Asus this week unveiled its first Ultrabook, the Zenbook. Much to the delight of Intel, the Zenbook starts at a buck shy of $1,000, but with twice the storage of Apple's $999 MacBook Air and with a faster processor to boot. The Zenbook is as much about style and portability as it is function. It measures 0.11 inches thin at the front and 0.67 inches at the rear, and sports a silver exterior panel with a concentric circle design that refracts a halo of light, Asus says.
Acer just put all other OEMs on notice by announcing the U.S. availability of its first Ultrabook, the Aspire S3-951. By tagging the S3 with an $899 price tag, Acer made it impossible for other OEMs to claim you can't build a sub-$1,000 Ultrabook at current component pricing. Not only did Acer do that by more than a hundred bucks, it also managed to cram both a solid state drive and mechanical hard drive in there for that price.
Dell is reportedly taking steps not just to compete with Apple's MacBook Air, but with every MacBook model on the market. The OEM will target the MacBook Air with a sleek and slim ultraportable of its own, one that it will introduce sometime around CES in January 2012. The timing is interesting for a number of reasons, one of which is because CES 2012 will mark the three-year anniversary of when Dell announced its now defunct Adamo laptop.
Intel's vision of a perfect world is one in which Ultrabooks never breach the $1,000 mark. Actually, Intel's utopia involves ARM and AMD running off together and leaving the microprocessor market behind, as unrealistic as that might sound. What's not unrealistic is the idea of sub-$1,000 Ultrabooks, and Acer is proving as much with its $899 Aspire S.
In a typically detailed post on the Building Windows 8 blog Monday, the Windows 8 team underlined the advantage of using a Windows Live ID to sign into different Windows devices. According to Katie Frigon, the group program manager of the You-Centered Experience team at MS, doing so will let users have “a truly personal experience that seamlessly bridges their online and offline tasks, is simpler to set up and use, and persists across their set of Windows 8 PCs.” Hit the jump for more.
Don't point the finger at Acer or Asus if Intel's Ultrabook initiative fails to gain traction. These are the same two companies largely responsible for popularizing netbooks a few years ago, and now the two are turning their attention to the Ultrabook category. Both companies will look to ship 200,000 Ultrabooks a month in the fourth quarter.
Things are about to heat up in a big way in the handheld mobile space, a sector that's currently dominated by ARM. Intel has long said it plans to push its platforms into smartphones and tablets, and the Santa Clara chip maker took a gigantic step towards that goal by getting Google to agree to optimize future versions of Android for Atom processors. Should ARM be worried?
It's hard to imagine an Ultrabook party without Acer in attendance. Like Pink, Acer decided to get this party started and today announced its first Ultrabook model at the IFA consumer electronics show in Germany, the Aspire S3. Acer's emphasizing convenience with its new notebook, and one of the company's biggest claims is a 50-day battery live via Acer Green Instant On technology.
Are we going to have to petition Congress to change Thursday to Ultrabookday? If the flood of announcements keeps up like this, we might just have to take that drastic step. First, Lenovo unveiled three different Ultrabook models… Wait, did we say first? Actually, Toshiba managed to squeak in under the wire and yank the curtains off of its Ultrabook prior to Lenovo's announcement, making the Portégé Z830 series the first Intel-based MacBook Air clones out of the gate. Officially, at least.
Don't fight it folks, Intel's Ultrabook revolution has already begun and is getting a boost today from Lenovo, which just unveiled three Ultrabook models. These include the IdeaPad U300s, U300, and U400. All three are luxury laptops that attempt to fuse style with performance in a new breed of notebook Intel envisions taking over the mobile computing scene.