A budget of $900 should in theory get you an awesome laptop, but we all know that this isn’t always going to the case. In the weeks that we have spent researching the articles for this site we have seen $1000 laptops offering no more than $500 laptops, as well as $1000 laptops offering more than many $1500 laptops. No matter what your budget is, you need to search hard to ensure that you are getting the best possible value for money.
So, how do you identify laptops which are simply worth more than they cost? One great way is to use search filters on major open retail outlets to determine which systems have the highest average customer ratings. We have done all the hard work for you, by identifying the two highest rated laptops between $800 and $900 on Amazon.com. These two laptops are absolutely fantastic, the customer is never wrong! If your budget is actually considerably less than $900 then see our article Top Rated Laptops Under $800 for some more great options.
ASUS N53SV-XE1 15.6-Inch Versatile Entertainment Laptop
First up is a laptop which goes right to the very top of a $900 budget, the ASUS N53SV-XE1 which at time of writing is selling for $899.99 with free shipping on Amazon. Before we talk about this awesome laptop, let’s talk about Asus as a brand. A major study by laptop warranty business SquareTrade which tracked some 30000 laptops over a three year period concluded that Asus are the most reliable laptop brand around, it can come as no surprise therefore to see that the two top rated laptops in this price bracket are Asus machines!
Now let’s look at just how awesome this laptop is for the price. Having already covered the top rated laptops under $400, $500, $600, $700, and $800, this is the first machine featured in the series to have an Intel Core i7 processor, the very latest Intel range, and rated as the very best processors for gaming machines and for anybody with advanced graphics needs.
The precise component used is the Intel Core i7-2630QM Quad-Core Processor 2.0 GHz, which can call upon Turbo Boost technology to run at an incredible 2.8GHz. Let’s just say that no machine with an Intel i7 quad-core processor is going to be caught lagging. In simple terms, it means that you have FOUR processors working at once to process your commands.
The plentiful 500GB hard drive should provide enough room for even the largest of music collections, a substantial number of movie downloads, numerous game installs, your images, and your important work and home documents. There are of course laptops which offer larger hard drives, but every laptop owner should have the benefit of an external hard drive anyway – don’t learn that lesson the hard way!
This laptop is perfect for gamers and movie buffs, a crystal clear 15.6-Inch HD display and the Nvidia GT540M Graphics card with support for DirectX 11 ensure that. ASUS can be commended also for the leeway that they leave for upgrades, often brands will drastically limit the possible system memory upgrade in order to restrict the shelf life of your laptop and force you into changing your laptop more frequently – unfortunately the electronics industry is famous for those tricks. Not ASUS though, this systems 4GB of RAM can be extended at any time up to an astonishing 16GB!
The only thing that is lacking is the omission of a Blu-ray player, instead you get a Super-Multi Optical Disk Drive, but at the price you are paying it looks like a clear choice between a superior top end processor and that much more trivial luxury. With the trends already heading towards the direct streaming of HD movies, it could perhaps be argued that the demand for Blu-ray is already falling. Couple that with the fact that many people own a Playstation 3 on which to play Blu-ray discs anyway, and we can see that such a feature really isn’t all that pressing. The included software, ASUS VideoMagic, can successfully upgrade DVDs 1080p HD quality anyway!
Other ace features include the integrated 2.0 megapixel HD webcam, which effectively allows you to conference call via Skype in high definition, a USB 3.0 port to accompany two USB 2.0 ports, and an HDMI port to enable you to hook your laptop up to your HDTV for cinema quality movies and console quality gaming! This laptop is an entertainment powerhouse, and it makes our selection for Best Multimedia Laptop Under $900. The feature which really seals the deal here is the inclusion of the latest ASUS SonicMaster Technology which has been co-developed by sound masters Bang and Olufsen! So many laptops offer the perfect components for the all-in-one entertainment experience before ruining it with cheap and tinny speakers. Not this one, the sound is perfect.
There is little else to cover, this ASUS laptop is simply a fantastic option for the money and a sensible choice for those who want a laptop which will stand the test of time. As well as the standard 1 year warranty that laptops are required to come with, this particularly model is also covered by an additional 1 Year Accidental Damage Warranty, a nice touch by a brand which has shown itself to really care about the consumer experience and as a result sees such a loyal group of repeat customers. For more detailed information, to read customer reviews, or to buy this laptop, head over to the Amazon product listing.
ASUS U35JC-A1 13.3-Inch Laptop – Silver
Unbelievably, another ASUS system takes the second slot in this price range! If you hadn’t already worked it out, we absolutely love ASUS systems and could sit and write about them all day. The ASUS U35JC-A1 is a 13.3 Inch ultraportable laptop which at time of writing is available for $857.58 plus around $9 shipping from Amazon, around $30 less than the ASUS N53SV-XE1 featured above. It is a great average customer rating of around 4/5 across over 20 customer reviews, suggesting that the overwhelming majority of customers are completely satisfied with their purchase.
Unless you specifically desire a smaller ultraportable laptop, then you should choose the laptop above, because smaller laptops almost always compromise on the quality of some key components. In this case, you are compromising the cutting edge Intel i7 processor for the older Intel i3 contained within this laptop. Most of the other specifications remain the same however, 4GB of RAM and a generous 500GB hard drive make this an awesome option for those who like optimum portability.
There are some major benefits to owning a small laptop, the ASUS U35JC-A1 has an optimum battery life of an astonishing 10 hours! The graphics chip isn’t quite as good however, although the NVIDIA GeForce 310M is still an awesome chip however and just perfect for casual gaming or watching HD movies. To cut a long story short, you are getting a lot greater value for money if buying the first ASUS laptop featured on this page, but only if you are happy to own a heavier 15.6 Inch system rather than this lightweight and slim alternative. A 0.3 megapixel HD webcam enables you to Skype in High Definition, but the ASUS N53SV-XE1 has a 2 megapixel HD webcam! Even if you do really want a 13 inch laptop, you may be better served to check out the Toshiba Portege R835-P56X which is currently available for less than $800!
This is a super laptop, and as you can see it looks great too with it’s brushed aluminium chassis, and ASUS laptops are extremely reliable and in that respect can always be considered great value for money and a worthwhile investment. Like all ASUS laptops the ASUS U35JC-A1 comes complete with 1 year of free accidental damage cover, no other brand will replace your laptop after you smash your own screen or spill your own coffee over the keyboard! If your heart is set on this then head over to Amazon to check out the product listing, we would be very surprised however if you don’t choose the ASUS N53SV-XE1, or alternatively check out the Toshiba Portege R835-P56X which at less than $800 is a 13.3 inch laptop which actually beats this one in specifications and even greater value for money!