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A laptop computer that weighs less than four pounds. In order to reduce weight, subnotebooks, also called "Ultrabooks" or "ultralights," often eliminate built-in CD/DVD drives. However, if optical discs are required when traveling, an external drive in the travel bag generally adds more weight than a built-in drive.

The Mini Laptop/Netbook
In the 2007 time frame, subnotebooks called "mini laptops" and "netbooks" made their debut, the latter term coined by Intel for machines that use its Atom processor. Weighing up to three pounds, mini laptops/netbooks have screens from 8 to 10" (see netbook). For features of portable computers, see laptop. See ultrathin laptop, notebook and Ultrabook.

The Trend Setter
In 1998, Sony popularized the subnotebook class with its VAIO (pronounced "vy-o") 505G at three pounds and less than an inch thick. To reduce traveling weight, floppy and CD-ROM drives were external, and a docking station was included. (Image courtesy of Sony Corporation.)

Laptop and Netbook
The Acer netbook on the right sports an 8.9" screen compared to 15" on its big brother to the left. Netbooks sacrifice keyboard and screen size for portability.
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References in periodicals archive ?
According to the company, the USB PortaCD is the industry's lightest, most portable CD-ROM drive and includes a convenient universal serial bus (USB) connection for laptop and subnotebook computers. Designed to fit easily into a laptop PC carrying case, the USB PortaCD weighs less than 9 ounces and is just a half-inch thick.
has announced the immediate availability of a new subnotebook computer system called the Contenda.
For more information on the ZEOS Contenda subnotebook computer, contact the company's toll free sales line at 800/423-5891 whcih is staffed 24 hours a day.
An ergonomic evaluation comparing desktop, notebook, and subnotebook computers. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2002; 83:527-532.
It is also the leader in scanners, subnotebook computers, palmtop computers, calculators and tape backup products.
The Silicon Sport Notebook Wetsuits will carry and protect notebook and subnotebook computers. The neoprene and nylon bags come with a nylon handle and shoulder strap and will stretch, somewhat like rubber, to fit nearly any computer.