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First handy hint – Forget tablet PCs if you’re wanting to play FPS on the move.

Unlike desktop/laptop PCs, tablet PCs require you first click (‘tap’) then move a stylus on the screen, then release stylus from the screen and click again (‘tap’) for effecting a mouseclick. In FPS parlance, that means a shot fired first for every mouselook action/movement. Not good.

This is frome experience, as recently I bought an old (veeery old) Fujitsu Tablet PC (Point 1600, Google it) as a toy/project – and the above has turned out to be an oversight where gaming is concerned, confining me to strategy/card/chess titles only (it will run HL, just about, but see above problem).

Second handy hint – I’ve had numerous DELL laptops (C600, C610, X300, D600), amongst numerous other branded laptops (Tosh, IBM – usual suspects). I’ve never had any issues with any of them where build quality/reliability is concerned. And each one of these has been bought second-hand on eBay. So, say what you will of Dell etc. – in my (thick because experience-based) book, Dell make pretty good laptops and are very good value for money.

Moreover, gaming performance has always been surprisingly good for the spec. I could run CS1.6 with 20 bots in the C600 (PIII 750, 256 RAM, ATi M1 8MB gfx) at 25 FPS+, I’m currently running BF2 fully patched, with 20 bots in SP, on the D600 (Pentium M 1.6, 512 RAM, ATi M9 32MB gfx) in 800×600 at 27-30 FPS. That’s stock, no o’cing of any kind.

Thid handy hint – If you want a dedicated gaming laptop (a bit odd considering the closed-nature of lappies, even recent gfx-upgradeable ones, but hey, it’s your money ;)), make sure it’s Pentium M -based, and make sure the gfx solution is not embedded/integrated/shared but a miniPCI-type card which you can upgrade at some point (some Dells do offer that, I’m reasonably certain that the XPS range can be gfx-upgraded).