Do you want to know which laptop has the best battery life? Best screen graphics? Best Hybrid? You don’t have to wonder any more because we’ve listed each laptop/desktop that wins in each of these categories. Not just one laptop that wins, one that wins in each important category. This list has been made with all the relases of 2014, or older if no better models have been made, to come up with a masterlist of what is important in every laptop and which laptop is the best in that particualr category that you want. 

1 – Laptop With the Best Battery Life

2 – Best Laptop CPU 2014 

3 – Best Laptop Graphics Card 2014

4 – Best Hybrid Laptop 2014

5 – Best Laptop Screen 2014

6 – Best Gaming Laptop 2014

7 – Best Ultrabook 2014

8 – Best Portable Gaming Laptop 2014

9 – Best Value Laptop 2014

10 – Best Tablet 2014

11 – Best Gaming Desktop 2014

12 – Best Small Gaming Desktop 2014

13 – Best All in one Desktop 2014

14 – Best Home Theater PC 2014


 

Laptop With the Best Battery Life

Winner – Lenovo ThinkPad X240 with 6 cell upgrade

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Lenovo’s X200 series of lightweight ThinkPads have long been some of the most lightweight, long-lasting business laptops on the market. The 12.5-inch ThinkPad X240 takes portable productivity to the next level with a powerful Intel 4th Generation Core Series processor, an improved design and an optional full-HD touch screen. Better still, with its extended battery. Its has a Intel Core i3-4030u Processor, windows 8.1 operating system, Intel HD Graphics 4400, a 4GB memory, intel HD graphics 440 and a 500GB hard disk drive.


 

Best Laptop CPU 2014 

Winner –  Intel i7-4910MQ

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The fastest laptop processor out this year is the Intel Core i7 4940MX, however its little brother, the Intel Core i7 4910MQ processor runs it very very close (Passmark score of 9798 compared to to 9811) but does it using 18% less power, which is good news for battery life. Plus it is significantly cheaper. Any laptop carrying this Quad Core i7 processor with 8MB cache, and maximum turbo frequency of 3.1GHz, will fly through even the toughest tasks.


 

Best Laptop Graphics Card 2014

Winner- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M

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The desktop Nvidia Geforce GTX980 is cleaning up the awards for desktop gaming, and not to be outdone, the 980M is almost as fast with a 9598 score on 3DMark. In addition the new Battery Boost feature, keeps the frame rates high but with 2x longer battery life. Physx, CUDA and DSR and up to 4GB GDDR5 memory all combine to give fast, high quality visuals on the go. If you’re lucky enough to afford the real top end laptops, you can get 2 of these in SLI mode.


 

Best Hybrid Laptop 2014

Winner – Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro

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Hybrids have come a long way very quickly. Inisitaially starting life as netbooks with detachable screens, Lenovo and Microsoft have started building hybrids from the ground up, and this second iteraton of the Yoga pro has already gotten most things right. Full features of a Windows laptop that works great in tablet mode, and the add on keyboard turns it into a fast functional laptop. A better than HD display and customisable to a very high specification all for a good price starting at £399.


 

Best Laptop Screen 2014

Winner – MacBook Pro Retina 15

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The MacBook Pro Retina has a screen with more pixels than a HDTV. It is now over 2 years old yet the competition still has not caught up. Aside from the minor boosts in processor speed, and the low-end 15-inch model’s additional RAM, the latest MacBook Pros with Retina display stick with the design introduced in late 2013. The Late 2013 13-inch MacBook Pros were lighter and and slightly thinner than previous models. However the new models other hardware has finally caught up to the screen with a 2GB Nvidia GeForce FT750M providing the grunt in pushing the pixels.


 

 

Best Gaming Laptop 2014

Winner – Alienware 18 with i7 4910MQ and Nvidia 880M SLi.

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This meticulously crafted 18.4 inch behemoth of a laptop is great to look at and very comfortable to use for your extended gaming sessions.
The 1080P screen is a slight shortcoming considering other systems provide higher resolution displays, however it is bright and vibrant and it is arguable whether at this size a 1440P screen would be a noticable improvement. Espeacially when gaming.
However there is abolsutely nothing wrong with the hardware pushing those pixels about. Configurable to an Intel i7-4910MQ, dual Nvidia GTX 880M graphics cards and dual solid state drives, it provides plenty of power and speed to play the most intensive games at the highest detail.


 

 

Best Ultrabook 2014

Winner – Apple Macbook Air 13

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The MacBook Air is our favourite Ultrabook because its a small, easy to travel with, is a strong build with a beautiful display as well as having a long lasting battery to last the whole day. It has a dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, a Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz, Intel Graphics 5000 and 4GB memory. Apple has given the 2014 MacBook Air a small processor speed bump, from 1.3GHz to 1.4GHz, but the design, screen and basic features remain exactly the same.


