Please recommend a lightweight laptop...

… for surfing, watching movies online, using MS office, mail etc. I don’t play games on laptop.

Should have good battery life. Budget about 1000 USD.

Lightweight means about 4.5 pounds, hope such a product exists outside apple.

Heck, yeah, it exists outside of Apple. Heck, IMO, 4.5 pounds is a bit heavier than you need at your price point and usage levels. A fast netbook would probably work for you, and those are often sub three pounds and are definitely less than $1000.

Since you really seem to not want an Apple product, why don’t you try Microsoft’s Windows PC Scout? They claim to have only picked the laptops that work the best with Windows 7. Even if you don’t wind up buying from them, you’ll at least know the specs you want.

Since the OP is looking for advice, this is best suited to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

I bought one of these Acer laptops for my wife recently for under $600, and she’s been very happy with it. It’s slightly larger than a netbook (13.3" screen), very thin and light (under 4 pounds). Intel I3 dual core processor, 4GB RAM (upgradable to 8GB), 320GB HD, built-in 1.3 megapixel webcam, multi-card-reader, HDMI output, (up to) 8 hours battery life, Windows 7 Home Premium. It wouldn’t be great for playing 3D-intensive games, but it’s plenty peppy enough for web browsing, Microsoft Office, watching videos, etc.

My only minor complaint is that the keys are spread out wider than in previous keyboards I’ve used, so my muscle memory has me hitting the wrong keys quite a bit while I’ve been re-learning where they are. (Which is partially because I learned to type the wrong way, yet very quickly.)

Thank you for the replies.

Any long term Acer users here? How do you find them?

The Lenovo X201 may be a good choice for you. The basic configuration is $909 and weighs less than 3 lb. If you opt for the 9-cell battery you get “up to 11.3 hours” of battery life, for $50 and 0.5 lb extra. I have the tablet version of this laptop and am very pleased with it.

I have a Toshbia NB 100 that I’ve been using for 3.5 years now. Minus a minor scare a few weeks back with the power supply, it’s great. I wrote my whole Master’s thesis on it, so I’m obviously not dissuaded by the small keyboard; it works fine for me!

IF I WERE YOU, however, I’d hold out for the Fujitsu Q550. Couple it with a bluetooth or USB keyboard, and I think that is a winning combination, personally! I’m anxiously waiting its release in April or May.

Seconded. I bought an X201i to replace a dying netbook. It’s very solidly put together, and fairly user serviceable. After losing a few laptops to simple but difficult-to-fix problems like a busted power socket, serviceability is one of my higher priorities. With the 9-cell battery I can easily get 8 hours of use with the wifi on; more if I’m careful to conserve the battery. It doesn’t have a CD drive, but that’s easy enough to live without. Whenever I need to install something from a CD I just use another computer to copy the disk’s content to a flash drive.

IMO, a netbook is sufficient for basic web browsing and media use, but not for much in the way of office work. Spreadsheets are seriously encumbered by the small screen area, and a tiny keyboard is painful to type on for more than a paragraph or two. But they’re cheap, light, and have great battery life.

If you’re willing to spend $1000, you can get quite a bit for that price.

I’ve had an Acer Aspire laptop for a bit more than two years, a bit bigger than the one a few posts up with a 15.6’’ screen and optical drive, and it’s perfectly good, especially considering it was a cheap one at the time. Optical drive is a bit noisy.

I don’t really have experience with Lenovo and don’t mean to sound like a shill for Acer, but it’s worth mentioning that compared with the $909 base model X201i, the Acer I bought has a larger and higher-resolution screen, more memory (4GB vs 2GB), a bigger hard drive (320GB vs 250GB), a 6-cell battery vs. a 4-cell battery, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit vs. 32-bit, and an HDMI output (which as far as I can tell, the X201i does not offer), all for just under $600.

(Disclaimer: It’s possible you “get what you pay for,” and we haven’t had the new Acer laptop for very long.)

I’m sure both are fine laptops. The Acer looks like a good value. Just to explain the design differences:

The Thinkpad series is designed primarily as a business laptop, so it lacks some features popular for home users. For example, they put a VGA connector instead of HDMI because most conference rooms have projectors with VGA cables. For connecting to an external monitor, obviously HDMI is better; I think Lenovo assumes that any business buyer would use a docking station while in their office. (I do.)

As for screen resolution, the Acer is 1366x768. This is the “widescreen” format, the same aspect ratio as HDTV and widescreen DVD. The Lenovo is 1280x800, which is not as ideal for watching movies, but probably better for web browsing or Office software. It’s not a big difference though, it shouldn’t be the deciding factor.

Lenovo lets you choose between 32-bit and 64-bit OS (no price difference). And 4-cell vs. 6-cell is meaningless when comparing between different brands because there’s no standard size for a “cell”.

The X201 with the “11-hour” battery is half a pound lighter than the Acer. Whether the lighter weight is worth the higher price is up to the buyer.

Forget the Lenovo X201. The Lenovo X220 just came out and is by all accounts the greatest laptop ever. Starts just under $1000. IPS screen!

Not to sound like a shill for Lenovo, but…

It’s a reasonable comparison to make. When I bought this X201i, my biggest priorities were portability, battery life, and reasonable performance. If that was all I was looking for, that Acer would certainly be worth considering. However I was also willing to pay a modest premium for durability, reliability, serviceability, and even better portability. So for these I went with the Lenovo – they’ve got a good reputation for building tough and well-engineered platforms. And this particular laptop is small and lightweight with 8+ hours of battery life.

Cheap consumer laptops can sometimes be durable and reliable, but it’s a crapshoot at the lower price points. There manufacturers are starting to cut corners with materials, components, and design. And when they break, you probably won’t be able to fix it.

Lenovo sells to businesses who want to be able to maintain their laptops for many years with in-house support. So they’re engineered to be durable and easily repairable when something eventually does go wrong.

Also it helped that it was on sale for Christmas (and probably to clear out stock for the coming x220). So I paid $800 for a slightly up-specced x201i. I was more than happy to pay a $200 premium for the stuff I mentioned above, plus a few other niceties like a really good keyboard. I probably wouldn’t have been willing to pay a $400 or $500 premium, however.

I recently bought an Asus 1215N Netbook and so far have very few complaints. It’s lightweight, great performance, great battery life – MS Office runs smoothly, and the 1366x768 native resolution is excellent for widescreen media. It does stutter frames when you’re viewing in HD, but at 12.1 inches, it’s pointless to view in HD anyways (though if you’re hooking up to the TV then this does become an issue). No optical drive either, you’d have to attach an external via USB. Also, the touchpad mousebar is a bit unresponsive (takes a lot more pressure than it should). For less than $500 though, it fits my needs perfectly. At 3.2 pounds, it’s not a problem to take anywhere. I tossed in an extra gig of memory and an SD card for ReadyBoost and I can even play 3D rendered games on low settings at about 20-25 fps.