Best of 2004

At a Glance
Page 3 of 10

Computers

General-Purpose PC

Dell Dimension 4600

The 4600 line continues Dell's tradition of building strong-performing systems that can be configured to your liking. Dell's range of processors, optical drives, sound systems, and other components let you get a basic or decked-out PC for a reasonable price. $749 to $1500

Performance PC

Alienware Aurora Extreme FX 53

Alienware Aurora Extreme FX 53
Photograph: Wendi Nordeck

You want fast? The AMD Athlon 64 FX-53-based Aurora Extreme obliterated the competition in our tests, notching the fastest-ever PC WorldBench 4 score of 150. Though pricey, our test system (with CRT monitor and speakers) costs less than similar PCs from fellow elite builders Voodoo PC and Falcon Northwest. $4619

Specialty PC

Hush Technologies Hush ATX

Hush Technologies Hush ATX

A model of elegant design, the Hush ATX is the first PC to combine good performance and quiet operation. Using today's mainstream processors (we tested a 2.8-GHz Intel Pentium 4-based unit), the Hush ATX uses a unique heat pipe system to dissipate heat through its aluminum-finned case, eliminating the need for noisy fans. Available in business or media-savvy configurations, the Hush ATX should be welcome anywhere silence is golden. $2264

Desktop Replacement Notebook

Toshiba Satellite P25

Toshiba Satellite P25

Toshiba's Satellite P25 tips the scales at over 10 pounds, but its large frame holds lots of features. It blends entertainment (with a beautiful 17-inch wide-screen LCD, fantastic sound, and Windows XP Media Center), speed (courtesy of a 3.2-GHz Pentium 4), and flexibility (with 80GB of storage and a DVD burner that supports all DVD formats). This powerful configuration makes the P25 the ideal desktop replacement. $2599

Ultraportable Notebook

IBM ThinkPad X40

With the ThinkPad X40, IBM has perfected the ultraportable. Not only is it extremely thin--barely an inch top to bottom when closed--but it weighs a mere 2.8 pounds. Despite its small size, the X40 has a comfortable keyboard and a bright, sharp 12.1-inch screen. Powered by a low-voltage 1-GHz Pentium M processor, the X40 turns in sprightly performance to boot. $2024

Tablet PC

Toshiba Portégé M200

Toshiba Protege M200

A notebook with a twist (that is, the screen twists and folds flat onto the keyboard), the Portégé M200 series lets you use a digitizing pen to jot down notes at meetings, or you can type on it as if it were a traditional notebook. Microsoft's OneNote software is included, for keeping your scribbled notes organized. $2199

At a Glance
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