Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Three Ultralight Laptops That Get The Job Done

Laptops have grown up. Once wimpy, they now come loaded with features that make them fully functional alternatives to desktop PCs. But even a modest six-pounder can feel like 60 pounds after lugging it around for a day. The solution: Grown-up laptops need to get smaller -- but not so small that you can't actually do work on them.

If you need a truly portable portable, there are a lot of really sweet ultralight laptops, three pounds or under, out there. There's also bad news: first, that they're expensive (half the size means twice the price); second, that with ultralight laptops, everything becomes a compromise.

Three Ultralights

•  Introduction

•  Fujitsu Lifebook Q

•  Lenovo X60

•  Sony VAIO TX

•  Conclusions & Info

Some of the trade-offs are obvious; for example, the screens are going to be smaller. (Like you hadn't thought of that, right?) Others are more subtle. Because weight is the critical design factor, some things you might take for granted on a bigger machine may be missing, like a CD-ROM/DVD drive. Batteries are smaller, which means processors are going to be less powerful, which means that for some demanding applications, like recording high-definition video, an ultralight laptop may not be a satisfactory choice.

  • 1