Review of 2012 Ultrabook models
Ultrabooks are more and more popular nova days and quickly become competitors of Apple MacBook Air. They present a new class of ultra compact, lightweight, thin but powerful computers with long battery life. Ultrabooks were introduced in respond to fast growing popularity of great tablets such as Apple iPad and Google Android based devices. Because of the excellent balance of portability and performance Apple MacBook Air was a long time the flagship for ultabooks and inspired competitors to introduce the ultrabook concept and the line of products in the attempt to get more consumer’s attention.
There are variety of ultrabooks available on the market.
Apple MacBook Air
There are two MacBook Air model types available – with screen size of 11.6 and 13.3 inches. First version of 11.6 inch screen model comes with Core i5 2467M processor and 64GB solid state drive. The second version equipped with more powerful Core i7 2667M processor and 128 GB SSD. Capacity of batteries installed in the MacBook Air is enough for about 5 hours of normal activity staying connected to the Wi-Fi network.13 inch model also comes in two versions – Core i5 2557M 128GB SSD and Core i7 2667M, 256 GB SSD. The battery of this version is capable for working for 7 hours. 13.3-inch screen has pretty high resolution of 1600 × 900.
Combination of elegant aluminum case, bright display and silent operation makes the MacBook Air laptop famous and popular. However a lot of people get used to Microsoft Windows and not ready for switch to the MacOS starting learning the basics of new operating system again. The availability of applications and the price should also be taken into account while comparing ultrabooks and MacBook Air.
Asus ZenBook was first presented ultrabook. ZenBook comes in two versions 11.6-inch UX21 and 13.3-inch UX31. Design of ZenBook is very similar to Apple MacBook Air and equipped by similar processor are battery models. Nice looking body, comfortable keyboard, large and easy to use touchpad impress a lot of consumers.
However 11.6 inch could have better display quality in terms of the contrast.
But 13-inch UX31 has almost as good display as Apple providing good contrast, superior brightness and higher resolution of 1600 x 900. Asus utilize SSD drives manufactured by ADATA outperforming Samsung SSD installed in the MacBook Air. Generally speaking the performance of ZenBook is almost equal to the performance of powerfull Windows desktops. The difference is only notable while playing games. Battery life of ZenBook is less than that on the MacBook Air.
Despite the equal capacity of batteries 11.6 inch ZenBook model does not work more than 3.5 hours. Hopefully the latest Microsoft Windows 8 will increase the battery life of the ZendBook.
Acer Aspire S3
Aspire S3 body built with combination of plastic and aluminum, Acer uses a 20 GB SSD and 320 GB classic hard drive. Such approach impact overall performance in negative way but provide a lot of space for files. 13-inch display has lower resolution of 1366 × 768 than ZendBook.
HP Folio 13
In terms of filling Folio 13 not how it stands in relation to their classmates – Processor Core i5 2467M, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, and 13.3 inch display with 1366 × 768.
Display from HP is far from perfect and stands on the same level as Acer s3
Folio 13 case is also combination of aluminum and plastic. In terms of performance Folio 13 running significantly slower probably because of not the best quality of SSD.
Toshiba Portege Z835
This is the lightest, thinnest and cheapest of currently manufactured ultrabooks. Toshiba released the attractive product. Magnesium alloy body is very lightweight and impressive. In addition its matte body is resistant to stains and scratches. Portege Z835 model equipped with Core i3 2367M 1.4 GHz, 13.3-inch display, 1366 × 768 resolution, 4GB of RAM and 128 GB SSD.
Overall performance of Portege Z835 with Core i3 2367M processor is good.
However Protege SSD write speed 50MB/s is much slower comparing to Acer S3 75 MB / s, Lenovo U300s 250 MB/s and the Asus ZenBook UX31 550 MB / s.
8-cell battery provides pretty good life time of 5.5 hours while connected to Wi-Fi and using 50% brightness of display.
ZenBook UX31 has excellent design and quality, good display, Microsoft Windows platform and amazing overall performance. Acer S3, HP Folio 13 and the Toshiba Portege Z835 are remarkable in its own way. Acer has disk capacity of 340GB, Toshiba demonstrates very good battery life while HP has a light on the keyboard.
First line of Sony made ultrabooks
A few days ago Sony introduced the brand new line of ultra-thin notebooks – Vaio T ultrabooks.
The line presented by two models T11 and T13 with 11.6” and 13.3” displays respectively.
Screens resolution is 1366×768 pixels. Solid nice looking cases of Sony ultrabooks are made from aluminum and magnesium are pretty impressive, strong and lightweight. Overall weights of T11 and T13 ultrabooks are 1.35 and 1.6 pounds respectively
Powered by Intel Sandy Bridge Intel Core i3-2367M processor, 4GB of DDR3 memory and running on Windows 7 Home Premiun operating system Sony ultrabooks are promised to be attractive to consumers.
The combination of SSD and conventional 320 GB hard drive as well as up to 9 hours running on battery time are also impressive
Ultrabooks equipped by SD slot ,Bluetooth 4.0, USB ports and HDMI-output.
Sales of Sony ultrabooks should start in June 2012
Intel Ivy Bridge dual-core processors released
Intel announced the family of fourteen Ivy Bridge dual core processors today. Six of them are designed for desktop computers. The remaining eight engineered for compact notebooks and ultrabooks. Some of them labeled by “U” have low power consumption and therefore could run longer time on the battery. Ivy Bridge Core i5 and Core i7 are currently available and Core i3 will follow later.
Ivy Bridge processors have the same micro-architecture as previous generation of chips Sandy Bridge but provide better performance and lower power consumption.
First Ivy Bridge chips came out in late April. They had four cores and were designed for desktop computers and powerful laptops.
Intel is widely known as a company that introduced the concept of ultrabooks, The concept was recently updated. The Company believes that current ultrabooks must have high-speed USB 3.0 ports or Thunderbolt and built-in security. Ultrabook should run on battery power for at least 8 hours and download updates while in “sleeping” mode.
Intel claims that around 110 models of ultrabook will be powered by Ivy Bridge. 30 of them will have touch screens and 10 should be transformers like ASUS Eee Pad Transformer and Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga.