Thursday, July 26, 2007

21st Annual Shoppers' Choice Awards: Best Portables


DESKTOP-REPLACEMENT NOTEBOOK: Dell Inspiron E1705

The Inspiron E1705 packs a solid set of multimedia features, and with its Intel Core Duo processor (or optional Core 2 Duo), it has enough power to speed through virtually any task, from editing video to playing games. It also packs a bright 17-inch wide-screen display and a five-format flash- memory-card reader, while running Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005. If you're looking to ditch your desktop, the E1705 will make the switch easy.
Dell • 800-999-3355
Runners-Up:
Sony VAIO VGN-AR190G
Toshiba Qosmio G35
HP Pavilion DV2000
Apple MacBook Pro
Acer Aspire 9800

GAMING NOTEBOOK: Alienware Aurora m9700

Mobile gamers with deep pockets won't be disappointed by the Aurora m9700, which Alienware lets you configure with two nVidia graphics cards in an SLI configuration for maximum pixel-pushing power. The system features a bright, crisp 17-inch wide-screen display and a 1.3-megapixel Webcam so your online opponents can see the smug look on your face when you defeat them. As a final touch, if the Saucer Silver case isn't to your liking, you can upgrade to Conspiracy Blue or Cyborg Green.
Alienware • 800-254-3692
Direct Price: $1,799 (base model)
Runners-Up:
Dell XPS M1710
Toshiba Satellite P105-S921
Hypersonic Aviator FX7
Eurocom M590K Emperor

THIN-AND-LIGHT NOTEBOOK: Dell XPS M1210

It was a tight race, but the XPS M1210 narrowly beat out Apple's new MacBook for your favorite svelte portable. Offering a feature set that's a cut above, including a Core 2 Duo processor, a Serial ATA hard drive, a built-in optical drive, a comfortable keyboard, tons of ports, Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, and a sharp 12.1-inch wide-screen display, Dell packs a lot into this tiny, 4.4-pound system.
Dell • 800-999-3355
Runners-Up: Apple MacBook
Dell Latitude D620
Asus W5F
Averatec A V2260

ULTRAPORTABLE NOTEBOOK (UNDER 4 POUNDS): Sony VAIO TX

As always, Dell and its new subsidiary Alienware cleaned up most of your desktop and laptop awards, but the ultraportable category remained Sony's domain. The company's latest Lilliputian laptop impresses on the outside with its carbon-fiber casing, available in a choice of four colors. Despite weighing only 2.8 pounds, this ultraportable packs an 11.1-inch wide-screen display, an 80GB hard drive, a built-in optical drive, and three kinds of wireless connectivity: 802.11b/g, Bluetooth, and EDGE cellular. Good things do come in small packages.
Sony Electronics • 877-865-7669
Direct Price: $2,299 (base model)
Runners-Up:
Dell Latitude D420
Lenovo ThinkPad X60
Panasonic ToughBook W4
Fujitsu LifeBook Q2010
Lenovo 3000 V100

PDA OR HANDHELD PC: Palm Treo 700p

A lot of readers liked RIM's corporate BlackBerry models, but the Treo 700p narrowly edged them out as your top handheld device. With its gorgeous 2.5-inch screen, improved QWERTY keyboard, and support for Evolution Data Optimized (EV-DO) service, the 700p is a worthy successor to the popular Treo 650. Rivals are popping up seemingly every day to challenge the Treo's supremacy, but for now, it's still the smartphone to beat.
Palm • 800-881-7256
Runners-Up:
RIM BlackBerry 7130c
Motorola Q
Sony Ericsson W810i
T-Mobile Sidekick III