Finding the perfect laptop for your budget can be an overwhelming task, there are just so many laptop models released each year by a wide number of brands. Often they differ very slightly in terms of the components used yet the disparity in price can be substantial, so how do you identify great value laptops and avoid overpriced alternatives? In the several years that we have been writing about laptops online, and of course buying laptops (we get through a fair few), we have found two techniques which we consider to be almost fail safe.
One of those techniques is to use any major retailer which allows impartial reviews to identify the top rated laptops, and the other is to use sales statistics to identify the best selling laptops on the market at any one time. On this page we take a look at the three top rated laptops on Amazon costing between $1000 and $1500 at time of writing. With so many positive reviews (we have only included laptops with at least 20 customer reviews on this page), the market simply agrees that these laptops are the best on the market right now! If you have stumbled across this page but don’t have a $1500 budget then head over to our pages covering budgets of $400, $500, $600, $700, $800, $900, and $1000. Simply click on any image to visit the Amazon product listing for any of these laptops!
ASUS N53SV-XV1 15.6-Inch Versatile Entertainment Laptop
After having taken the two top spots in our article Top Rated Laptops Under $900, it comes as no surprise to us to see ASUS take the top spot once gain in this price bracket. A major study by laptop insurance giants SquareTrade, which tracked 30000 laptops for three years, concluded that ASUS laptops are the least likely out of any laptop brand to experience hardware failure! With such a high standard of reliability having been set, it is only natural that the general consumer is going to be waxing lyrical about their fantastic new ASUS laptop!
In the $900 category we covered the excellent ASUS N53SV-XE1, an all round entertainment laptop with awesome components which easily justifies it’s Amazon price of $899.99 with free shipping. Having almost dribbled with excitement at writing about that laptop we were delighted to see that we had the opportunity to write about the next model up, the ASUS N53SV-XV1, which sells for just $1049 with free shipping on Amazon at time of writing but just like it’s predecessor could easily have justified a higher retail price.
Now here comes the big surprise, the differences between the XV1 and XE1 are so minor that we just can’t see why people have decided to pay the extra $150. Don’t misunderstand us, we think that this is worth the asking price, but we also believe that the XE1 is under priced at $899.99 with free shipping. The more we searched for differences the more bemused we got, these laptops use almost exactly the same components, particularly the most important ones.
Both use the exceptional super fast Intel Core i7-2630QM Quad-Core Processor (2.0 GHz, 2.8 GHz with Turbo Boost), both have a plentiful 500 GB hard drive (7200 RPM), both use the superior Nvidia GT540M Graphics chip, both have a Super-Multi Optical Disk Drive, both systems offer one USB 3.0 port and two USB 2.0 ports, all of the usual ports such as VGA and HDMI (for hooking up your laptop to your HDTV), both have a 2.0 megapixel webcam, and both come with Windows 7 Home Premium as standard.
And of course both come with the same 1 year ASUS standard warranty as well as the added bonus of the unique ASUS 1 year of free accidental damage warranty. The only difference is that the XV1 has a full 1080p HD screen (a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels) whilst the XE1 has a 768p HD screen (a screen resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels). Both are genuine HD screens (the minimum is 720p to be marketed as high definition), only one has a slightly better resolution. Good luck finding enough difference in the picture quality to justify an extra $150 on your laptop though unless you have very specific advanced graphics needs! We can conclude that both laptops are fantastic value for money, an almost perfect five star Amazon rating shows that, but buy the ASUS N53SV-XE1 if your not worried about a few extra pixels!
Apple MacBook Air MC504LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop
If you happen to be one of those people who are reluctant ‘to PC’ then you will probably love this MacBook Air, which has a perfect five star customer rating! This ultraportable laptop has a normal retail price of $1499.00 yet can be found for just $1299.66 with $7.99 shipping on Amazon. We are going to write as little as possible about this system, because we simply don’t think that Mac’s represent good value for money and nobody involved with this network of sites ever bothers buying a Mac.
There are all sorts of unique selling points with Apple MacBook’s of course, you get tonnes of great software for free, they are less prone to viruses, and happen to look fantastic. But that is where it all ends really. The MacBook Air is extremely thin, very light, and thus can be considered highly portable. But so is the iPad, and you may just be better off buying one of those if you are happy with the specifications of these things.
It comes with a 1.86 GHz Core 2 Duo Processor, the equivalent to a processor which can probably be found in most $350 netbooks, the solid state hard drive has just 256 GB of space, again the equivalent of a decent netbook, and 2 GB of RAM. We have featured laptops costing less than $500 with specifications which far exceed everything about this MacBook Air. In fact, we have even featured a MacBook Pro in the article Top Rated Laptops Under $1000 which is infinite times better than this MacBook Air.
So, why buy it? We don’t know why you should buy it, and as such we can’t tell you, but we all PC so what do we really know? Head over to Amazon if you really want more information, if we were forced to buy a Mac we would be buying that MacBook Pro and saving a lot of money!