HP Compaq NX9030
A Pentium M based system. HP did not supply details of the machine’s battery life but since it is a Centrino device it should be fairly respectable. The device uses a 15 inch conventional format screen with run of the mill integrated graphics. An S-Video out port is included so the device can be used with a television or other A/V equipment.
IBM ThinkPad R51
A mid range device available with a choice of Pentium M or Celeron processors and a wide selection of hard drive sizes. Buyers can also choose between a 14.1 and 15 inch screen, the latter offering a higher than usual resolution of up to 1400 by 1050 – ideal for power users who need larger desktop work-areas.
Sony Vaio VGNB1VP/XP
An ultra-portable device which weighs in at 2.3Kg, while not the lightest in its class this is still a fairly light offering. With 512Mb of memory as standard, a 40Gb hard drive and built in wireless LAN and Bluetooth the manufacturers certainly have not slimmed down the specification to reduce weight.
Another Centrino based ultra-portable system, the X05 offers a very respectable 4.5 hours of battery life. The machine uses an integrated graphics controller so its 3D performance will be fairly lack lustre, but in all other respects this is a well specified, light-weight machine that tips the scales at just 2Kg.
Acer TravelMate 3201XCI/XMI
A reasonably lightweight device that manages to offer a quite impressive specification despite its slender proportions. A 60Gb hard drive, 512Mb of memory, high end graphics capabilities and built in wireless LAN make this a machine capable of handling pretty much anything you might throw at it.
Apple Powerbook G4 12″
Strictly for Apple Mac aficionados, the entry level Powerbook provides an alternative to the conventional Windows/Intel platform. for laptop buyers. The main failing, however, is its small 12.1 inch screen which falls someway short of the 14/15 inch screens offered by most laptops.
RM NBook Pro 6000
A wide screen format device with high end 3D graphics provided by the Radeon 9700 system. Based on Intel’s Centrino technology the device features a low power-consumption Pentium M processor which allows the battery life to last up to four hours. Wireless LAN comes as standard and a more advanced tri-band version is available as an optional extra.
Acer TravelMate 382TMI
A high specification ultra-portable device based on the Centrino system, featuring a 1.6Mhz Pentium M processor, 512Mb of memory as standard and a 60Gb hard drive. The 12.1 inch screen saves weight, bringing the scales down to just 1.6Kg but the greatly reduced screen area may be hard for some users to get along with.
Weighing in at 2.3Kg the X15Plus isn’t the lightest ultra-portable on the market but considering it comes with a fairly hefty specification, including a large 15.1 inch screen and strong nVidia GeForce graphics system, the extra weight is forgivable. Maximum memory capacity is just 1Gb rather than the 2Gb offered by many high end machines, but this shouldn’t be a problem for most users.
Acer TravelMate 8005LMI
This high end Centrino based machine comes with one of the faster Pentium M processors on the market along with a large 15 inch screen offering a high resolution of 1400 by 1050 and ATI’s top of the range Radeon 9700 graphics processor. Users also get built in wireless LAN and a super-fast Gigabit Ethernet wired network adapter, ideal for frequent transfer of high data volumes. Battery life is excellent and considering the high specification, the 2.9Kg weight is more than acceptable.
Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook S7010
At just 1.5Kg this machine certainly qualifies as ultra-portable and yet manages to pack in a standard size 14.1 inch screen and enough batteries to deliver 5 hours of usage. Although the graphics subsystem is nothing to shout about, in terms of computing horse power the manufacturers do not appear to have cut any corners here.
Apple Powerbook G4 15″
A serious Apple notebook with a respectable 15 inch screen ideal for graphics professionals, designers, or people who are just scared of using Windows. The system uses the same Radeon 9700 graphics chip as many of the high end Windows notebooks, and should deliver equally impressive 3D performance.
Sony Vaio VGN-A215Z
A chunky desktop replacement model from Sony’s widely adored Vaio range. In addition to a wide format screen, big hard drive and all the other usual trimmings, users also benefit from a built in Memory Stick reader capable of transferring data to and from Sony’s proprietary memory card devices.
HP Compaq NC4010
An ultra-portable device with mid-range specifications. A fast Pentium M processor and large hard drive are the plus points, but the device uses a small 12.1 inch screen. Battery life was not stated by the manufacturers so this may also turn out to be a weak point – in this segment it can be difficult to make an accurate estimate of how the batteries will perform, although there is nothing in the specification to suggest heavy power consumption.
Sony Vaio VGN-A217S/M
Almost certainly designed as a kind of portable high end multi-media center, this top end Sony features a massive 100Gb hard drive and a high resolution 1920 by 1200 pixel 17 inch wide format screen. It is unlikely that many business users can justify paying for these features, let alone the high end 3D graphics processor, but we suspect that Sony will not have too many problems selling this highly desirable machine to them regardless.
Toshiba Tecra M2
A nice sensible business computer with no unnecessary bells or whistles. Plenty of processing power and storage capacity in a mid-sized package. The 14.1 inch screen is standard fare for business users and the 4 hour battery life should be enough to keep you working during brief stints away from the office.
Sony Vaio VGN-S2HP/XP
Not the lightest or most powerful ultra-portable on the market, but a good compromise about halfway between weight and performance. The XP variant packs a little more punch in the processing and graphics departments and comes with a much bigger hard drive. The 13.3 inch wide format screen is a little smaller than most others, but this is the price paid for keeping the device under 2Kg.
