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Return of the little guys: the week in laptops

The netbook's second wave, more back-to-school laptops, and rumors galore. It's the week in laptops!

Grab your board; another wave of netbooks is coming!

It was nice while it lasted. After a multi-week break from overwhelming netbook news, we were hit with a second tidal wave of tiny systems from Asus, Acer, and Sylvania. Feeling a little left out of the party, LG is supposedly mulling over a netbook of its own. Rumor has it that HP is contemplating a low-cost version of its 2133 Mini-Note. And Asus, not quite content with its many varieties of Eee PC, is reportedly working toward "whole-day" battery life on its netbooks.

The elderly among us may remember that before there were netbooks, there was the ultra-mobile PC. We got one of those this week, too, in the form of a prototype from Toshiba.

In Reviews, we continued through the queue of off-the-shelf laptops for the back-to-school season. Up this week: the 15.4-inch Compaq Presario CQ50 and Toshiba Satellite L305-S5875, plus the 14.1-inch HP Pavilion dv2945se. We've also declared our favorite back-to-school laptops for the $600-$700 and the $700-$800 price ranges.

Also worth reading: Panasonic refreshed two Toughbook laptops; an Intel exec confirmed a quad-core mobile processor for August; bloggers speculated about a possible "MacBook Touch" in the third quarter of this year; we compared three different configurations of the Dell Inspiron 1525; and the fine folks at NotebookReview continued their series of explanations, this time digging into how processors work.

Finally, if you plan to configure a new laptop anytime soon, make sure you're not buying RAM you can't use.

Have a great weekend!