Battery life is slender, but you'll have this jewel plugged in most of the time. Just one word of advice: Don't keep dinner waiting while you get lost in Battlefield Vietnam or Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow.
Apple PowerBook G4 17-inch
Macs may always attract a relatively small minority of buyers, but that doesn't mean they should be ignored - and nobody's ignoring the elegant PowerBooks. In fact, numerous players on the PC side of the aisle have swiped a trick or two from these gorgeous notebooks. One of the most eye-catching is the large but still sleek-looking 17-inch model, whose 6.9 pounds also makes it one of the lighter desktop replacement units on the market.
If you're a frequent flyer, you've probably seen PowerBooks draw envious glances for their incredible screen brightness and the illuminated characters on the keyboard. No red-eye squinting here. The AirPort Extreme wireless networking is also ready for 802.11g, one of the newer, faster flavors of Wi-Fi. Among many nice touches, here's a cool one: An external battery gauge lets you check the power level without booting up.
This model is billed as a "desktop replacement," and boy, is it. It's a hefty 8.8 pounds, for starters, so it's most comfortable in your home office, but it's also dense with features you'd expect from a desktop machine. The keyboard is full-size. The 17.1-inch wide-format screen means you won't have to compromise display-wise. Likewise in the speed department, thanks to a Pentium 4 processor and gigabit Ethernet.