The Year of the Ultrabook – 2012

If you haven’t heard the buzz about ultrabooks yet, it’s about to start. The recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas was all about them – and they’re being touted as one of the next new things sure to be a big hit in the upcoming year.

Ultrabooks are slim, lightweight laptops – but they are loaded with powerful hardware. Think MacBook Air – but Ultrabooks are PC’s. It’s like a hybrid, combining the best features of a tablet and a laptop – lightweight and portable like a tablet with data processing capability similar to a laptop.

Ultrabooks all have thin cases, Core i5 processors, solid-state drives, regular keyboards and single-button touchpads. Prices are mainly in the $1,000 range, which puts them higher than many people want to spend on PC’s. But if they pack the punch they are promising, that could quickly change.  Claudine Mangano of Intel stated that more than 75 ultrabook models are expected to be manufactured and shipped this year. Companies working with Intel on these ultrabook models include Samsung, Hewlett-Packart (HP), Dell, and Lenovo. Here’s a quick low-down on what the buzz was all about at CES – the ultrabooks that stood out the most.

Samsung Series 9. One of the higher end and thinnest models, the Samsung Series 9 is one of the most expensive too, starting at $1399. Made of aluminum, it also has a bright, impressive 13 inch display, and comes with more premium specs that the others.

HP Envy 14 Spectre. Also higher end, and a bit thicker than the Samsung because it’s made with Gorilla Glass. The glass also makes it a huge fingerprint magnet.

Dell XPS 13. Dell’s model is at the lower end of the market – starting at $999, but it’s still lightweight and thin like the higher-end models. It also has the 13 inch display, but not with as high of a resolution as the others.

Lenova Yoga. This one is not available until most likely Fall, but it’s definitely one of the most interesting models. In addition to the usual ultrabook features, the Yoga can bend into different positions (hence it’s name). You can fold it over into a tablet, and even “tent” it for viewing. It will run the touch-friendly Windows 8 platform.

What do you think of the new ultrabooks?

 

Angela Skinner Mullen
Angela leads a caffeine-fueled life chasing her kids around town. She holds degrees in Communications and Marketing, and worked in marketing management in both publishing and technology fields before going freelance. While some think she is obsessive-compulsive about correct usage and grammar, she prefers to think of herself as paying great attention to detail. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two kids, two cats, a frog, and a very large dog. Most likely to be found working from a Coffee Bean in Los Angeles, laptop on and latte in hand.

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