Ultrabook Alternatives Added to the Database

Posted on 29 November 2011 By


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We love Ultrabooks but we also love the competition from other parts of the notebook industry.  Lower prices, faster processors, bigger batteries, discreet graphics and other features give the consumer a choice and challenge the designers of  future Ultrabooks.  There are some devices that are closer (MacBook Air, Series 9) than others (DM1, SH771) but we can’t ignore them.

To that end we’ve implemented changes in the database and added a bunch of Ultrabook alternatives. There’s no fixed range of specifications for an alternative but we’ve added what we think are the main contenders today. If you want to propose another alternative in the same.class of processing and with a weight of under 4lb / 1.75kg make your case in the comments below.

You’ll find the list of Ultrabook alternatives, including specifications, comments and more information, here.

All Ultrabooks and alternatives are also now grouped and listed on the standard database list.

There’s an interactive, sortable, searchable list of all devices here.

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  1. #1 by B on November 29, 2011 - 21:26

    I think this is a really good addition, thanks! It will help in making more informed buying decisions.

    It might be useful to be able to list only ‘proper’ ultrabooks and vice versa, or have two separate lists though – for clarity mainly.

    Keep up the good work on the site, I check it regularly.

  2. #2 by Tsuki on November 30, 2011 - 04:50

    I would also add the Thinkpad X220 is an ultrabook alternative. It’s probably one of the best “traditional” ultraportable laptops out there. I’m using it to type this post right now.

    Also, I second B’s suggestion to separate “true” ultrabooks from alternatives.

    • #3 by Chippy on November 30, 2011 - 17:51

      Well at least we know its good enough for web browsing ;-) Only kidding. The x220e should be going in the database. Its on the list. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. #4 by Morganmobile on November 30, 2011 - 17:26

    Alternatives to Ultrabooks are a great idea Steve. We have to remember that Ultrabook is really just an umbrella term for a product class. If we loosen the definition slightly there are many many other notebooks out there that will fulfill people’s needs as well as if not Bette than an Ultrabook.
    I guess many people are coming to this site by following links from keyword searches, I wonder how many of them truly need an Ultrabook, or do they really just need some form of “ultra-portable”.
    There are whole classes of notebooks positioned on either side of the Ultrabook class, you got the business orientated Ultraportables on one side and consumer orientated stylish Thin and Lights, one class is designed for usability and the other for “bling” the Ultrabook class seems to be aimed to bridge these 2 existing styles.

  4. #5 by tsog on November 30, 2011 - 18:54

    Panasonic makes highly desirable ultraportables (J, S, N series) that cost an arm and a leg. Still, they are alternatives to ultrabooks.

  5. #6 by Julio on November 30, 2011 - 23:47

    Another alternative…
    Lenovo Ideapad U300 (is not the same that U300s ultrabook).

  6. #7 by Adam on December 1, 2011 - 07:32

    I’m almost afraid to say it, but we really need price data in the database to make a true value comparison between the almost ultrabooks and ultrabooks.
    -Even if it’s just comparing MSRPs between in the closest configuration to the Ultrabooks.

    Some of these “almost ultrabooks” come in at a price point quite a bit higher than the ultrabooks and some come in much lower. (HP DM1).

    It’s mobility value that makes me pull the trigger in the end and without the price data it’s impossible to arrive at a mobility value conclusion.

    Julio, I agree with you completely but the U300/U300e isn’t available yet. It’s now December 1st and Lenovo’s website still says “coming in November” for the U300 rather embarrassingly.

    My guess is they can’t figure out why the U300s is selling like junk even though it’s one of the best looking ultrabooks out (it’s the cost, stupid). These aren’t Mac’s; ultrabook consumers still care about spec checking and making an intelligent total value-based assessment and the U300s is the most expensive of the lot for what you get.

    Adam

    • #8 by Chippy on December 2, 2011 - 23:07

      I would love to have price info. I have some basic information I can add but it goes out of date too quickly. Am working with Pricegrabber to get some live details imported.

