The new ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop from Lenovo is supposedly the lightest 14-inch Ultrabook the world has ever seen, but don't take that to mean it's flimsy. On the contrary, Lenovo insists its ThinkPad X1 is quite the durable beast and exceeds Ultrabooks specifications by using a premium carbon fiber rollcage to create a rough and tumble system, yet weighs less than 3 pounds.
Asus used a relatively low-key press event in Taipei to introduce the world to a pair of new Zenbook models built around Intel's recently launched Ivy Bridge platform. The first of the two Ultrabooks is the Zenbook UX32A , an $800 machine with integrated graphics. For $300 more, the UX32Vd ups the pixel pushing ante with a GeForce GT 620M GPU with 1GB of onboard memory.
In between ringing the warning bells about cyberspace boogeymen and rolling out refreshes to the Pavilion lineup, HP also took the time to answer a question we all knew was coming someday: when is an Ultrabook not an Ultrabook? The answer: when it's a so-called thin-and-light Sleekbook. Two new HP Envy notebooks carry the new name, which skirt the restrictions associated with the Intel-owned Ultrabook brand.
Do you Ubuntu? If the answer's "Yes," then you probably installed the operating system yourself, using an .iso image and a little keyboard finger-grease. Congratulations! You're the One Percent of the computer world; most users, especially everyday users, would never even attempt to load a Linux variant on a PC. If they want to go truly mainstream, Ubuntu and its Linux brethren need to come preinstalled on OEM-built computers -- and that's why the numbers and news tossed around at yesterday's Ubuntu Developers Summit are so heartening.
Sony's taking its sweet time punching a ticket on the Ultrabook bandwagon, but come early June 2012, it will hop aboard with the Vaio T13. The Vaio T13 is Sony's first Ultrabook model and show up to the party wearing a "tough magnesium and aluminum" shell with a brushed aesthetic. Vaio T13 models rocking a solid state drive (SSD) will boast up to 9 hours of battery life on a single charge, and up to 90 days in Sleep Mode.
Fans of the Alienware M11x gaming laptop were essentially told to go pound sand when Dell announced Ivy Bridge upgrades to its 2012 Alienware notebook range, which didn't include the 11.6-inch notebook. Dell apparently decided to pull the plug on the M11x, a system we liked so much that we awarded it a 9/10 verdict back in 2010. But is it really the end of the road for the M11x? A tipster who spoke with Dell tells us otherwise.
Having to lug around bulky accessories and peripherals with your Ultrabook or tablet PC kind of negates the whole idea behind thin and light form factors. At the same time, some people find an external optical disc drive (ODD) to be an essential companion, and if you're one of those people, you may want to slap Samsung with a high-five for announcing its new SE-218BB external DVD writer.
When is an Ultrabook not really an Ultrabook? Whenever Intel says so, that's when. For consumers, the answer might not be so cut and dry, and as notebook makers look to deliver thin and light notebooks at lower price points, you'll have to ask yourself how much you really care about buying a notebook with an official Ultrabook designation versus buying one that's nearly identical but lacks Intel's full blessing.
Sick of hearing about Ultrabooks yet? If so, you'd better grab some Pepto Bismol. PC manufacturers have jumped onto Intel's slim n' fast bandwagon with almost astonishing vigor; the first Ultrabooks didn't even hit the streets until the end of last year, and a whopping 21 variations have dropped in the scant 5 months since. That's just the tip of the iceberg, however. Intel says that there are a full 75 more Ultrabooks already in development, and that lower price points and stricter standards are also coming.
Western Digital has begun shipping its new WD Scorpio Blue 7mm hard drive line, the newest edition to its mobile HDD family and the one with the lowest power consumption. These 2.5-inch drives are fully compatible with industry-standard 9.5mm slots found in mainstream notebooks and slimmer laptops, but they're really designed to shine in Ultrabooks as an alternative to costly solid state drives that fall short on storage space.