HWM+HardwareZone.com Tech Awards 2012: Editor's Choice - Part 2


Best Multimedia Notebook

Best Multimedia Notebook

Multimedia notebooks are a great compromise between power and mobility. They've got enough power for most multimedia tasks and even discrete graphics for some light to moderate gaming. Not to mention, they've got utility in the form of multiple ports, built-in optical disc drive, and they're reasonably sized to carry around with you. If you’re looking for a machine that will do most tasks and won’t break the bank, this is where you want to be. 

For evaluating the category of Best Multimedia Notebook, our criteria was for candidates with a 15-inch screen, Sandy Bridge Core i7 processor and a discrete graphics engine. They should also ideally be priced less than S$2000.

Nominees:

  • Dell XPS 15z
  • HP Pavilion dv6
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Y570
  • Samsung RF511
  • Toshiba Satellite P755

And the Winner Is...

The overall winner is the very stylish HP Pavilion dv6. We loved its clean minimalist-modern finish, and extra touches like its aluminum wrist rest . Its above average audio quality, thanks to its quartet of built-in speakers by Beats, and on-board Blu-ray drive made it the best choice for entertainment, while its quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and ATI Radeon HD 6770 graphics module made it more than capable for any multimedia task, as well as tackling moderate gaming needs. Other nice additions like the glowing trackpad border and fingerprint scanner just add up to its appeal further.

Of the tested notebooks, only Dell's XPS 15z is priced well beyond the rest of the notebooks partly because it's the only notebook of this category to sport a full HD screen, which is a rarity and you really have to pay a premium for it. There are lower priced versions available at S$1799, but it comes with a more mainstream Core i5 processor. Clearly Dell is banking on its high resolution screen, styling and premium build, but it may not be enough for shoppers to choose it over other more practical considerations unless the work space available onscreen is top priority.

 

Scoring Breakdown
Criteria/Model Dell XPS 15z HP Pavilion dv6 Lenovo IdeaPad Y570 Samsung RF511 Toshiba P755
Design 9.0 8.5 8.5 7.0 8.0
Features 8.5 8.5 7.5 7.0 7.5
Performance 7.5 8.0 7.5 8.0 7.5
Value 6.5 8.5 8.0 7.0 7.5
Mobility 8.0 7.5 7.5 7.5 7.5
Overall 7.5 8.5 8.0 7.0 8.0
Price S$2,199 S$1,499 S$1,399 S$1,599 S$1,399

*Note: Prices and ratings listed are accurate at the time of individual product evaluation.

For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed at the References section at the end.