Don't say we didn't warn you ... the Ultrabook is arriving in just over a month
Subject: General Tech | September 1, 2011 - 12:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Lenovo will be the first to release an Ultrabook and the least of the bad news is that it doesn't seem to have a brushed aluminium exterior. The specs look great, a 13.3" screen gives enough size for most eyes to comfortably view movies and the web and the 14.9mm thick body will see it slip into even the tightest of spaces. A total reported weight of 1.32kg (2.9lbs) is also very attractive, making it both lighter and slimmer than a popular portable fruit-based alternative.
The technical specs also measure up to the promise of the ultrabook, with a Core i7 and 4GB of DDR3 providing rather decent processing and graphics power for such a small
note net portable computer. The promise of 'instant on' is met with either a 128 or 256GB SSD of indeterminate origin as the storage medium as well as something known as Rapiddrive SSD which will boot to you to the desktop in just 10 seconds, presumably from a cold start.
With all this good news you might wonder what the warning was for? As has been mentioned by the manufacturers and as Intel attempted to refute, price is the key for this form factor. The Ultrabook is attempting to enter a market that has already been totally wrapped up by a well loved and mature product. The Macbook Air has been selling to those who want a full fledged laptop in an ultramobile form factor for quite a while now, and those in this target market probably already own a Macbook Air. In order to pull people away from Apple you need to at least match them in everything they do and better them in some way.
How does the Ultrabook do on those accounts? Apple will sell you an Air for $1299 which sports an SSD and a Core i5 processor, while Lenovo's new U300s will have the same specifications and according to The Inquirer it will cost around $1200, which is likely to actually be $1299. That puts the two machines on almost equal footing with a slight CPU benefit to be claimed in the Intel camp, which brings us to maturity. The Air works, we know this to be true as it has been on the market for long enough to work out any bugs. The Ultrabook is an unknown; the first generation of any new form factor will go through teething issues which might be serious or perhaps be negligible but you will see them.
So, with the price being equal as well as the hardware, at least for most actual usage; would you pick up the new guy or go with the incumbent?
"CHINESE LAPTOP MAKER Lenovo has announced its super thin and high performance U300s Ultrabook laptop.
The U300s will come with a 13.3in screen and Intel's second generation Core i5 or Core i7 processor. Lenovo gave a general availability of mid October and a price of around $1,200."
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