      I’ll add the U300 to the database. Let’s see where it goes. I suspect it won’t reach too many markets.

  7. #9 by Adam on December 1, 2011 - 07:41

    One of the best value “ultrabook alternatives” didn’t make the list: Toshiba R830/R835.

    Starting with Core i3 2310m, 13.3″ screen, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, Intel HD 3000 graphics core, and a DVD drive?!?

    Just had a friend pick up a refurbished model on Newegg for $589 with free shipping. ($749 brand new with 6GB ram and i3 2435)

    0.72″-1.05″ thick and 3.2 lbs weight (18.2mm & 1.45kg)

    Adam

    • #10 by Chippy on December 1, 2011 - 22:17

      Absolutely correct. I’ll get it added.

  8. #11 by Leon Slater on December 1, 2011 - 21:37

    I really hope the U300/U300e comes out soon! I’ve been keeping an eye out for that for ages.

    If you have the DM1 up there, then the Lenovo S205 probably deserves a mention – same specs but actually cheaper. The Sony Y series is pretty much the same as well.

    The Sony Z series is a good alternative as well (though you’d probably have to sell most of your organs to afford it).

    You’ve already got the Samsung NP300 but the NP350 is also a good alternative, plus it has a 12.5″ screen and a standard voltage processor.

    • #12 by Chippy on December 2, 2011 - 23:09

      I’ve got the DM1 in because the new version has a Core i3 option and we’ve listed it as such in the DB. That’s not the case for the S205. I love the S205 but it’s in a different class completely with AMD Fusion. The CPU doesn’t compare.

      Correct me if i’m wrong!

  9. #13 by Adam on December 2, 2011 - 00:38

    I really hope Lenovo leaves SATA III enabled in the U300/U300e BIOS and doesn’t put a junk battery in it; they keep repeating these two mistakes a LOT.

    Ever since my Lenovo X60 had a random /3GB ram limitation, I’ve been following and wary of their strange enforced hardware limitations.

    Adam

    • #14 by tsog on December 2, 2011 - 00:39

      3GB RAM limitation? That’s usually a OS limitation.

  10. #15 by Leime on December 2, 2011 - 09:28

    The alternatives mentioned so far match Ultrabooks in software but not hardware, well what about matching hardware but not software? Does it have to run Windows or could the Transformer Prime be considered an Ultrabook alternative?

    • #16 by Chippy on December 2, 2011 - 23:14

      It’s something I think about every day but no, the Transformer Prime is not a competitor or an alternative in my opinion.
      The CPU is in a much lower performance category, the software too. The gaming experience is an interesting one to consider perhaps but Ultrabooks aren’t gaming machines. At least at the moment!
      In 3 years time we may be talking about ARM V8 64-bit architecture. At that point I think the Ultrabook ‘wave’ will probably be over and 75% or more of new laptop-style device launches will look like the Ultrabooks of today!

      • #17 by Lenaldi on December 3, 2011 - 10:47

        in 3yrs Windows 8 won’t be as quickly adopted as previous versions, Apple won’t even bother holding MacOS events anymore, & Linux will still be irrelevant.

        real Chrome will be integrated into Android & be vastly more robust than it is today, iOS will have increased functionality as well, W8 (ARM) will have flopped & MS will begin their journey becoming the next IBM.

        You can also expect the prices of PC’s to rise as they sale in much less quantity while ARM machines keep getting cheaper & more popular.

        Absolutely everything is happening in the mobile space & by mobile I don’t mean computers. Ultrabooks are a last ditch attempt by Intel & MS to keep the status quo relevant. I just hope you have a backup plan Chippy so we don’t lose you & you have to go get a boring 9-5 job.

      • #18 by Chippy on December 5, 2011 - 09:39

        Actually. I don’t see the ‘Ultrabook’ expression around for much longer than another 2 years before it becomes watered down. So, yes, I have a few plans.
        I tend to agree with your general thoughts there.

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