To bring you our spring 2010 roundup of retail laptops, we've been testing and reviewing boxed versions of popular PCs--from entry-level systems starting at $329 to massive $2,000 gaming monsters. These are very much like the laptops you'd configure and buy online from Dell or HP, but these models are fixed configurations, have slightly different names, and are often a better deal compared to building the same system online.
In the "Mainstream" category, covering laptops from $600-$999, we found a lot of variety. While there were a couple of clunkers in this group, mostly because they charged mainstream prices for budget components, we were please to find a couple of real winners as well.
In the end, we couldn't pick a single favorite, so instead we have dual recommendations. The Toshiba Satellite E205-S1904is a sequel to one of our favorite laptops from last year, the Toshiba E105. As part of Best Buy's Blue Label program, it's a custom model that is one of the first notebook computers to include Intel's Wireless Display technology.
We also quite liked the Samsung R580, which packed in a high-end CPU, discrete graphics, and a Blu-ray drive, all for under $900.
Note: For our roundup of retail laptops in all price ranges, check here.
Check out details of each system below:… Read more