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Consumer Reports Shows Which Laptops Are The Best

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Laptops are not just for travel anymore, and people are paying plenty to make sure they do everything a desktop will.

Consumer Reports

shows which ones are worth the expense.

Many people are trading their desktops for laptops.

"Space is limited, and this takes up relatively nothing. It's just as good as a desktop," tester Dan Ostrowski said.

Consumer Reports

just evaluated eight mid-priced laptops costing between $1,400 and $1,700. Testers commented on how the screens on laptops have gotten bigger and crisper over the last few years.

"On the older laptops, unless you looked just about head-on to them, the screen would get dim and kind of washed out," Ostrowski said.

Today's laptops allow you to see the screen clearly even at an angle, but the biggest news in laptops is how much they can do.

"Before with a laptop, you used to be able to either burn a CD or maybe play a DVD, but with the combo drives in the newer laptops, you can do both," tester Dean Gallea said.

Consumer Reports

gave top ratings to two laptops in its tests.

For Windows users, testers picked the $1,600 Dell Inspiron 4100. It weighs just over 6 pounds and has the longest battery life of all the laptops tested.

For Macintosh users, the Apple iBook is a very good choice. It costs $1,500, weighing five pounds.

Consumer Reports

adds that people who travel a lot with a laptop should consider getting damage insurance. Laptop screens are particularly vulnerable to breakage and repairs can be expensive.

©2002 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. All rights reserved.

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