Computer Buying Guide

Best Overall Laptops

macbookretina

MacBook Pro with Retina Display

There is arguably no better laptop at this point than the MacBook Pro. The gorgeous-looking Retina display recently made its way to the 13-inch model, along with a slimmer chassis and pumped-up internals. This is also the lowest-cost option for a Retina MacBook Pro.

Pricing starts at $1499.  Buy the 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

The 15-inch model of the new MacBook Pro is a bit more pricey at $2199, but you get significant internal upgrades, as well as a larger, higher-resolution Retina display. The 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro is built for the utlimate Mac power user who still requires the portability of a laptop.

Pricing starts at $2199.  Buy the 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

lenovo-thinkpad-x1-carbon-touchLenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch

If PC’s are more your thing then this Lenovo ThinkPad is for you.  The case of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch is built out of carbon fiber, making it ultra lightweight and ultra durable.  It’s super powerful and runs Windows 8 Professional, meaning it can handle any task you throw out it such as video or photo editing to simple web browsing.  Plus, it comes with a great 10-point touch screen which will allow you to take full advantage of Windows 8′s touch screen capabilities and sleek new user interface.

Pricing starts at $1499.  Buy the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch.

Best Value Laptops

samsung-chromebookSamsung Chromebook

If all you need is access to a Web browser to get your work done, you won’t find a more seamless and cost-effective way to do it than on a Chromebook. Samsung’s latest Chromebook model costs just $249, and offers quick boot times, a light weight (2.4 lbs) and 6.5 hours of battery time. For those who can live without desktop-based software, this Chromebook is a more-than-capable device.

Pricing starts at $249.  Buy the Samsung Chromebook.

lenovo-thinkpad-t430uLenovo ThinkPad T430u

If you require a bit more than a web browser while at the computer and are looking for a great cost-effective laptop, the Lenovo ThinkPad T430u is for you.  Its got power, portability, good battery life (up to 7 hours), and a relatively low price tag.  Starting at $779 for the baseline model, which boasts an Intel i5 processor and 4GB of DDR3 RAM, it’ll do the job for most people.

Pricing starts at $779.  Buy the Lenovo ThinkPad T430u.

macbook-air-2012MacBook Air

If you want a Mac laptop, but aren’t looking to shell out as much cash as you would with a MacBook Pro with Retina Display, then check out the MacBook Air line. The MacBook Air is super lightweight, making it very portable, in fact, both the 11″ and 13″ models weigh-in at under three pounds. The MacBook Air also has outstanding battery life ranging from 5 to 7 hours (depending on the model). For such a lightweight computer, the MacBook Air can still pack a punch with a Intel Core i5 (upgradeable to i7) processor and 4GB of RAM.

Pricing starts at $939. Buy the 11.6″ MacBook Air or Buy 13.3″ MacBook Air.

Best Desktop Computers

iMac

If you’re going to spend money on a desktop computer, you might as well jump the whole way in and pick up Apple’s latest iMac. This thing is simply magnificent to look at, and it’s pretty powerful, to boot. Starting at $1299, there simply isn’t a better designed, better looking computer to put on your desk. And if you’re not much of a Mac OS X fan and prefer Windows, simply use Boot Camp to install Windows onto the iMac. Yes, we’re recommending that you use this iMac as a Windows machine over any other Windows-based desktop out there. It’s that good.

Pricing starts at $1299 for the 21.5″ and $1799 for the 27″.  Buy an iMac.

mac-miniMac mini

For those who already have most of the hardware for a computer — monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc. — the Mac mini is an inexpensive, yet powerful, new computer. Starting at $599, the Mac mini is an impossibly-small PC and the best-looking desktop that isn’t an all-in-one. And, just like the iMac above, you can install Windows using Boot Camp if you prefer not to use Apple’s operating system.

Pricing starts at $599.  Buy a Mac mini.

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