 

 

Best Portable Gaming Laptop 2014

MSI GS60 2QE Ghost Pro 3K Gaming Laptop.

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A very thin and very light gaming notebook. Weighing in at only 1.96 kg you get a high resolution 3K (2880*1620) 15.6 inch screen, the latest 4th generation Intel Quad Core i7 4710HQ Processor, 16GB memory, two solid state drives, and the option of a very fast 3GB Nvidia Geforce GTX970M. Measuring in at a 390 x 266 x 19.9mm it is very portable and can provide over 2 hours of use on a single charge. Prices start at £1499.


 

 

Best Value Laptop 2014

Winner – Toshiba Chromebook

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The original Toshiba Chromebook was an elegantly designed laptop, and yet the Chromebook 2 beats that version in all ways possible. Similarly, the Toshiba Chromebook 2 is made of a silvery, textured plastic that’s easy to grip. The body has a slightly angled look toward the front where it opens to reveal the display and keyboard. The Chromebook has an excellent 1080p screen, good Chrome OS performance and a nice feature set including a full-size SDXC card slot, fast 802.11ac wireless and great-sounding speakers. Which is why we choose it as the best Chromebook of this year. 


 

Best Tablet 2014

Winner – Apple iPad

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This iPad is the tablet winner, with its beautiful Retina Display and it’s long lasting battery life of upto 10 hours. This iPad comes with three storage size options the range in price, they are: 16GB(£399), 64GB(£479) and 128GB(£559). The price rises by £100 if you want to include cellular as well as wifi. One of the new features of this iPad is the TouchID which makes this the most secure tablet on the market today, not only can you unlock you iPad with the TouchID but you can make purchases in the iTunes and App Store.

 

 

Best Gaming Desktop 2014

Winner – Scan 3XS Z97 Vengeance SLI Intel Core i7 4790K 16GB

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Following in the path as the multi award-winning 3XS Vengeance gaming system, the 3XS Vengeance SLI has a water-cooled quad-core Intel Core i7 4790K CPU with Hyper-Threading. Also included in the default spec is 16GB of 2133MHz Corsair Vengeance DDR3, an Asus Z97 Maximus VII Ranger motherboard, a 250GB Samsung Evo SSD and a 2TB hard disk and a recovery USB stick with diagnostic utilities. For a price of £2200. 


 

Best Small Gaming Desktop 2014

Winner – Origin Chronos 

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The Chronos’ Intel Core i7-4970K quad-core CPU, Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan Z graphics card, and 16GB of RAM represent an impressive trio of core specs. However, what also determines whether a small form factor PC sinks or swims is how well it balances the benefits of miniaturization, with the upgrade-ability that enthusiasts expect from high-end PCs. This small box does not lack in performance with the small size that can fit in small offices or cabinets, so it will not take up any unnecessary room in your home. 


 

Best All in one Desktop 2014

Winner – Apple iMac 27 5K

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This iMac is the winner with its amazing Retina Display and its 8GB of memory, and it’s attractive display and slim figure it has a 4GHz core i7 processor, upto 3.5 teraflops of graphics compute power and up to 20 Gbps thunderbolt 2 bandwidth. The 5K Retina display is an eye-popping resolution of no less than 5120 x 2880 pixels. That’s a total of 14.7 million pixels, equivalent to four times the resolution of the previous 27-inch iMac models and way beyond the 8.3 million pixels of a 4K display.


 

 

Best Home Theater PC 2014

Winner – Overclockers Tranquility Media. 

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This PC has a MultiCore processing with up to 16GB of DDR3 memory, it is also fanless which makes it a silent PC that will have no affect on the sounds around you e.g. TV and has powerful Intel HD Graphics, which will play your videos back to you in HD.  

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If you don’t know what to get a loved one for Christmas, worry no more, we’ve come up with a list of the top 10 gadgets to get for Christmas, or just not for Christmas if you can’t wait that long to get your hands on these amazing gadgets. 

 

GoPro Hero 

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GoPro makes it easier than ever to capture and share your world like never before. From incredibly versatile, powerful cameras, to mounts and accessories for nearly any activity, to the GoPro App and software.

Jessops 8″ Compact Digital Picture Frame 

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This device allows many pictures to flick through one frame constantly than have many frames with only one picture. Just plug in a USB with the pictures on, or insert a memory card. 
 

iPhone 6 battery case 

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This is a perfect device for active phone users whose battery dies quickly. This device must be charged before use to keep it from its battery along with your phone.
 

