There's two constants of business travel: a lot of lugging, and the need for a decent computer throughout the trip.
Unfortunately, corporate IT departments favour notebooks that are seemingly packed with lead ballast to give your shoulder the maximum workout possible. It's time to take matters into your own hands and buy one of these ultraportable thin-and-light notebooks that will shave kilograms off your cabin baggage weight and give you performance without the backache. If you can convince the head of IT to pay for it, all the better.
In this feature we've detailed the absolute best notebooks on the market below 1.5KG, that don't skimp on system speed too badly. This counts out the many "me-to" netbooks which run on cheap (but slow) Intel Atom chips.
Of course, super-light notebooks don't come without any compromise at all -- mostly, they don't have a DVD drive, though if this is important to you, we do have models on the list that pack one in.
Storage is also an area you'll have to think about carefully. You'll get the best battery life, speed and durability from a solid state disk (SSD -- flash memory, like an iPhone), but because these are much more expensive than mechanical hard drives, you get less capacity -- typically 128GB on most notebooks with an SSD, compared to 500GB for a standard hard drive. This may not be a problem though, if you make good use of internet-based sync services like Dropbox to keep a subset of key files in sync with your main PC.
Our picks: the top 5
- Sony Vaio Z - power to burn, but only 1.4KG
- Toshiba Portege R700 - unbelievably light yet full-featured notebook
- MacBook Air 13" - super-thin, super-light; Apple has finally got it right.
- Sony Vaio YA - affordable ultraportability
- Fujitsu P770U - ultraportable notebook with 3G built in
Dan is a tech enthusiast who frequently qualifies for enhanced airport security screening due to the number of cords and gadgets stuffed into his cabin bag.