Archive for November, 2011
Fujitsu may have launched the SH771 high-end ultra-light but that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to produce an Ultrabook. How do we know? We have pics of Fujitsu Ultrabooks!
Sent to us from Mr Blurrycam himself and marked-up with equally fuzzy information, these pics are supposed to have been shown in a private event recently and were highlighted as Ultrabooks for the 2012 market.
There’s two models being shown here. One is an almost ready 13”er, the other, just a plastic prototype of an 11” Ultrabook which leads us to believe that we’re looking at a Sandy Bridge model and a slightly thinner Ivy Bridge device here.
Here we are, a few weeks into availability of a few Ultrabook devices in a few parts of the world and the big news over the last 2 days is that sales are disappointing and orders have been cut back.
Earlier in the week, tech journalists were excited about the growth possibilities following a report from iSuppli.
Is it really sensible to make judgements now?
I looked through Amazon UK, Germany and USA today and to he honest, you’ll have trouble buying an Ultrabook right now. The same is true of most retailers. In the important European market Acer are the only manufacturer that have achieved wide availability to date. In Germany, the largest country in Europe, it’s tough to find a single device. I’m sure Australia, Canada and the big Indian, Taiwan, Japanese and South Korean markets aren’t much better. The point is that Ultrabooks are late. Is it any surprise that numbers are less than expected? Is it any surprise that no-one really has the big picture yet?
We’ve just had a note from Toshiba Europe to say that the Toshiba Satellite Z830-10J is now shipping in Germany, Austria and, I believe, the Benelux area. Specs are as we have then in the database (note it’s the Satellite and not the Portege in Europe…so far) and the official spec list confirms a matt screen. (Entspiegelt) Recommended retail price is €1099 but I see a number of retailers offering it for €999. Amazon for example. (Toshiba Satellite Z830-10J – aff.)
Back at IDF in Sept we were told that most of Intel’s marketing spend next year will be on Ultrabooks. It seems hard to believe but what is for sure is that there will be a large sum of money involved. Companies producing Ultrabooks (that qualify) can look forward to marketing and advertising help along with a raft of generic Ultrabook advertising. Expect to see the first of this at CES where Intel is bound to be supporting all the Ivy Bridge partners and a big bunch of journalists.
In an interview to be published in the German Handelsblatt newspaper tomorrow, Tom Kilroy, VP of sales and marketing at Intel gives more information. Although the full article is not yet available, a press release (in German) gives selected details.
“Im kommenden Jahr werden die Ultrabooks im Zentrum unserer größten Marketingkampagne seit Jahren stehen”
I’ve seen Ultrabook market penetration estimates that range from 40% by end of 2012 all the way across to this, the lowest forecast so far. 13% by end of 2012.
As we all know by now, the Ultrabook is radically different to traditional notebooks in terms of design and production so as far as I’m concerned, if we see all major manufacturers on board with production lines and supply-chains responding, there will be no turning back and the Ultrabook design and production methods will permeate most of the laptop market. I expect we will see the first signs that the Ultrabook design is succeeding in late 2012 with netbooks, Windows 8 ‘Ultraslates’ and perhaps a new style of MacBook Pro looking distinctly ‘new-wave’ and as the Ultrabook design starts to become cheaper because of volumes, the market will flip completely.
By the end of 2013 Intel could find it impossible to retain any sort of Ultrabook definition because most notebooks will offer similar style, always-on and SSD characteristics. [Unless Intel have a bunch of patents tucked away with the Ultrabook trademark!]
You could even argue that ARM-based notebooks running Windows 8 in 2014 could count towards a loose Ultrabook definition. They will certainly look like Ultrabooks. [Again, unless Intel is building a patent barrier.]
Those of you that are considering the Lenovo U300s should check this good video review out. Ultimately, the UX31 is regarded as better than the U300S, even where the trackpad is concerned. I was surprised.
Screen brightness and battery life are also said to be better on the UX31 although Mobile Tech Review do regard the U300S as a good Ultrabook all-round with a solid build, full size HDMI and a good Centrino WiFi card.
The choice is yours but if you need to wait for another opinion and even a live review and Q&A session, stay tuned here because we are close to securing the UX31, U300s and the Z830 for detailed testing at Ultrabooknews.
Acer Aspire S3, Lenovo U300S, Toshiba Z830, Asus UX21, Asus UX31.
Update: Now that the HP Folio is in the running, this poll has been closed. Results are below.
Over the last week there’s been an excellent discussion going on here at Ultrabooknews. We’ve talked about the argument against Ultrabook, the argument for buying an Ultrabook, discussed some specific solutions and issues and we’ve even seen some of you pushing the button on a purchase. Finally, the first review of the last of the first round of Ultrabooks is in so there are now independent reference points for all of them. I want to thank you all for your input in the comments so far. Keep it going!
