Whether it's a car, clothing item or even toilet paper, there are always big international brands which dominate the market and small, obscure brands that nobody has ever heard of. Laptops are no different in that there is a wide variety from small unknown manufacturers to big multibillion-dollar companies.
Most major PC manufacturers have a large and wide variety, but often use the same processes, video cards and components as each other. To stand out in the crowd, many offer unique and interesting designs, offer longer warranties and develop their own software or strike a deal with software manufacturers to have their software preinstalled on their machines.
This can range from basic programs to view and edit photographs to more advanced software that allows you to make and publish videos. Below, we offer advice regarding the most interesting series and model laptops from the nine largest PC manufacturers. We find that these laptops are often in the forefront of development and innovation in the current laptop market.
Affordable laptops for small businesses and families.
Acer is very popular in Europe and offers a wide range of laptops for regular users. Their biggest sales success is the very affordable Aspire series, which was launched in 1999. Since then they have sold millions of units, and the target audience is primarily small businesses and families. In recent times, many of the models have been equipped with touch screens, which makes them a perfect mix of tablet and computer. Prices are also very affordable when compared with competitors.
The Verdict: These are very versatile laptops and you get a lot for your money.
Luxurious quality and good warranty.
Sony VAIO series is known for its elegant, robust and practical design. The outer shell is made of carbon fiber and magnesium alloys. It's a machine you can put through rigourous use and comes with a two years warranty as standard for peace of mind. Vaio is packed full of the latest technology and is available in various screen sizes ranging from 10 to 16 inches. The screens have a high resolution, cooling is quiet, and the keyboards are among the best on the market.
The Verdict: Good quality, good warranty, always the latest technology, very attractive design.
Update: Sony VAIO laptops and computers have been discontinued.
Apple MacBook Air
Super Lightweight, innovative and made with precision.
Unlike other computer manufacturers Apple supply both the hardware and the operating system to their computers. This gives fewer problems since all components and drivers are tailored to fit together. Another positive side, Apple machines are mostly immune from viruses and trojans that can plague Windows computers. There are also many who like Apple's unique user experience in Mac OSX and love the award winning and innovative design. Portable MacBook Air computers are among the lightest on the market, but do come with a hefty pricetag.
The Verdict: The Smart OS, multitouch mouse pad and backlit keyboard are very impressive.
Hewlett-Packard offer the World's largest selection of laptops.
HP is the world's largest PC manufacturer and is a popular supplier to the business sector. The main thing for businesses is reliability, security, ease of configuration, warranty and support. HP has used its experience in business computers and has had great success with the fully customized ENVY series. These laptops are characterized by a powerful multimedia experience with a very reasonable pricetag. All HP computers are made of quality metal. Almost every third computer sold in Europe, is an HP machine.
The Verdict: World's largest PC manufacturer, affordable multimedia machines for businesses and home use.
Extremely powerful gaming laptops with loads of features.
At Dell, it is the customer who decides computer performance, memory and hard drive size. Thereafter each machine is specially made. Dell has a logistics system which ensures fast delivery and low prices. Inspiron series is for the cost-conscious home users. The most interesting Dell models are however the powerful Alienware series that are specifically designed to play the latest videogames. With the best graphics cards and fastest Intel processors, these computers offer a mind blowing experience.
The Verdict: Custom built laptops, good design and excellent for videogames at a very reasonable price.
Toshiba Satellite Pro
Good multimedia equipment and good warranty.
Toshiba Satellite Pro series has a neutral design, but under the surface there are several hidden benefits. Two-year standard warranty is among the best guarantee on the market. Toshiba also focuses on multimedia experiences with advanced audio engineering and video upscaling. A soundcard from Dolby Advanced Audio and speakers from quality manufacturer Harman Kardon provide a high quality listening experience that other laptops fail to match. Laptops from Toshiba always perform well in many independent tests.
The Verdict: Cheap, good warranty, very good support for multimedia and video.
Craftsmanship and innovative notebooks for small business.
In the 1990s, the ThinkPad series set the foundations for the modern notebook. Much of the best innovation in the PC world has been introduced through the ThinkPad, such as shockproof hard drives, waterproof keyboard and silent fans. Lenovo sells computers primarily to businesses, but consumer models are also well built and practical, and available in most consumer electronic stores. Many users like Lenovo's patented TrackPoint that is located in the center of the keyboard, which allows you to control your mouse without having to move the hand.
The Verdict: Good specs, low prices and an excellent TrackPoint mouse.
Quick-starting, thin and light ultrabook.
ASUS has had a tremendous sales success with Ultrabook Zenbook series, and we can understand why. Computers are extremely thin, light and beautifully made of brushed aluminum. Both the processor and SSD hard drive provide high performance high speed, and the speakers come from quality brand Bang-Olufsen. Many of the latest Zenbook models also touch screen and backlit keyboard. The quality is very high and come with a two-year warranty. However, you will pay a high price for this quality.
The Verdict: Superlight ultrabook, excellent performance, good screens, good warranty but expensive.
Cheap computers for simple tasks.
Compaq has produced computers since 1982. They focus on creating cheap laptops for simple tasks such as surfing, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, Spotify and online banking. Despite the low price you get good support and a good guarantee, since Compaq is now owned by IT giant HP. Webcam, DVD burner, wireless networking and USB ports are always included. For those who do not have large demands for powerful performance, the Compaq Presario series is a good option.
The Verdict: Very cheap, good for simple tasks, good support.
Update: Compaq Presario range has now been discontinued.
After low user engagement and the discovery of a software error, that potentially exposed the data of hundreds of thousands of its users, Google has decided to pull the plug on its social media platform.