The lowdown on ultraportables

What is it? A notebook PC weighing less than 4 pounds.

What's new? Mobile processors have helped reduce heat generation somewhat, battery times have been extended and smaller hard drives still provide a lot of storage. But probably the most important recent addition is built-in wireless capability, which lets users take greater advantage of the Web and tap more easily into enterprise networks.

What are the drawbacks? Despite their improvements, ultraportables still pale when compared with the performance of high-powered, desktop-replacement notebook PCs.

Must-know info? For all the advances in miniaturization, you'll have trade-offs to make between weight and performance. The type of notebook PC you choose depends on an honest assessment of what you're going to do with it.

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