Archive for February, 2012

Ultrabooks feature in the Intel ‘Compute Continuum’ at MWC

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 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.

intel cc


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ASUS Optimistic about Zenbook Ultrabooks, New Models in May

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

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Announcing The Ultrathin Laptop Buying Advisor driven by Chippy and Larovo

ultrathin advisorOver the last 6 years of product blogging I’ve always believed that  professional product blogs should be niche, run by experts and focused on guiding people to solutions rather than just being an open information and advertising platform. It’s the reason I started building a product database just months after launching my first product blog in 2006. That product database has become a great reference, a focal point for external review and information links, a conversation channel and for me, one of my most important revenue channels. Without it, I wouldn’t be blogging professionally.

I’ve always wanted to add two things to that database though. I wanted to add current pricing and a web-based advisor. While I try to map readers to products as much as I can through my articles, providing a separate channel to map readers to solutions has proved beyond my means. Until now.

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Lenovo U300e – Another Hybrid HDD Hits the Ultrabook Market

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 right now.

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Dell XPS 13 Review from WSJ, Isn’t

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.

Dell XPS 13

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.

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Malata Roadmap hints at Ultrabook / Netbook Crossover


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.

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Samsung Series 5 Ultrabooks Get Early Review

We spent a lot of time with the Series 5 Ultrabooks at CES, did a good series of tests and, given the competitive price, we’re quite impressed. [List of previous Series 5 articles here.]

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!

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See You at the Intel Developer Session at MWC?

intel platform of choice

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.

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Updated Asus Ultrabooks to get Full HD Display, Spec Updates says Report


Reported on 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.

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Z830/Z835 BIOS 1.6 Addresses Fan Noise

Toshiba-Z830-31The Z830 was my favourite Ultrabook of ‘phase 1’ in 2011 and I got very close to buying one. The problem was fan noise. A recent BIOS update may have fixed the issue.

Update: I tested the BIOS update. It works. Info here.

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

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