5 laptops from CES that will make you want a new one in 2015

With such a dizzying array of products being revealed, previewed and released at this year’s CES, it can difficult to wade through the horde and figure out what’s most worthy of your hard-earned cash. We’ve decided to cut through the noise and unveil our top five picks for the best portable PCs shown at the 2015 conference.

Acer Chromebook 15

Until recently, Chromebooks have been seen by the tech savvy as more of a “side-laptop” to the real thing. Something portable, light, and cheap that you bring with you when you need basic Web-browsing capabilities and not much more.

The Acer Chromebook 15 is here to change all that. Its large display makes it more appealing to mainstream users. This also means more room for a spacious keyboard and touchpad. Unlike others, this Chromebook is a model that can be used every day as a main machine — if you don’t mind Chrome OS, of course.


There will be two flavors. One with a 1,366 x 768 display, a Broadwell Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. The second, higher end version sports a 1080p IPS panel, 4GB of RAM and a Core i3 processor. Pricing will start at $249 for the entry-level model, the price of the up-scale version has not been announced.

Alienware 15

Dell’s Alienware division has pumped out a fresh take on one of its most popular products, the Alienware 15.

While most of what you get with the 15 is similar to what its competitors offer (top-tier mobile graphics with the Nvidia GTX 980M, a fifth-generation Core processor, gobs of RAM) what really sets the 15 apart is the company’s Graphics Amplifier, an external bay that can support a single PCI Express graphics card up to 375 watts. We saw this originally with the Alienware 13, but now it’s available on larger laptops.

The Amplifier sits off to the side and adds desktop-level graphics capability to your mobile powerhouse. And you may need the extra grunt, because the all-new Alienware 15 is available with a 4K panel. Even the mighty GTX 980 struggles to handle Ultra HD.


Users can easily unplug the Graphics Amplifier to get some fragging done on the road, which means that whenever you want to ramp up the texture quality you have that option waiting for you at home, but you can still get a great experience out in the world from the internal hardware alone.

The Alienware 15 is available immediately at a base price of $1,199. The 4K panel adds $200 to the configuration you choose.

Lenovo LaVie Z

The Lenovo LaVie Z is a notebook that’s hard to understand until you hold it. When the company gave us one to try we at first thought they’d mistakenly handed us an empty demo shell, but then the system turned on.

At just 1.72 pounds, the LaVie is far and away one of the lightest laptops ever to hit mainstream production. It makes the Samsung Ativ Book 9, Dell XPS 13, MacBook Air and other lightweight notebooks feel like sumo wrestlers by comparison. Yet it’s also capable, packing an Intel Core processor (rather than the less powerful Core M) and a battery that can deliver up to eight hours of life.


The lower-end HZ550 model is a standard clamshell laptop (keyboard on the bottom, screen up front), while the upgraded HZ750 (with an optional Core i7) mimics the Lenovo Yoga, sporting a central hinge that converts the clamshell into a touchscreen-ready tablet. Unlike many competitors, though, the LaVie Z is actually light enough to comfortably use in tablet mode.

Lenovo estimates the HZ550 will sell for around $1,300 and the HZ750 will go for around $1,500, but final pricing may change before the anticipated May release.

Dell XPS 13

Bezels. Nobody likes to look at them, and everyone has been trying to figure out the best way to get rid of them since the dawn of flatscreen televisions.

Now, as devices like the HTC One, the Acer H236HL desktop monitor, and LG’s Cinema Class HDTVs have just about done away with them completely, laptops are the next in line to ditch the lip and blur the line between where your screen ends and the rest of the world behind it begins.


The XPS 13 looks sleeker than any PC we’ve seen, and once you get a glimpse of its gorgeous 3,200 x 1,800 touch-capable screen, you’ll start to wonder how we ever lived with bezels in the first place. Underneath its hood the XPS is powered by a 5th-gen Core i series of processors (depending on your preferred build this can be anything from an i3 to an i7), 4GB or 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD.

The XPS 13 is ready for purchase today at only $799 for the Core i3 model, all the way up to $1899 for the Core i7 equipped with the QHD+ display.

Samsung ATIV Book Blade 9

Samsung has been making a big push to establish itself as a premier manufacturer of laptops over the past few years, and the new ATIV Book Blade 9 is a great example of how far it has come.

The Blade 9 weighs just a hair more than two pounds. While that’s not light enough to beat the LaVie Z, it’s still quiet svelte, and it strikes a solid balance between luxury and weight. The standard model will feature a spanking new Intel Core M-5Y10C processor, which helps the Blade achieve a spectacular 12.5 hours of battery life.


Other features include a 256GB SSD, a 12.2-inch WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) LED screen, and a pair of ear-busting 10-watt Dolby Surround Sound speakers to keep your music booming all throughout the workday.

We previewed the laptop earlier this week, and now that we’ve actually gotten our hands on it at the show, we’re confident the Book Blade 9 will be a hot contender in the Ultrabook market. Models start at $1,199.99 retail, and can be configured upwards from there to $1,400 with twice the RAM and storage.

Wrapping up

While there are plenty of other laptop options unveiled by the handful at CES 2015, we think these five are a few of the best.

Whether you’re looking for something that won’t weigh your briefcase down, a mobile gaming juggernaut, or just an inexpensive Web browsing machine, this year’s conference has showcased everything we wanted and more.

Product Review

The Lenovo Legion Y740 brings RTX 2080 graphics power for under $2,500

Coming with the Intel Core i7-8750H processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD, the Legion Y740 one big beast. But priced at under $2,500 how does Lenovo’s Legion stand up against the crowd?

Get the new Dell XPS 13 for $750 with this limited-time deal

Dell is currently running a limited time deal lasting through Thursday, March 28, where you can bring home a version of this year's new XPS 13 for around $750 with the use of a special coupon code. 

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for March 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.

Tablet or notebook? Our favorite 2-in-1 PCs give you the best of both worlds

If you can’t decide if you need a tablet or a notebook, then don’t bother. The best 2-in-1 laptops are both, and they can provide all the power you need. Check out our list for the best 2-in-1s for any user.

Get the most out of your high-resolution display by tweaking its DPI scaling

Windows 10 has gotten much better than earlier versions at supporting today's high-resolution displays. If you want to get the best out of your monitor, then check out our guide on how to adjust high-DPI scaling in Windows 10.

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

We're glad to see that USB-C is quickly becoming the norm. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone. We've got USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A.

Looking for a Chromebook? The Google PixelBook just got a $200 price cut

Once relatively obscure, Chromebooks have come into their own in a big way in recent years. One of our favorites is the super-sleek Google Pixelbook, and it's on sale right now from Amazon for $200 off, letting you score this premium laptop…

Nvidia’s GTX 1650 graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over the 1050 Ti

Rumors suggest Nvidia might soon launch the GTX 1650, and a leaked benchmark listing from Final Fantasy XV suggests that the new graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over last generation's GTX 1050 Ti. 

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.

Microsoft’s Clippy came back from the dead, but didn’t last very long

Before Cortana, Alexa, and Siri even existed, Microsoft Clippy dominated the screens of computers in the 1990s to help assist Microsoft Office users when writing letters. He recently made a bit of a comeback only to die off again.

Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…

How 5G networks will make low-latency game streaming a reality

Faster speeds and more bandwidth are some of the many promises that 5G can deliver, but for gamers, the most important thing is low latency. To achieve low latency, carriers like AT&T and Verizon are exploring hybrid models for game…