August 17, 2011 2:38 pm

PCs to help you stay connected while getting away from it all

It’s summer! Well maybe not so much up here in Seattle, where we’re still dealing with 60-degree temps and cloudy skies, but definitely in other parts of the country. That means it’s time to get out of the house and enjoy the sunshine with a few days away from the office.

If you’re like me, your PC comes with you everywhere, even when you head out on vacation. I bring mine along not to stay connected to work (although, it’s handy to have in case of an emergency), but to use as a tool for finding places to eat and things to do using Bing, organizing the day’s photos in Windows Live Photo Gallery, and pulling up a movie for the kids in Zune.

Below you’ll find a few recommendations for great travel PCs – they’re all light, fast, and look great, so you’re bound to find one that matches your summer travel style!

HP dm1z: I covered this PC last week in my “PCs for Bloggers” post, but it’s worth re-surfacing here. The dm1z is a lot of PC for under $500; 11.6” HD display, AMD E-series processor, and over 10 hours of battery life. It’s a great companion for a long road trip.

Sony VAIO Z: I just got my hands on a brand-new Sony VAIO Z and I can honestly say that it’s one of the finest PCs I’ve ever used. Under 3lbs. Made from carbon fiber and aluminum. A dazzling 13” 1080p display. Up to 512GB of solid-state storage. It’s impressive stuff that redefines portability, but it’ll cost you – the Z starts at $1969.

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Samsung 9 Series: I feel like I talk about this PC all the time, but that’s a testament to how impressive it is. The 9 Series – both the 11” and 13” verisons – are some of the thinnest, lightest PCs ever built. They’re packed with super-fast second-generation Intel Core Processors, solid-state drives, and a matte display that’s 2x brighter than a normal laptop display.

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Acer TravelMate 8172: Acer’s TravelMate series is designed to pack max power into minimum space. In the 8172 you definitely get both – 4GB of RAM, great battery life and a Core i5 processor, all in a body that’s the size of a netbook.

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Dell Vostro v131: A few months ago I wrote about the Dell Vostro V130, Dell’s ultraportable addition to its affordable Vostro lineup. Today you can get the updated version, the v131. You’ll still get a thin, light, beautiful package, and you can still get a nice config for under $600.