Top 15 Notebook PCs

SAN FRANCISCO (08/28/2000) - The newest light laptops--those equipped with one internal bay instead of two--are hot, as this month's chart attests. By leaving these units' external floppy drives at home, you can knock nearly a pound off their carrying weight, yet enjoy the same big screens and fast processors their heavier brethren offer.

Thin-and-light models from Acer, Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp., and Micron sashay down the runway and onto our list this month.

J750GT's Ferrari-like performance helped it capture the power Best Buy title.

IBM's ThinkPad T20, which earns fourth place on the power list this month, took the blue ribbon in our September roundup of travel notebooks with its elegant balance of weight and features. Weighing only 4.6 pounds with a travel module in its bay, the $3549 T20 includes standard notebook connections and a bigger screen--14.1 inches--for its case size than any other lightweight portable we've seen.

The IBM ThinkPad I Series 1210 captured our budget Best Buy with a low US$1278 price tag. If Dell's top-of-the-line, $3603 Latitude CPx J750GT is out of your class, look to the number two budget notebook, the $1658 Latitude CPt S500ST.

It offers the same basic design, but a less powerful configuration--and unfortunately, poorer battery life.

Contributing Editor Carla Thornton regularly covers notebooks for PC World.

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