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This week in laptops

Dell XPS m1330 finally shipping, laptop makers face parts shortages, we review laptops big and small, and more.

Crave presents the week's laptop news, in digest form.

Good luck carrying that HP Pavilion HDX CNET Networks

The thin-and-light Dell XPS m1330, announced at the end of June, finally started shipping this week, though not before hundreds of customers gave Dell the what-for in the comments section of the company's Direct2Dell blog. Alex Gurzen, Dell's senior vice president of consumer products, blamed the delay on multiple unanticipated manufacturing issues, including a shortage of parts. His excuse gained some credibility the next day, when electronics market researcher DRAMeXchange declared that laptop makers are facing a components shortage that likely will worsen in the third quarter.

In reviews this week, we had a chance to look at laptops from across the size spectrum, starting with the supermodel-slim Toshiba Portege R500. Just 0.8 inch thick, this paper-thin beauty manages to pack a 12.1-inch screen into a 2.4-pound package. In the middle range, we looked at the Fujitsu LifeBook A6025, a pretty good, if boxy, 15.4-inch system with a low, low price of $949. We also spent some time with the 15.4-inch Acer Aspire 5920; with an HD DVD drive and tons of media features, this laptop is also a portable HD video player. A high-def laptop that's not so portable: the gigantic HP Pavilion HDX. The 20-inch "laptop"--the first we've seen to incorporate Intel's recently announced Core 2 Extreme X7800 processor--makes an excellent all-in-one entertainment system for the den, dorm room, or CEO's office.

Elsewhere in the news, an Apple patent filing sparked rumors of improved MacBooks coming in October; blogger Jean Aw admired the Knomo Slim laptop case; and CNET Labs manager Daniel Begun showed MacBook owners yet another way to get Windows on your Mac--though he didn't tell us why.

Finally, for those of you heading to campus this month, check out the laptop picks in our back-to-school gift guide. You can also browse our latest reviews of gaming laptops.

Have a great weekend!