Lenovo's been enjoying a fair amount of time sitting the limelight as it celebrates the ThinkPad brand's 20th anniversary. Most of the attention has been split between the OEM's ThinkPad Tablet 2 with Windows 8 and ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook, but nearly slipping under the radar is the company's ThinkPad T430u "ultraportable," which is by all means an Ultrabook aimed at the business crowd.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the ThinkPad brand, which was developed by IBM and then sold to Lenovo in 2005. To celebrate the occasion, Lenovo today announced the release of its ThinkPad X1 Carbon notebook model at a company-sponsored event in Beijing. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a 14-inch Ultrabook that weighs less than 3 pounds and boasts an 8-hour battery life.
LSI Corporation today announced an injection of enhanced features into its SandForce SF-2200 and SF-2100 series of client flash storage processors (FSPs) specifically designed to play nice with Ultrabooks. The new features are said to extend battery life by as much as one hour, cut down on resume times when waking from sleep mode, and "enhance the overall user experience."
As much as we're in love with the Ultrabook category's thin and light form factor, we're not nearly as smitten over the low display resolution that plagues the majority of first and second generation models. Even larger models like Acer's 15.6-inch Timeline and HP's equally sized Envy both sport 1366x768 screen resolutions, while Samsung's 15-inch Series 9 taps out at 1600x900. Well, as luck would have it, I stumbled upon Vizio's online collection of PCs, including a 15.6-inch Ultrabook model that finally gets the resolution right.
It's fairly easy to find capable Ultrabooks priced below Intel's recommended $1,000 ceiling, something that was a bit of a challenge when the form factor first emerged. Pricing has trended downwards for the past several months, but don't be surprised if some next generation Ultrabook models reverse that trend due to higher quality displays with touchscreen functionality and 3D support.
For far too many years now Windows laptops have been catering to the sub $500 crowd, practically ceding the high end market to Apple. Of course the Alienware’s of the world have continued to pump out impressive gaming notebooks, but mainstream users were all too often deciding between a cheap PC, or a more expensive Macbook. Ultrabooks have done a great job of capturing back consumer mindshare, and according to NPD, have helped keep the $700-$900 PC price bracket from eroding away completely. They also noted that the $900+ price point managed to grow a whopping 39 percent from last year.
Dell today added a pair of new notebook models to its flagship XPS brand, one of which is a 14-inch Ultrabook (XPS 14) and the other a 15-inch laptop (XPS 15). As one would expect, both models are equipped with 3rd Generation Intel Core processor options (Ivy Bridge), and both bring new digs to the mobile party with edge-to-edge Corning Gorilla Glass and a machined aluminum finish precision cut from a single block of aluminum.
Chugga-chugga, chugga-chugga, choo-choo! That's the Ultrabook train coming around the bend with yet another shipment of thin and light laptops, and this time it's carrying a load of Acer Timeline Ultra M5 models throughout the U.S. Acer's new Timeline Ultra line boasts models that are slimmer and lighter than previous generation Timeline laptops, measuring a mere 0.81 inches thick and barely budging the scale at 4.3 pounds.
Back at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this year, Vizio announced its intentions of branching out into home computers, an interesting move for a company that ships more LCD HDTVs in the U.S. than anyone else. Well, Vizio made good on its promise today by officially announcing a line of all-in-one desktop models, a notebook, and a pair of thin-and-light laptops, all of which start at $898. Price is only part of the story here.
Acer is laying claim to the "world's thinnest Ultrabook" with the launch of its Aspire S5, available soon in the U.S. The Aspire S5 measures a scant 0.44 inches at this slimmest point, and only 0.59 inches where it's the chunkiest, if you can call it that. Wrapped in an "Onyx Black" magnesium-alloy and brushed aluminum metal chassis, the Aspire S5 barely budges the scale at a mere 2.65 pounds.