Top 10 notebooks 2011

We round up 10 of the best notebooks so far in 2011 from Sony,

It has been a relatively slow start to the year for notebook makers. Despite all the hoopla surrounding the launch of Intel's 2nd Generation Core CPUs (formerly codenamed Sandy Bridge), less than a handful of notebooks using the new technology have found their way to our Test Centre so far.

Nevertheless, we've seen some pretty good stuff so far in 2011, including some nifty tablets from Fujitsu, some stylish ultraportables from Sony, a couple of great little netbooks (which are, of course, a subset of the notebook category), and of course, Apple's new MacBook Pro.

Below are the best 10 notebooks that we've seen so far in 2011. Click the products in the round-up to see the specifications, pictures and full reviews, and if you already own one of these laptops, why not leave your own user review.

1. Sony VAIO SB Series (VPCSB16FG)
2. Sony VAIO YB Series (VPCYB16KG)
3. Samsung NF210-A01AU netbook
4. Apple MacBook Pro 15in (early 2011)
5. Dell Latitude E5520
6. Acer Aspire 5742G
7. Dell Inspiron M501R AMD triple core notebook
8. Sony VAIO Y Series (VPCYA15FGB)
9. Dell XPS L501x
10. Toshiba NB550D

In the next few months we'll be looking at a lot more 2nd Generation Core models from the likes of Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba and HP, and hopefully a lot more AMD Fusion laptops. It looks like it's going to be a bumper year for notebooks as vendors try their hardest to compete with the ever-growing popularity of tablets.

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Toshiba NB550D

The Toshiba NB550D netbook uses the AMD Fusion platform to supply good overall performance and better-than-usual multimedia features for a netbook. Its HDMI port allows users to connect it directly to a big-screen TV and its Harmon Kardon speakers produce the best sound we've heard from a netbook to date. We like this netbook a lot, but we wish it had better battery life, a less glossy screen and a slightly smoother touchpad.

  • Review Date:
  • Reviewer:
  • Manufacturer:
  • 27th Jan., 2011
  • Elias Plastiras
  • Toshiba
  • Rating:
  • Price:
  • Pros:
  • HDMI port, good performance for a netbook, good speakers, good build quality and looks
  • Cons:
  • Battery life not great, video playback was a little choppy on a Full HD television, touchpad texture was a little too rough, very reflective screen
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