Apple's MacBook Air line of thin and light laptops has been a hit since it debuted, but put it up against any number of Windows machines, and one that stands out is the Toshiba Portege. Both are thin and powerful and costing far less than the $2000 for some full size power notebooks. The Apple MacBook Air is just .68 inches thick and weighs less than three pounds, and the Portege is .7 inches thick and weighs around 3.2 lbs. Both have good battery life for being so thin, but the the Portege comes in a variety of configurations, and when added up to match the MacBook for CPU, memory and a solid state hard drive, it actually costs more. Around $200 more. And the MacBook can even run Windows.
Unless you are doing a ton of video or photo editing, the MacBook Air 13-inch is a great choice. It includes an SD card slot (the 11-inch version lacks this feature), and unless you download scads of content, you can stick with the 128 gigabytes of storage (the 256 gigabyte version is an extra $300). This version costs $1300 and also includes the 1.7 GHz dual-core Intel i5 processor, two USB ports, FaceTime camera, OSX Lion operating system, Thunderbolt port and solid state hard drive.
The Toshiba Portege that comes closest in price has the same Intel core, runs Windows 7, a 128 gigabyte solid state hard drive, HDMI port, USB 3.0 port (along with one other USB 2.0 port), four gigabytes of memory and slightly less screen resolution than the MacBook. It's 1366x768p comes up just a bit short of the MacBook's 1440x900p. Finally, the MacBook Air is due for an update in 2012, and optical drive inclusion would be one new feature to look forward to. Tell us in the comments if you've tried out these devices and what you think.