Toshiba Portégé M400-S5032; $1,700; www.toshibadirect.com
Raph Koster, President, Areae
As a game developer, I've long used a tablet PC for sketching and a notebook for basic computing needs like e-mail and word processing. Last year I set out to find a combo device and discovered that the Toshiba Portégé had just about everything I was looking for.
Like most new enterprise notebooks, it has Bluetooth, a DVD player, a fingerprint reader, and a built-in microphone. But it also has a screen that swivels 180 degrees and converts into a tablet, where my scribbled notes appear as typed text. In meetings I can turn the 12-inch screen outward so others can see what I'm doing, which is a much more dynamic way to convey ideas than static PowerPoint slides.
True, the Portégé does weigh nearly 5 pounds. And it should be noted that the model I bought a year ago (the M405-S8003) is no longer sold by Toshiba, having been replaced by this nearly identical Vista-powered version. I'm pretty happy with my Portégé, though, so I don't see myself needing to upgrade anytime soon.