Almost five months on from our last notebook roundup, where we were slightly unsettled and amazed that it was possible to call the latest notebooks 'desktop replacements' and actually mean it, the PC Authority team is back with another comprehensive round up of mobile monsters.
It's a perfect time to buy a notebook – you're heading back to school, starting the new year at work, want to fit out your workforce with low-cost mobiles, or maybe just need something for home – whatever your reason, and we have eleven awesome models here that won't break your budget.
This is because we were quite stern with manufacturers: no notebook submitted for review could cost over $2,500. That's quite a low pricing target to meet, but many were able to just get under the fiscal limbo bar, and some even had plenty of extra room to spare.
While this means you won't be finding the fastest notebooks available in the following pages, you will find plenty of bargains and we guarantee you'll be surprised at the specifications.
One thing we noted was the preponderance of desktop processors in the notebooks. A desktop processor is traditionally cheaper and faster than its mobile counterpart, so it's no surprise that many of the smaller manufacturers took this gambit.
Be wary though, as desktop chips consume more battery juice and run hotter so the notebook has to be fitted out with better cooling and at the same time, your battery won't last quite as long.
Until Intel's Banias (now named Centrino) processor comes out, it's up to you to decide which chip to use: it's a trade-off between longevity and system performance.
There are a few notable names that aren't in this Labs. This is either because they don't sell such inexpensive models or are like Dell and IBM, and were caught right between product line changes.