The Ten Best Laptops

Power notebook, Sony VGN-A117S, £1,811

If you're looking for a laptop to replace a desktop PC then Sony has the right model, provided you can afford it. It has a 17-inch wide screen, oodles of processing power, and a large hard drive for storage. Back-up is provided by a dual-format DVD writer and there are wireless and Bluetooth facilities, too.

(020-7365 2947; www.sonystyle.co.uk)

64-bit notebook, Acer Aspire 1502LMi, £1,109

AMD's 64-bit technology has been making its way into the laptop market in recent months. This means you can now have a notebook that goes like the clappers and that will also be able to run the operating systems and applications of the future. The price is very reasonable too.

(0870 900 2237; www.acer.co.uk)

Performance notebook, Hi-Grade Notino C7000, £1,174

The Notino C7000 completed our benchmark tests faster than all but a handful of notebooks we've seen (and a good deal of high-end desktop PCs as well). It weighs less than 3kg so it's quite portable, and it has integrated wireless networking capabilities too.

(020-8532 6111; www.higrade.com)

Style notebook, Rock Xtreme, £1,607 inc VAT

The Xtreme from Rock is a good-looking, if somewhat bulky laptop. The warranty offers a generous three years of cover, while the software bundle is great and will please gamers in particular. The case comes in three different colours - black, red and blue - and all have an attractive, glossy finish.

(0870 990 8888; www.rockdirect.com)

Gaming notebook, AJP D870P, £1,409

Equipped with a Mobility Radeon M11 card from ATI, the D870P from AJP is the perfect notebook even for playing the latest 3D games. It has a 17-inch screen as well, so it has plenty of visual impact, and the 3.4GHz Pentium 4 chip means that it isn't short of processing power, either.

(020-8208 9710; www.ajp.co.uk)

Battery life notebook, ACI Vision Pro, £1,408

If you're looking for a laptop to use on the move then you'll want it to have a long battery life. The Vision Pro from ACI is the best notebook we've ever seen in this regard, as it ran for more than four and a half hours in our tests before it finally conked out. The performance isn't bad either.

(020-8830 1958; www.aciplc.com)

Power book, Apple PowerBook G4 1.5GHz, £1,949

There are alternatives to taking the Microsoft route, and you might fancy the largest PowerBook G4, with its 17-inch screen. Nothing that size is going to be very mobile, and it's certainly not cheap, but the screen and the processing power it offers make it a viable desktop replacement. It also comes with wireless and Bluetooth as standard.

(0800 039 1010; www.apple.com/uk)

Robust notebook, Elonex Soliton Safari, £1,245

A notebook that is constantly on the road with its owner is likely to take a fair old battering over time, so Elonex have made sure that the Soliton Safari is capable of withstanding a bit of punishment. Although it is a little bit bulky it offers a good set of components for a reasonable price.

(020-8452 2444; www.elonex.co.uk)

Ultra-portable notebook, Toshiba Tecra M2, £1,762

Ideal for a business person who is constantly on the move, the Tecra M2 from Toshiba weighs only 2.2kg, offers more than four hours of battery life and runs Microsoft Windows XP Professional Edition. It also breezed through our performance tests, running just as quickly as many supposedly better 64bit notebooks.

(0870 220 2202; www.toshiba.co.uk)

Budget notebook, Packard Bell EasyNote F5, £699

If you don't have much cash to spare, then you might want to consider this budget option from Packard Bell. The brand has always been a firm favourite with first-time buyers, and while this particular range of laptops will struggle with anything very complex, it'll suit you fine if you only want to do a bit of word processing and spreadsheet work.

(0870 112 2334; www.packardbell.co.uk)

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