On the right-hand column here on the desktop version of Ultrabooknews.com (scroll down a bit!) you’ll see a list of Ultrabooks. [If you're viewing the mobile site, view the list here.] From day one I’ve been tracking views of the pages and each day the list gets re-ordered with the most popular device (over the last 7 days) showing at the top. It gives you an idea about what devices are most popular but for a second data point, I think it’s a good time to take a poll.
Poll : Which is your favorite Ultrabook?
Feel free to add comments below and let others get the benefit from your thoughts – whatever they are.
For more information on all of the Ultrabooks (and some of the alternatives) see the product database. Specification also available via the images above.
I’ve been watching GBM like a hawk today because I knew they were getting in a Toshiba Z830 for testing. At last we’ve got a final, retail version in the hands of someone that knows what they’re doing. Josh Smith is the man and his First Impressions are here.
The model being reviewed is the Toshiba Portege z830-P330 with 1.4GHz Intel Core i3 (2nd gen), 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD.
The SSD is confirmed as the Toshiba THNSNB128GMCJ and it’s bad news.
I’ve just pushed the button on a Toshiba Z830 Ultrabook which might be here next week (although I suspect the 7th Nov delivery date is not going to be honoured.) I went for the Toshiba Z830 because I think it’s going to be the best for me. It’s very light, has the full size SD card slot I require for my photo and video work, a promising battery life and upgradeable SSD and memory. I’ve ordered a 4GB Core i5 model, the Z830-10J, for €999 in Germany.
Continued below. . .
While I was researching for the last article, a warning about battery life figures, I came across some very useful information on the Toshiba Z830. They’ve officially submitted BAPCO MobileMark 2007 scores to BAPCO, for Core i3 and Core i7 versions of the Ultrabook, along with some other useful information.
First, lets take a look at the SSD they’re using. It’s a critical part of an Ultrabook. Toshiba have obviously dropped their own part in and it’s a TOSHIBA THNSNB128GMCJ , 128GB, SSD, SATA on the Core i7 model tested and a TOSHIBA THNSNB064GMCJ , 64GB, SSD, SATA on the Core i3 model tested.
It’s time to fire another warning shot across the bows of the over-eager marketing teams. Here’s the truth about the battery life on the ‘18 hour’ Fujitsu SH771.
But first, let us pay respect to the fact that there is a class of devices above Ultrabooks that can retain features like DVD, fully-clocked CPUs, large battery capacity options and still keep the weight down. The Fujitsu SH771 looks like it offers the best of both worlds. In some respects it does, but it starts at $1800.
Press release here. Battery life analysis below.
Designing an Ultrabook isn’t easy. Tight measurements, strength and heat issues make the designers job tougher than ever but despite that Toshiba have managed to build a 13” laptop with a weight of only 1.1KG, the lightest of all the Ultrabooks.
We talked about some of the design features following a recent meeting with Toshiba but the extra information given in a review with some of the design team reveals even more and gives us the first images of the internals of the Z830. Don’t miss the memory expansion slot!
Evolving from the Dynabook SS series, the Z830 (or Dynabook R631 as it is called locally in Japan) uses a similar low-profile magnesium alloy chassis where a honeycomb structure is added for rigidity.
Toshiba UK, operating independently from West Europe, North America and other regions have had specs, pricing and availability for the Toshiba Z830 available for a few weeks now but, for good measure, (or we suspect, a bit of timely fact regurgitation from The Register) the story is doing the rounds again today.
Toshiba UK already have model names, price and details available (details here) so all you’ll need to do is to wait for the first hands-on and then you can finally make your decision between the 4 Ultrabooks and the Ultrabook alternatives.
Interestingly, one large electronics retailer in Germany is convinced that the Z830 with be available on the 7th November [Conrad]. We’re trying to confirm this and are also looking forward to the Z830 as the first review device here on Ultrabooknews. More details on that in due course.
Via Pocket Lint
Ive just read through 8 pages of Asus UX21 review and come away with a very positive feeling. You’ll probably experience the same too because the UX21 beats quite a few more expensive devices in a general performance test and even gets some positive comments about gaming on the platform but it is the SSD that’s really responsible here. The balance of great processing capability and an SSD that removes any significant traces of bottlekneck is proving itself.
“If ever there was a “Poster Child” for the benefits of SSDs, especially in notebook platforms, it would have to be the Zenbook UX21. “
As a result of the extremely fast SSD the UX21 beats more expensive laptops in the general computing benchmark, PC Mark 7.