CRN has reviewed and compared several notebooks and laptops that runs on Microsoft Windows XP Media Center edition. The powerhouse notebook computers been reviewed are Toshiba America Qosmio G35-AV600, Acer TravelMate 8200, Sony VAIO SZ160PC and Hewlett-Packard Pavilion dv8000t, all are from leading top-tier laptop manufacturers, and packed with a lot of integrated options and peripherals such as speakers, cameras and widescreens with integrated Dolby speakers, plus bigger hard disks and more RAM to ensure they’re optimized for playback of digital media and the presentation of rich business applications.

For Toshiba Qosmio G35-AV600, CRN engineers would like to see Windows XP Pro on the Qosmio rather than Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE). As odd as that may sound for such a strong multimedia device, the MCE software is not up to par quite yet. Digital integrators we’ve spoken with say they struggle continuously with the not-so user-friendly software.

Acer TravelMate 8200 is tested with Microsoft Windows XP Professional edition and CRN concludes that one feature that stood out with the Acer unit is that it performs extremely fast no matter the task. CRN engineers were surprised to see how responsive it was when simultaneously using many of the preinstalled multimedia applications.

CRN writes about Sony VAIO SZ160PC that one thing that has always stood out about VAIOs is the excellent quality of the image on the screen. Even with this unit’s small and thin design, it is still capable of sporting a 13.3-inch widescreen display with true-to-life images. Video played on the unit was vibrant, and all colors were sharp without any streaking or ghosting.

CRN concludes that HP Pavilion dv8000t’s still pictures and video images both displayed great. Even though HP claims that this unit will allow consumers to take desktop digital media performance on the road, its size hinders true portability–although, on the flip side, the notebook is extremely sturdy. And HP shipped CRN engineers an expansion port, the xb2000 Notebook Expansion Base ($24), which provides a true desktop computing experience.

Full Review (dead link)