Ultralight laptop with a docking station option?
November 30, 2005 4:20 PM   Subscribe

Ultralight laptop with a docking station option?

I'm looking for an ultralight-class laptop that has a real docking station option, not one of those USB port replicator things. It needs one chunky, hard-wearing port that connects everything (including a monitor) in one go. Sharp don't sell anything in Australia anymore, apparently, and I'm not getting a Sony. I've seen a small Dell that might have been bought recently that still has a port replicator, but Dell's ultralight/sub-notebook models appear to have removed the docking station connector.

Should be less than 3lbs (~1.3kg). A 10" screen is probably the absolute minimum, as it will be used on occasion (which, I think, rules out the Librettos).

Does anyone have any suggestions?
posted by krisjohn to Computers & Internet (16 answers total)
Compaq TC1100
posted by DrtyBlvd at 4:36 PM on November 30, 2005

Docking Station for it.
posted by DrtyBlvd at 4:40 PM on November 30, 2005

Best answer: Lenovo ThinkPad X-series laptop (Australian website).

Lenovo is the Chinese firm which manufactured personal computers for IBM. The company bought IBM's personal computer business last year.
posted by ericb at 4:49 PM on November 30, 2005

i love my x31, but really it's only very slightly smaller than a 12" powerbook, yet doesn't have the cd drive. otoh, maybe the x41 is better.

personally, i covet the panasonic w4, but i can't find info about a docking station.
posted by andrew cooke at 5:04 PM on November 30, 2005

The ThinkPad X4 UltraBase (docking unit).
posted by ericb at 5:04 PM on November 30, 2005

Perhaps the lightest you'll get is a slate-only style of tablet-PC, and because slates (unlike the convertables) sacrifice so much to get the weight down (and get the battery life up), they generally (always?) have full docking stations available.

But by the same token, slates tend to be less powerful than convertible laptops and normal laptops.

Personally, a slate wouldn't suit me, but I don't know what kind of useage you have in mind.
posted by -harlequin- at 5:06 PM on November 30, 2005

I have the X40 (with UltraBase -- in which resides the CD/DVD drive).

The X41 is a tablet PC -- and the newest in the line-up.
posted by ericb at 5:06 PM on November 30, 2005

The X41 starts at 3.5 lb. and is less than 1.14" thin and the X40 starts at 2.7 lb and is less than 1" thin.
posted by ericb at 5:10 PM on November 30, 2005

Response by poster: (I don't trust Sony anymore. Who knows what DRM/rootkit crap comes pre-installed on their laptops?)
posted by krisjohn at 5:50 PM on November 30, 2005

Best answer: It's got a smaller screen than you want, but I really like my Fujitsu LifeBook P1510D. It's tiny, tiny, tiny, but despite the small screen and keyboard it's pretty usable.
posted by kindall at 7:57 PM on November 30, 2005

Yes, for ultraportables Sony is king. I have a fantastic 10" S-series which slips into any briefcase, rucksack or murse I might be carrying. Makes a 12" iBook look like a heifer.
posted by blag at 9:14 PM on November 30, 2005

And if you're really worried about rootkits and DRM, why not just reformat and reinstall as soon as it arrives?
posted by blag at 9:15 PM on November 30, 2005

We've got a few Toshiba Portege M100s at the office. Paper thin, real docking station w/ single connector on the underside of the laptop chassis (that is easy to mash into a pulp). They also have a proprietary HDD form factor.

I find them to be fragile and full of toshiba shovelware, but the Execs just love them. If laptops were dogs, the M100 would be an italian greyhound.
posted by Triode at 9:50 PM on November 30, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks kindall for finding a light-weight Fujitsu with a docking station option. The local supplier didn't come up with this. I've just fired off the model number to see what they can rustle up. I might just be able to go back to my first preference.
posted by krisjohn at 12:09 AM on December 1, 2005

I have a Toshiba Portege 2000 which is the same form factor as the m100 Triode mentioned. It is very thin and light, and includes 2 batteries which give outstanding battery life.
On the downside, it flexs a little, and this occasionally causes the battery contacts to slip, causing a reboot if you pick it up by a front corner when on.
The IBMs are standard issue at work. I think they are ugly and plasticky. The guy I sit next to had to send his back several times for various faults.
posted by bystander at 3:31 AM on December 1, 2005

I am using the X41 tablet at work, and I love it. In spite of being plastic it feels solid, the battery life is terrific, and being able to convert it to a tablet for minimal input work (newsreading, etc.) is very convenient.
posted by mkhall at 4:04 AM on December 1, 2005

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