Normally I like to use this column as a launchpad to explore various facets of the IT landscape, provided I can magic up a tenuous link to the products reviewed in the magazine. But this month my thought processes have become rather muddled.

This column appears as the Reviews introduction in the May 06 version of PC Advisor, available now.

Robin Morris, who – among a veritable plethora of other talents – is our in-house graphics card guru, got his mitts on the most powerful consumer-based card known.

An expert in demystifying the bamboozling parlance of graphics-speak, Robin was the only choice to review Sapphire's X1900 XTX, and his report got me thinking I should write about nVidia and ATI's two-horse duopoly in the graphics-card industry.

But then our review of Sony's Vaio VGX-XL100– its first entry into the entertainment PC market – had me in a semi-cogitative lather. Mid-size vendors tend to jump two-feet-first into untested waters with experimental hardware, while the bigger boys wait to see what happens. A fantastic bid to be the subject of this column.

On the other hand, Casio's Exilim EX-S600 and the Olympus mju 700lent themselves nicely to an opening salvo on the cut-throat nature of the über-competitive ultra-compact digital camera business.

But in the end, I couldn't go another month without mentioning laptops – and for good reason. You see, they're getting even better. Last month we told the tale of AJP's M590K, the first laptop equipped with dual-SLI (scaleable link interface) graphics for superior performance, and we'll be reviewing that in the June 06 issue.

Although AJP was first out the stables, other manufacturers are following suit, and we'll be reviewing Rock's dual-SLI Xtreme Xl next time, too.

Samsung has delivered the world's first 19in laptop (the M70) – an attempt to demonstrate the form factor as a serious replacement for your desktop PC. And in June we'll look at Evesham's FX60-620: a laptop with the fastest desktop processor wedged inside. Sounds like a suitable subject for a column…