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This week in laptops

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

This week, we dig the $599 Acer Aspire 4710. CNET Networks

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

Our Apple rumor of the week: A patent application describing collapsible ports, which would in theory allow for a slimmer laptop, prompted talk of the long-awaited ultraportable MacBook. Elsewhere in the rumor mill, Dell is reportedly poised to launch a 17-inch mobile workstation, the Precision M6300, at the end of the month. The workstation will supposedly include support for up to 8GB of system memory and an optional Blu-Ray optical drive.

In the world of actual products, Fujitsu announced two new tablets: the $999 LifeBook U810, which weighs 1.6 pounds and features a 5.6-inch screen, will start shipping September 18, while the $1,599 LifeBook T2010, which weighs 3.5 pounds and features a 12.1-inch LED-backlit display, is currently available. Undeterred by the dearth of software that takes advantage of four processing cores--or the lack of a mobile version of Intel's quad-core processors--Xtreme Notebooks launched a quad-core laptop with the option of two graphics cards and up to three hard drives. We just wonder if the fan noise will be loud enough to drown out our neighbor's leaf blower.

Matt Elliott's hunt for dirt-cheap laptops continues, and this week the 2-pound, $200 Asus Eee PC 701 caught his eye. We also reviewed the $599 Acer Aspire 4710 and the $999 Toshiba Satellite A215. And if you're looking for an inexpensive yet stylish bag to carry it all around in, check out our review of the Targus 15.4-inch messenger.

On the higher end, we reviewed Lenovo's portable workstation, the ThinkPad T61p, as well as the curious smart phone-UMPC hybrid, the HTC Advantage X7501. And if you're willing to pay a lot for a uniquely designed (and comfortable) laptop bag, consider the $148 CODi Sling-Pak.

One thing that we would definitely be willing to pay for: a laptop made of biodegradable plastic. Too bad they're currently only available in Japan. Elsewhere in the news, PC World rounds up their Top 10 Power Laptops; Logitech announced the V470 Laser Mouse for Notebooks (dig that blue color); Sprint said it would spend as much as $5 billion over the next three years on a WiMax network--a move that could bring faster wireless to notebook users; and we couldn't help but notice that this setup for biometric security in Iraq included a bunch of Panasonic ToughBooks.

Finally, CNET Labs manager Daniel Begun is a madman--how else to explain his detailed performance comparison of three different ways to run Windows on your Intel-based Mac?

Have a great weekend!