First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Ultrabooks in Australia
- — 19 December, 2011 09:36
Ultrabooks are the new netbooks in terms of products that vendors are now trying to push. Barely any new netbooks were released in 2011 and it seems most vendors are not willing to make any more of the small and basic models that were only good for Web browsing, document creation and light multimedia tasks.
There aren't any similarities between netbooks and Ultrabooks except for the fact that both aim to be easily portable as well as affordable. While netbooks started with pricing below (or near) the $1000 mark, Ultrabooks have started closer to $1500 with Acer being the only vendor so far to release a model with an official RRP of under $1000 in Australia. Given time, this will change; it always does.
What is an Ultrabook
An Ultrabook, based on Intel's reference design, is meant to be a thin and light computer with good battery life that can also supply plenty of speed (by using an Intel Core CPU). So far, we have seen configurations using low-voltage Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs with 4GB of RAM and solid state drives (although Acer has released a model with a Core i3 CPU and a conventional hard drive).
All Ultrabooks that we've seen have a thickness up to 18mm (the Intel reference design calls for a thickness under 21mm) and a screen size of 13.3in (although 11in models are available). Ultrabooks are designed to be comfortable to use and quick to resume from sleep in addition to being light and mobile. The heaviest model we've seen so far is 1.5kg (HP's Folio), with the lightest being 1.1kg (Toshiba's Satellite Z830).
In this roundup we've included all the models that we've reviewed to date, but there are a couple of other models on the market, too, such as the ASUS ZenBook UX21, which is an 11in version of the UX31 that we reviewed, and also the sub-$1000 Acer Aspire S3 variant that we mentioned earlier.
More Ultrabooks are to be released early next year, so if you don't like what you see now, then bide your time. We think a couple of vendors rushed their products to market and didn't include good enough keyboards and touchpads. However, if you can't wait, then we recommend the HP and Toshiba models. We loved using both of these units and think anyone will be happy with them.
We'll be updating this roundup as more review models become available.
2 / 4
While Acer is the first vendor to get its Ultrabook 'out there', the Aspire S3 unfortunately suffers from a lack of features and just feels a little underdone overall. It could use a backlit keyboard, some more connectivity (such as USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet) and we think a solid state drive should be standard for the price you're paying.
- Review Date:
- 7th Nov., 2011
- Elias Plastiras