it is, and offers touch technology in the TouchSmart 520t. At a starting price of $899.99, the 520t is nicely affordable. And although its specifications aren't all that impressive-it ships with an Intel Core i3 dual-core processor-it's a nice option for families that don't need high-end power.

HP TouchSmart 520t

Apple Mac Pro

Like the Velocity Micro PC, the Apple Mac Pro is designed for folks who need serious power and aren't concerned with paying a pretty penny to have it. The computer starts at $2,499 for the quad-core option, but quickly rises up to $4,999 for those who want the most advanced features. It'll deliver high-end performance for those who need it.

Apple Mac Pro

Lenovo U300e Ultrabook

What's not to like about the Lenovo U300e Ultrabook? The device comes with a 13.3-inch screen, a solid, nice-looking design and a multi-touch TouchPad. It's a little expensive at $1,499 before the $300 Web discount, however.

Lenovo U300e Ultrabook

Dell XPS 8500

Desktops might be on the way out, but that doesn't mean that there aren't customers looking for them. To serve that market, Dell sells the XPS 8500, a midrange line of desktops starting at $749.99. The devices come with Intel Core i5 or i7 processors and Windows Home Premium. They're a fine option for families and some smaller businesses.

Dell XPS 8500

Acer Aspire Ethos

Acer makes a showing in this roundup with the help of the Aspire Ethos. The notebook is designed to deliver multimedia performance and mobility. Furthermore, its LED-backlit high-resolution display makes it a friendly companion on road trips. It's nicely built, but it is trumped by some of its competitors in this roundup.

Acer Aspire Ethos

Alienware M18X

Alienware was once a major boutique vendor. And although it's now part of Dell, the company is still offering neat products, including the M18X laptop. The device comes with up to three hard drives, an 18.4-inch display, a backlit keyboard and a host of other neat features. It's a little expensive, though, starting at $1,999.

Alienware M18X

HP Mini 210 Series

Netbooks are getting squeezed out of the PC market because they are caught between tablets and full-featured notebooks. But the HP Mini 210 is still hanging on. The netbook starts at only $299.99, making it the cheapest option in this roundup, but its 10.1-inch screen isn't for everyone. Even so, it comes with Windows 7 Starter, up to 8.75 hours of battery life and a host of nice features netbook customers would like.

HP Mini 210 Series

Rocket Fuel