Lighten up

Thin, light, pow­er­ful and long- last­ing new ul­tra­books have ar­rived, write Mau­reen Shel­ley and Jen­nifer Dud­ley- Nicholson

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Tech -

MAC­BOOK AIR 13- INCH Ap­ple, $ 1449-$ 1899, ap­ple. com

AP­PLE is renowned for its stylish de­sign and the Mac­book Air ce­ments that rep­u­ta­tion. The Air de­liv­ers a 13.3- inch LED- back­lit screen with a pro­ces­sor as fast as the 1.8GHZ sec­ond­gen­er­a­tion In­tel Core i7 pro­ces­sor, yet it is still just 1.7cm at its thick­est and weighs only 1.35kg. It has a multi- touch track­pad and In­tel’s HD Graph­ics 3000 card on­board for added graph­i­cal grunt. Its mem­ory is ex­pand­able to 8GB and users can choose a solid­state hard drive up to 256GB. It has two USB ports, a built- in we­b­cam, SDXC slot plus wi- fi and Blue­tooth. All in­put is via its USB, SD or Thun­der­bolt ports.

SAM­SUNG SE­RIES 3 Sam­sung, $ 1199, sam­sung. com. au

SAM­SUNG’S Se­ries 3 lap­top is hardly the thinnest of the bunch, but it is the most pow­er­ful. Where this lap­top saves on space is in the bor­der around its screen, the dis­play fea­tures a tiny 1cm bezel that lets Sam­sung fit an inch more dis­play un­der the hood. This sleek, if not slen­der, lap­top is also pow­er­ful as it uses the lat­est AMD A Se­ries pro­ces­sor ( 1.8GHZ) and packs in 8GB RAM for ef­fi­cient multi- task­ing. The lap­top has a built- in Blu- ray Disc/ DVD drive and plenty of ports in­clud­ing HDMI and three USB con­nec­tions. At 2.45kg, how­ever, it might not suit all trav­ellers.

DELL XPS 14Z 13- INCH Dell, $ 1199, dell. com. au

IF you want a slen­der lap­top also able to play DVDS, this Dell could be for you. It of­fers Win­dows 7 Home Premium, a dual- core pro­ces­sor ( In­tel Core i5 or i7), NVIDIA graph­ics tech­nol­ogy plus a hard drive up to 750GB. The key­board is back­lit and mois­ture- re­sis­tant. There are only two USB ports close to­gether, so if you use a mo­bile broad­band don­gle you will need a USB hub to con­nect an­other de­vice. The builtin we­b­cam is only 1.3 megapix­els but the speak­ers are a de­cent size and the soft­ware al­lows easy ac­cess to mu­sic, video and pho­tos.

ACER AS­PIRE S3 Acer, $ 1199-$ 2099, acer. com. au

THE first ul­tra­book off the rank in Aus­tralia is this model, Acer’s 13.3- inch sleek, sil­ver com­puter. The As­pire S3 is just 1.3cm thick, weighs as lit­tle as 1.4kg and ful­fils prom­ises In­tel made of the ul­tra­book. The sleek lap­top will wake in less than two sec­onds af­ter you open its lid and Acer prom­ises its bat­tery can last up to seven hours on a full charge. Its screen could be bet­ter from an an­gle and its specs are lim­ited to a 1.7GHZ chip and 4GB RAM, but this por­ta­ble lap­top is pow­er­ful.

TOSHIBA SATEL­LITE Z830 Toshiba, $ 1399, toshiba. com. au

TOSHIBA de­liv­ers a stylish, prac­ti­cal ul­tra­book in this Satel­lite model to make some Mac users en­vi­ous given its sleek size. The ul­tra­book weighs 1.12kg and is 16mm thick, so the com­pany claims it is ‘‘ the world’s light­est’’ ul­tra­book. It has a sexy back- lit, spill- re­sis­tant key­board and three USB ports in­clud­ing a faster USB 3.0 slot. A 128GB solid- state hard drive is on board as is up to 6GB RAM. The polysil­i­cone screen is light­weight and al­most matte in ap­pear­ance and the im­age qual­ity is im­pres­sive.

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