Feeds

Mass Effect: Ten lightweight laptops that won’t bust your back

A selection of skinny notebooks that put the ‘ability’ in ‘portability’

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Asus ZenBook Touch UX31A

Reg Hardware retro numbers

Eminent critic of this parish Alastair Dabbs described the original ZenBook UX31E as one of the finest Ultrabooks on the market, reserving his only real criticism for the limited viewing angles of the 13.3-inch display.

Dabbsy will no doubt be relieved to see that the latest model – renamed the ZenBook Touch UX31A – puts that right, with a bright, colourful IPS LCD display that provides 1920 x 1080 resolution and viewing angles that just won’t quit. It’s touch-sensitive too, although I’m still not convinced that touch controls are much use on a laptop of this size.

Asus ZenBook Touch UX31A

The dark, brushed-metal finish still looks very dapper, and at 1.3kg and 17mm thick the ZenBook remains one of the most portable laptops currently available. Connectivity consists of two USB 3.0 ports, along with micro HDMI and mini VGA, and Asus also includes full VGA Ethernet adaptors free of charge.

It’s very expensive, though, costing a whopping £1,500 for an Ivy Bridge Core i7 running at 2.0GHz, 4GB of memory and a 256GB SSD. And, with battery life stretching to just five hours of streaming video it really needs a Haswell boost to justify that sort of price.

Price £1,600
More info Asus

Dell Latitude 12 (E7240)

Reg Hardware retro numbers

Dell’s Latitude 12 isn’t the slimmest or lightest laptop in this selection, but it’s well built and very comfortable to use.

It only has a 12.5-inch screen, but at 1.36kg it’s actually heavier than several of its 13.3-inch rivals. Even so, that’s still a pretty good weight, and the Latitude’s solid build quality makes it one of the sturdiest laptops in this group.

Dell Latitude 12

The keyboard has a nice, firm feel to it and will be comfortable to use for long periods. The soft-touch finish on the wrist panels shows good attention to detail and it’s well connected too, with three USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI and mini DisplayPort.

Unfortunately, it’s also very expensive for a non-touch laptop with a relatively modest specification. I tested the entry-level E7240 model, which costs £1,375 for a Haswell Core i5 running at 1.6GHz, and a 4GB of memory and 128GB of solid-state storage.

That only produces mid-range performance, with a score of 3000 when running PCMark 7 that is soundly beaten by the 1.3GHz MacBook Air. The Air also beats the Latitude’s 1366 x 768 resolution while still coming in at well under £1,000.

The compact little battery doesn’t help either, with just 31Wh capacity that only allowed the Dell to deliver five hours of streaming video. Dell seems aware that it’s overpriced, though, and is currently offering a temporary discount of £344 for online sales, which also includes a three-year warranty to help sweeten the pill.

Price £1,375
More info Dell

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Next page: Dell XPS 11

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – A jolly little war for lunchtime
Free-to-play WoW turn-based game when you have 20 minutes to kill
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.