Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider
It’s all but confirmed that Apple’s famously slender MacBook Airs will get some hardware updates very soon, if not tomorrow morning.We set out to find the most formidable competitors, the thinnest and best PCs to challenge the Air.
Many of these laptops are almost as thin, but hundreds of dollars less and more powerful.
For comparison. the Air starts at $999.99 for the 11-inch version and $1299.99 for the 13-incher.
The Series 9 is .64 inches thick, 2.88 lbs, and is made out of Duralumin, which is stronger than aluminium.
There's a backlit keyboard, 128GB of solid state hard drive memory, and 7 hours of battery life. When you close the lid of the Series 9, then open it back up, the computer is ready to use in less than three seconds.
The ThinkPad X1 is Lenovo's thinnest laptop ever at .63 inches thick, weighing 3.7 lbs.
Some great features include Lenovo's Rapid Charge technology that charges the laptop to 80% in just minutes, a Gorilla Glass screen, 320 GB HD, and a 13.3 inch HD screen.
The XPS 15z has a bigger screen than many ultra-thins (15.6 inch diagonally), which is a trade-off because the laptop is .97 inches thick.
The XPS 15z is a powerhouse, featuring a 2.3 Ghz Intel Core i5 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce dedicated graphics card. Battery life is just so-so at around 4 hours.
This laptop is .76 inches thick, and has one of Intel's standard voltage CPUs baked inside, a rare for ultraportable laptops.
THE U36JC has a replaceable battery that lasts 4-5 hours, and a dedicated video card for graphics performance. One negative is that the laptop can get pretty hot after extended use.
It's one of the lightest non-netbooks you'll find at a mere 2.5 lbs, and also one of the thinnest at a slender .56 inches.
The VAIO might be the thinnest and lightest ultraportable you can buy, but it gets super hot and it's internal fan is distractingly loud.
Price: $2499.99 (coming soon, includes 15-hour battery slice and LightPeak dock)
The R835-P50X is 3.2 lbs, 1 inch thick, and has an optical drive, a 640GB hard drive, and a few USB ports that other ultraportables lack. This laptop's one of the most powerful ultraportables.
Like the ASUS, this laptop runs a standard voltage processor, meaning you'll get regular laptop-like performance (vs. netbook-like performance). Great bang for your buck.
The Alienware M11x is the chunkiest of the bunch, weighing in at 4.4 lbs and measuring up at 1.3 inches thick.
However, the M11x has an 11-inch screen and feels super small regardless. It's not anywhere near as sliver-thin as the 11-inch MacBook Air, but the M11x blows it out of the water performance-wise. It can play any graphics intensive computer game you can find today.
It also has a whopping 7.5 hours of battery life.
The new MacBook Airs will likely have the superfast Thunderbolt ports for your peripherals, as well as Intel's new Sandy Bridge processors.
Sandy Bridge processors are designed for ultra-portable devices like the Air. They offer a lot of power without sucking too much battery life.
The new Airs will probably have bigger internal SSD hard drives, as well as Mac OS X Lion built in.
If you want to know more, click here to read everything we know about the new MacBook Airs.