If you’re going to use you laptop on the road – and why else get one – it’s a good idea to make WEIGHT a primary consideration. Especially if you’re going to carry it in your bag and on your back a lot, during conferences for instance.
However, you also have to think about what you want to do with your laptop. These days, with the iPad and other tablets around, I’m not sure I’d even be buying a laptop any more. However, if you are, you probably want to do more on your laptop than just watch videos and check email. After all, you can do all that on an iPad – in fact, it’s more comfortable on your iPad than on a laptop, as long as you don’t need to type much yourself.
Laptops are, I think, most useful these days for people who want it all – top of the line internet, top of the line speed, the ability to play DVDs etc. However, if you are going to select a LIGHT WEIGHT laptop, you’ll have to compromise on a few of those.
Don’t get me wrong: starting at 13 inch laptops, you can get a PC that’s level with today’s desktops in terms of speed, internal memory and hard drive capacity. These all include USB ad micro SD ports. Now for my picks:
|ASUS U36JC-B1 Thin and Light 13.3-Inch Laptop (Black)
Asus is the king of making good, fast and yet lightweight laptops. I have a previous generation Asus 13 inch laptop and it functions as my desktop computer. It is way faster than the desktop PC I traded it in for. Personally I think 13 inch is just the right size: large enough to make typing comfortable, small enough to fit into my backpack.The Asus comes with a Pentium i3 processor, so it is dual core and fast. Sure, there are faster chips on the market, but unless you want a gaming laptop, this really is fast enough for anything you could want to do on it.It comes with Windows 7 of course, 64 bit and 4GB of internal memory.The one downside to this laptop, the trade-off for it being lightweight, is that it does NOT include a DVD / CD drive.3.7 pounds
Up to 9 hours of battery life
|Samsung Series 9 NP900X1A-A01US 11.6-Inch Laptop (Black)This is an 11.6 inch laptop. This puts it in the netbook range, except that the specifications are quite upscale – hence the price.
At 2.3 pounds this is the lightest laptop I found you.
Built to go online anywhere this laptop doesn’t merely include a WiFi connection, but a 4G mobile internet connection as well. No messing about with USB internet on this one. That’s good: my experience with USB mobile internet has been abysmal, while wi-fi wireless connections tend to just work.
Again: no DVD or CD drive.
Up to 7 hours of battery life
|Samsung Series 5 3G Chromebook (Titan Silver)
Chromebooks are all the rage right now. Everybody is talking about them. But are they buying them? Well, yes. As I write this the Samsung 3G Chromebook is sold out.I’m still showing it, because it is after all meant for just the kind of on the road use you came to this page for.When picking a Chromebook you do need to take a 3G version: without mobile internet this laptop can NOT be used at all. It does not have a hard drive. That is, except if your sole use is at home and your modem supports wi-fi.You would think that would make this laptop lighter, but it doesn’t really. Sure, at 3.3 pounds it’s lighter than the Asus laptop shown above, but since this is an 12.1 inch laptop, that’s only to be expected. The weight reduction due to not having a hard drive really doesn’t seem to amount to much.However, it does compensate with Up to 8.5 hours of continuous use.
In terms of security this laptop sets a new standard: it updates it’s software automatically, just like modern browsers do. That does help – pc software that isn’t updated is the largest security risk people run with any pc or laptop.
While the processor is a dual core processor, they went with the latest Intel processor meant specifically for netbooks, the N570. It’s fast, it supports 64-bit operating systems and doesn’t use a lot of energy, so it helps that battery last.
Reviews mention using this as a personal use home PC that just lies around the house and moves with the people, just like you would an iPad.
If you do everything online, this is just the laptop for you: Gmail, google docs, Picassa etc.
Unlike any other laptop on the market this is plug and play: just fill in your Google details and you’re set. You may want to get some extra apps, but once you’ve added them to your account, they’ll be on any future Chromebook you get. No installation necessary: it’s all in the cloud (aka online).
Note: if you were looking for a lightweight laptop that supports you doing presentations on it, this is not a good fit: video out only includes VGA, not HDMI or any other option. Then again, is it possible to store presentations on the cloud yet?