Summer of the ultraportable laptop
A generous handful of exciting new systems are generating heavy buzz.
It's no secret that we have a soft spot for supersmall laptops. Ultraportables, as they're called, generally have 11- or 12-inch screens and weigh in at less than four pounds--perfect for lugging around all day or hanging at the local coffee shop with. Unfortunately, these guys are usually plagued by the twin devils of high prices and poor battery life (not to mention occasionally underpowered processors).
This, however, has clearly been the summer of the ultraportable, with a generous handful of exciting new systems generating heavy buzz. But with all these new choices, which one is right for you?
First, we have
Neck-and-neck was our most wanted laptop of the year,
Both of these systems include optical drives, which is something we wouldn't have seen in a laptop this size in past years. Both also offer excellent battery life, which is perhaps the most important thing for computing on the go.
Sadly, the Sony and Toshiba ultraportables range from $2,000 to $3,000 depending on options, including solid state flash hard drives, which are cool, but still way too expensive to be practical. If you're looking for a supersmall laptop without a supersize price, we managed to find a few slightly less flashy options. Averatec makes a handful of ultraportable systems that offer surprisingly good value for the money. You'll sacrifice the sub-one-inch designs and some battery life, but the company's 11.1-inch
Of course, all this info is useless if you're buying a laptop on the company dime and The Man won't let you get one of these snazzy consumer systems. HP has a pretty good new ultraportable, the