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December 16, 2004

THIS ISN'T GIZMODO, but judging from my email some people would like it to be. Reader Matt Lierman emails:

Since you're an expert of everything tech, what would you recommend for a good notbook PC. Something light, portable and just basic. Let's face it, irrespective of all the additional hardware thrown in, most people just use them for word processing and spreadsheets, maybe some websurfing via wifi. Just your basic notebook PC for word and excel....

Yeah, my ideal laptop would have a huge battery, wifi, and relatively few other bells and whistles. That pretty much describes my old NEC Daylite Versa 120, which had a huge secondary battery that let it run for 8 or 9 hours. Unfortunately, the built-in charger for the secondary battery died, and it would have cost over $500 to fix (on a computer for which I paid only $995). So I put up a post with some thoughts, and wound up buying a Dell Inspiron 700m that also offers long battery life (I get about 6 hours with the big battery, which isn't bad considering its bright, clear display). It was more expensive, but a reader turned me on to the $750-off Dell coupon code that was floating around one day and I ordered it for a song. I've been quite happy with it, and it has a better display and a CD/DVD burner built in. If you're looking, I'd recommend looking through the reviews at CNET, as well as the Amazon customer reviews.

I'm not an expert on everything tech, though. I'm just a geek with a lot of readers he can ask.

UPDATE: Reader Chris Greer emails:

When people are asking for laptop recommendations, you should also mention the Apple PowerBook lineup. The PowerBooks are heralded on slashdot and other serious technology sites, they are light, very thin, have DVD burners, industry-leading displays, and the tremendously stable OSX. I switched to a PowerBook from my Dell and have never looked back. Maybe your iPod will also turn you on to the superior quality of Apple products.

Yeah, they're swell computers though I don't use one. (I guess I could run WordPerfect under VirtualPC, but I hear it's kind of slow). Still the Apples are great, and nowadays they're even more reasonably priced than they used to be.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Meanwhile, it's a gadgetfest here.