Laptops: one size doesn’t fit all

GiantlaptopJust a conversation starter here because this is one of those topics where the only right answer is the one that’s right for you. Still, I think it’s worth some discussion because we’re witnessing a trend towards smaller and lighter (and cheaper!) notebooks. Of course, that brings other compromises into play as well. For example, the smaller and lighter a notebook is, it generally follows that the battery tends to offer less power. At least until we have batteries that run forever and take up the size of a pin-head. We compensate for that by configuring notebooks with CPUs and other components that are more energy efficient as a result. And so on… it’s all about compromises with mobile tech, right?

(image: Crave)

So in terms of size, display and weight, what’s optimal for you in anotebook? I have a fairly powerful MacBook Pro that unfortunatelydoesn’t leave my desk much. Why not? With the 15-inch display and aweight of over 5.5-pounds, I just don’t like to tote it. So Icompromise with a device that offers less horsepower, but handles 90%of the same tasks. Currently, that device is the MSI Wind with the10.2-inch screen and weight just under 3-pounds. But maybe that’s toosmall. Sometimes I wish that 1024×600 screen resolution were just a tadhigher.

I’m thinking that for me, a 10-inch display with a higher res mightdo the trick. A 12-inch display might be the sweet spot and I had thatin 2004 with my Toshiba M205 Tablet PC. Maybe that’s why the new Toshiba Portege A600jumped out at me earlier this week. It has a 12-inch display, but theoverall device weight is 3.2-pounds and the price starts at under $1,400. Of course you have to factor inthe svelte machines like the Lenovo X301 I’m looking at too. It offersthe low weight advantage plus a nice screen size and resolution, butthe footprint itself is still that of a bigger machine.

I suppose I’m too fussy because like everyone else, I want it alland I want it for few dollars. What are your thoughts, i.e.: what doyou look for in terms of size, weight, footprint, screen size andresolution? If you change one of these factors more to your liking, youtend to suffer in another area. What fits you best?

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