....and you know those requirements I had? The whole "notebooks are kind of big though, so lets look smaller" idea? How "if I was in for a 14" notebook, but really, a 5lb unit just isn't what I'm looking for right now. I want something lighter and smaller so that I can leave the Asus at home, and preferably a business ultraportable"....yeah, no, that all is out the window.
I bought an Asus W3J. For those of you who didn't closely follow Asus notebook lineup circa 2006, the W3J was like the Holy Grail of notebooks, similar to what the MacBook Pro became. It packed Intel's Core 2 Duo processors and ATI's vaunted Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics card into a thin and light 4.8lb package, and featured a 14" widescreen and a brushed aluminum lid. It had a standard 8 cell battery and a modular bay, meaning that the optical drive could be hot-swapped out for a second battery or second hard drive. The unheralded feature in the W3J was its special "bamboo" hinge. The circular shaped hinge design meant that the force loading applied to the hinge when the lid is being opened or closed is distributed evenly across the full circle, as opposed to a normal notebook hinge where the load is applied to a single point. Because of this, the bamboo style hinge is incredibly durable, and can last for far longer than most standard hinges. (Ok, I'm an engineer - fatigue cycles make me happy.) The W3J's combination of performance, build quality, and portability is still excellent, even three years after the W3J debuted, not to mention that it is still one of the sexiest computers ever made. With the regular 8 cell and the modular bay battery, it'll give me around 5 hours of battery life, which is a full three times more than my current Asus W7S.
Honestly, the W3J is my favorite laptop of all time. Bar none, including the new MacBook, the Santa Rosa MacBook Pro, and the rather obscure but no less beastly LG P310 (13.3" screen, nVidia 9600M GT, 3.5lbs, 3 hours of battery life). The last time I was in for a laptop, two years ago, I tried really hard to get a W3J, but it proved too costly for me, and after it went out of production in 2007, it was nearly impossible to find used. It is still nearly impossible to find used, maybe even moreso now, since its an older model, so I jumped at the chance to pick one up, especially since I was in the market for a new device.
So, after all that "I want something more portable" business, I went out and bought a larger and more powerful laptop. Was it worth it? We'll find out shortly.