Alienware Area-51 M5790

This stylish notebook, with a 1920×1200-pixel, widescreen 17-inch monitor, costs $2,439, direct. Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium is inside, along with a 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM, fast 7200 rpm 100GB hard drive, a 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon X1800 graphics card, and a Media Center remote control. Must-haves include a Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW burner, Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, and a Bluetooth USB adapter. (www.alienware.com)

Apple MacBook Pro

Want to run the Mac OS and Windows XP? This $2,500 Apple can do both! Packed into a 1-inch high, 6.5-pound frame you’ll find a 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 15.4-inch, 1440×900- pixel widescreen monitor, ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics card, illuminated keyboard, iSight webcam, 6x Dual-Layer SuperDrive, 120GB hard drive, and 2GB RAM. Stay connected with FireWire 800 and 400, Airport Extreme Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GB Ethernet. (www.apple.com)

Dell XPS M1710

The red running lights on this $2,873 laptop add to its wow factor. So do its 17-inch widescreen monitor with 1920×1200 pixels, 512MB NVIDIA GeForce Go 7950 GTX Graphics card, 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB DDR2 RAM memory, 80GB hard drive, 8x Dual-Layer DVD+RW burner, 5-in-1 memory card reader, and subwoofer and speakers. It’s loaded with Windows Vista Home Premium plus FireWire 400, Ethernet, and Hi-Speed USB 2.0 jacks. (www.dell.com)

Hewlett-Packard Pavilion dv9000

This laptop is stuffed with features and accessories for only $2,220. Basics include a 17-inch, 1440×900-pixel widescreen monitor, 512MB NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 Graphics card, 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB RAM memory, and a 120GB hard drive. Extras? Try an integrated webcam and microphone, LightScribe Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW burner, Windows Vista Home Premium, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, Express Card TV Tuner, and Microsoft Works. (www.hp.com)

Sony Vaio VGN-AR370

Photos and HDTV videos look great on this $2,410 laptop’s 17-inch widescreen, 1920×1200-pixel monitor. Options include an NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 GT graphics card, 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 2GB RAM, and a 160GB (80GB x 2) hard drive. Pluses include a built-in webcam, Dual- Layer DVD+/-RW burner, Windows Vista Home Premium, Fast Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Ethernet connectivity, Microsoft Works 8.5, and Sony Photo Plus software. (www.sonystyle.com)