As a greater portion of computer users are realizing the digital freedom that is available with Wi-Fi hot spots and go-anywhere internet, there has been an increasing trend toward mobile computing. As is always the case for serious users though, there is the question: desktop or laptop? It has long been true that the desktop machine market has had quite a lead on the mobile world as far as performance goes.

The ever present struggle was whether or not you could sacrifice the performance you want for the mobility you need. In the last few years though, chip manufacturers have progressed leaps and bounds in creating faster, smaller, cooler running and more power efficient chips; all at a fraction of the cost. Today’s laptops are now able to achieve performance that is comparable to or even equal to many desktops. These desktop replacements allow their users to handle whatever their computing needs are, on the fly no less.

Here are some of the best desktop replacement solutions available currently:

HP Pavilion HDX

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo T8100

o Display Size (inches): 20.1

o Wide Screen: Yes

o Total HD Size (GB): 240

o Min. Weight (lbs.): 15.5

o Price (at time of review): $3000

This desktop replacement is a real heavy hitter. The 20.1″ screen allows you to stay productive without sacrificing mobility. Weighing in at 15.5 pounds, this monster belongs more on a desk than on your lap but it is still light enough to carry with you. This model also offers attractive extras such as a Blu-ray DVD player and full 1080p HD display.

Dell XPS M1730

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo T8300

o Display Size (inches): 17

o Wide Screen: Yes

o Total HD Size (GB): 160

o Min. Weight (lbs.): 10.6

o Price (at time of review): $2500

A little more on the medium range, the M1730 is well equipped for its price range, but not as big as the full blown Desktop replacements. This model also comes with the option of the NVIDIA Geforce 8800M SLI graphics card, which makes this a real contender in the gaming and video processing market.

Gateway P-172X FX

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo T8300

o Display Size (inches): 17

o Wide Screen: Yes

o Total HD Size (GB): 320

o Min. Weight (lbs.): 9.6

o Price (at time of review): $2000

Even though this is the cheapest and lightest desktop replacement of the bunch, it packs the meanest over-all punch. With 4 GB of RAM and the powerful Core 2 Duo chip (impressive 3MB L2 cache), this is one of the most well suited laptops for unplugging and taking on the road without losing your performance edge.

With so many choices to look at, desktop replacement shoppers will want to keep a few key things in mind before they head out to the store (or to their favorite internet dealer). Try to get an idea of the most weight you would be willing to carry around with you. A good bench mark is to realize that a gallon of water weighs 8.33 lbs so ask yourself if you will be willing to carry that much weight or more. Also remember that though these laptops come close to performing on par with many desktop models, they will not out perform most high end desktops, so think about the most demanding things you want to do with your desktop replacement and take into consideration whether it will be able to perform your required tasks.

Paying for power is never cheap but the benefits of mobility can be invaluable. Who knows what the near future holds for desktop replacements but for now, be assured that the technology you require is more than available and very affordable.

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