The Best Laptops for Home Entertainment

By on March 12, 2013

Laptops today have evolved far beyond their original designs as portable business machines. Laptops today have such a wide variety of configurations that, even in the realm of entertainment, it pays to know whether you’re looking for the best laptops for home video and audio or gaming. Here is a list of three machines that are among the best laptops for home entertainment, which means they can guarantee stellar screens, powerful graphics cards and blazing processors.

HP Envy 17

Hewlett Packard’s Envy 17 machine, released in 2012, is usually near the top of every list for the best laptops for home entertainment. The laptop’s distinctive black aluminum design marks it out from the rest of the pack from the start. It also packs a Blu-Ray player and DVD burner, super-fast USB 3.0 ports, and HDMI and two DisplayPort outputs so you can connect up to three external monitors simultaneously.

The HP Envy 17 runs on a powerful Intel Core i7 quad-core processor clocking in at 2.2Ghz. It is loaded with 750GB of hard disk storage space and comes with 8GB of on-board DDR3 memory. The graphics are driven by a 1GB AMD Radeon HD 7690M XT card that ensures maximum performance when it comes to movies and games. It’s so well specced that it’s surely one of the best laptops for home entertainment on the market.

According to PC Mag, despite the HP Envy 17’s impressive spec sheet, there’s something else that makes it among the best laptops for home entertainment. That’s the HP Envy 17’s screen. PC Mag calls it an “extra-wide and bodacious screen” that is sure to command your attention. Its review goes on to call it “the most stunning screen we’ve seen”. Now that’s a ringing endorsement for a home entertainment machine.

Lenovo IdeaPad Y580

Lenovo’s IdeaPad Y580 may not look like one of the best laptops for home entertainment on the market, but looks can be deceiving. It comes in a ‘Dawn Gray’ brushed aluminium casing with chromed speakers just above the keyboard. It sports a 15-inch screen and weighs in at 6.2 pounds, which is slightly heavier than comparable machines like the Dell XPS 15 or the HP Envy 15.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 packs a 2.3Ghz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and a hefty 8GB of RAM. It’s capable of storing up to 1 terabyte of data. Graphics-wise, it’s loaded with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 660M with two gigs of video RAM, which is heavy-duty enough to handle most animation and illustration tasks. According to Laptop Magazine, this spec sheet places the IdeaPad Y580 in the same league as the best laptops for home entertainment.

Laptop Magazine notes that the Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 has even more charms beyond its powerful configuration. It sports a screen that is described as “gorgeous”. The magazine notes that its screen “easily beats” the HP Envy 15’s display in terms of brightness. The visual artistry is supported by JBL speakers that deliver “quite a punch”, according to Laptop magazine. Finally, Lenovo’s OneTheater II software auto-adjusts brightness and audio levels for a heightened viewing experience. All these factors combined place the IdeaPad Y580 firmly among the best laptops for home entertainment.

Sony VAIO T Series 15 Touch Ultrabook

Before there were Apple Macbooks, there were Sony VAIOs. Long prized as the height of consumer electronics design, Sony’s products often have a distinctive look about them. It’s no different with the Sony VAIO T series 15 Touch Ultrabook, which is one of the best laptops for home entertainment out there.

The Sony VAIO Series 15 Touch Ultrabook comes clad in “silver mist” brushed aluminium. It uses the series’ “full flat” design language, giving it sharp edges and a boxy, but somehow not bulky, look. The keyboard sits in a recessed space on a single aluminium sheet. The laptop weighs five pounds, which is  lighter than comparable machines from HP and Dell, according to Laptop Magazine. The VAIO’s svelte form factor but powerful spec sheet places it squarely among the best laptops for home entertainment.

The Sony VAIO Series 15 Touch Ultrabook sports a bright, vivid display measuring 15 inches with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. If you’re wondering where the ‘touch’ in the machine’s name comes from, it’s because the display is also a touchscreen. As Laptop Magazine noted in its review, this can quickly mar the beauty of the display, which rates highly on brightness and vividness of colour. The magazine also noted that the touchscreen was highly responsive with Windows 8’s touch-optimised user interface. These features taken together mean that the VAIO Series 15 Touch Ultrabook is among the best laptops for home entertainment on the market.

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