Lenovo ThinkPad X100e Enhanced
Lenovo has equipped its 11.6in laptop with an AMD CPU, but unlike many AMD-based sub-notebooks, it's a dual-core part, the 1.6GHz Turion Neo X2 L625. The upshot is a more nippy response to your commands.
Unlike all the other notebooks here, the X100e is starkly utilitarian in its looks, but is appealing in an all flat faces, all straight lines, all matte kind of way. No frivolous curves here - or HDMI output, for that matter. But you get all the other important ports, mobile broadband and one of the best keyboard and trackpad combos around - plus the ThinkPad nipple too. And a matte screen. Points lost for including a 32-bit OS, though.
Reg Rating 75
Price £667 discounted to £429
More Info Lenovo
Packard Bell Butterfly XS
Packard Bell - now part of Acer - is the only vendor that equips its 11.6in notebook with an optical drive. The additional weight amounts to 100g or so - not much, essentially - and it doesn't really bulk up the machine any.
Being an Acer, it's well made, but the use of a single-core processor - a 1.3GHz Intel Celeron 743 - slows things down, especially for running multiple apps. Having only 2GB of memory doesn't help either. The screen looks good; the flat, broad keys are nice to type on; and it comes with a 64-bit OS. Even the trackpad isn't bad.
Reg Rating 70
More Info Packard Bell
Next page: Samsung X125
Anyone else miss the old 12" 4:3 sized machines. Especially the old 12" G4 Powerbook. Not everything has to be wide screen, for web browsing and general work I'd rather have the relative screen hight.
believe it or not...
...the entire world doesn't revolve around Apple. Mac.
Thinkpads all the way.
I'd rather splash out £200 on an IBM X61s off ebay, pretty much the same spec and I can spend any left over cash on a decent SSD and more RAM. Honestly, you only need to use a proper Thinkpad (not the e100 jobby) once to be converted.
My desktop monitor is mostly used portrait.
Thank you for this. I have been looking forward to an article on 11 inch machines. They seem to be quite out of fashion. I have contended for a while now that 11inch is an ideal compromise between portability and functionality. I have started at 15 inch, went down to 14, then to 11, then to 10. I had to go back to 11 inch, as the resolution on 10 inch makes so many things a pain, or completely unusable.
In respect to processor, personally I prefer a fairly slow single or dual core part, balanced by the longest possible battery life. I have been using full time a Philips Freevents 11NB5000 (a Twinhead F11Y in reality) 11 inch sub-laptop for 3.5 years - and it has been an excellent work companion. However, I need quite often the optical drive - and the Packard Bell seems to be the only choice with one at 11" in the entire market.
I know they have been out of production for years - but a word of respect for the Sony TT/TZ/TX lines of yonder. All 11 inch machines, amazing build quality, some of them 9 hours of battery at the time, optical drive integrated (some of them BluRay writer!), even optional integrated 3G. Expensive but what a feat of engineering. Long gone now, I'm afraid. Those were the days. Sigh.