PC World's Top 100If you're looking for an out-of-the-ordinary portable, one of these specialized notebooks might fit your needs.
Freelance writers Richard Jantz and Carla Thornton, and PC World editors Laura Blackwell, Eric Butterfield, Tracey Capen, Kalpana Ettenson, Rebecca Freed, Dan Sommer, and Alan Stafford contributed to the Top 100 section this month. Ulrike Diehlmann, Julio Giannobile, Elliott Kirschling, Jeff Kuta, Tony K. Leung, Thomas Luong, Ibrahim Reyhanoglu, and William Wang of the PC World Test Center performed testing on the products that are reviewed in this section, with logistical support provided by Julian Weatherby.
Forget about extreme makeovers and extreme sports: 2004 marks the emergence of extreme notebooks.
The selection of portable computers has expanded from generous in the 1990s to almost ridiculously eclectic today. Now we see truly ultralight notebooks, desktop replacement notebooks equipped with enormous screens, convertible tablet notebooks, rugged notebooks for a range of rigorous conditions, and gaming notebooks fast enough to challenge desktop PCs. Pick a form of extreme computing, and you can probably find a notebook to fill the bill. (For more, read "Extreme Computing.")
Your Guide to the Top 100
Each month, we test a large number of PCs, printers, monitors, and other products. Only the best products land on the charts, which are refreshed monthly.
Configurations are shown as tested. The overall rating for each product is calculated on a 100-point scale and reflects results from our hands-on evaluations and performance tests. A 90-point score is exceptional, while one in the 70s is above average.
For desktops and notebooks, the WorldBench 5 score is a measure of how fast a PC can run a mix of common business applications as compared with our baseline machine, a high-end PC with a 2.2-GHz Athlon 64 FX-51 processor and 1GB of RAM, as well as an NVidia GeForce FX 5950 Ultra graphics card with 256MB of RAM. For example, a PC that scores 120 is 20 percent faster than the baseline system. The support policies score is based on vendor support policies (not shown on charts). Click here for additional details on how we compile charts for the Top 100.