Stories by Carla Thornton

Twitter fans fall for 'premium account' hoax

April Fool's Day is still two weeks away, but many Twitterers have already been punked. It's a good one, too. Thursday's BBSpot spoof that reports Twitter has decided to charge for "premium" services is still tricking some Twitter users.

Gammatech Durabook D15TS all-purpose laptop

<a href="">Ruggedized laptops</a> don't have to be tanks -- with monstrous price tags and plodding speed to match. Take the $1338 Gammatech Durabook D15TS, a semiruggedized unit that offers extra protection without sacrificing looks, weight, affordability, features, or performance. It might not be armored heavily enough for a war zone, but the extra padding the D15TS does have will take knocks that the average laptop might not survive.

Sony VGN-NR485 all-purpose laptop

Except for an abrupt keystroke and uninspired sound, the Sony VGN-NR485 has few flaws. It performs well, looks handsome, and comes fairly loaded for <a href="">a laptop that you can snag for well under US$1000</a>.

Toshiba Satellite Pro L300D-EZ1001V laptop

You certainly won't find perfection in a US$649 laptop, but the Toshiba Satellite Pro L300D-EZ1001V does have a nice screen and sufficient processing power to get you through a day of e-mailing, wordsmithing, and listening to a little music. As a second laptop for your home office or a <a href="">very basic business portable</a>, the L300D-EZ1001V is ideal.

HP Pavilion dv7t desktop replacement laptop

The Pavilion dv7t is one of HP's "entertainment powerhouse" notebooks, just one step down from the ludicrously oversize 20-inch HDX. Beyond the 17-inch screen, and under the cool "liquid metal" exterior, lies Intel's new Centrino 2 processor. The result: high-octane performance in an extremely shiny package.

Lenovo ThinkPad X200 Ultraportable Laptop

Equipped with the new Centrino 2 processor, Lenovo's ThinkPad X200 looks a mild-mannered ultraportable, and yet it can leap tall workloads in a single bound. Its battery life is phenomenal, and the keyboard is huge. In short, this is a much better notebook than the ThinkPad X61, which it replaces, and a surefire winner for on-the-run execs.

Fujitsu Lifebook S7211 value laptop PC

The US$899 (as of 2/7/08) <a href=",56330126/pricing.html">Fujitsu LifeBook S7211 (model FPCM43471)</a> would make a good travel laptop for workers on a shoestring budget. This svelte Windows Vista Business laptop suffers from only two significant drawbacks: Its speed is so-so, and it can't burn DVDs. But if getting basic work done on the go is all you need, this attractive little unit might be just your cheap ticket.

Fujitsu LifeBook S6510 all-purpose laptop

The Fujitsu LifeBook S6510 is a slim and light laptop with a fairly big screen. Battery life is not bad, and you have the option of nearly doubling it by using two batteries at once. The S6510 is a pricey little unit, though, and it's slow and a bit limited in features compared with the competition. Unless its weight and screen size suit you perfectly, you should pass on this <a href=",131104/article.html">Windows Vista Business laptop</a>--you can get a better-performing portable for the same price.