Top all-purpose notebooks: October 2011

Our 10 top rated laptops for work and play

Our top rated list kicks off this month with MSI, which submitted a beast of a 14in laptop in the X460. It can be used for high-end productivity tasks in addition to everyday office tasks and a little bit of gaming. ASUS' 15in N55SF is our next best laptop and should be considered if you want something that's more in tune for running the latest games. Medion also makes the list with its Akoya E7220, which is a 17-incher that's good for Web surfing and multimedia tasks. This particular model may not be available to buy at the moment, but Aldi runs a sale on Medion laptops every few months, so keep the brand in mind if you ever see it while you're out shopping.

About our ratings: A star rating is awarded to a product in quarter increments from one star to five stars. The higher the star rating, the better the notebook. Notebooks are evaluated on performance, features, build quality, ease of use, battery life and value for money.

X460 (X460-095AU)

1. MSI X460 (X460-095AU) laptop

The MSI X460 is a 14in laptop that's aimed at power users. It has a high-end CPU, loads of RAM and includes both a regular hard drive and a 120GB SSD. With all this good stuff in its chassis, it ...
Review Date: 27th Oct., 2011
RRP: $ 1,549.00
Best Buy
N55SF (N55SF-SX005U)

2. ASUS N55SF (N55SF-SX005U) laptop

The ASUS N55SF is a powerful notebook with a good looking design and solid build quality. We really enjoyed using it during our test period and think it's a suitable unit for anyone who wants laptop that can be used ...
Review Date: 21st Oct., 2011
RRP: $ 1,599.00
Editor's Choice
Akoya E7220 (MD 98740)

3. Medion Akoya E7220 (MD 98740) notebook

Medion’s latest bargain laptop is a solid but simple product. It has reasonable specifications, although it shouldn’t be mistaken for a high-performance or gaming machine, and while its build quality isn’t exceptional it’s largely comparable to other budget machines from ...
Review Date: 8th Sept., 2011
RRP: $ 599.00
Best Buy
Vostro V131

4. Dell Vostro V131 business notebook

You'll have a hard time finding a more affordable business ultraportable than the Dell Vostro V131, though its size and weight stretch the definition.
Review Date: 3rd Sept., 2011
RRP: $ 899.00

5. Samsung RF511 all-purpose laptop

Samsung's RF511 is relatively inexpensive, yet it packs a lot of speed and good features. For just over $1000 (if you shop around), you get an Intel Core i7 CPU as well as a Blu-ray drive. We think it's a ...
Review Date: 23rd Aug., 2011
RRP: $ 1,299.00
Inspiron 14z (N411z)

6. Dell Inspiron 14z (N411z) laptop

The Inspiron 14z is a good choice for anyone who wants good speed and lots of features in a relatively small and comfortable-to-use chassis. It weighs only 1.95kg, it's 25mm thick and it feels quite well made overall. It's a ...
Review Date: 11th Aug., 2011
Satellite P750 (PSAY3A-02T001)

7. Toshiba Satellite P750 (PSAY3A-02T001) 15.6in laptop

The Satellite P750 is a good all-rounder. You can use it as a media centre, a gaming laptop or for boring old work and social media tasks. Its style is nice, but we hate some of its lighting; we also ...
Review Date: 21st June, 2011
RRP: $ 1,199.00
Satellite L750 (PSK08A-018004)

8. Toshiba Satellite L750 (PSK08A-018004) 13.3in laptop

The Toshiba Satellite L750 offers many of the benefits of a full-sized laptop, such as a built-in DVD burner, USB 3.0 and a comfortable keyboard, but it's a compact 13.3 inches in size and only weighs 1.9kg. It's a good ...
Review Date: 2nd June, 2011
RRP: $ 999.00
Best Buy

9. Sony VAIO E Series (VPCEJ15FG) notebook

Sony's VAIO E Series notebooks are intended for general purpose use, and the VPCEJ15FG fulfils that requirement happily. If you're trying to complete too many tasks at once the E Series does tend to pause for a few seconds, but ...
Review Date: 27th Sept., 2011
RRP: $ 1,199.00
TravelMate 8481G-2464G12ikk

10. Acer TravelMate 8481G-2464G12ikk laptop

This slim and good looking 14in business-oriented laptop offers good performance and features for its size. We just wish it had a built-in 3G module and that its touchpad was a little more responsive.
Review Date: 14th Oct., 2011
RRP: $ 1,999.00

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