But when it comes to getting the most power for your money, nothing comes close to Intel's high-performance Core i7 processors, especially in the latest Sandy Bridge versions.
The Core i7 has finally blurred the lines between laptop and desktop PCs and, in many cases, the prices are highly affordable.
To help you choose the right machine for your needs, we've brought together four of the best Core i7-powered laptops, at prices to suit all budgets.
Offering staggering performance and features ideal for the whole family, you won't fi nd a more powerful range of consumer laptops.
1. MSI CX640-018UK - £512
The combination of excellent performance, long battery life, vibrant screen and solid build in the MSI CX640-018UK makes this a fantastic all-round laptop that will suit a variety of tastes and users. Most importantly, it will handle anything you care to throw at it.
That's thanks to its Sandy Bridge Intel Core i7-2410M and a potent Nvidia GeForce 540M graphics card, which mean that it handles multimedia and gaming just brilliantly. There's also a power-saving mode, meaning that it's got excellent battery life to boot.
2. Lenovo W520 - £1,501
The Lenovo W520 is fairly firmly a business laptop, but it's one that offers a lot of great features. The 1080p screen offers plenty of space to work in, especially for design professionals – something that's complemented by the Nvidia Quadro 1000M GPU.
An Intel Core i7-2620M produces enough processing grunt to safely get you through all but the most demanding applications. With all this power, battery life isn't as good as many laptops, but when you're working at a desk, this is a potent machine.
3. Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch - £1,647
Apple wasted no time getting on the Sandy Bridge bandwagon, offering several configurations of its MacBook Pros, including Core i7 versions. The quad-core CPU is capable of just eating through video tasks, while an increase in graphics capabilities with an AMD Radeon 6750M means it can also deal with gaming comfortably.
The MacBook Pro aluminium unibody design is as great as ever, while the addition of the super-fast Thunderbolt connector is also a major plus for pros.
4. Kobalt Computers G150 - £1,704
What a beast. Intel and Nvidia are two heavyweights of the PC industry, and the Kobalt G150 laptop includes some of the two companies' most powerful components.
A Sandy Bridge Intel Core i7-2630QM CPU is paired with a Nvidia GTX 485M, offering simply astonishing gaming performance for a laptop (as well being fast everywhere else. It doesn't skimp on other features either, offering 6GB of RAM and a Blu-ray drive.
Unsurprisingly, it's not super light and doesn't get a huge amount of battery life, but those aren't the point of a machine like this. It's all about speed, and this is fast.
Best Intel Core i7 laptop: Verdict
There's simply an astonishing amount of power on offer from these laptops, and they're all capable of cutting through tough tasks without breaking a sweat.
The MSI CX640-018UK offers that power at a bargain price – it really is amazing what just over £512 can get you, so it gets our vote as the value buy, hands down. But it's not the winner.
The MacBook Pro gets an honourable mention for packing big power into a slim and attractive design, and if you're a Mac fan it will inevitably be your choice anyway. But it's still not the winner.
It has to be the Kobalt G150 that's our winner here. We wanted power from Intel's new chips, and we got it, packed in with a killer graphics card, too. It's a laptop that will blow you away, and though it certainly isn't cheap, we don't think you'd be too worried about buyer's remorse once you were using it.
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