lightweight laptop fullsize keyboard?
February 21, 2011 5:41 AM   Subscribe

The lightest possible laptop with a full-size keyboard?

I travel a lot, I write a lot, I touch-type. I cannot get used to small keyboards. I need full size or nearly so. For my travel laptop I carry a ThinkPad/Lenovo X300. The keyboard is great, but the unit + charger is heavy and dates from 2008.

Anything newer out there? I want full or at a minimum 93% keyboard, as lightweight as possible including charger, as thin as possible. Everything else can be sacrificed but keyboard is essential.
posted by mono blanco to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That would be the MacBook Air.
posted by richrad at 5:43 AM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

The air, definitely.
posted by tremspeed at 5:53 AM on February 21, 2011

Thirding the air, more specifically the new 11"
posted by katypickle at 6:12 AM on February 21, 2011

I'd answer with "The Air" too, but here's an article by someone else recommending the Air as ideal: I’ve finally found the perfect writer’s machine in the new 11.6-inch MacBook Air
posted by BinaryApe at 6:36 AM on February 21, 2011

Air. Brilliant, sturdy, light, and effortless to type on.
posted by supercres at 6:47 AM on February 21, 2011

I think there's a Vaio out there that's basically Sony's version of the Air. If you like PCs, I'd at least look at that.
posted by J. Wilson at 6:51 AM on February 21, 2011

Best answer: Try the keyboard out in a store before you buy. I own a Thinkpad and the keyboard feels pretty different from Mac keyboards. When I type on a Mac, I definitely have to adjust, so if you're used to the Thinkpad feel, make sure you do a test run.
posted by prefpara at 6:51 AM on February 21, 2011

Another vote for the MacBook Air hardware. You can run Windows on it if you need to.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:58 AM on February 21, 2011

MSI has/had an X-Slim range, and claims those are as tall but weigh less than an MacBook Air.

My MSI came with a ridiculously heavy power cord, though. So it has cost me an extra € 15 to get a lightweight power adapter for travelling.
posted by ijsbrand at 7:02 AM on February 21, 2011

Since you mentioned it, maybe the best thing about any MacBook is the power adapters. Combination of MagSafe and having the brick be the plug (instead of having it floating in the middle of some 10 foot cord) is ideal for portability.
posted by Patbon at 8:14 AM on February 21, 2011

Watch out for the Mac keyboards if you're used to the (excellent, IMO) thinkpad keyboards. I personally just can't get used to chiclet keyboards, they make me hate typing.

Dell Adamo also has a full-size keyboard, though I'm not recommending it.
posted by fake at 11:19 AM on February 21, 2011

Is there a reason you don't want to just use a USB or Bluetooth keyboard? There are folding and roll-up keyboards available if portability is the concern.
posted by curious nu at 11:59 AM on February 21, 2011

Response by poster: I'll definitely check out the Air given all the thumbs up. But I'm really picky about the keyboard so I take prefpara's and fake's admonitions to heart. I do have a roll-up keyboard but I'm looking for simplicity not complexity. I have a Viao too. Wonderfully light but, damn, that keyboard sucks.
posted by mono blanco at 3:47 PM on February 21, 2011

The price of a MacBook Air is not far off from the price of my Thinkpad x61, which weighs about two pounds and has that sweet, sweet keyboard. I've also dropped it hard onto concrete about three times and it's chugging right along. If you like Thinkpads, why not get another one, only lighter?
posted by prefpara at 5:04 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

My Vaio Z Series has a good size keyboard, doesn't weigh much. Try it out at a Sony Store.
posted by defcom1 at 6:19 PM on February 21, 2011

Toshiba Portege --- I think the correct model is the R5000. I don't have the specs at hand, but I researched dozens of ultraportables, and ended up with the Portege. It's the lightest laptop currently available (yes, lighter than the Air) and has a fullsize keyboard that's a joy to type on. I hate the chiclet keyboard.
posted by Susan PG at 6:37 PM on February 21, 2011

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