This Christmas, many people will be eagerly looking forward to sitting round the tree with carols jangling away, ripping the paper off their brand new super fancy tablet PC. It is the gift of the year as Apple’s iPad gave way to a swath of rivals rushing into the market with their own versions, implanting the desire to enjoy the gadget’s functions and slick operation, in many impressionable gadget-hungry minds.
You might just be tempted to break from the crowd however, when you feast your eyes on the new range of ‘Ultrabooks’ now available.
What is it?
Intel coined the phrase ‘Ultrabook’ to best describe their new range of MacBook Air rivals. An Ultrabook is essentially a very thin, very light and very fast laptop. Intel hopes that a new front with all new fancy processors will give them the chance to lure some of the market for tablet PCs (and the associated ARM processor based technology that powers them) away and towards what they are offering as a better alternative. Essential elements of an Ultrabook:
- Measures less than 20 mm thick
- Weighs less than 1.4 kg
- Has at least 5-8 hours battery life
Will it be Popular?
If you’re a gadget fiend then, what you really want to know is, will it be popular? Will it make you as cool next year as all the people who had tablets this year?
Well Intel, one of the biggest chip manufacturers in the world, has pumped hundreds of millions of pounds into development for this product, so they clearly think/hope it will be. Plus, the MacBook Air is already popular, and so by offering their new Ultrabooks at around and below the £1000 mark, they obviously hope to appeal to those that don’t want to fork out for an Apple.
There are in fact already 11 ‘Ultrabooks’ available so you have a choice of manufacturers such as Acer, Asus, LG and Samsung, which suggests that everyone thinks that these will in fact become the new standard type of laptop people go for, as style and power can now go hand in hand like never before.
The down-sides of going for an ‘Ultrabook’ are that you do have to forfeit some comfort for the added stylishness. For example:
- Sealed-Unit – meaning that you can’t get into them, limiting your options when it comes to repairs and upgrades.
- Expensive – they are always going to be just slightly snazzier laptops, that you pay extra (sometimes double) the price for, for not much better specifications.
- Limitations – Thanks to its size; storage, CPU power and graphics are all limited. Plus flash storage and memory will be soldered in too, so no upgrades there either.
At the end of the day though, the decision is yours. Do you want a style piece that isn’t quite as good as the MacBook Air, or do you want a laptop that you could get a more powerful and flexible version of that is much cheaper at the expense of having a few extra grams to carry around?
Are you still interested?
Yohan Trimlett is a PC doctor. He provides computer repairs Edinburgh for a laptop repair company.