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Laptops

Best laptops of 2006

We round up the best notebooks of 2006 with something for everyone: from snazzy ultraportables to desk-bound behemoths.

There is no real way you can talk about the best laptops in 2006 without mentioning the explosive effect that Intel processors have had this year.

Though Intel has always had the jump on AMD in the mobile stakes, Core 2 Duo not only pulled the carpet out from under their competition, but also tore off their legs and beat them with the wet ends.

It's unsurprising then, that all of these notebooks -- including the Macs! -- include an Intel processor, with many of them recently upgraded to Core 2 Duo processors.

One company that especially stood out this year was Taiwanese manufacturer Asus. Since making the transition from obscure PC component manufacturer to lifestyle innovators, they have released some of the most stylish and practical notebooks available. In a year which saw them reinvent the laptop as a leather-bound fashion accessory, it's not surprising to see two of their notebooks make our list.

Also notable is the contribution of Fujitsu, which isn't as well known as a notebook brand as HP or Dell, but their combination of sound design and power conservation has seen them receive two places in our list.

The top 10 you see here covers every type of notebook available: from ultraportables like the Fujitsu LifeBook Q2010, to all-in-one media centres like the Toshiba Qosmio G30. Every notebook listed here is deserving of your attention, so it just depends on what you want to use it for. We're sure you'll find something to suit your needs.


Sony VAIO VGN-TX27GP Sony VAIO VGN-TX27GP

Our new favourite ultra-portable, the Sony VAIO VGN-TX27GP offers up a superb design, brilliant battery life and a great blend of multimedia features.

Toshiba Qosmio G30 Toshiba Qosmio G30

Although the benefit of HD DVD is questionable, the Toshiba Qosmio G30 is still the most feature-rich home entertainment notebook we've seen to date.

ASUS V1J
ASUS V1J

The V1J doesn't come cheap but it offers very solid all-round performance and will suit a wide range of users thanks to its fingerprint reader, spill-proof keyboard and high resolution, non-glossy display.

Fujitsu LifeBook Q2010 Fujitsu LifeBook Q2010

The LifeBook Q2010 redefines how thin and gravity-defying a notebook can get. Unfortunately, being at the forefront of mobility requires a significant sacrifice to the feature set as well as your budget.

Apple MacBook
Apple MacBook

The new MacBook, updated to Intel's Core 2 Duo CPU, compares very favourably with Apple's high-end MacBook Pro line, offering premium performance at a reasonable price.

BenQ Joybook R55 BenQ Joybook R55

Given its impressive performance, generous software bundle and superb screen, at just AU$2299 the R55 is a rare bargain.

Dell Inspiron 6400 Dell Inspiron 6400

The Inspiron 6400 is a mid-range notebook with an entry-level price tag. It'll handle most applications nicely, but it's a little on the heavy side and isn't suitable for extensive gaming.

HP Pavilion dv2040TX HP Pavilion dv2040TX

HP's new line of entertainment notebooks not only delivers in features, but also goes the extra mile in redesigning the chassis to appeal to those with unconventional tastes.

ASUS U5F
ASUS U5F

Ignoring the low-resolution, standard aspect display, the U5F is a fast ultra-portable with great battery life.

Fujitsu LifeBook P1610
Fujitsu LifeBook P1610

Need a convertible tablet that's portable and works well? You can't go past Fujitsu's nifty little P1610.