Laptops that Work Hard and Play Harder
By Ted C. Fishman

(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.

BETTER $1,499

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.

BEST $2,899

Panasonic W2 Imported from Japan and modified for Americans by, 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