Ultralight laptop bleg 2

I’ve been in touch with the US vendor of laptops Portableone from whom I purchased a Fujitsu laptop about four years ago. They’re a good crew so if you want a laptop, buy it from them and you’re likely to save money on the inflated prices here.

They don’t like the Toshiba’s screen and they’ve suggested I check over these three ranges of ultralights. The ASUS ones look very powerful and just as light as the Sonys.

Sony have some groovy new Vaio products out I understand.

As do ASUS and you can check them out on their website and on Portableone’s website.

I’m tempted by the ASUS products. I prefer to avoid fancy brands (unless I know they’re buying me something better. With Sony I’d say that was true with standard consumer electronics but I doubt it in computers. I have an (unbranded) laptop made by ASUS and it’s fine – just too damn heavy. )

Any responses t to these choices from our IT gurus?

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14 Responses to Ultralight laptop bleg 2

  1. Niall says:

    So…..this is a ‘bleg’ because you’re asking for help in a blog?

    By the by…..how the hell do SONY get their brand name out of that blend of a stargate address and the name of a Jovian moon?

  2. Stephen Bounds says:

    I don’t like Sony laptops at all. I’ve never had a good experience with ’em.

    If you do buy a Sony, remember one thing — Sony treats their laptops as a closed system. So don’t expect to be able to format and put Linux on it, or even a different version of Windows on it. Returning to factory state via the recovery CD is generally your only option.

    If I were going to buy an ultralight, I would buy a Toshiba, Lenova or Apple MacBook. Dell in a pinch.

    @Niall: The laptop has “Vaio”, not “Sony”, written on it :)

  3. david tiley says:

    I realised at a conference this week why Apple is carrying on about the depth of their new laptop. Put one on your lap and type, and even minor increases in depth sets your hands back and up, so accuracy drops away. Much harder in my experience to hit the spacebar.

    Dragging my work Dell around, I realised how much I love my Macs at home, even the ancient Pismo now too old to even drag out of the house.

  4. wilful says:

    . So dont expect to be able to format and put Linux on it, or even a different version of Windows on it.

    Huh? that’s utter rubbish, surely? If it’s running intel chips (which it is) you can do whatever you damn well want with it.

    I’ve only had good experiences with Asus.

  5. I believe Sony laptops – particularly the ultralights – have a rather more unusual collection of components in them than some of the other brands, and Sony are known for their disinterest in Linux support. But that may well be irrelevant to Nick.

  6. wilful says:

    Here‘s the google results for “Sony Vaio linux”. Lots of people doing it it seems.

  7. derrida derider says:

    Of course you can put Linux on a Vaio. You just won’t be able to use the proprietary Sony peripherals, because there’s no drivers for them.

    In both computers and household electronics I don’t buy Sony because of their vigilant attitude to intellectual property (to put it at its very kindest) and fondness for proprietary systems. It’s their ownership of a major content provider that’s at the root of a lot of it.

  8. In any case, for mine reliability, size (more than weight), ergonomics and battery life are the most important requirements in an ultralight.

    I currently have a HP and quite like it.

  9. Arch says:

    I have a 6 month old VIAO SX, dual booting ubuntu and XP. Its light and battery last a good length of time, and fits in my backpack.

    I’ve had only a few problems running linux on it, most important being that the headphone and mic sockets don’t work, and neither does the built in webcam, but usb sockets, card readers, dvd drive, etc, worked immediately. Interestingly, most hot keys work with ubuntu but not under XP.

    It came with Vista, but I got rid of that quick smart. Some interesting times were had getting it all running, particularly as when I first got the machine, sony didn’t provide any support for people wanting to ‘downgrade’ from Vista to XP. However, after a week of hunting down drivers, sony put them all up on their site. Beyond that, be aware that the order in which you install the XP drivers matters! Anyway, if you get the VIAO I’ll let you what worked for me.

  10. Stephen Bounds says:

    Okay, so the Linux part was probably a little over the top, but generally I stand by my comment. “You can install anything you like, but don’t expect half the peripherals to work” isn’t my idea of a ‘working system’.

    On the Windows side, I had to support a user who bought an ultralight Vaio which came with XP Home — not suitable for use in a business environment.

    But I could not get a regular, Windows XP Professional CD to install on that laptop no matter what I tried. We’re not talking about missing drivers here — I’m talking a Blue Screen of Death 5 minutes into the install routine.

    That experience alone convinced me never to buy a Vaio. And every other Vaio I’ve run across has had similar problems to a greater or lesser extent. Blech.

  11. Interesting how ubiquitous the anti-vista mood is. I wonder if it will hurt the dreaded juggernaut from Seattle?

  12. swio says:

    What are the dimensions of your current laptop? ie Screensize, weight and thickness. If its a few years old you may be surprised how light and small the better normal sized laptops are these days.

  13. I’ve seen the current ones in the shops. They standard ones – with the wide(ish) screens are the same weight as mine – I’d guess 2.5Ks or so. I know there are smaller ones, but many of them are around 2kgs. 2kgs is a lot to carry round. 1kg is better.

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