Although there is nothing particularly exciting about this machine’s general specification, its reported battery life (if accurate) is superb at between 5 and 7 hours, almost enough for a full working day. A variant is available with a slightly faster processor, larger hard drive and higher resolution screen.
A mid range ultra-portable device offering a reasonable balance of light weight and high performance features. The 1.7Ghz Pentium M processor is certainly no slouch and 512Mb of memory should help to keep things running smoothly. The 40Gb hard drive is fairly average, but this should still be more than enough for most user’s requirements.
IBM ThinkPad T42/T42P
Plenty of power and a reasonably low weight make this another winner from IBM. Processor speeds of up to 2Ghz, a choice of high resolution screens, professional quality 3D graphics hardware, cutting edge connectivity options – this machine is for computing professionals who need to wield a high power system.
Acer TravelMate 8006LMI
Yet another Acer TravelMate model. This device offers a high end Pentium M processor, a large 80Gb hard drive, high resolution 15 inch screen, Radeon 9700 graphics, built in wireless LAN and Bluetooth and plenty more. The battery life is good, although it is unlikely that desktop replacements such as this one will spend much time away from mains power.
Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook 7010
At just 1.3Kg this is one of the lightest laptops on the market. Battery life remains high at 5 hours, but this is achieved by using a low speed Pentium M 1.1Ghz processor which helps keep power consumption down and generates less heat. Weight and power consumption are further reduced by the machines small 10.6 inch wide format screen.
IBM ThinkPad X40
Another very light ultra-portable machine. As is to be expected, the processor speed is kept low and screen size is small at just 12.1 inches. Not only do these measures help to reduce weight, they also keep power consumption to a minimum and allow the X40 to offer a superb battery life of up to 7.5 hours – long enough for most transatlantic flights.
Fujitsu Siemens LifeBook E8010
Offering a wide choice of processor speeds, screen sizes and graphics systems the E8010 is a flexible desktop replacement device which can be specified to meet individual requirements.
Samsung Q25 Series
At a mere 1.3Kg the Q25 series is light enough for frequent travellers. While its lack of weight is reflected in a relatively staid specification, it should provide enough horsepower for most standard business applications. The small screen may not suit all users but it helps to keep the weight low.
Packing one of the faster Pentium M processors and an excellent all round specification this machine is a true desktop replacement. The large hard drive and high end graphics are impressive but the clincher is the machines 17 inch wide format screen. This machine should be able to handle anything you care to throw at it.
A mid range laptop with specifications and weight that fall halfway between an ultra-portable and a desktop replacement. High points are a large hard drive, reasonable size wide format screen and a fast processor. Battery life is also fairly respectable at up to four hours.
Sony Vaio VGN-297XP
Another high end desktop replacement machine from Sony, offering a good specification throughout and an impressive 17 inch wide format screen with a resolution of 1920 by 1200. Not exactly cheap, but you certainly get a lot of computer for the price.
Apple Powerbook G4 17”
The top of the range PowerBook from Apple. Powerful processor, big hard drive, large wide format screen and all the wireless and network connections you could want in a laptop.
Sony Vaio PCG-T1XP
An impressive looking ultra-portable with a small wide format screen. The main processor and graphics chip are fairly basic offerings, but at over six hour the battery life is superb. Built in wireless LAN and 512Mb of memory as standard are plus points, but the price is quite high for the specification.
Sony Vaio VGN-X505VP
If you want the ultimate in ultra-portable machines, this model is for you. Weighing just .83kg it is the lightest machine we could find and despite this its specification is not much lower than many machines weighing almost twice as much. The hard drive and screen are both small, but not so much so as to make the device unusable. If you really need to save weight, take a look at this machine.
Fujitsu Siemens Celsius Mobile H210
A solid base specification coupled with a high end professional quality 3D graphics subsystem make this one for specialist users. The ATI Fire T2e graphics chipset goes way beyond the requirements of most business users, but for 3D graphics professionals and content creators who need to work on the move, this machine is ideal.
Acer TravelMat C112TCI
A low end tablet PC, perhaps ideal for those who want to find out if tablet computing is useful for them without spending too much money. The overall specification is quite low compared with conventional laptops but since these devices are unlikely to perform processor or graphics intensive applications that should not be a problem.
Fujitsu Siemens LifeBook T4010
Offering a reasonable level of processing power and the option of a large hard drive this machine provides a good mid range specification in a tablet format. Although devices such as this have yet to find their place in the market there may well be some niche applications where they come into their own.
Acer TravelMate C302XMI
A mid range tablet device with a good 14.1 inch screen, although this makes it somewhat heavier than most of the other tablets we have featured. The overall specification is high, with the integrated graphics processor beign the only real weak point and since this machine is unlikely to require serious 3D capabilities, this can be overlooked.
Fujitsu Siemens Stylistic ST5010
A lightweight tablet device with an entry level processor and medium sized 12.1 inch screen. The battery life is probably this machine’s strongest point with an optional nine cell battery taking it up to nearly seven hours of usage.
Toshiba Portege M200 Tablet PC
A mid range tablet PC with a fairly zippy processor, plenty of memory capacity and a more than reasonable hard drive. The 12.1 inch screen is average for a tablet but the nVidia GeForce graphics system is better than most found in these type of devices so if you are looking for a more flexible tablet then it is worth considering this one.