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This week in laptops

Apple Macworld rumors, new Dell laptops, and the week's laptop reviews.


Bjorkfans sing along: It's oh, so quiet / Shhh, shhh / it's oh, so still / Shhh, shhh...

Few manufacturers want to interrupt the holiday buying season with new product announcements; why make the stuff currently sitting on shelves seem obsolete? Besides, two major shows--CES and Macworld--are just around the corner. So this week was filled with a little news and a lot of speculation.

First up: Apple. Matt Elliott redefined our notion of gadget lust in his write-up about the LED-backlit MacBooks, which are reportedly on the way in time for Macworld. But who wouldn't get a little steamy thinking about lighter, brighter MacBooks? Also gaining steam was the rumor of a 12-inch MacBook, which CNBC helped perpetuate. In the midst of all the Mac madness, Tom Krazit took a moment to riff on whether Apple can even deliver on the Mac's "brand promise."

Dell dominated headlines this week, too, with news that it would start selling computers at Best Buy and reports that its Latitude XT tablet will become available this Tuesday. Dell also launched a special World of Warcraft-themed edition of the XPS M1730. (We love the XPS M1730--in fact, we gave it a CNET Editors Choice award--but we do have to wonder if the $4,499 WoW edition is really just an expensive way to annihilate your love life.) Despite the product and partnership announcements, Dell did get bruised by recent market research, which indicates that it's losing market share to Taiwanese giant Acer.

At CNET Reviews this week we kept our eyes on the budget, with in-depth looks at the $849 Toshiba Satellite M205 as well as the $899 Fujitsu LifeBook V1010. CNET blogger Michael Horowitz dispensed advice about purchasing replacement laptop batteries. Gadgette Molly Wood posted a few resources for women's laptop bags. And Crave Asia's Reuben Lee shared a port replicator that connects to your laptop via the ExpressCard slot.

Other stories worth reading: Intel is reportedly poised to announce 45-nanometer laptop processors on January 6; Microsoft is serious about getting Windows XP on the One Laptop Per Child project's XO laptop, but the hardware presents a challenge; JetBlue is testing out Wi-Fi on flights; and PC World has a how-to on protecting data on your laptop's hard drive.

Finally, a team of reporters from Webware and compiled some predictions about where technology is headed in 2008.

Have a great weekend!