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Heated debates, Lenovo netbooks, and pricey Macs: The week in laptops

We debate laptop mousing methods, Lenovo announces a Netbook, and school is starting soon, no matter how many times you wish for an endless summer. It's the week in laptops!

This swirl indicates time travel.

It's been a week of flashbacks, and not just because I went to a concert that featured '80s bands ABC and The Human League. I also (hypothetically) relived the '90s as the CNET laptop editors (hypothetically) debated the merits of touch pads versus pointing sticks. Turns out people are still very passionate about their preferred laptop mousing method; join the conversation by voting in our poll at the bottom of this post. Meanwhile, PC World flashed us back a decade or so by revisiting a classic debate: laptop or handheld?

Fortunately, we had some new releases to jolt us back into the present: Lenovo announced that it would be getting into the Netbook game with the IdeaPad S10; Hewlett-Packard confirmed it would launch an ultralight business notebook later this month; and the Dell Inspiron 1318 showed up at Wal-Mart Stores. We also had a chance to dream about the future, with rumors of an X200 Tablet and a redesigned MacBook circling the blogosphere.

Other dominant themes this week were gaming and back-to-school. MSI updated its GX line of gaming laptops to the Centrino 2 platform, and Asus released the oddly familiar-looking Eee Stick wireless game controller. CNET's Erica Ogg looked at the forecast for back-to-school computer sales, while the Reviews team continued to post reviews of laptops for students.

Also worth reading: students heading off to school might want to choose a laptop bag made from recycled materials; Asus' rumored "high-end" Eee PC was spotted in real life; and a laptop holding data on about 33,000 travelers was reported stolen, but then was found elsewhere in the office from which it had supposedly disappeared.

Finally, data from The NPD Group indicate that the prices of Windows laptops have dropped significantly over the last two years, while the prices of Apple laptops have basically held steady. Discuss.