Best laptop 2012: 9th Pocket-lint Gadget Awards nominees

What a year 2012 was for the laptop. The Ultrabook became more, well, ultra and Windows 8 unveiled its live delights to the world. Apple rolled out the 15-inch Retina display MacBook Pro, with its unparalleled laptop screen resolution, putting Full HD to shame.

With lots to choose from then, the Pocket-lint Awards have been as close as ever. Below is our best laptop 2012 nominees list.

Dell XPS 13

Price
£1,149

Released
April 2012

Dell’s XPS 13 Ultrabook went down extremely well at Pocket-lint Towers. Its carbon fibre back gave it the looks of a Formula One car and its internal hardware matched the power. Here was finally a laptop that rivalled the desirability of the MacBook Air.

Customisation options and great trackpad and keyboard made for a top-notch laptop package. For us, this was our favourite Ultrabook of the year.

READ: Dell XPS 13 review

HP Envy 14 Spectre

Price
£1,200

Released
April 2012

The term Ultrabook was slapped on anything with a screen and a keyboard in 2012. HP’s Envy 14 Spectre was one such culprit which, thankfully, made up for its nomenclature sins with top-of-the-line hardware and design.

You got a quality display, interesting design and a battery life described as “epic” in our review. So with all the boxes ticked, all HP had to do was throw in the added bonus of Beats Audio and we were sold.

READ: HP Envy 14 Spectre review

Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch with Retina display

Price
£1,799
Released
June 2012

Like the iPad and iPhone, Apple brought its Retina display technology to the MacBook Pro in 2012. With unparalleled screen resolution, masses of power inside and a whopping price tag to boot, this was one hell of a premium laptop.

Then came the design and build quality, with the laptop rivalling the thinness of the MacBook Air. Apple set quite a marker with this laptop in 2012, particularly with its screen, which is hard to beat.

READ: Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch with Retina display review

Apple MacBook Air 13-inch

Price
£999

Released
June 2012

On top of the flagship Pro update came a major power boost for the MacBook Air in the form of new Intel Ivy Bridge chipsets. Couple that with HD 4000 graphics and you had an incredibly portable yet substantially powerful laptop.

Apple’s usual build quality was there and the design of the MacBook Air looking as good as ever. Polish on an already polished product.

READ: Apple MacBook Air 13-inch review.

Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A

Price
£1,499

Released
July 2012

The Windows rival to the MacBook Air and a damned good one at that, Asus as usual showed off its design flair. An aluminium lid, complete with concentric circles that showed up only when you viewed the laptop from an angle, made this quite an eye catcher.

The UX31A was also massively powerful and sported a high-quality Full HD screen, which made for one of the best media experiences on any small and portable laptop.

READ: Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A review