Table: Easy on the Shoulder--and the Wallet
If you're willing to pay top dollar, you can snap up a machine that weighs less than a fly. But there are a couple of feature-packed bargains, too.
DIMENSIONS WEIGHT SPECIFICATIONS W x D x H (POUNDS) PRICE (INCHES)
IBM THINKPAD Mobile Intel Low Voltage 11.0 x 3.7 $3,157 X22 Pentium III-M 800MHz; 8.9 x 1.2 ibm.com 256MB; 20GB
HP OMNIBOOK Mobile Intel Low-Voltage 11.0 x 3.5 $3,049 500 Pentium III 750 MHz; 8.7 x 1.0 hp.com 256 MB; 30 GB
COMPAQ EVO Mobile Intel Low Voltage 10.0 x 3.5 $2,632 N400C Pentium III 700 MHz; 8.9 x 0.9 compaq.com 256 MB; 20 GB
GATEWAY SOLO Mobile Intel Low Voltage 10.7 x 3.0 $1,999 3450 Pentium III 750 MHz; 8.9 x 1.0 gateway.com 192 MB; 20 GB
SONY VAIO Intel Celeron 600 MHz; 10.2 x 3.0 $1,000 SR33 128 MB; 10 GB 8.2 x 1.2 sony.com
APPLE PowerPC G3 500 MHz; 11.2 x 4.9 $1,299 iBOOK 128 MB; 15 GB 9.1 x 1.4 apple.com
IBM THINKPAD It weighs a bit more than other ultra- X22 lights, but the X22 runs most pro- ibm.com grams up to 20% faster than rivals. And it has nearly four hours of battery life and the best graphics in its class.
HP OMNIBOOK A take-it-anywhere PC. And with the 500 best docking station we've reviewed, hp.com the 500 is a snap to use at home, too. Keyboard is a bit cramped, but should work for all but the chubbiest fingers.
COMPAQ EVO Super-versatile, with a fullsize key- N400C board that touch-typists will love. compaq.com The downside is its brief, 2.5-hour battery life.
GATEWAY SOLO The Solo 3450 is extra easy on the 3450 shoulder. And at less than $2,000, gateway.com it's easy on the budget as well.
SONY VAIO You compromise a bit on performance, SR33 but this Vaio is cheap and light. It also sony.com has a slot for MemorySticks for quickly loading photos from a Sony digital camera onto a PC.
APPLE Apple comes up with a machine that's iBOOK competitive with Windows PCs in price apple.com and performance. Add Apple's nifty industrial design and you've got a winner.