Apple was leading the race with their Macbook Air, the thinnest laptop ever seen – but now the competing brands have seen the light, and as how we see the development of this term, we are moving fast towards a new standard!
Definition of laptop and ultrabook
Portable computers, originally monochrome CRT-based and developed into the modern laptops, and were originally considered to be a small niche market, mostly for specialized field applications such as the military, accountants and sales representatives. As portable computers became smaller, lighter, cheaper, more powerful and as screens became larger and of better quality, laptops became very widely used for all sorts of purposes.
A laptop is defined as a portable computer, with a built in screen, keyboard and a pointing device. Usually a laptop is used by students or travelers, who are ought to bring their computer with them. A laptop is not the replacement for a desktop (yet), due to the small components that compromise performance throughout mobility.
An Ultrabook is a higher-end type of subnotebook defined by Intel. Intel claims a trademark in the name Ultrabook. Ultrabooks are designed to feature reduced size and weight and long battery life while retaining strong performance. They use low-power Intel CULV processors with integrated graphics, solid-state drives for fast loading times, and unibody chassis to fit larger batteries into smaller cases. Because of their minimal size, the ability to have many ports (USB, HDMI, VGA, ethernet, etc) is limited.
A ultrabook is a very thin notebook, that provides great battery life and a suitable weight for portability, great for surfing the web, office and small everyday tasks – due to the compact design, it is lacking out on performance, you cannot compare it to a regular sized laptop within the same price area. Since the release of the incredibly thin Macbook air from Apple, we have been awaiting a windows version with great excitement – off course you could dual boot the Macbook air, but psst who would want to pay that much money just to do that?
The best thing about a ultrabook is the solid state drive, that also explains the price. A solid state drive is like a flash drive, no disc to save on like a regular HDD. The speed increase is noticeable in booting, navigating and opening programs – this means your computer feels like out of the box, everyday!
The thinnest ultrabook on the market “so far”, is the Asus Zenbook, a beautiful ultrabook with a elegant design.
Comparing ultrabook to Macbook air
|ASUS Zenbook UX31 (1.7 GHz Core i5-2557M, Intel HD Graphics 3000)||10,508||4,209||5:41|
|Acer Aspire Ultrabook S3 (1.6 GHz Core i5-2467M, Intel HD Graphics 3000)||5,367||3,221
|13-inch, 2011 MacBook Air (1.7 GHz Core i5-2557M, Intel HD Graphics 3000)||9,484||4,223||5:32 (Mac OS X) / 4:12 (Windows)|
|Samsung Series 9 (1.7 GHz Core i5-2537M, Intel HD Graphics 3000)||7,582||2,240||4:20|
|Notes: the higher the score the better. For 3DMark06, the first number reflects score with GPU off, the second with it on.|
As you can see above the Zenbook is truly the Zen master – it beats every other ultrabook on the market, and the Macbook Air.
Presenting the first Ultrabook released, by Asus.
Who would want a ultabook?
Well who does not want a super light weight computer, with hours of battery time and a smooth elegant design? I guess if you use heavy 3D graphic programs, or if you are making movies/images in Adobe programs or Sony vega – then a ultrabook would not be the answer to your prayers.
But if you are just a regular student, or common computer user who checks the mail, surfs the web and use office. Then a ultrabook would definitively suit you.
High prices, might fall soon!
Intel is sitting on the Ultrabook market as it is right now, but AMD is going to strike in with their Ultrathins instead. The market price of these ultra thin notebooks is set to fall, once AMD hit the market.
Digtimes is reporting that 2012 will bring just 20 AMD-powered Ultrathins, and that these will not have any significant advantages over Intel’s expected 75 new Ultrabooks in terms of performance and function. That said, one area they will improve upon is price. While Intel’s next generation Ivy Bridge is expected to drive the price of Ultrabooks down from over a thousand bucks (well over a thousand bucks in some cases) to between $800 and $1000, it’s thought AMD’s Ultrathins will be up to $200 cheaper than comparable offerings from Intel.
According to Digtimes, we should see 20 AMD-powered Ultrathins in 2012 – a big move from AMD, and it might lead to a major price fall.