Great slimline design, Blu-ray drive
The Sony S Series 13P is a shining example of Sony's ability to craft great laptops and it's practically flawless as an ultraportable business machine.
The inclusion of a Blu-ray drive doesn't stop it being a bit of a let-down when it comes to multimedia, but frankly that's splitting hairs considering the performance and extra features you get out of this machine.
The boxy, executive design might not appeal to all but the usability is certainly up to Sony's usual high standard.
Pleasing keyboard and touchpad
Despite a few moderate changes to the Sony Vaio S, such as a larger touchpad and improved hardware, we're still ambivalent about this laptop. We criticized the previous model for its flimsy display lid, so-so build quality, and small battery. All of these flaws remain. Sony really should have taken this opportunity to redesign the chassis, but they didn't - which puts them behind the market.
Still, there are some nice things to be said about this laptop.
Strong multimedia performance
The Asus Zenbook Prime UX32VD-DB71 adds a speedy 3rd generation Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce graphics to the ultrabook formula. What Asus has wrought is the thinnest and lightest 1080p HD power system on the market. It's the ultrabook to buy if you want to get real work done.
Finally, an awesome ultrabook - if you upgrade it
If you are willing to upgrade the HDD and RAM, get this machine - you won't regret it. It's light, it has a beautiful screen, an excellent keyboard, it's very fast, and with the upgrades, it is the nicest laptop that I have ever owned. If you are not willing to upgrade, I would say that you should get a MacBook Air or the Zenbook UX31A (or the Sony Series Z if you are willing to spend more) instead - the SSD makes a huge performance improvement.
Asus achieves many good rates and a few are even better than the preceeding U36JC's. But unfortunately, the biggest shortcoming, the reflective and too dark for use in the sun screen is exactly the same. This doesn't make the 13.3 inch device's biggest advantage, the long battery life of nearly eight hours, useless but it reduces the fun of working in the sun considerably.
Good graphics power
Overall, we mostly like the U36SD-A1. For $899 you get a swift Core i5 processor and Nvidia graphics in a sexy, svelte frame. Plus, this laptop provides nearly 8 hours of endurance. Where this ASUS notebook falls a little flat is its tinny speakers and stiff touchpad button. Nevertheless, if you're in the market for an ultraportable with great looks and power to spare, the ASUS U36SD-A1 is a good buy.
Strong Performance From Core i5 Processor
The ASUS U36SD-A1 is a step between the ultrathin laptops with reduced features and performance and a standard 13-inch laptop. Its less than one inch thich frame makes it highly portable and its standard laptop processor and parts give it solid performance. It offers a huge hard drive but no DVD drive as well. Overall, it is a good 13-inch laptop for those wanting good performance in a more compact design as long as you can handle a few quirks and annoyances.
Durable, ultraportable design
The Asus U36SD-A1 ultraportable laptop is extremely portable yet compares in performance with most mid-line notebook computers, which is due to its Intel Core i5 CPU and discrete Nvidia graphics. It also has USB 3.0 support and a solid magnesium frame, but with all that power, it has issues with heat dissipation.
The Acer Aspire TimelineX AS3830T-6417 is a very good laptop for the average user who wants a fast portable with the latest technologies. We found it a little bit heavy for an â??ultra thinâ?? model, but users who are used to carrying a brick in their backpacks will certainly think the weight of this new model is fair. Battery life is certainly one of the highlights of the product.
Good HD video
The Toshiba Satellite L745D-S4220 is a simplified and affordable 14-inch laptop designed for limited back-to-school budgets. Packed with a battery-friendly AMD dual-core processor and graphics, Toshiba promises this laptop will make the grade. We took a closer look to see if this $500 notebook can deliver more than its price tag suggests.
pretty awesome ultraportable laptop
Toshiba delivers a great machine with a few annoying flaws. Toshiba delivers a great machine with a few annoying flaws. HP's Envy 17 is a robust, media-centric desktop replacement that's svelte enough to lug around if you need a large screen on the go. Its overall performance is pedestrian, but otherwise this laptop offers you a lot of bang for your buck. Above-average sound, performance, and gaming highlight this otherwise staid midsize laptop.
Sep 17 2010 - Toshiba's Portege R700-S1320 certainly offers a high level of performance in an extremely compact package. With a standard class laptop processor, high performance hard drive, eSATA port, ExpressCard slot and built-in DVD burner it certainly isn't lacking in features. Combine this with some great battery life and it is a great ultraportable for travels who don't want to sacrifice performance.
The Portege R700-184 packs a decent amount of performance into a thin-and-light package, and should prove a good companion to a road warrior, especially with its built-in 3G modem. However, it is not as sturdy as some laptops and, discounting the Core i5 processor, seems pricey for the specification.
Best Portable Laptop
In many ways the Sony VAIO Z Series is one-of-a-kind. As fast as many desktops, but no heavier than many netbooks, it's a testament to what can be achieved thanks to modern hardware and engineering. It's a niche product, of that there's no doubt, but if you need the power and portability it offers then it comes highly recommended.
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