Toshiba has launched a new ultraportable laptop that it claims is the world's lightest, putting it in contention with vendors including Apple and Lenovo.

The company said the full-featured Portégé R500-S5007V weighs 2.4 pounds (1.08 kilograms), compared to Apple's MacBook Air, which weighs 3 pounds (1.4 kgs), and Lenovo's Thinkpad X300, which weighs around 2.93 pounds (1.3 kgs). In April, NEC Computers launched its answer to the MacBook Air, with the 12-inch ultra-portable notebook, the Versa S9100, which weights 2.8 pounds (1.25 kgs), and includes a dual layer DVD burner.

The Toshiba laptop measures 0.77 inches at its thinnest point, and will initially be available with one 128GB solid-state drive, according to a Toshiba spokesperson.

SSD has no moving parts like a hard drive, so it consumes less power that can give the battery more runtime. The laptop can run for an eight-hour runtime on a single battery charge, according to Toshiba. It uses a lithium-ion battery.

Battery life is also preserved by the laptop's transreflective 12.1-inch screen, which can shut down the LED (light-emitting diode) backlighting by reflecting the sun's rays to illuminate the screen, according to Toshiba.

The $2,999 (£1,500) machine is powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo U7700 processor at 1.33GHz, with 2MB of cache and 2GB of RAM.

It will come with Windows Vista Business OS, which is also downgradable to Windows XP Professional. The laptop includes a SuperMulti optical drive that can read and rewrite DVD and CD media, wired and wireless 802.11 a/g/n networking, Bluetooth 2.0 support and built-in safety features to protect laptop data during falls.

The Portégé R500-S5007V is a standard configuration, however, Toshiba offers similar configurations with a hard drive option, a company spokesperson said.

Toshiba said the laptop includes a specially built motherboard that can provide the same functionality of boards found in 15.4-inch laptops, but is one-third the size.

The laptop will start shipping in the third quarter.