Camera Extendable Telescopic Handheld Pole 

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This device is perfect for holiday pictures, and prevents asking that by passer to take a picture of you. This device lets you take it yourself with missing out on any background views.
 

Portable Mini Travel Speaker For iPhone etc 

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This is a compact travel speaker with amazing sound quality can be used on any plug in device.
   

Voyager 9 inch In Car Portable DVD Player 

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The new Voyager 9, portable DVD player system, is the ideal companion for any long journey.
 

Targus AWE55EU Laptop Cooling Pad 

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The Targus Lap Chill Mat provides a comfortable work surface to keep you and your laptop cool. It rests under your lap and can disperse heat generated from the laptop to keep from overheating.
 

Sony SmartWatch 3

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Sony has released a new Smartwatch with voice activation that can be linked to your Android phone so you never miss a thing, as well as coming in 4 different styles.
       

iPad mini 3 

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The new iPad mini 3 is not much different from its predecessor, however it is slightly slimmer and lighter and includes Apple’s TouchID, which makes it 100% safer than the previous iPads.
 

Amazon Fire Phone 

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 The Amazon Fire Phone is the first phone released by Amazon. This phone includes the award winning customer service support Mayday as well as the all new Firefly technology, which helps you identify any song, movie, phone number and more with the touch of a button.

 

So you’ve decided you want to buy a new Apple Mac laptop and now you would like some help deciding which is best suited for you.

Despite narrowing it down to wanting a MacBook there is still a fair amount of choice as there are many different variables to consider when deciding which model is best for you. Size of screen, speed, storage capacity, portability, battery life, connectivity, media capabilites etc.

We here at Bits & PCs have taken the three most popular models and compared them to see which is most suitable for who.

These models are all the base models, they are the 13 inch Apple MacBook Pro, the 13 inch Apple MacBook Air and the 13 inch Apple MacBook retina.

Why get a model with a 13 inch screen?

Simply put 13 inch is the best compromise between functinality and portability. 15 inch models aren’t convenient to carry about, no matter how slim or sleek the new 15 inch Retina model may be. As a computer you primarily leave at home, then a 15.4 inch Apple MacBook Pro Retina would be the best choice, at least until Apple decide to reintroduce the 17 inch model.

11 inch models on the other hand are great to carry about and use on the go, but should you need to do something more productive, then the limited screen workspace is a bit of a pain. As a second computer that you can use purely on the go the 11.6 inch Apple Macbook Air is a great little system, but if its your only computer then you may start wishing for the extra screen area.

So we are left wth the 13 inch models. Easy enough to carry, yet can be comfortably used for more productive purposes.

Design 

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The Apple MacBook Pro unibody design came out all the way back in 2009 and hasn’t changed at all. It still looks great, but put side by side next to its two little siblings it looks bulky and cumbersome. It also weighs in at 2.06 kg, that is 31% heavier than the Retina model (1.57kg). Definitely the loser out of the three.

Both the Air and the Retina look great. The Airs design came out 4 years ago, and it is still arguably the best looking ultrabook in the market, but maybe it is the fresh design of the Retina that edges it out, but it looks and feels more solid and sturdy with a consitent thickness, unlike the wedge shaped Air, whilst being only ever so slightly thicker overall. On to the Retinas main selling point, the screen. The Retina display is stunning, very crisp, with bright colours, it is fantastic to use. Plus the increase in usable work space the huge number of pixels means its not purely an aesthetic feature.

The advantage the air has in this area, is the more matte screen. The Retina and the Pro have a glass front, which gives all the colours a nice bright gloss look, the disadvantage is they are both very reflective which can be a nuisance trying to work in sunlight. However most of the time The Retina model easily trumps the other two.

Build Quality

Both the Pro and the Retina are very solidly built. Class leading in fact. Very few laptops we have seen come through here have the same build quality as either of these. The Pro has been with us for 5 years and old models still feel solid and well put together, and the Retina feels like its built to the same standard.

Due to the Air being the smallest Macbook overall it does feel a bit flimsy compared to the Retina and Pro. The screen itself is also far more susceptible to pressure marks if you leave heavy objects are placed ontop of it e.g. mugs. As an ultrabook its build quality is ahead of most of the competition, but compared to the Pro and Retina it is the most delicate of the three.

With their use of Aluminium bodies, all three are susceptible to dents and scratches. If you want to keep it looking new, Speck have some great hard cases for these three models. However try to take the hard case off regularly and clean it as particles can get trapped between the case and the laptop and actually begin to scratch the laptop.

