Laptops come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, each with its own set of pros and cons. While the smallest laptops are the most portable (and often the coolest-looking), they also have smaller keyboards and displays, fewer features, and slower performance than their bulkier brethren. Conversely, more full-featured laptops are generally more difficult to carry and take up more space on your desk and in your bag.
Until they make the perfect laptop, you’ll have to sacrifice something, so think about what’s most important to you–computing power, a complete set of features, long battery life, good looks, a small form factor, or a low price. Take a look below to learn more about what each type of laptop has to offer.
Thin and light laptop
A thin-and-light offers the optimal combination of portability, performance, features, and cost. Power-tuned mobile processors deliver enough power to keep you working smoothly, and unlike ultraportables, most thin-and-lights have a more reasonably sized keyboard and display, a larger hard drive, and a built-in optical drive. Yes, they’re more expensive than slightly larger, heavier midsize laptops, but if you need maximum productivity in a portable package, this is the best choice.
- Weight: 4 to 6 pounds
- Size: Approximately 1 inch thick
- Display: 12 to 14 inches (diagonal), probably wide screen
- Processor: Midrange-to-fast dual-core processors
- Features: Most ports and connections; 80GB to 120GB hard drive; optical drive
- Networking: LAN, modem, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (optional), WWAN (optional)
- Other things to note: Small keyboard and touch pad
- Price range: Start at $800; fully loaded $1,500 and up