Light, high-res laptop suggestions Wanted

I’m looking for a lightweight laptop, definitely sub 4 lbs. A 13"-ish screen is fine, but I want high resolution. Definitely higher than the 1366x768 offered for most machines in this category. A backlit keyboard is also a requirement. Otherwise, it doesn’t much matter. No Atom CPU’s: an i3 CPU or better. Preferably no optical drive. No gaming other than the occasional PvZ will occur on this machine, so integrated graphics are fine.

Cheaper is always better, but any suggestions that fit the bill would be welcome. Just figured I’d toss this out there. I don’t keep up much w/ laptop lineups other than Dell’s that I order for the office. If anyone has experience w/ a machine that might fit the bill, I’d appreciate a pointer or two.

Sounds like you just described the 13" MacBook Air. Except for the backlit keyboard.

The Air’s are nice but the backlit keyboard is non-negotiable. The Lenovo T420 would fit the bill, except it’s over 4.8 lbs. I’d prefer a more lightweight solution.

Vaio Z is pretty bad ass however I don’t know about the backlit keyboard.

Does the T420s have a backlit keyboard (I know the T410s doesn’t, because I’m typing on it right now)?

Anyway, good luck. 1366x768 is this insanely dominant thing, and it makes buying a laptop very frustrating.

It has the ThinkLight, which is the display bezel mounted lamp that illuminates the keyboard. I’d prefer backlit, but that’s fine as well.

I’m not in a rush to purchase. It may be that the various criteria I’m looking for don’t presently converge at a price I can accept.

Well, if that’s good enough, then the T420s fits your needs. 1440x900, i5, <4lbs, and it has that above-the-screen lamp.

Vaio Z has a backlit keyboard. It’s also available with a 1600x900 anti-glare LCD that looks damn nice.

I’ve been very happy with mine, except the Intel wireless radio and the Bluetooth create interference when connected to certain wireless access points and I’ve had to disable Bluetooth entirely on mine to maintain a stable Internet connection. YMMV.

Ah, you’re right. I’d looked at the T420 (non-S) well, because it was cheaper. I hadn’t realized the 420s version was about 1 lb lighter. That may be the ticket if I can’t find a slightly less expensive machine hiding out somewhere.

The Vaio Z does look sweet. It seems to be discontinued? I can save a few bucks going for the Thinkpad, but I’ll toss the Vaio Z in the mix, as it’s still available around various online/retail sites.

There’s a new refresh of the Z coming. Link.

Take a look at the new VAIO SA series out there. Under 4lbs, SandyBridge processors, backlit keyboard, and 1600x900 screens on them.

You can search around for this: VPCSA2DGX/BI and pull up different sites selling it. A nice looking machine that just came out. Looks like it would wit your needs.

That SA series looks sweet. The sheet batteries they have are freaking awesome. I’d actually consider selling my Z to get one of these for the better battery life.

Damn, those do look sweet. The main issue with the Z is that the cover/screen feels like a sheet of paper.

Oh, and I need a real dock. As much as I hate my T410, at least it has a dock.

Bah, docks are overrated. A USB hub with your keyboard/mouse plugged into it and a monitor via VGA is all you need to plug into a laptop these days. Windows 7 even handles display switching like a champ.

The Vaio SA has a dock if you are concerned about that. (VGPPRS20)

I hook into a 2560x1600 display, which requires DP/MiniDP/HDMI 1.4/Dual-DVI. It’s a development laptop as well, which means I have one external drive, and probably five USB devices hooked up (that don’t work well through a powered hub), wired internet.

Oh, and dual monitors, which you’re not going to get without a dock.

Wow, that’s a rarity these days. Unfortunately that’s a pretty weak dock. HDMI and no DP/MiniDP/DVI? If it’s HDMI 1.4 (they don’t say) I guess an adapter would be possible. Also no eSata and no USB 3.0.

Hopefully Thunderbolt or whatever they’re calling it these days will lead to some pretty beefy docks without the cost/bulk/headache.

Previous gen Macbook air has a backlit keyboard. Still very nice. Could probably find one fairly easily.

That Sony SA series is pretty sexy. I’m trying to decide if it’s worth the extra $225 over the T420s as I’d want it configured (7200rpm drive, and Win 7 Pro).