With 2012 shaping up to be a bumper year for laptops, we look back at the highest scoring machines of 2011.
With Windows 8, Ivy Bridge CPUs, native Thunderbolt/USB 3.0 support and even quicker boot times coming in 2012, it looks to be an exciting year. Last year's tech seems rather tame in comparison, with even the end-of-year ultrabook launch failing to ignite imaginations.
It was the year where the netbook failed to excite anyone anymore, AMD's long-awaited CPU refreshes didn't meet expectations, and both Nvidia and AMD simply re-branded their existing graphics cards rather than making new ones. At least USB 3.0 was found on almost every laptop, even without Intel's support — although the maximum speed didn't even touch the theoretical ratings. Many people bought tablets instead.
Still, it was hard to go really wrong with a laptop. With ever-falling prices, laptops started becoming a commodity rather than premium items. Many sub-AU$1000 laptops are now excellent, with only poor battery life holding them back. We've reached a "good enough" phase, where for the price, there's really not much to complain about.
So here it is: the highest-scoring laptops of 2011. Keep in mind that some of these may have been superseded, as the round-up covers the entire year.