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OPINIONS

Ultra Thin Laptops Review
By: Katie Gatto
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  • Rating: 3 stars3 stars3 stars3 stars3 stars / 2
    2009-06-22

    Table of Contents:
  • Ultra Thin Laptops Review
  • Ultra Thin Criteria
  • Three Ultra Thin Machines

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    Ultra Thin Laptops Review - Three Ultra Thin Machines


    (Page 3 of 3 )

    The Lenovo Think Pad X300

    The ThinkPad X300 comes in at a little bit over three pounds, and is only slightly thicker than a Mac Book Air. The ThinkPad comes with three USB ports, a VGA output and Ethernet access, and in addition it is compatible with multiple wireless standards, including Bluetooth and Verizonís 3G WWAN. 

    The major down sides to consider if you buy this model start with the $3400 price tag, as you have almost 2 Mac Book Airs for the cost, and the sad battery life, which peters out after only about two hours of running. In addition, if you like a bright screen, this may not be the model for you. The hard drive is 64 GB.

    The best thing to mention about this model is that you can still get it with Windows XP. This means that if you donít enjoy working with Vista, you want to strongly consider this model.

    Sony VAIO TZ 298N/XC

    The smallest price tag for this machine comes in at $3700, by far making it the most expensive among the ultra-thin models that we will examine today. Itís compatible with WiFi and Bluetooth, and it comes with two hard drives: one that boasts 250 GB of standard memory, and a second that is 64 GB of SSD. When you think about it, thatís really a lot of memory for any laptop, let alone and ultra thin. This model clocks in at just under three pounds, which is great if you do a lot of traveling.

    The one down side of this plan is that the screen only comes in at 11 inches, so if you spend a lot of time looking at it, expect to encounter screen strain. It has good screen visibility, but since it is limited to Windows Vista, it can be a little sluggish. It has no optical drive, but instead comes with two USB ports, an SD, a memory stick, FireWire, VGA, Ethernet, and Express Card capabilities.

    Toshiba Portege R500-S5006V

    This model is actually lighter than the Mac Book Air, coming in at 2.4 pounds, but also comes with a near $2100 price tag. The one problem with the lightness of this particular model is the sturdiness of the case; when you touch it, you can actually feel the case bend under your hand. This is a major problem when you consider that ultra thins were made to travel, and all manner of things can happen to a laptop on a plane, on a train, in your car, or in your hotel room. The sturdiness of the case may be the only thing that protects it, and if that is not up to snuff you could damage some expensive electronics.

    On the bright side, it comes with an onboard DVD burner. As you may have noticed by now, not all ultra thin systems come with an optical drive, so if you need one, this may be the model for you. Much like the Sony, this only seems to come with Vista, so fans of the XP operating system might not want to consider this machine. In addition, there have been some reported issues with performance and general slowness.

    In the end, choosing an ultra thin laptop is a lot like walking into a minefield. Some steps might be safe, will others will be risky, and yet a third category is almost guaranteed to blow up in your face. Also like a minefield, you might not know which one it is until youíve put your foot down. My advice is to tread lightly, and think about your real needs. The best person to tell you what you need from a laptop, and in some cases how careful with it youíre likely to be, is you.


    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.
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