Speed

Processing

The current Pro actually came out in 2012 and uses the slightly dated Intel Core i5 3210M 2.5GHz. It still produces a reasonable passmark score of 3801. This is still a good score and for majority of users plenty powerful enough.

The Apple MacBook Air uses a newer generation much more power efficient Intel Core i5 4250U 1.4GHz. Despite its lower GHz speed and being far more power efficient using only a maximum of 15W TDP compared to the 35W TDP of the Pro, it gets a very respectable score of 3459, which is only 10% less than the Pro, but with all the added advantages of better battery life and less heat.

The Retina also uses a current generation Intel i5-4278U 2.6GHz. Faster and more power efficient than the Pro, but not quite as power efficient as the Air but with a score of 4426 is 28% faster than the Air.

Graphics

The graphics card on the Pro is also the slightly dated Intel HD 4000 and brings up the rear with a score of Pasmark G3D score of 456. Next up is the Air, its newer Intel HD 5000 chipset has a significant 32% speed advantage over the Pro with a score of 604.

The Retina uses the Intel Iris 5100 with a score of 745. This may seem the best of the lot but with a huge number of pixels on screen it does have the heaviest workload, so in real terms, the Air actually has the advantage here.

Hard drive

Where the Pro really lags behind is with its hard drive. It uses an old 5400rpm mechanical hard drive, whilst the Air and Retina both use flash technology. This is the most noticeable day to day speed advantage the Retina and Air have over the Pro. Everything loads instantly with barely any waiting time.

Memory

All three use identical 1600MHz DDR3 memory so in theory all run at the same pace. The Retina however has double the amount of memory of 8GB which give it a huge advantage for heavier work loads such as photo editing and video editing. 

Storage

Mechanical hard drives are much slower, use up more power and are less reliable than flash based storage. However they provide very cheap very large amounts of storage. As standard the Pro has 500GB of storage compared to the Retina and Airs 128GB. Upgrading it is also a lot cheaper and can be done at any time unlike the Air or Retina where you are pretty much stuck with what you have bought. You can even choose to upgrade to flash technology or change the DVD drive to another hard drive. You can have 4TB of data or mix and match flash technology with mechanical so you get speed and storage. The Pro has a lot flexibility in this area and is easily the winner.

The Air and the Retina both come with 128GB and upgrading is expensive. If you want 256GB then you have to for out between £150-£200. 512GB would cost a further £200 on top of that. Plus they’re is no upgradability. Before choosing one of these models check how much storage you are currently usng to indicate how much you would need.

 

Battery Life

As mentioned earlier the Air uses the most efficient processor using up only 15W of power and with flash hard drive technology, this gives it a battery life of 12 hours. The more powerful Retina with its high definition screen still gives a very respectable 9 hours of use, which is great. Even the 2 and half year old Pro has plenty of juice compared to its competitiors with a 7hour battery life.

However the winner here is easily the Air,

Price

The Air comes in at a reasonable £849 which considering the technology is a a very good deal. Last year these were selling for at least £999. The MacBook Pro is next cheapest at £899, however considering it is over 2 years old we feel this is the most overpriced of the 3. The Retina however although the most expensive at £999 is a relative bargain considering the technology and build quality. The previous 13 inch Retina was being sold for £1399 only last year.

So despite being the most expensive, the Retina provides the most power and technology for your money.

 

Overall Winner

The Apple MAcBook Pro Retina.

Coming in at only £999, you get the highest definition screen of any 13 inch laptop, the latest processor technology, 8GB of memory, and great desing and build quality it is our top choice for this Christmas.

Our only precaution is to check how much storage you need because 128GB is not a huge amount. You can either choose the higher specification model or make arrangements to store your large files on an external drive.

 

Now that the year is coming to an end we decided to go over the best laptops of 2014. Let’s see if your laptop makes the top 15.

 

2014 has not seen too much innovation in the world of laptops and notebooks. Windows Netbooks seemed to have breathed their last breath, replaced by Chromebooks. The usually innovative Apple have been updating only the internals of their MacBook range. The slightly improved Windows 8.1 is now the standard operating system. Hybrids are improving, swaying more towards tablets with keyboards, instead of laptops with detachable screens, which is a good thing.

What has seen significant improvement however is battery life. A mix of highly efficient Intel processors and better battery technology has seen laptops hit 20 hours of use on a single charge, yet still remain powerful enough for routine daily tasks.

Overall though the best laptops of the year are updates of the previous year’s models, however there are still a few laptops that have caught the eye. This is a rundown of our top 15 of the year.
 

