Thin and light notebooks inevitably draw comparisons to Apple's MacBook Air, and you can probably expect a lot more of that once Ultrabooks emerge, at least at first. Part of the reason probably has to do with there not being a ton of pancaked proportioned notebooks. Intel aims to change the mobile landscape with its Ultrabook concept, and it looks as though Acer is itching to get started.
Ultrabooks are turning out to be a test of metal, er, mettle for PC vendors. Conceived by Intel and expected to begin populating store shelves later this year, ultrabooks have among their defining characteristics: a full-voltage processor, a thickness cap of 0.8 inches, and a sub-$1,000 price tag. But, as PC vendors are fast learning, making an ultrabook is easier said than done.
Some people thought Asus was downright crazy when it said it was building a $200 netbook. That's not a whole lot more than an eBook reader, and it's certainly cheaper than most tablet PCs that are supposedly cannibalizing the netbook market. Well, Asus is proving the skeptics wrong with its $199 Eee PC X101, an ultrathin netbook that now has an official product page.
Intel believes devices based on its Ultrabook concept will eventually be able to capture 40 percent of the consumer laptop market. Aimed at checking the rampant growth of media tablets, ultrabooks will offer both the performance of mainstream laptops and tablet-like features in a thin and light form factor (that’s the plan, at least). To boot, ultrabooks will offer all this for less than $1,000. So the sub-$1,000 question is: How much longer before ultrabooks begin inundating the market?
Sony on Wednesday announced the “world's lightest 13-Inch standard voltage PC” in the US. Besides its ultra-thin and light design, the new Vaio Z is particularly noteworthy for its Light Peak-enabled, GPU-packing docking station. Hit the jump for more on the Vaio Z and the accompanying Power Media Dock
Asus turned a few heads at the Computex trade show in Taiwan last week with its UX21 ultrathin notebook. Sporting a sleek and sexy chassis that measures 17mm at its thickest point and weighing just 2.4 pounds, the real beauty was arguably on the inside where Asus managed to stuff a second generation Core i7 processor. Talk about a slap in the face to Apple's MacBook Air with its dated Core 2 Duo foundation, followed by a gut punch to the MacBook Air's price tag.
With one market research study after the other pointing towards the cannibalization of netbooks and other PCs by the iPad and other media tablets, Intel has a reason to be alarmed. After all, it has yet to gain any traction in the tablet market.
But Intel is trying to turn things around. Even as it makes a play for a foothold in the tablet market with its Oak Trail chips, the company has decided to do something on the PC front too. The chip maker is now counting on a new class of laptops called “Ultrabooks” to turn things around for portable PCs.
Sandisk on Tuesday introduced two new SSD models for ultra-thin notebooks and tablets at the ongoing Computex trade fair in Taipei. According to the company, both the u100 (for ultra-thin notebooks) and the i100 (for tablets) use the SATA III interface and boast “a low-power architecture that reduces power consumption to as low as 10mW.” Hit the jump for more.
We love it when the trade shows roll around because that's when companies show off their upcoming products. Not all of them turn out to be winners, of course, but Asus's UX21 ultrathin notebook being shown off at Computex holds a lot of promise. From the pictures we've seen, it's sleek and sexy, and the Core i7 foundation is just icing on the cake.
Dell today announced the launch of its Sandy bridge-powered XPS 15z ultra-thin laptop. Touting the now defunct Adamo’s spiritual successor as the thinnest 15-inch PC in the world, the company announced that the XPS 15z is the “first in a series of new thin, ultra-powerful laptops from Dell this year.” Let’s hope that the new series does not share the same fate as the Adamo. And on that optimistic note, let’s just hit the jump and see what the specs have to say.