Best Laptop Of 2011 Gizmodo Award Winners

2011 saw laptops get lighter, faster and generally cheaper. But which laptop was the single best model released in 2011? The winner is...

Reader's Choice: Apple Macbook Air

With a chunky 34.87% of the vote, the Macbook Air carried the day rather comfortably in the laptop category. The Macbook Pro took second place with 24.5% of the vote, followed up by the Sony Vaio Z with an 18.73% share.

More: MacBook Air 2011 Review Roundup

Editor's Choice: Apple Macbook Air

This was a tough one for me to weigh up, although I would have easily flipped the Macbook Pro from second place in favour of the Sony Vaio Z, an excellent high powered laptop with some generally good engineering, save for the woeful speakers. Still, you pay a significant premium for the Vaio Z's power, and that makes the Macbook Air the better buy in my estimation.

More: Gizmodo's Ultrabook News Centre



    This is a difficult category to be fair, simply because Apple really has the most in-your-face laptop brand. When you think of "branded" laptops you can probably rattle off a long list of brands but it's much harder to rattle off an equally long list of actual models. With the Apple brands though, it is very easy to find a clear and distinct list of models.

      Yes, Apple's marketing is the most aggressive, but what other modern laptop competes with the MBA toe-to-toe and still retains its competitive price? Ultrabooks are getting there but still teething, each one seems to have some issue or other that rules it out (no backlit keyboard, no SD card slot, price, etc).

      Right now, the best, most bang-for-your-buck Windows laptop for the regular user (not heavy gamer, productivity, portability) is probably a bootcamped MBA. Ultrabooks might turn this around if they retain price parity with the MBA, the same feature-set in ALL brackets, not just the highest-specced models ( eg the newest Sony Vaio).


    I agree with what you're saying. Giving the award to the 'Macbook Air' is meaningless unless you specify what spec model you are giving the award to. Without specifying laptop model, it is impossible to compare laptops in terms of price, performance etc.
    With all that said it would almost certainly be a macbook that won the award. No other model comes close IMO.

      Oh definitely.. I wasn't, as you probably knew anyway, disputing the award.. just pointing out it's a hard one to just categorise all laptops in one basket. If it was "General Use" Laptops.. or "Gaming" Laptops.. or "Laptops Under $1000" etc etc.. it would be much easier to see some distinctions. In saying that also, I was trying to also highlight the fact that you could have a great laptop, which could possibly be better, but the model number is unknown to most people; not so with the Apple brand models.. their models are easily recognisable by name alone.

      For example I have a great laptop, which I am NOT saying is better than a MacBook Pro/Air.. this is just an example of the model number thing. It is a HP dv4-3029tx... now.. what is easier to remember.. MacBook Air (2011) or HP dv4-3029tx? :) hehe

        Horses for courses really, and yeah, they probably should have split the category a little more for specific uses.

        Example, the laptop I just purchased would absolutely destroy a similar priced Macbook at pretty much everything except the 'looking pretty' department:

    One reason I keep coming back to the MB range is how they perform after 2 years rather out of the box. I find other makes lose their performance over time much faster. Whether it is poor OS integration (too many wasteful processess) or componentry I am not sure.

    Thats my two cents.

      As you suggested, this is more about software than hardware. In particular, the sheer diversity and availability of Windows software means that users are more likely to bog their system down with shite they don't need, or forget about, than an Apple user.

      Being a nerd, I used my Toshiba and IBM notebooks for 5+ years and it was only accident and component wear (respectively) that eventually did them in. They lasted and performed well because I was mindful of my software.

    yep it's the best laptop for windows 7 before the ultrabooks

    Having just bought an Asus 11.6" Core i7 UX21 for $1230, I can no longer see why MB Air i a worthy winner here (it would cost $1899 in the same configuration). The Asus is every bit as well made, looks amazing and none of the negatives I've read in reviews are more than very minor niggles (most are a simple matter of adjustment). It wasn't even on my radar two weeks ago, I had no idea you could get a Core i7, but I am totally convinced today.

    I'd very much like to see the poll results not just the top place winner :/

    I Like my Macbook Pro .. and HATE os X with a passion

    If any other laptop had the same Formfactor and Trackpad i would switch today

    Sadly a good trackpad is so hard to find

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