In the past decade, obesity in America has nearly doubled with more than 30% of adults now classified as obese. It seems the growth of the laptop computer market has mirrored this trend, with the current crop of high-end portable computers weighing in at 15-20lbs the luggable is back.
Don’t get me wrong, it would be a privilage to lug around an Osborne 1 computer but at 25lbs that just doesn’t sound portable. Needless to say, when my new HP HDX laptop hovers at 18lbs with a power supply it’s time to consider other options for a portable PC.
Fortunately there are plenty of lightweight alternatives. The kind of laptop you choose really depends on what you’re looking to do when you are mobile. In my case, a main computer will always be my desktop PC but there are cases where a portable machine would be helpful for debugging or testing network configurations.
One option is the OQO which now has a Model 2 that offers configurations including Windows XP and Vista. There is ample memory and CPU, and it even supports an extremely functional docking station configuration. Unfortunately, this is rather expensive and you may have difficulty finding one.
“Before you stumble through the laptop isles at your local Computer City you will want to consider how much laptop you’re willing to lug around.”Another contendor is the Asus Eee PC which takes advantage of Xandros Linux and has a slightly more limited hardware capability to help keep the cost down. You can in fact install Windows or even an alternate version of Linux on the Eee PC, so for $300 this may be your least expensive option for an ultra-portable.
The other end of the spectrum is the Sony VAIO SZ ultra-portable. While this is an extremely expensive alternative it provides the ultimate in performance and power management. If you’re looking for something akin to a desktop replacement without the luggable moniker, then the VAIO SZ is in that ballpark.
Before you stumble through the laptop isles at your local Computer City you will want to consider how much laptop you’re willing to lug around. Many of the best options won’t be available at mass-market retail outlets, and if they are you will likely encounter expensive solutions that may not necessarily meet your portable computing needs.