Best of 2012: PCs, Ultrabooks, and Hybrids

We select the best systems—desktops, laptops, and hybrid portables—of 2012.

By PCWorld staff, PC World |  Consumerization of IT, computers, laptops

A number of high-powered computers made it onto our Top 100 list this year, but what surprised us even more was that an all-in-one PC had become our overall favorite in the desktops category. And while you'll see plenty of the usual suspects on our list, you'll also encounter a newcomer that wowed us with its first efforts at building both an all-in-one desktop and  a laptop.

Maingear Alpha All-in-One (desktop)

Our number three pick overall, the Maingear Alpha's massive chassis accommodates a GeForce GTX 680 video card, a Core i7-3770K CPU, and up to 32GB of memory. You can play today's triple-A game titles, and upgrade every major component to play tomorrow's attractions, too.

 

Vizio CT14-A2 (laptop)

Vizio's rookie laptop effort was good enough to land at number four on our Top 100 list. The CT14-A2 has a sleek, minimalist design, with big keys that deliver great tactile feedback. Vizio also managed to pack a fabulous 14-inch, 1600-by-900-pixel LCD in a package that weighs just 3.4 pounds. This is a very capable Ultrabook.

Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 (laptop)

Coming in at number 10 overall, Lenovo's affordable workhorse of a laptop does it all. Packing a quad-core processor, a Geforce GTX 660M GPU, and a 15.6-inch, 1080p LCD into a 6.2-pound chassis, this well-balanced system is great for both digital media editing and playing PC games.

Falcon Northwest Tiki (small desktop PC)

This diminutive, quiet, and extremely fast desktop PC landed at number 15 on our overall list. This is no budget box; rather, its a polished, purpose-built tiny gaming system. The heavily overclocked Ivy Bridge processor, a fast SSD, and a GeForce GTX 680 video card combine to make this the fastest system of its size.

Raspberry Pi (micro Linux PC)

This computer's inventors see it as a means to an end: encouraging students to teach themselves how to program before they enter college. But the incredibly low price on this tiny and surprisingly powerful computer helped it land in the number 18 position on our complete list. We dig the noble goal, but we also like tech toys, and this one is hard to beat.

Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display (laptop)

The stunning performance and effortless portability that Apples flagship laptop delivers helped it come in at number 24 on our master list. It's the fastest Mac we've ever tested, but it boasts a spectacular IPS screen with 2880 by 1800 pixel resolution.

Lenevo IdeaCentre A720 (all-in-one PC)


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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