Many Gadgets, One Carry-On Bag

One carry-on bag, zero checked baggage. The concept seems absolutely Zen-like in its simplicity. Given that American Airlines and other carriers now charge for every checked bag, the strategy can help cut your travel costs, too.

But for mobile professionals toting a laptop and other gear, how practical is the one-bag-only approach? For a recent trip from San Francisco to Charlotte, North Carolina, I decided to find out.

A 25-Pound Shoulder Bag?

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Mac vs. Windows Laptops

A few weeks ago, I bought my first Apple laptop, the MacBook Air. I've never loved a laptop more. The skinny profile, the ease of carrying it around, the full-sized keyboard and screen, the slick Mac OS X Leopard operating system, the...

Okay, enough of that. I'm not interested in writing another "Macs are great, Windows computers are dog meat" religious conversion story. I've been using both Macs and Windows PCs for years. Each has its pros and cons.

Instead, I'm interested in addressing the lingering concern about Macs: They're more expensive than comparable Windows machines.

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Laptop Buying Tips, Part 3

This week I conclude my three-part series of articles offering tips for buying a laptop.

The series began with a comparison of reader survey results from PC World and Consumer Reports (subscription required). The results showed that Lenovo and Apple deliver the most reliable products and the best service and support. The next article offered a look at top laptops from Lenovo, Apple, and Acer (which also did fairly well in PC World reader surveys), and gave advice on best times to buy a new laptop.

This week I'll cover the best places to buy a new laptop; how much to pay for it; and how to finance it.

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