Windows laptops are still the main computing device in the enterprise, despite the consumerization of IT. That means choosing the right machine for your end users remains an important decision.
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Buying Windows 8 PCs for your company?
Notebook Review, one of our sister sites, regularly runs intensive tests on new PCs, writes in-depth Windows laptop reviews and rates the machines on a scale from 1 to 5. We've compiled their reviews of the latest Windows laptops on the market to help inform your purchasing decisions.
The 15-inch ASUS Vivobook V500CA doesn't really stand out from other Windows laptops. Direct light affects the screen's display sensitivity at different angles. In fact, the screen itself has a hard time standing up. The keyboard comes with a number pad and responsive touchpad, but the mouse buttons slant downward and make it hard for users to gauge where they are, which results in missed clicks. The Vivobook comes with Windows 8, a fourth-generation 2 GHz Intel-core processor and 8 GB of RAM. It costs $800 as configured.
The 15.6-inch ASUS ZenBook boasts an impressive 2,880 x 1,620 display resolution. It also offers strong performance with a third-generation Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA dedicated graphics, Windows 8 and dual SSDs. Battery life is good, too. While the performance and display are solid, buyers should expect to pay a significant price: $2,435.
The HP EliteBook 2570p is a rugged, 12.5-inch Windows 7 laptop. Its shock-mounted hard drive helps protect data if a user drops the PC, and the keyboard is spill-resistant. The laptop also has three USB ports, a Smart Card reader, Intel Core i5-3210M dual-core processor, fingerprint reader and high-definition webcam. The touchpad is small but responds well. Battery life is strong, as the laptop stayed on for just under four hours. The price starts at $954.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Y510P is a 15.6-inch Windows 8 notebook. At 6.4 pounds, it's lighter than most other Windows laptops in its class, but at the same time, the combined plastic and metallic chassis makes it durable. The IdeaPad has a collection of ports that'll satisfy users, and the backlit keyboard comes with a number pad. This laptop comes with a 2.2 GHz fourth-generation Intel i7-4702MQ processor, Dual NVIDIA GT750M GPUs and 16 GB of DDR3 RAM. The device offers limited battery life and costs $1,600.
The Lenovo ThinkPad T431s is an updated version of the popular enterprise machine. This 14-inch laptop has excellent durability for a slim computer that weighs 3.4 pounds. The keyboard is spill-resistant and the laptop offers numerous ports, including an Ethernet connector, VGA connector and USB 3.0 port. Those concerned about security can utilize the fingerprint scanner. The TrackPoint stick returns, and the touchpad responds well. Performance is good, but the specs aren't impressive for its $1,000-plus price.
ATIV Book 6
The 15.6-inch Samsung ATIV Book 6 focuses on performance, with 8 GB of RAM and a third-generation 2.4 GHz Intel i7 processor. This Windows 8 machine, however, lacks an SSD storage device. The ATIV is solidly built and has plenty of features that make it a good alternative to a premium notebook. The touch-enabled LED display is bright and perfect for viewing media, but the touchpad doesn't always read clicks and other gestures accurately. Pricing starts at $1,200.
This was first published in October 2013