Best Laptop 2011: 8th Pocket-lint Awards nominees

The laptop has undergone a few exciting developments this year, helped along by low power processors and space saving parts like the SSD. Laptop graphics have also taken a significant jump in the right direction, as portable GPUs get closer to the kind of power output a desktop can manage. 

Good year then to be in the market for a laptop. Lots to choose from and the majority of it decent. With the 8th Pocket-lint awards in bound and the nominations up, we want you to get voting. Some might fancy a brief refresh on what products have made it into the list this year, so read on to learn more. 

Apple MacBook Air 13 inch

Price
£899
Released
July 2011
PL review score
4.5 stars

The MacBook Air made its Sandy Bridge debut this year to great acclaim. It felt wrong to be getting an OS X experience as speedy from such a thin piece of kit. The usual top notch build quality was there, as well as the absurdly thin form factor. This time round we had backlit buttons as well, making us wonder exactly what sort of wizardry Apple had cooked up to fit all the parts in.

Receiving a stellar review from us, only criticised for its shortcomings in the ethernet and DVD department, it was a product that was hard to resist. Oh and it even threw in Thunderbolt as well, just to keep things exciting. 

Samsung Series 9

Price
£1099
Released
August 2011
PL review score
4.5 stars

The Windows powered answer to the MacBook Air came in the form of the Samsung Series 9, which with latest generation Sandy Bridge processors, very impressive design and plentiful ports and battery power, it was a pretty formidable competitor to Apple's ultra-thin. 

Major brownie points went to the combination of portability and strength, none of the hardiness being lost in keeping the laptop light and thin. Good sound, screen and a keyboard came as an extra little bonus. This was the Windows fans ultra-thin. 

Dell XPS 15z

Price
£1049
Released
September 2011
PL review score
4.5 stars

Dell's XPS 15z is a 3D powerhouse of a laptop, combining good design and a great screen to deliver an ideal multimedia experience. The other real bonus points of the XPS was its battery life and price. It delivered loads of performance for a price only a little more than an entry level MacBook Pro. 

We were impressed with the all round quality the XPS delivered, especially given it wasn't the usual bulky affair that laptops with proper GPUs inside are. Good stuff from Dell. 

Toshiba Portege R830-138

Price
£1438
Released
July 2011
PL review score
4.5 stars

The Portege behaved like a bit of an inbetweener. It was an ultraportable with a full power processor but that lacked discrete graphics. It sounds like a slight misnomer of a laptop but in reality, it proved to be the go to for a business user. All the necessaries weer there, like an optical drive and wireless display and mobile broadband. 

It might not have been hugely flashy, but the battery life, hardiness and portability struck just the right balance. Enough for it to get itself a tasty 4.5 stars. 

Medion Erazer X6813

Price
£749
Released
July 2011
PL review score
4.5 stars

The Medion Erazer struck just the right balance between price and performance. It might not have had quite the build quality of some of the other competition, but it more than made up for it with an i7 processor and plentiful RAM.

The real treat was the inclusion of a Nvidia GTX 460m, all for a sub £1000 price tag. It meant just about every game we ran pust it would run smooth enough at 1080p. Cheap and more than cheerful, this Medion definitely had us impressed.

What is your fave? Let us know in the comments below ...