The lowdown on power-user notebooks

What is it? A power-user notebook pushes one or more of the limits of technology. Just which limits it stretches will depend on the precise job it is being required to do.

Why do I need it? If you are the average user, you don't need one of these computers, but some road warriors have job requirements that put great demands on computing power, and they need notebook PCs that deliver.

Must-know info? There are inevitable trade-offs. For many users the required performance will not mean buying the most expensive computer. Far from it.

For example, to get the most battery life, you can't specify the fastest computer with the largest amount of memory or options. Although the power-user notebook is often the most expensive sold by a particular company, for some vendors this means less than $2,000.

The most expensive notebooks aren't the fastest but instead the most rugged.

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