Fujitsu LifeBook N3500 series
Starting at $1,500, the Fujitsu LifeBook N3500 series has a good variety of components and accessories available; all systems have 533MHz system buses, a 1.7GHz Pentium M processor, a 15.4-inch screen, and an ATI Mobility Radeon X300 graphics accelerator with 64MB of dedicated video memory. The LifeBook N3500 series can hold up to 2GB of 400MHz memory chips; however, all models come with a pair of 256MB DIMM cards, so upgrading means having a DIMM card left over. We suggest spending the $75 Fujitsu charges to get a single 512MB card and leaving the second slot open for future use. Unfortunately, filling the machine up to 2GB adds $1,000 to the price tag--we recommend this only for extreme data hogs. Fujitsu offers 4,200rpm hard drives in 40GB, 60GB, 80GB, and 100GB capacities. But our favorite is a high-performance 60GB model. With a double-layer DVD burner, the LifeBook N3500 series handles just about every type of disc made. Your only Wi-Fi option is Intel's 802.11b/g wireless radio. Finally, you can get the LifeBook N3500 series without the TV tuner and save about $300. The machine comes standard with Windows XP Home; upgrading to Pro, unnecessary for most users, costs $100.