Lightweight WiFi Laptops Under $1000?

I need to buy a new work laptop when I’m in the States in a couple weeks. I have an ancient Gateway which has served me well for writing over the last four years, but my new job requires me to have constant internet access when I travel, and I plan on travelling frequently over the next six months. So I need a new machine that has a decent wifi set-up.

This is a work rig, not a gaming rig, so I don’t really care if it can’t run Doom 3. Outside of wifi, my priority is essentially weight - the lighter, the better. Second priority is a decent battery life. I’d prefer 512mb+ of RAM. Otherwise, I’m pretty damn flexible.

I’d like to spend less than a thousand bucks on the above. The lesser, the better! Anyone able to point me to any decent laptop deals that fulfill the above specs? I have an American address, so any good deals that are current now will definitely be taken into consideration.

iBook G4, $999. Great battery life with Wi-Fi, very light. When I was looking for light-n-connected a couple of years ago, the iBook actually beat out the Windows options available in the day. May not be true now.

Actually, I’ve been tempted by a Mac… and now that they can run XP, that’s a good idea. Do the $999 iBooks run Bootcamp? Can anyone tell me how wireless and battery power measure up these days?

No, there aren’t any Intel-based iBook equivalents yet (just the MacBook Pros), though it’s rumoured that something is being released on Tuesday…

Yeah, that’s what my inside sources just said too. That might actually settle it for me, as long as the $999 price stays the same.

I’ve got an ibook too and it’s the best thing since sliced bread for working on the road. If there’s a wifi network around it will find it and ask me if I want to use it. It’s a way better laptop than any of the comparably priced Dell crap. And since I’m not gaming on it I don’t miss the fact that it doesn’t do the bootcamp thing. Why would I want to boot XP when I can run in OSX?

Yep, if you’re just looking for something to write, e-mail, and do net access on, I don’t see why BootCamp matters.

It matters because there’s a lot of ancillary programs I depend on in WindowsXP on a day to day basis that I don’t want to bother having to find analogues for. I like OSX, but believe it or not, I like XP too… an iBook is only appealing to me if I can have my cake and eat it too, which means Bootcamp. Otherwise, I’ll go for something else. Bad enough I’m considering buying a laptop with a single fucking button. :)

This seems like bizarre advice, but I was in Best Buy this weekend and there were a bunch of under 6 pound Centrino (Pentium M/wi-fi) laptops from Gateway, Compaq, HP, Toshiba, etc., and some of the other mass producer types that were all under $1K.

The only laptop I really want is a Vaio that goes for $1800, though. 4 pounds, with a GeFroce 7400… it’s rare to find a lightweight with video that will run games (all come with Intel graphics).

For mobile XP, take a look at Dell’s Inspiron 710m. It’s $857, quite small, and lighter than the iBook. I see a few students with them, and they’re an audience that doesn’t want to lug around a 10 pound notebook.

Of course, I ended up getting an iBook. It is rugged and a good computer for networking because it doesn’t require a lot of finnicky configuration. It has wireless, bluetooth, firewire, and ethernet so that it can participate in a lot of different kinds of networks, and it has really slick controls for setting the computer up as a server so that I’ve been able to set up ad hoc sftp connections when I needed to get something off of a Windows machine (and couldn’t figure out how to set up IP over firewire, which is a chore in XP).

Wow, where the hell did you find that? I was shopping all around for laptops recently, and didn’t see anything near that light with dedicated graphics for less than $2K.

I’m not sure which model it was in the store, but this is similar right here at Sony’s site (it may be the same model).

The specs on this say you can switch between on-board video for less power consumption and the graphics card. That’s a great option.

I too would love a lightweight laptop with dedicated graphics. I read recently on a laptop forum that Dell may soon offer one like the 710m but with a graphics card. Not sure about this tho.

I know, that’s totally cool. It’s like laptops will eventually have a 3Dfx Voodoo-style 3D-only card.

I too would love a lightweight laptop with dedicated graphics. I read recently on a laptop forum that Dell may soon offer one like the 710m but with a graphics card. Not sure about this tho.

I just reviewed two Core Duo notebooks, and they’re perfect examples of the problem with laptops today. Both are fabulous machines, but you have a 6-pound one with a 15-inch screen and X1400 video and a 9-pound one with a 7800 and a 17-inch display. Why can’t I have a 7800 (or slower) in a 13- or 15-inch laptop, at 6 pounds? It’s all or nothing in gaming laptops.

I really dig that Vaio because the screen is so small, which means that video won’t have to work nearly as hard. And I don’t really want a laptop that weighs more than 5-pounds. Of course I don’t have $1800, or much of a need for one, but it’s still fun to shop…

There are a couple laptops that fit the bill for a relatively small gaming laptop. The Vaio SZ is definitely one option, but it’s spendy and the GF7400 is roughly on a par with the X1400 in terms of performance.

The nicest option is the ASUS W3J or a MacBook Pro. The MacBook’s one fatal flaw is the lack of a second mouse button, which sucks for control-clicking to make a multiple selection. The other gripe I have is that to get 256MB VRAM you have to get a bunch of other expensive upgrades that you may not want. I’d love to get a barebones MacBook Pro and upgrade the HDD and RAM myself but that’s not an option.

The ASUS W3J is heavily lusted over, my only real gripe is that it’s a 1280x768 screen instead of 1280x800. There are also a couple laptops available ONLY overseas that are in the 5-6 pound range with nice graphics, but for some reason they’re not coming to the USA. These include notebooks from Samsung and LG.

The reason we don’t see more is that the demographic of “portability + gaming performance” is much smaller than “portability + low cost” or “luggable + gaming performance”.

EXACTLY. As I mentioned in the other thread, the laptop I got is for my non-gamer girlfriend, but I would have paid the premium to have a better card than the X1400 in this 6-pound 15-incher. Dell told me it wouldn’t fit, but I have subsequently seen configurations sold in Australia which were just what I wanted (and with 667Mhz RAM to boot, which I was also told was impossible). According to what I read, the weight increase was nominal. Maybe the case has some weird hump or something, but if they can make it work there, I wish they’d make it work here.