If you’ve been watching the laptop market recently, you’ve noticed the buzz around “ultrabooks,” a new breed of laptops coming out from every major PC manufacturer.
Ultrabooks blur the lines between notebook, tablet and high-powered machine; they go for around $1,000 (give or take) and have evolved significantly since their big introduction earlier this year. Ultrabooks are marked by a sleek, slim design, light-weight (less than four pounds), touch screen features and super long battery life. The major ultrabook players like Intel and HP are promising GPS integration, voice and gesture capabilities as soon as the holidays roll around. The market is definitely heating up.
Here are four ultrabooks rising to the top that could perform beautifully for your business:
HP Envy 14 Spectre comes equipped with a nine-hour battery life, Intel Wireless Display, HP’s CoolSense technology and premium software like Photoshop and a two-year subscription to Norton Internet Security. It weighs in at a hefty 3.8 pounds, and also comes with a slightly hefty price tag as far as ultrabooks go — $1,400. If you like HP but don’t like the cost of the Spectre, check out the…
HP Folio 13-1020us is priced at just $899.99 and 3.25 pounds. Eventually all ultrabooks will come in below $1,000, as this will be a category definer. But we’re likely a year or so away from that. In the meantime, the HP Folio is a beautifully designed and beautifully powered ultrabook. With premium LED lighting (though some reviewers think it could be better), it also features 1.6GHz, dual-core Intel Core i5-2467M processor and 4GB of DDR3 memory, just like some of the bigger books.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 is a super slim, super light (three pounds) carbon ultrabook with a beautiful 14-inch high-resolution (1,600 x 900) display. Inside of this executive-geared book is Intel’s third-generation “Ivy Bridge” Core processor with vPro manageability features. The company boasts that the battery can be almost fully recharged in 30 minutes, but hasn’t yet disclosed exact battery life. If it’s anything like it’s ultrabook family, users are looking at eight or more solid hours of battery life. James Bond bonus: there’s a fingerprint reader for added security.
If you want to call yourself an early adopter, then get in line for what’s being touted as the thinnest and lightest ultrabook of all — and this one comes with a secret back door. The Acer S5 will be available this week for an estimated $1,400. It has the 3rd Generation Intel Core i7-3517U Processor with Turbo Boost Technology. Weighing in at just 2.65 pounds (yowza) and with a 13-inch LED back lit display, this machine is as attractive as it is useful. Under the hood are components that can handle anything you want to run, including hefty video and multi-media content. What reviewers love the most, however, is a tiny door at bottom of the book that opens up at the touch of a button to reveal the ports-and-connections block, including HDMI and Thunderbolt.
If you’re still not sure if ultrabooks are strong enough for your business needs, it wouldn’t hurt to hold out another year. There will be a plethora to choose from, especially after next year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES); and most of them will have inched their way to that $1,000-a-pop threshold. So you if can make your existing technology hold out a little while longer, it could be well worth it.