Laptops that Work Hard and Play Harder
(MONEY Magazine) – GOOD $1,424
IBM ThinkPad X40 IBM's smallest (a 12.1-inch screen) has the best keyboard in the business and a rugged shell. You can add up to two extra batteries at once for a long flight. There's no CD or DVD drive, though, so if you want to watch your own movies, you'll have to store them on your hard drive.
Apple iBook G4 It's great for traveling photographers and video makers, with all the right software included. Bright, beautiful displays make this a fine pick for DVD watching. The 14-inch screen is about as big as you can go without being blocked from opening the laptop by the airplane seat in front of you.
Panasonic W2 Imported from Japan and modified for Americans by Dynamism.com, this 12.1-incher excels with a huge hard drive, DVD and a battery that runs 7.5 hours. Just 2.8 pounds, it still takes abuse: With a special housing for its drive, it can survive a short drop that would kill others. --TED C. FISHMAN