Ultraportable challengers to the MacBook Air

Fujitsu, Lenovo and Sony challenge the Air

The MacBook Air is Apple's first foray into a crowded ultraportable market that has seen its share of very light, very capable products from companies including Sony, Lenovo, and Fujitsu, among others. Here's a fast look at how they stack up.

MacBook Air: Sleek & light

The MacBook Air is lightweight and well-balanced--and one of our editors, Senior Product Editor Melissa Perenson had no difficulties lifting this 3-pound notebook up one-handed. Unlike most notebook computers, the MacBook Air has a clean, tapered, uniform look when closed.

MacBook Air: What's missing, what's there

There is no optical drive in the MacBook Air, but that isn't unusual for laptops in this class. It only has three ports (a headphone jack, one USB 2.0 port and one Mini-DVI port), and no Ethernet--and its battery is sealed into the case. But its keyboard is already being compared to the popular MacBook and its large (for this class) 13.3-inch monitor boasts 1280 X 800 resolution.

Fujitsu Q2010: Mighty close

It's been around a few years, but the Fujitsu Q2010 is about as slim as the MacBook Air and somewhat lighter. It has a smaller (12.1-inch) screen than the MacBook Air, which boasts a 13.3-inch screen.

The Q2010 has integrated Wi-Fi 802.11abg, as well as Bluetooth v. 2.0, and enough ports and slots to keep you running the basics and then some (integrated SD Card slot on the left hand side, plus headphones and microphone jacks and a convenient volume wheel). And did we mention that it is extremely light (2.2 pounds)? It comes in 40GB or 80GB configurations. But you better hurry if you want one. They're getting quite hard to find.

Lenovo Thinkpad X61: The current champ

The X61 has become one of the most popular ultraportables in the corporate world (and is the current reigning leader in the PC World rankings). It's not an accident. It's fast and has astonishing battery life.

While heftier than either the Fujitsu or the MacBook Air at 3.6 pounds, this performance champion has a tip-top keyboard, a 12.1-inch screen, is reasonably priced, and uses Intel's Santa Rosa processor.

Sony VGN-TZ150N/B: Beauty contest

This is the ultraportable Apple seems to be most interested in challenging, and in truth, it is probably the nicest looking PC laptop on the market. But looks can be deceiving: our Test Center found it to be quite slow. But it is a beauty.

The VGN-TZ150N/B has a glossy piano-black keyboard, a sturdy carbon-fiber exterior, and a 2.7-pound minimum weight.The 11.1-inch, LED-backlit, 1366-by-768-pixel screen is very bright, which makes it easy to read despite its small size. The individual keys are slightly raised above the surface of the keyboard for fairly easy touch typing. Another nice feature: two dedicated slots for using an SD Card and Memory Stick simultaneously.

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