3 Powerful Laptops Built for Serious Business

Looking for a laptop with serious processing power? CIO.com put three high-end laptops -- the Soni Vaio Flip 15, the HP ZBook 15 and the Acer Aspire V3 -- to the photo- and video-editing test to see which offers the best bang for the buck.

By John Brandon
Wed, January 08, 2014

CIO — In business, the faster you can deliver on a promise, the better. The three powerful, high-end laptops discussed here deliver data in microseconds. Each rates a chart-topping 5.9 on the Windows Experience Index, a score you can see in the Control Panel for each model. They're packed with the fastest Intel Core i7 processor available. They all max out on RAM, too.

So if each one hits the highest score, how do you know which one is really blazingly fast? How do you know which one will work best for finishing a sales video or touching up a photo you need for a marketing brochure. To find out, CIO.com put these workhorse machines through a few photo and video editing tests. One clear winner emerged.

Sony Vaio Flip 15: Gorgeous Display, Great Extras

Two unique features on this powerful high-end laptop set it apart. One is that the screen rotates into tablet mode; you just grab the screen, flip it up and it fold over. Unlike the iPad Air or a tablet such as the Nokia 2520 — neither of which run desktop apps — the Sony Vaio Flip 15 ($1,799) has a fast Intel Core i7 1.8GHz processor, not a slower mobile processor. Secondly, images look incredibly crisp on this laptop's high-resolution 2800 x 1620 screen.

Sony Vaio Fit 15A Flip PC
The Sony Vaio Fit 15A Flip PC. (Image via Sony.)

In our Adobe Photoshop CC test, an image resize to 600 percent took 1 minute, 16 seconds. In Adobe Premiere Pro CC, exporting five seconds of a 4K movie took 1 min, 7 seconds. Overall, that's the slowest of the three laptop models tested — though it's still plenty fast for such high-end work.

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