Archive for February, 2012
I’m at the Mobile World Congress in Spain this week and although I’ve been covering a lot of phone and tablet news (over at Carrypad.com) I’ve also been keeping an eye open for Ultrabook news. I didn’t have to look far because when Intel talks about one silicon product, it’s now inextricably linked with the others via the ‘Compute Continuum’ which isn’t just a keynote dream any more, it’s a real project to mesh devices from various parts of Intel’s product range.
Following our report that ASUS will be updating the UX Zenbook series and are tentatively planning a launch in May we now have an official statement that new ASUS Ultrabooks will indeed come in May. Prices will be attractive too.
At an investor conference Executive Officer Jerry Shen said there would be ‘a number’ of new models to cover each price segment with price possible starting at US$699
There are rumors and indicators that Ultrabooks are moving more towards hybrid HDDs and the Lenovo U300e is another indicator in that area. The nasty side effect is that the SSD model, the U300s now only seems to be available with a Core i7 and a $1499 price.
The U300e is launching with a 500Gb hard drive, Core i5 and 4GB RAM – No change from the original U300s that we saw apart from the storage. The price comes in at $1199 at the Lenovo US store though which is shockingly high considering the Samsung Series 5 13.3 is $869 at Amazon.com right now.
The Wall Street Journal have had some time with what appears to be the retail version of the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook. While it’s nice to get some feedback on the product, we don’t suggest you use this ‘review’ as part of your buying research because it’s pathetic.
The reviewer, highlights good build quality and a smaller footprint than the MacBook Air. There’s a “good, backlit keyboard” and he gives a tip that Dell will increase the resolution of the XPS 13 later in the year. That’s at least an indication that Dell are working on an Ivy Bridge version of the XPS 13.
The rest of the article is pretty much trash.
Notebookitalia have just reported on a 2012-2013 roadmap from Malata, a brand of the Wanlida Group in China. It includes a bunch of mobile products but interestingly it mentions ultrathin products in 13.3”, 11.6” and a 10” screen size. More interesting is that the company appears to merge the Ultrabook and netbook category by offering an Intel Atom Cedar Trail option as a CPU.
The 13.3” Series 5 is already shipping in Germany so expect full reviews from that part of the world within days but there’s already a nice detailed review up at 3DNews, a Russian website, who also appear to be happy with the Ultrabook. They’ve got some ‘naked’ pictures too!
In addition to the expected smartphone, tablet and AppUp announcements at Mobile World Congress, Intel’s European teams will be holding a ‘Platform of Choice’ event on the 28th Feb which will offer you a update on Intel’s activities in various sectors, including Ultrabooks. There will be both global and European focus at the event. I’ll be attending and I hope to see you there too.
Reported on ITC.ua and tipped to us by a reader today is information that ASUS maybe getting ready to update the UX21 and UX31 with some exciting new specs that include full HD displays; never before seen on an 11.6” laptop.
In common environments like offices and silent environments (library, home office) the noise, a mechanical buzz rather than air noise, was unnoticeable. In a quiet environment, it’s another story. Here’s what we said in the Z830 review
This image from TechRepublic speaks a thousand words.
Just look how small the motherboard is. Look how huge the battery is in comparison to the motherboard. Look at the lack of ancillary components. Check out the heat-pipe. This is an Ultrabook exposed and it shows amazing integration.
It’s not an Ultrabook (Samsung say it doesn’t hit pricing targets but the truth is that it’s missing a security subsystem and of course, Samsung want to position this away from the Samsung Series 5 Ultrabooks) but it’s a hot item and one that many will want, even though the pricing is way up there. $1399 for a 13”-er and $1499 for a 15”-er is not exactly small change. Both the 900X3B (13.3”) and 900X4B (15”) are up for pre-order.
Apple now have a series of patents for the MacBook Air ‘ornamental design’ and we’re wondering just how much this could impact Ultrabook design in the future. When you see approvals for layouts such as the one below, you have to wonder!
Yes, you’re looking at a featureless rectangle that was approved two days ago as Patent US D654072.
The Fujitsu Ultrabook photos we brought to you in Nov will soon be real. Fujitsu have revealed a roadmap that shows two Ultrabooks being launched in May.
The Acer S3 tested out well when we reviewed it and although it’s not the top of the class, there are no show-stoppers and, for the price, you’re getting a full Core i5 solution unlike the Core i3-based Toshiba Z835 that pops up at $799 now and again.