1. Apple Macbook Pro 13in with Retina Display

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Apples recent update to its Retina-equipped Macbook Pro 13inch is perhaps the finest laptop that money can buy. Even though it is not as slender as the best Ultrabooks, this new model weighs 1.55kg and measures 18mm thick. Despite the size it still holds a 4th generation Intel processors,  solid build quality, a great battery life and that gorgeous screen. Plus the new price of £999 for the base model, £400 less than when first released, makes it our favourite laptop of the year.
 

2. Asus X552C

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Asus yet again has built a brilliant laptop; This laptop has a new Core i5 processor, Nividia graphics and a sensible range of features for £400. A great option if you are looking for a basic laptop yet do not want to compromise on speed.
 

 

3. Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro

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This laptop was the first to nail the hybrid formula and is the best of the lot. This Ultrabook has the ability to contort from laptop to tablet; but this up the ante with high-DPI touchscreen and an Intel Haswell CPU. 
 

4. Asus Transformer Book T100

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The Transformer Book T100 swaps the Android OS of its stable mates for full Windows 8.1 and puts Intel’s new Atom platform, Bay Trail, at the helm. Intel’s quad-core Atom is twice as fast as the previous generation, and even has a little gaming power at its disposal. The T100 feels nothing like the netbooks of old.
 

5. Asus Transformer Book T200TA

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The big brother to the Transformer Book T100, the T200TA sees Asus deliver another Windows 8.1 hybrid. The free copy of Microsoft Office has fallen by the wayside, but the bigger 11.6in IPS screen, Windows 8.1 and Intel’s capable quad-core Atom processor make a fantastic all-round partnership.
 

6. Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 (11 inch)

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This laptop was one of the first to produce a convincing Windows 8 hybrid with its folding yoga concept, and the IdeaPad Yoga 2 is its cheapest model yet. It’s a superbly crafted 11.6in hybrid with a gorgeous display and a well-judged specification (for a very reasonable price).
 

7. Chillblast Defiant 2 Mini review

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Having a powerful, portable and affordable laptop are three words that are not often seen together when someone mentions a gaming laptop, yet this is exactly what a Chillblast is. The Defiant 2 Mini unites a quad-core Intel CPU, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 860M and a cracking Full HD IPS display and shoehorns the trio into a compact 13.3in laptop.
 

8. Dell Precision M3800

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The new Dell Precision is a workstation laptop with a quad-core CPU, Nividia Quadro graphics and solid-state storage into a slim laptop that makes it seem more like an Ultrabook. 
 

9. Gigabyte P34G v2

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The Gigabyte is more a gaming laptop than any other form of laptop. It includes giant-slaying performance from the Quad Core Intel i7 processor and 4GB 860M graphics card and fits it all into a compact portable 14in laptop with a decent battery life. 
 

10. Acer Aspire E1 review

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This budget laptop is unlike any other, with its low price the 15.6in laptop has a Core i3 CPU 750GB hard disk and all the other essentials.
 

11. Dell XPS 12

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The XPS 12, Dell’s engineers have managed to splice the carbon-fibre XPS range with the ingenious spinning hinge of the Inspiron Duo, to produce a hybrid like no other. The Gorilla Glass-clad Full HD touchscreen is vivid with, saturated colour, and the range-topping model. The arrival of Intel Haswell swells battery life to stunning levels: the XPS 12 lasts nearly 13 hours 
 

12. Microsoft Surface Pro 3

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The Surface Pro 3 is a confident step towards the perfect hybrid device. The new 3:2 display, with the lighter chassis, makes it a far more agreeable tablet than its predecessors; while the new kickstand and Type Cover make it a more convincing alternative to a regular laptop. It still isn’t perfect in every scenario, but it feels considerably less compromised than the previous generations.
 

13. HP ZBook 17

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The biggest model in the line-up is the ZBook 17, it has a huge 17.3in display with a burly, upgradeable chassis, a truckload of connectivity and a slew of high-end componentry.
 

14. Toshiba Kira-101

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One look at the new Toshiba, build and ergonomics of the Kira-101 put our doubts at rest; compared to Toshiba’s previous effort, the Kirabook is a very different laptop. Toshiba’s consumer Ultrabook packs in a powerful Core i7 Haswell processor, a glorious display and beautiful design, rivalling the very best the Ultrabook world has to offer.
 

15. MSI GE70 2PE Apache Pro

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Lastly, this laptop serves up serious gaming power in a hefty 17.3in chassis. With a quad-core Core i7 processor taking the reins alongside one of Nvidia’s latest GTX 800 Series GPUs and twin SSDs in RAID, the Apache Pro promises, and delivers, blindingly quick performance.