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Ultralights

Any of you shelled out the big buckaroos for ultralight note books? They are those sub-4 pounders with 6 pounds of accessories, where every trip is a compromise: dvd movies on cross-continental trips comes with sore shoulders or should I keep it light?

A new thing on the horizon is something called constant-carry-tablets. I am looking at the Sony PCG-U101 from dynamism.com, the idea is they will blow away the japanese edition of bios and os and install the english version for you and provide some semblance of service and support for a reasonable fee. They are 1.8 pounds--they are also USD$2,000+.

I am going to Japan soon and might pick up a PCG-U1 or -U3 if I don't feel the need for the oomph.

So any suggestions for great ultralights?

Li-fan Chen
Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Don't really have a suggestion for an "ultralight" with all the bells and whistles except to say that 4 pounds is *NOT* ultralight...

You might want t o check out the Toshiba Portge R1000.  Pretty nice machine, great battery life and seems rugged enough for business use (at least I've met business men fom Japan, Hong Kong and the U.S. using them).

radius
Tuesday, February 24, 2004

I bought a Sharp Actius UM32 about 6 months ago and it is just plain amazing. It is a P3-M 1GHz running XP PRO, 256mb Ram and 40gb drive. It has a 12.1" 1024x768 screen and weighs less than 3 lbs. This is the model with the keyboard that pops up as you open the screen because it is so thin the keys wouldn't fit otherwise, and with this setup it has a normal keypress depth. It comes with an external USB powered CD drive, but I think the current models in this line come with CD-R/DVD drives. Built-in dual-antenna 802.11b. I consistantly get 3.5-4 hours battery time out of it.

The amazing thing is it's speed. I simply cannot explain how/why it is as fast as it is. I've left the stock 256mb in it because I don't want to mess anything up. It literally compiles and runs my ~55K LOC .NET app in Visual Studio Enterprise Architect faster than my P4 3GHz with 2Gb ram desktop. I have NO reasonable way to explain this. It also runs Photoshop faster, and cleanly blows away *every* other computer we have around here when rendering graphics in our app. Interestingly, the drive comes formatted as FAT32 rather than NTFS even though it ships with XP PRO. That's the only non-sandard thing I can find.

The other great thing about it is that I ended up buying it from Circuit City for a total of $660 (six months ago). This one was the display model, and then they had some rebates on top of that. I'd assume they're going pretty cheaply on eBay and I'd heartily reccomend them to anyone. This is the first Sharp anything that I've owned, but I've been thoroughly impressed.

  --Josh

JWA
Tuesday, February 24, 2004

I don't have an ultralight but I do have a mini-notebook (10.6"(w) x 7"(d) x 1.59"(h)).  With both batteries in it's about 4lbs, I imagine.  With no drives or extra batteries it's 2.8lbs.  It's a Fujitsu P2000.

It's a really great laptop -- it's small enough to lug around anywhere.  In my configuration it gets 9 hours of battery life on a single charge -- with my usage it lasts several days between charges.  It's not very speedy but it gets the job done.

Almost Anonymous
Tuesday, February 24, 2004

I like my Dell Latitude X200.  Nine or ten hours of battery life (with the screen maximumly dimmed) on two batteries.  Fast enough for everything I do.  Only 1024x768 resolution, but the extra pixels aren't worth it to me for the extra weight.  One decision I do regret is getting the MediaBase; I hardly use it.  Better to get the portable DVD/CD-RW drive with cable than spend the extra $100 or so for something not as portable.  (I asked Dell if I could get a cable to make the MediaBase's DVD/CD-RW drive portable, since it's detachable; they said no.)

Before buying the X200, I was looking at a Fujitsu P1000, which is quite small and has a touchscreen, but Fujitsu doesn't provide backups of any software the unit comes with except for a backup partition on the hard drive.  Which strikes me as rather chintzy and stupid, but if they want to lose a $1200+ sale for a couple of $2 CDs, I guess that's their business.

Kyralessa
Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Josh, I think the M series have a bigger on chip die than previous mobile chips out of Intel, and performs favorably compared with P4.

Li-fan Chen
Tuesday, February 24, 2004

"They are those sub-4 pounders with 6 pounds of accessories, where every trip is a compromise: dvd movies on cross-continental trips comes with sore shoulders or should I keep it light?"

You're talking about some old breed of ultralights.  The recent ones are sub 4 lbs and include CDRW/DVD.  Look at the Fujitsu 5120 (3.9 lbs w/CDRW/DVD and 10.6" 1280x768 screen), Sony TR2A (3.2 lbs with  CDRW/DVD and 10.6" 1280 x 768 screen), or Panasonic Toughbook W1 (2.8 lbs with CDRW/DVD and 12 " XGA screen).

The Fujitsu and the Panasonic you can look at here:  http://www.laptopsinc.com and the sony you can see at www.sonystyle.com, I think.

The cool thing about all of these is that even though they're lightweight their battery life is far better than most of the heavier notebooks.

I myself just got a 5 lb IBM Thinkpad T41, but I kind of regret not getting one of the mini ones that would have been much easier to travel with.

Herbert Sitz
Tuesday, February 24, 2004

"Josh, I think the M series have a bigger on chip die than previous mobile chips out of Intel, and performs favorably compared with P4."

I think that you're reffering to the newer Pentium-M chips, which are bundled with their WiFi chips and marketed as Centrinos. This thing is a Pentium III-M, the older chip that is known to have been better in most regards than the Pentium IV-M chips, but supposedly nothing close to the Centrino chips.

  --Josh

JWA
Tuesday, February 24, 2004

As far as I know, there is no such thing as a "Centrino chip".  "Centrino" is just the marketing identifier that a manufacturer can use when it sells a computer packaged with a Pentium M chip, Intel chipset,  and Intel wifi:

http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,109606,00.asp

Herbert Sitz
Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Fujitsu had a really small notebook with a wide screen and a Transmeta CPU, but it's been discontinued. Anyone remember the name? I'd like to track down a used one.

Alex.ro
Tuesday, February 24, 2004

are you guys talking about those engine powered hangliders? or the cigarettes?

i got drunk at the office party
Tuesday, February 24, 2004

"As far as I know, there is no such thing as a "Centrino chip". "

I know, I expained that in the begining of my post, but then reffered to the Pentium-M chips as "Centrino chips" in the last sentence for simplicity, especially since I had just spoke to the Centrino name bening used as marketing for the combination of Intel's new (and confusingly named) Pentium-M chip with their wireless hardware.

  --Josh

JWA
Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Uh-hum.... "referred" :).

JWA
Tuesday, February 24, 2004

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