GATEWAY 450X, $1,600
ASSETS: This handsome unit sports a vivid 15-inch screen and strong sound from speakers.
LIABILITIES: The cooling fan runs noisily, and the video editing software isn’t always reliable.
BOTTOM LINE: Lots of goodies for the price.
IBM THINKPAD T40, $3,249
ASSETS: Super-fast Pentium M processor ready for 802.11a, 802.11b, and Bluetooth wireless protocols.
LIABILITIES: Blink. Squint. Yes, $3,000-plus for the maxed-out package, though cheaper versions are available.
BOTTOM LINE: For those focused on power, not price, this is the ticket.
MORE INFO:www.ibm.com or (888) 746-7426
APPLE POWERBOOK G4,
ASSETS: Lightweight (4.6 pounds) notebook ready for the latest Wi-Fi flavor, 802.11g; carries world-beating iTunes software.
LIABILITIES: The 12-inch screen seems retro already, but you can upgrade.
BOTTOM LINE: Another elegant tool for the Mac minority.