The Current Best Ultraportables
When it comes to laptops, ultraportables aren’t exactly the most practical choice; at least, not when you’re a computer user who values function over form. Eschewing laptop part specs for smaller frames (with some even doing away with certain laptop components altogether) ultraportables come off more as fashionable accessories than anything else, much like how you would regard cell phones and such. That is, they still have their uses, true; but changing trends will make you replace these kinds of gadgets more easily than you would a more-expensive-but-more-functional regular laptop.
For better or worse, however, it’s this perception that probably accounts for the surge of ultras’ popularity. Hey, I’m not one to judge: If it makes you happy, then by all means, go for an ultra; and if you are in the market for one, here are five of the most recommended ones.
1. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E220s 12.5 inch
Priced at just a bit over $700, the ThinkPad Edge E220s may be more expensive than most ultras, but you’ll certainly feel that you get what you pay for. Its laptop part specs are no different from most ultraportables, except for its storage device: It uses a 320 GB hard drive instead of the usual solid state drives. Not only do hard drives have more storage space compared to solid states, but they are produced cheaper too. The downside is that HDs heat up more quickly, but Lenovo got around this by adding just a little more thickness to the Edge’s frame; barely noticeable for the most part.
2. Toshiba Portege R835-P56X
When it comes to laptop components, the Portege gives the best balanced configuration. It sports an Intel Core i5-2410M processor, 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, 640 GB of hard drive space and a dual-layer DVD burner optical drive. The price comes to around $800, but while that is somewhat more expensive than the average ultra, it is hundreds of dollars cheaper than regular laptops with the same specs. While its small screen makes it inferior to bigger portable computers, it’s still a good option for people who travel a lot (its smaller size makes it ideal) but expect the same level of performance as a regular laptop.
3. HP Folio 13
Speaking of travelling, if you do a lot of that, then no doubt you place a lot of premium on battery life. After all, if you have to be away from a wall socket for extended periods, a lengthy battery life is a must. Moreover, not having to carry a lot of spare batteries around can make you travel lighter. With this in mind, the Folio 13 is where it’s at. Its battery can last up to six hours with continuous video playback. It will cost you upwards of $850, but that’s already pretty affordable considering how important batteries are to the whole concept of “portability.”
4. Apple MacBook Air 13
MacBook Airs are the poster boys for ultraportables, so it’s no surprise that if you’re looking for the best ultra, the Air’s latest iteration fits that bill to a tee. The MacBook Air 13 beats out other ultras in the market where it really counts: Boot times and overall performance. Apple’s patented Retina Display also doesn’t hurt, giving its 13 inch 1440 x 990 screen better image resolutions and viewing angles than most. It’ll set you back $1,300, but such is the price of owning the best.
5. Alienware M11x
Gaming isn’t what comes to mind when people think of ultras, but Alienware took a crack at it anyway. Long known for producing high-end desktop and laptop gaming rigs, Alienware enters the ultraportable market with its M11x. Sporting 4 GB of DDR3 RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce GT540M video card, it can certainly pump out enough graphical prowess to run the latest games. And if the 11.6 inch 1366 x 768 screen isn’t enough for you, you can always hook it up to an HDTV via HDMI and DisplayPort. It does have a bigger chassis than most ultras, and its fan tends to get rather noisy at full performance; but really, you can’t have it all.
About Colleen Northcutt:
I’m Colleen Northcutt 22 years old. Writer / Web promoter, and Blogger from Reno, Nevada. I’m an avid PC gamer and I was working for laptopaid.com, She’s writing about technology especially for laptops and notebooks and very passionate, optimistic & dedicated woman who takes up responsibilities with utmost enthusiasm.