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Top 10 most interesting notebooks


by Russell Kay, Cynthia Morgan, David Essex and Tom Thompson

(IDG) -- Here's a look at 10 interesting notebooks, ranging from diminutive but powerful travel companions to huge-and-heavy laptops you'd probably rather not have to carry far. If you can't find one here that sounds interesting, you probably don't need or want a notebook!

A bumper crop of notebook PCs

  1. IBM ThinkPad 240: This, the smallest full-power computer IBM makes, is actually quite close in size and weight to its Windows CE cousin, the WorkPad Z50. But the 240 sports a bigger screen, more RAM, a hard drive and Windows 98, all making it a much more useful computer.

  2. Compaq Armada M300: Compaq Computer Corp.'s latest sidearm for the traveling computer user is a very neat machine. The main computer, minus all removable storage, is contained in a small package that's eminently usable. Plenty of CPU horsepower, memory and a good-size hard drive let you work anywhere.

  3. Sharp Actius Pro A280: Perhaps none of the notebook computers in this list is so subtle and so elegant as Sharp Corp.'s Actius Pro A280. It's less than 3 lb. and less than 1.25 in. at its thickest, with a bright, clear screen and a surprisingly good keyboard.

  4. Acer TravelMate 342T: Acer America Corp.'s new TravelMate 340 series notebooks are a wonderful compromise of light weight and supportability, ease of use and power. And its addition of mobile videoconferencing isn't bad, either.

  5. Compaq Armada M700: If you opt for Compaq, you can pay a bit extra for the more stable, expandable Armada platform...

  6. Compaq ProSignia 170: ...or save a few bucks with the silvery Prosignia version of this midline Superslim notebook. Either way, you're getting a good, solid workhorse of a machine.

  7. IBM ThinkPad 600E: For a two-spindle machine, this is about as good as it gets, combining a good keyboard, well-done pointing device and a great display into the smallest possible case that will contain them.

  8. Gateway Solo 9300XL: A few years ago, the only notebooks that were really viable as desktop replacements were top-of-the-line, 9-lb., $5,000 behemoths. But notebook vendors have introduced newer, lighter, less-expensive notebooks that still give all the necessary speed, screen quality and storage options. Enter Gateway Inc.'s new Solo 9300XL.

  9. Apple Powerbook: This Apple Computer Inc. system has a 400-MHz PowerPC 750 (G3) processor, 1M byte of cache RAM, 192M bytes of RAM, a 6G-byte hard drive and a DVD drive. An ATI graphics controller with 8M bytes of video memory drives the clear 14.1-in. 1,024-by-768-pixel active matrix display and can show full-screen 3-D graphics using millions of colors.

  10. Dell Latitude CPi 400: Computerworld is replacing its editors' and reporters' laptops with this new 400-MHz, 14-in. notebook.

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Year 2000 World
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