Toshiba Qosmio G35 Most tricked-out multimedia laptop

Toshiba Qosmio G35

This third-generation Qosmio delivers a best-in-class multimedia experience that's built on a state-of-the-art set of components, including Intel's new Core Duo chipset. It also boasts virtually every feature under the sun, including an HD-DVD drive. As with past models, the Qosmio G35 offers one of the best 17-inch wide-screen displays around and an integrated TV tuner, as well as a full complement of ports and connections, a rocking set of stereo speakers, and an unparalleled set of multimedia controls.

Sony VAIO SZ Best balance between portability and usability


The 3.8-pound Sony VAIO SZ isn't the lightest laptop available--even within Sony's lineup--but it manages to be eminently portable without sacrificing a readable screen or a usable keyboard. Even better, the VAIO SZ has all of the features a business user will need, from an integrated microphone and Webcam for videoconferencing to a fingerprint scanner for security, not to mention a solid array of components, such as an Intel Core Duo processor and an Nvidia graphics card.

Lenovo ThinkPad X60s Best ultraportable notebook for business

Lenovo ThinkPad X60s

The latest model in the ThinkPad X series, the ultraportable X60s improves upon the previous generation by adding a few more features, including built-in WWAN connectivity and the latest Intel Core Duo processors. It still lacks a built-in optical drive, but the X60s does include that fabulous ThinkPad keyboard, making it the better choice if comfortable typing is more valuable to you than viewing CDs and DVDs. And if you can do without a built-in optical drive, we think the ThinkPad X60s delivers a best-in-class balance of comfort, performance, battery life, and portability.

Gateway NX100X Best budget ultraportable design

Gateway NX100X

With a sleek black case, brushed-aluminum details, and dark blue status lights, the NX100X looks like a minimalist's dream laptop. The impact on your bottom line will also be minimal: the NX100X costs significantly less than competitive models. Though that minimalism extends to features as well (among other omissions, the NX100X lacks a built-in optical drive), if you're looking for an extremely portable and stylish laptop and can do without a built-in optical drive, the Gateway NX100X is a solid, economical choice.

HP Compaq Presario V5000Z Most affordable laptop

HP Compaq Presario V5000Z

The Presario V5000Z is a solid all-around notebook for a student or a home user who needs good--not great--performance and a fairly complete set of basic features, including a LightScribe double-layer optical drive and a multiformat media-card reader. Best of all, its starting price of just $549 makes the V5000Z one of the least expensive base models on the market.

Dell XPS M1710 Best gaming laptop

Dell XPS M1710

With the XPS M1710, the company adds just a few aesthetic curlicues to the same basic form factor found on Dell's other 17-inch wide-screen models, upgrades it to Intel's Core Duo platform, and drops in Nvidia's new top-shelf GeForce Go 7900 GTX GPU. The unsurprising result: an extremely pricey system that extends the company's dominance of our gaming benchmark tests and solidifies Dell's reputation as the vendor to beat in the gaming laptop market. If you're a hard-core gamer who's looking to play the newest games (Oblivion, F.E.A.R.) at the highest settings, this is the best system that (a lot of) money can buy.

Panasonic ToughBook 74 Best laptop for the extremely accident-prone

Panasonic ToughBook 74

It's expensive and bulky, but the Panasonic ToughBook 74 incorporates some of the design principles used for its military-grade laptops into a more consumer-friendly "business rugged" model that's designed to withstand everyday abuses. We tossed this thing around, dropped it on cement, and spilled a total of five cups of coffee on its keyboard--still running. Given the ToughBook 74's $2,999 starting price, though, we recommend it for users who are likely to do most of their computing beyond the office, airplane, or hotel room and whose laptop will need to withstand extreme abuse.

Sony VAIO UX Best microtablet


The tiny Sony VAIO UX has a 4.5-inch (diagonal) wide-screen display that slides up to reveal a QWERTY keypad. Despite its small size, the UX runs on a full-fledged laptop CPU, a full version of Windows XP, and a touch-screen interface. Weighing 1.2 pounds, the VAIO UX has 1,024x600 native resolution display, is equipped with some pretty modest components, and has tons of networking connections. And--remarkable for such a small device--the Sony VAIO UX makes room for two cameras as well as a biometric fingerprint scanner, headphone and mic jacks, a USB port, and a Memory Stick slot. Unfortunately, the small form factor comes at a steep price: $1,799.

MacBook Pro Best laptop design

MacBook Pro

With the MacBook Pro, Apple hasn't radically redesigned the PowerBook form factor--and that's a good thing. The sleek, aluminum MacBook Pro is slightly wider, thinner, and lighter than the 15-inch PowerBook, striking a successful compromise between portability and usability. What's more, the MacBook Pro delivers unparalleled style and a solid set of features and software, though a few transitional performance issues keep it from rivaling the most powerful PC laptops.

Dell XPS M2010 Best laptop that's not a laptop

Dell XPS M2010

Something between an all-in-one desktop PC and a proper laptop, the XPS M2010 accommodates a foldout 20-inch display, a detachable Bluetooth keyboard, a premium set of components, and most of the trappings of a modern Media Center PC, including an impressive sound system; a pop-up, slot-loading DVD player; and an integrated video camera and microphone for videoconferencing. It's a striking feat of engineering that's sure to garner attention in a stylish home or on a multimedia-intensive sales call, although at $3,500, the target market here is clearly those for whom money is no object.

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