There’s a lot of differentiation in the world of mobile computers that we had to separate them into multiple categories for our GOTY voting. This category is all about high-end laptops, which are powerful but not geared specifically towards gaming. And because a certain fruity company dominates the hearts and minds of consumers the world over, the winner probably won’t surprise you.

WINNER

Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch with Retina Display
Price: R35 499

Specifications
  • All-new Force Touch trackpad
  • Mac OS X
  • 2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor
  • 4-inch IPS LED-backlit display @ 2880-by-1800
  • 16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L onboard memory
  • AMD Radeon R9 M370X graphics
  • 256GB SSD PCIe-based flash storage
  • Thunderbolt 2 ports
  • 11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0
  • HDMI and USB 3 ports
  • Face Time HD camera for video calls
  • Dual mics and stereo speakers
  • Battery with up to 9 hours wireless web, up to 9 hours iTunes movie playback

Before Apple lost the plot and threw away all but one port on the newest MacBook Pro, there was the MacBook Pro with Retina Display. It embodied everything Apple is known for – amazing looks, that gorgeous unibody all-aluminium design, the right amount of power under the good and of course, the latest version of OS X.

But this model upped the ante even further with Apple’s “Retina” display technology that packs so many pixels onto the 15-inch screen that individual ones are no longer visible, making everything displayed look smooth and natural. Fantastic design coupled with excellent all-round performance and that amazing keyboard Apple has earned a well-deserved reputation for, and it’s no wonder that South Africans fell in love with it, as shown by the MacBook Pro’s 3.4% lead over its nearest competition, Dell’s excellent XPS13.

Votes
Percentage of votes: 30.1%
Runners-up: Dell XPS13 (26.7%), Lenovo Carbon X1 (17.4%)

Journalist’s choice

Brendyn Zachary

While many journos envy the brightly lit Apple logo, the Dell XPS13 has been a piece of kit that gives me goosebumps everytime I see somebody pull one out of their backpack. The notebook is gloriously thin and powerful enough to crunch the most complex of spreadsheets. Best of all it’s light, thin and you can ditch Windows for Linux if you prefer. There are enough ports for even the most ardent peripheral enthusiast, and the the overall design is so sleek and sexy I’m still scratching my head as to why MacBooks are so popular.

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.