What About Ultrabooks?

Since the announcement of new MacBook Air product line from Apple in late July of this year, Intel is increasingly pushing for its PC partners to roll out Ultrabooks.  Appropriately surmising, many people think Intel wants Ultrabook product lines to take on Apple’s MacBook Air product line.  If it’s true, Ultrabooks do have the specifications to tackle head on against MacBook Airs.

There will be a plethora of Ultrabooks to flood the market.  Ultrabooks can be made by any PC maker.  Intel designs the essential specifications of Ultrabooks such as the processors, and all PC makers will apply such specifications to their own unique designs so a specific Ultrabook from a specific PC maker can stand out somewhat.  This also means the differences of Ultrabooks’ specifications among different brands (i.e., PC makers) might not be that different.

To compete against Apple’s MacBook Airs, Ultrabooks carry competitive specifications.  In general, each Ultrabook should carry low-voltage Intel Core processor (e.g., i5, i7), no thicker than 21mm frame (0.83 inches), at least 5 hours of battery life, and flash storage to allow really fast boot time.  Arming with this information, people now know that there won’t be a specific Ultrabook product line that will be substantially superior over all other Ultrabooks’ product lines.  With so many types and brands of Ultrabooks to choose from, which will be your perfect Ultrabook?  It might have to come down to which PC brand you trust most and knowing ahead why you want an Ultrabook in the first place.

Before you want to buy an Ultrabook, make sure to check out the Ultrabooks from the PC brands that have been good to you in the past first.  Knowing why you need an Ultrabook in the first place will help you pick the right Ultrabook specification.  For an example, let say you have an interest in thinnest, lightest, and average performance laptops with price tags under $1,000.  With this in mind, the current logical choice of laptops has to be the Ultrabooks with the specification that carries 2011 ‘Sandy Bridge’ Core i5, hybrid hard drive, glossy screen, and other general electronic components that most Ultrabooks should carry.

So, why 2011 ‘Sandy Bridge’ Core i5s?  First of all, Sandy Bridge processors are the latest generation processors, and so Sandy Bridge processors should provide the latest capabilities.  Second of all, I suggest Core i5 in the example for two reasons.  The first reason is to match a processor with the need of an average performance laptop, and Core i5 provides average performance for a laptop.  Second reason is that Core i5 is cheaper than Core i7, and so this helps cut down the price of a laptop — hint: the example requires price tags of laptops under $1,000.

So, why hybrid hard drives?  Hybrid hard drives are slower than all-SSDs, but the price tags for hybrid hard drives are cheaper than all-SSDs — hint: the example requires price tags of laptops under $1,000.  At least though, hybrid hard drives are faster than the traditional hard drives and carrying flash storage that allows Ultrabooks to boot faster.

So, why glossy screens?  Glossy screens look sharper indoor.  It’s also possible to add matt layers onto glossy screens to reduce outdoor reflections.

Like the idea of buying one of the top of the line Ultrabooks for best performance and features?  In this scenario, price tags will be expensive for obvious reasons.  It’s easier to choose a specification when you have the money to spend, right?  I guess, because you can always choose the brand you like first, then pick the best specification such as the one that carries 2011 ‘Sandy Bridge’ Core i7, all-SSD, glossy screen, and all other best internal electronic components there are.

One thing you must aware about buying an Ultrabook is that Ultrabooks cannot be upgraded!  According to Ultrabooknews article “Ultrabook Buying Tips,” Intel might have intended to not allow Ultrabooks to be upgradable for Anti-Theft measure.  According to Ultrabooknews article “Ultrabook Buying Tips,” everything is packed tightly and soldered within extremely thin Ultrabooks, this makes one more good reason for Ultrabooks not to be upgradable.  This is why you must know ahead what you really want from an Ultrabook in regarding to the specification.  Without knowing ahead what you really want from an Ultrabook before you plunge into buying one for real, it might be too late to be regretted after the purchase of an Ultrabook since you can’t really upgrade or downgrade it.

According to Ultrabooknews article “Ultrabook Buying Tips,” there are other key features that most Ultrabooks carry, and these are:

  • Wireless display
  • Smart Connect — updating while sleeping
  • Sleep ‘n ‘Charge — charging devices over USB while Ultrabook is sleeping
  • Quick Charge — fast charging of battery of Ultrabook
  • IPS display — wide angle viewing
  • Silent Mode — fan off
  • Enhanced Stereo Speakers
  • ‘HS’ capability with the Bluetooth standard
  • Lockable trackpad
  • USB 3.0
  • 3G/4G data
  • Back-lit keyboard
  • Microphone array
  • Separate headphone out / Mic in

You can check out the list of Ultrabooks that are either in the process of launching or already available at Ultrabooknews’ Product List.

Windows 8 might be released in fall of 2012, but the exact date is still anyone’s guess.  Is it wiser to wait for Windows 8 to be released first before buying an Ultrabook?  It’s up to you really!  Do you really need another laptop right away?  If it’s not so urgent for you to buy a laptop right away, then I suppose it’s wiser for you to wait till Windows 8 comes out.  Nonetheless, it will be months for Windows 8 to come out, and so the waiting is going to be long!  On the plus side, waiting might give you a chance of getting an Ultrabook at a bargain, because by then some Ultrabooks might be cheaper.  Let cross our fingers, OK?

Sources:  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2390824,00.asp,

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