Media Center laptops fall into the increasingly popular category of desktop replacements: seven-pound-plus big-screen beasts that will rarely, if ever, sit on your lap. Why go with a laptop if it's not going to hit the road? Because they take up very little space, move easily from room to room, and stow away completely when not in use. The ideal choice is a widescreen model (the better to watch 16x9 DVDs) with digital-audio output for connecting to surround-sound speakers. Instant-on capability is another nice touch, allowing you to enjoy TV, CD and DVD entertainment without booting the entire Windows operating system. The downside to laptops, though, is their limited capacity
for upgrades. Any add-ons--a bigger hard drive, more TV tuners,
a faster DVD drive--will most likely have to be external.