ASAP - Recommendations for a small/portable laptop?

I have a friend who’s leaving Taiwan… TOMORROW! He wants to get a laptop TODAY that’s small and convenient to carry as he’s going to be traveling a lot.

  1. Do you have any advice based on portability, reliability, features, and support?

  2. Which brands are licensed to install English windows? Acer and …?

  3. Any recommendations on a store that has a special or that is helpful and friendly?
    I wonder if any of the chain stores (like the Tsan Keun 3C big yellow stores) have stores in Hong Kong or China…

I just told him that I thought it’d be a good idea to get a big name as it will be easier to get serviced… btw, I think that he will be in Hong Kong or China.

I have a Benq Joybook 8000 and know that they are sold in Europe, but don’t know where else besides here in Taiwan. It’s got nice features (4 USB2, 2 Firewire, DVD/CDRW combo, P1.8 mobile), but it’s definitely too big (think it’s rated as a 15" display). The service has been good - had a problem and they replaced the display in one day (2 year warranty).

asus m5200
but make sure you add enough ram

Toshiba Portege would be my bet. English Windows XP can be installed no problem.

IBM X31 series.

Just bought one 3 weeks ago and brought it overseas for a week. Zero notable problems, light, rugged, excellent service and warrantee (3 years), great battery life (5 hours for word processing/surfing - less for graphics work, video, and other multimedia).

Nova is a good place to buy one.

Vendors will install an English OS. Even the official IBM vendor will do this for your friend.

Agree, the IBM X31 series is very very good. I have had one for about six months now and no problems! The only thing I don’t like about them is there is no onboard CD device, you can get one onboard but that would require an additional attachment to the bottom of your laptop, making it much heavier. I find that I rarely need the CD anyway, I mostly use a USB pen now, much more convenient and much faster. You are going to pay a little more for an IBM, but with a three year warrenty you can’t go wrong. One store owner told me his co-worker dropped one on the floor, about three meters. The screen cracked, but it still functioned 100% as before.

You can get a docking bay for the X31 for $4,000 or so. Then you can use it for a ton of different Ultrabay (the name for the slot) peripherals like a CD, floppy, extra battery, etc. I’m using all the peripherals I bought for my old IBM notebook. When you’re on the road, you leave the docking bay at your hotel, and just carry the main computer in the backpack which comes free with the notebook. :slight_smile:

The peripherals, BTW, are pretty light. You’ll probably only need a CDRW/DVD drive.

Anyway, you can also use USB devices. These days, they’re bundling USB CDRW/DVD combo drives with the X31.

Yeah the docking bay is great, but it adds bulk and weight to the unit. If you really don’t think you need it, don’t buy it right away, have them give you an external USB drive instead.

Anyway, it’s a great little notebook! Everyone I have talked to who has bought it, loves it!

I just bought an IBM, too. It was a pretty good deal but with 1.3M rating on its chip, I’m finding it sluggish running XP compared to my desktops both of which are more than a year old.

My wife hardly notices, though.

I can’t remember, it wsan’t a high-spec model, it was about $39000 or so.

Fine for browsing, typing etc…

with combo DVD
256MB Ram
1.3M Intel Centrino
free carry bag

I was pleased with it.


He DID buy an IBM X31 - looks great. Thanks.

Came across some others:

o Acer TravelMate 382TCi
List price of USD$1800, it looks very interesting with built-in wi-fi and bluetooth, fast IR, WinXP Pro: … 60p,00.htm?
The Asian Cnet site seems to be out of Singapore. Is this model available in Taiwan… ?

o Toshiba Satellite M30-710 1.5Ghz Centrino DVD/CD-RW
Buy it now for USD$1600 (sorry I don’t know list price)
Similar specs as Acer, but no bluetooth. On the other hand, has SD card slot.
64 MB NVidia (compared to shared for the Acer?).
15" screen!? at less than 3 kg - wow!

Great choice. IBM books go for considerably less here than they do in many other countries or on-line. :slight_smile: