Buying a light PC notebook is not that easy

Here we go. After probably around 4 years of good service my Acer Travelmate 3300 (3302 WXMi) is getting slower and slower. I have a weird blue-green vertical line through my screen and the typical Acer graphics problem increases its frequency: random shutdown of the screen. Time to buy a new notebook but which one?

Essentially I want the following:
1. PC (no argument, Jon!)
2. Light weight (i.e. around 1.5 kg)
3. Reasonably-sized screen (13″ or rather 14″)
4. Price under 800 Euro

The nice thing about my current Acer is that it had all this (except it cost more than 1000 Euro at the time). In particular its low(er) weight was ace. Acer was simply saving me from carrying an extra half kg by making the DVD-drive external. I wonder why not more notebooks are produced in this way?

The problem nowadays seems to be that you are put into an unnecessary choice between light but small netbooks on the one hand and heavier (2kg and more) notebooks with 14″ or more screens (and including DVD drives) on the other hand. This wasn’t such a big problem if at least the producers were more informative about the weight of their produce. The following shall give an overview of what I found on the main producers’ websites.

HP: no selection option for certain features (like weight) on their product overview. At least they put the weight as a category once you select a product group. The Pavillon series starts at 2kg, the home notebook series at 2.2 kg. All useless for me.

Acer: minimal selection options for features (but not for weight). They do display the weight of the notebooks. TravelMate 4740 comes with 2.2 kg, the Aspire series starts with TimelineX 3820T at 1.8 kg or TravelMate 8371 Series at 1.65 kg or even better the TravelMate 8172 Serie with 1.35 kg but a screen of only 11.6″ (similar to Aspire Timeline 1810T or Aspire 1551 Serie). Interesting (light weight, screen size and long battery power) are Aspire Timeline 3810T, 3811T.

Asus: really messy website with no indications of weight and size for the overall serieses. Details only after clicking through too many options. Crap.

Sony: apparently you pay for style…  But on their US website they have a useful overview. Maybe the Y series (1.77 kg, 13.3″)?

Dell: Here you can actually select weight as an indicator. Goog logic for finding the right piece. Interesting model for me: Latitude 13 (1.5 kg).

Toshiba: Good search tools (incl leightweight) except for that the search results seem to change while I move back and forth between the different models. Interesting models for me: Satellite T215D-S1140, Satellite T215D-S1150.

Lenovo: has random information on the different models. The U series could potentially be interesting but no weight is mentioned for the 13″ model. Crap.

It is also interesting that the notebook manufacturers have very different offers for different countries.

6 thoughts on “Buying a light PC notebook is not that easy

  1. Winston

    Lenovo Thinkpad Edge 13 (Core 2 Duo Version)
    …fulfils all your wishes and deceeds your price expectations. The best laptop I had so far!

  2. Jan Post author

    @Winston: OK, but where do I find the weight? Lenovo website is really crap with details on the different models!

  3. Ralf Grahn


    Perhaps you should look for online reviews and comparative tests of notebooks, instead of industry information.

    By the way, I have wondered why my Acer TravelMate shuts down suddenly for no apparent reason and why it does not cooperate with printers; two major problems, unannounced before buying.

    It is hard to know the reasons and what to do about problems if you are only a normal user.

  4. Simone

    I had the same notebook search problem. Except my screen size could be less but I wished for a fast processes, a dual one and reasonable energy usage. After a long hunt I will today order the asus 1201n. Great reviews, light 1,4kg, fast and max 350euro.

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