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The VAIO X is a 'premium business' ultraportable with a carbon fibre chassis, available in matte and glossy black, and even gold if you wish. It's an 11.1in. ultraportable that's as slim and light as they come — 13.9mm and 780g. Solid-state storage, a multitouch trackpad, integrated mobile broadband and battery life up to (a claimed) 16 hours make this a Windows 7 system for the well-heeled mobile professional.
Screen size 11.1in. Screen resolution 1,366 x 768 Dimensions 27.8 x 18.5 x 1.39cm Weight 780g CPU Intel Atom: 1.86GHz Z540 or 2GHz Z550 Chipset Intel System Controller Hub US15W RAM 2GB Graphics Intel GMA 500 Storage 128GB or 256GB SSD Optical drive n/a Wi-Fi 802.11/b/g/draft-n Bluetooth 2.1+EDR Mobile broadband HSPA Webcam 0.3 megapixels Ports 2xUSB 2.0, VGA, RJ-45, audio Slots SD Card, Memory Stick Battery Li-ion Battery life 8 hours (16h with extended battery option) Price (ex. VAT) £1,129 (Z540, 128GB)
£1,564 (Z550, 256GB)
A 15.6in. Windows 7 notebook that lasts for 12 hours on its 8-cell battery certainly gets our attention. If the UL50VG's real-world battery life gets anywhere near ASUS's claim, it could be worth considering this 2.3kg system for your travel bag. The screen resolution could be better, but the price looks competitive and you get 4GB of RAM, switchable integrated (low power)/discrete (high performance) graphics, a pre-boot Linux OS and a separate number pad on the keyboard. We look forward to testing this one.
Screen size 15.6in. Screen resolution 1,366 x 768 Dimensions 38.6 x 25.9 x 2.64cm Weight 2.3kg CPU 1.3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 Chipset Mobile Intel GS45 Express RAM 4GB Graphics Intel GMA 4500MHD (integrated) + Nvidia GeForce G210M (discrete) Storage 500GB HD Optical drive DVD Super Multi dual layer Wi-Fi 802.11a/g/n Bluetooth 2.1+EDR Mobile broadband n/a Webcam 0.3 megapixels Ports 3xUSB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, RJ-45, audio Slots 5-in-1 card reader (SD,MMC,MS,MS-Pro,XD) Battery 8-cell Battery life 12 hours Price (ex. VAT) £695
HP's Envy 13 is a stylish — if premium-priced — challenger to Apple's 13in. MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. It's got the key elements: a curvy aluminium body, a gorgeous edge-to-edge-glass screen, a chiclet-style keyboard and a buttonless multitouch trackpad. There's a fashionable pre-boot OS, but it has a minimalist set of ports (even the Ethernet port is on a USB dongle) and lacks both an expansion slot and an integrated optical drive. More of a mobile thoroughbred than a workhorse, the Envy 13 is evidence that the PC world can match the Apple stable for style when it tries.
Screen size 13.1in. Screen resolution 1,366 x 768 Dimensions 21.5 x 32 x 2.05cm Weight 1.7kg CPU 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SL9400 Chipset n/s RAM 3GB Graphics ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 Storage 250GB HD Optical drive external LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD±RW Wi-Fi 802.11a/g/n Bluetooth 2.0+EDR Mobile broadband n/a Webcam 0.3 megapixels Ports 2xUSB 2.0, HDMI, RJ-45 (via USB dongle), audio Slots n/a Battery Li-ion: 4-cell, optional 6-cell add-on slice Battery life n/a Price (ex. VAT) £1,303