5 Great PCs that are Light as Air

Ben Rudolph: Ever since Apple announced the new MacBook Air last week, I've been getting a lot of questions about ultraportable PCs. Mostly folks are intrigued by the trend toward small, sleek laptops - but don’t want to pay Apple prices or jump ship from Windows 7 to Mac OS X. Evidently the TechCrunch gang has been hearing the same thing, which is probably why they published today’s blog post titled "The Top 5 PC Alternatives to the MacBook Air". Matt Burns hits on 5 excellent PCs – the groundbreaking Dell Adamo XPS, the stupefyingly light Sony VAIO X, the battery-lasts-forever ASUS UL30 (the same one I named as one of my top 7 PCs from the last year), the crazy thin MSI x360 X-Slim, and the value-conscious Acer 3810 Timeline (another PC I reviewed).

Those are all great choices, but I wanted to offer up my recommendations as well. All of the PCs I list here run Windows 7 extremely well and will give you more power, more choice, and more personality than a MacBook Air. Take a look...

Install Windows 7 on MacBook Air from a USB drive

Dong Ngo: So you've gotten yourself the sleek new MacBook Air and your first thought is to install Windows 7 on it. OK, that's my first thought. The problem is the laptop has no optical drive, meaning you'll probably have to buy an accessory that costs around $80 to do the job.

Well, unless you're reading this. Yes, it's totally possible to install Windows 7 (or Vista) on the MacBook Air without a DVD drive. All you'll need is a computer running Windows 7 (that has a DVD drive), a 4GB or larger USB thumbdrive, a Windows 7 installation DVD, and about an hour of free time...