I’ve just finished the longest, most detailed review I’ve ever published. My 6400+ word Surface Pro 3 full review is up at UMPCPortal and you might be wondering why it took so long. The fact is that it took me over 5 months to realise that the 3 is an incredible ultrabook alternative, ultra mobile Tablet PC and a great desktop PC. It’s extremely well engineered and the modularity is inspiring, if a little expensive. After 6 months of ownership the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 has definitely earned itself a full review.
HP launched the Spectre X360 at MWC and as I’m here working with MobileGeeks I’ve had a chance to get some hands-on and look at the internals. It’s a beautifully crafted Ultrabook convertible from both perspectives and the big battery is going to give it battery life in the 8-10 hours range which means it’s a competitor to the current belle-of-the-ball, the Dell XPS 13.
I’m looking closely at the specs, watching the hands-on videos from CES 2015 and thinking, yes, perhaps this is ‘the one.’ The XPS 13 not only looks fabulous but it’s got specs, a great battery life and starts at just $799 with a Full HD ‘infinity’ display.
Just a few days ago I was tempted to wrap up this site. The Intel Ultrabook project was finished a long time ago and new products using the trademark had tailed-off. The segment got a bit fuzzy and when Samsung announced that the Ativ Book 9 would relaunch with a Core M processor I was ready to continue the story of ultra mobile laptops at UMPCPortal. Today this site’s near-future has been secured thanks to activities at CES in Las Vegas. The Lenovo X1 Carbon got a refresh with the newly announced 5th-Generation Core i7 and Intel have just referenced the Ultrabook in their press release on the launch of the new range of Core CPUs. Broadwell-U is here!
10 new 5th-Generation Core Mobile CPUs with 15W TDP were launched today and we’re expecting real-world performance benchmark figures to follow.
Haswell-U series processors were the ultimate generation for Ultrabooks. The goal was to have an SoC with usable integrated graphics in a 15W TDP and it delivered. It delivered great battery life through the new power control architecture, fast video conversion and optimisation hardware and ‘always-on’ through the Microsoft InstantGo feature on Windows 8. The next generation of that CPU, based on much the same architecture as the Haswell-U generation, is just about to reach the market and in just a few days we’re expecting the first real hands-on with products and prototypes based on Broadwell-U. But just how much better is it going to be? A recent test of a new HP envy 15 with the Core i7-5500U processor gives us some clues.
The Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro launched last week and has been handled by enough people now for us to get an idea of the performance of the Core M platform and the quality of the product. It’s the worlds-thinnest 2-in-1 and weighs just 1.19 KG which, for a 13.3-inch convertible is quite impressive. Lenovo have squeezed in a reasonably sized battery and there are a few other highlight features too.
The beautiful ASUS Zenbook Z305, powered with the new Intel Core M CPU, will launch at €799 according to NotebookItalia. This 1.2KG Ultrabook with a 2K display, 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD should be available in December.
We always though that ASUS would break into a new price point with this superlight but 799 euro (which is likely to translate to $799 pre-tax in the USA) is better than we expected.
The Intel Core M processor, officially launched last week, offers Ultrabook performance in a processing unit that’s about half the size of the current CPUs found in Ultrabooks with a 6W TDP profile. What does that mean? I’ve seen it benchmarked to Ultrabook performance levels on an 680gram fanless tablet. It works!
Here’s a really nice looking 2-in-1 Ultrbook that, unfortunately, weighs nearly 2KG when docked together. A 13.3-inch Full HD screen tablet running a Core CPU in under 1KG isn’t too bad though and there are options here for hard drives and additional batteries in the base unit. The design is good because it incorporates a rear extension that not only houses the ports but keeps the whole unit stable when the screen is tilted. The Full HD screen is really nice.
At a press event in Berlin today ASUS launched a laptop based on Core M. The ASUS Zenbook UX305 is just 12.3 mm thick and weighs 1.2KG. There’s no price available yet but it’s clearly a Q4 product.