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Best Ultraportable Laptops

Jul 4, 2008
As Wi-Fi spots are popping up all over the country and our digital lives are becoming a 24/7 extension of our existence, many manufacturers are venturing deeper into the world of fully functional ultraportable laptops that can be used anywhere, stored anywhere and perform whatever tasks are required of them. This, of course, poses a number of challenges to manufacturers; weight, size, ease of use, ergonomics... and how to fit all of the power the market demands into such a small chassis.

The general criteria used to determine what is an ultraportable laptop and what is not requires that they weigh less than or about 4 lbs and that they be compact enough to be taken anywhere. Almost every manufacturer offers some version of an ultraportable laptop, though some are better and more competitively priced than others. Dell, Lenovo, Sony, Compaq, Fujitsu, Apple, IBM, HP, ASUS and others all offer ultraportable laptops. Below are a few picks from some of the better brand names on the market:

HP tx2000

CPU: 2-GHz Turion 64 X2 TL-60 * Display Size (inches): 12.1 * Wide Screen: Yes * Total HD Size (GB): 160 * Min. Weight (lbs.): 4.26 * Price (at time of review): $899

This ultraportable laptop is very well equipped for its price and offers all of the standard amenities that its larger HP counterparts have such as 3 USB ports, a dual-layer DVD burner, built in webcam and so on. Its weight puts it a little on the heavy side for an ultraportable, but it still is quite manageable. The 12.1" screen is difficult to see if you are used to viewing a larger laptop all day, but it does have the benefit of being a convertible, which means the screen can be flipped and used as a tablet PC with ease.

Asus W5Fe-2P025E

CPU: 2-GHz Core 2 Duo T7200 * Display Size (inches): 12.1 * Wide Screen: Yes * Total HD Size (GB): 160 * Min. Weight (lbs.): 4 * Price (at time of review):$2800

Sturdy, powerful and attractive; this ultraportable laptop is sure to please. A handsome magnesium alloy case gives this machine a very solid feel that won't leave you scared to take it out on the road. The powerful Intel Core 2 Duo processor makes this a powerful tool for anything most business men (and woman) can throw at it. It also boasts a 2.25-by-2.75-inch "Windows SideShow LCD" that is molded directly into the lid, a very unique feature. This little screen allows you to view emails, check calendar appointments, as well as browse pictures or music, all without opening the main screen.

Sony VAIO VGN-TZ150N

CPU: 1.06-GHz Core 2 Duo U7500 * Display Size (inches): 11.1 * Wide Screen: Yes * Total HD Size (GB): 100 * Min. Weight (lbs.): 2.7 * Price (at time of review):$2100

Weighing in at just less than 3 lbs, this ultraportable is about as light as they come. Of course, this makes for a considerable decrease in performance, so don't expect to be running very demanding programs with this machine. Some key strengths of this laptop are its ability to play DVDs without actually booting up Windows, dual operable SD and memory stick readers, over a 5 hour run time and a stylish carbon fiber case. Though it is not a monster performer, this machine will still keep you up and running when you are out of the office.

As can be seen from these three examples, ultraportable laptops range all over the place in terms of features and ability. This makes it very important to have a good vision in your head of what you want out of your ultraportable laptop before you start shopping. This will allow you to get all of the features you need and avoid the ones that will just make your laptop heavier.
About the Author
Christophe Catesson - Communication Manager for http://www.bestlaptopsreviews.com Laptop and notebook reviews and ratings, most popular laptops, industry news, Forum, Q/A.
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