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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 ?
Where once customers paid a premium for ultralight laptops, manufacturers have now shown that it's possible to build a PC that is compact, lightweight, and powerful enough for casual use, all at a price point that's but a fraction of what the cheapest notebook cost just a few years ago.<p>There will always be demand in the market for premium notebook hardware.
The Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC) fills in the gap between smartphones, pocket PCs and ultralight laptops. It features a seven inch touch-sensitive screen, 40 gigabyte hard drive, wi-fi and bluetooth.
Hardware improvements, such as wireless technologies, and the growing range of personal digital assistants and ultralight laptops have further encouraged us to use the Internet for our mobile workforce.