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UltraBooks: Thinner with the same power

By Edited Jun 23, 2014 4 16

Looking at the times ahead there are tons of technology improvements and new innovations in front of us. In the past year the smartphone became really big and it will continue to grow big in 2012. Another big upcoming technology would be the use of the cloud. When you look at services like Dropbox, Google Docs or Evernote the possibilities are really endless.

But another interesting development is the use of really, really thin laptops. Apple is the first manufacturer of these thin laptops with the MacBook Air. This laptop is only .68 inches thin and has a weight of 2.96 pounds.

But Apple is not the only one. Soon there will be other players on the market to compete. Especially the beginning of 2012 will be interesting with players like Asus, Acer and Toshiba who are rumoured to bring some great competitors for the MacBook Air.

"The number of transistors per square inch double every year" - Gordon More, Intel

UltraBooks: Why it is Upcoming

People want to look cool with their gadgets

People are always looking for something cool. A MacBook looks cool, but what looks even cooler? A MacBook Air. The laptop is so thin, so light weighted, you cannot believe it is actually working as a normal laptop.

Computers cannot get any faster (in the eyes of the consumer)

So image is, as always, one of the reasons. Another reason is the above quote. If the processors get thinner and faster we want to see result. We want faster laptops and if this is not possible anymore we want thinner laptops. And we reached that point. The average consumer won't see a difference in a couple of computers with different processors, they all look the same and work the same. There is no direct result in getting the new Intel 1.7 processor as you won't notice the difference. So how should computer companies make a difference? Well, with thin laptops of course!

Increased usability

The third reason is about the increased usability. With the tablet market there is a new player in the field when it comes to data processing. Lots of people actually don't use laptops anymore, as they do all their quick typing on the iPad and the actual processing happens on the desktop computers.

An Ultrabook can fight back against these tablets again. The laptop industry tried to conquer this market with the netbooks, but somehow this didn't work out. The thing with netbooks is they don't have an increased usability. They are less heavy, but the typing is not as good as a full size laptop. And the thing is, size is not the problem. If you are a information worker you will carry a backpack anyway most of the time and there is always room for a 13 inch laptop. When you have a netbook, which is smaller, a little bit lighter, but cannot replace your laptop you still won't make any progress.

Now, with an Ultrabook you actually have something to compete to these iPads. You have full functionality, only half of the weight of a normal laptop!

Ultrabook manufacturers

As said, there will be different players in this Ultrabook game. One of them is obviously Apple, the producer of the first Ultrabook like laptop and now we know the answer to the question what an ultrabook is, let's dive in!

Apple with the MacBook Air

The MacBook Air is basically just a laptop, only a lot thinner. There are a couple of functionalities you miss, for instance the disk drive and some memory. And what do you get back? A smooth, thin laptop which not only looks cool, but still has everything you need to have in front of you. Perfect for people who don't need the full power of a laptop, but do have something with the looks and light weight character of the Air.

Technically, Apple is not a manufacturer of the UltraBooks, as Intel put some restrictions to it, but it certainly looks like an UltraBook!


Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

The Acer Aspire S3 is the Ultrabook from Acer, which should be the main competitor for the MacBook air. The laptop is with 0.51 inches even thinner than the laptop from Apple and the weight is 3.3 pounds. The machine runs on Windows 7 and is working pretty fast. The computer is easily awaked from sleep mode and the reviews on Amazon are really positive. The screen is as crisp as the Air's. The price is around a thousand dollar.

Compared to the MacBook Air the battery life is a little low and there are some downfalls in the screen and the size of the different keys. In conclusion a good attack on Apple, but not the perfect computer yet.


Asus Zenbook Ultrabook
With the Asus Zenbook this company is also entering the field of UltraBooks. .8 inches thin and 2.9 pounds and a good computer.

Reviews on Amazon are positive as well, saying this machine is as good looking as the Macbook Air, if not better. It has a more industrial look, which fits the corporate boards better than the 'hipster-look' of the Air.

The trackpad though seems to be a pain in the ass, as it is with the Acer Aspire S3. It does not entirely what you want it to do (for instance, pinching and zooming while you just want to hover around with your cursor).


Another player would be Toshiba with the ultrathin Satellite. This laptop is 1 inch thin and weighs 3.9 pounds. A good player with a price of not exceeding the 600$. Customers describe it as a simple and good laptop with a good battery.

One of the downfalls of this laptop is the lack of bluetooth, which results in using one of your 3 USB ports when you want to have a mouse with it.

Toshiba will be a good competitor, most of all because of the low price point. This will be a great advantage to the high priced laptops the other manufacturers are producing.


Hopefully you gained some interest in this upcoming technology. To see which one is perfect for you, you should look at an UltraBook comparison chart! I see in Ultrabooks the future as customers are asking for more computability with laptops while keeping the same power. In the end, most of the people are just looking for a computer with the possibility of word processing and access to the internet, Ultrabooks give this together with a great look and no back problems!



Jan 4, 2012 7:20pm
These really thin ultrabook laptops would be great for the traveller that has to reduce the amount of space and weight.
Although maybe not good for the gamer wanting that fast one with lots of ram.
We all need to do our homework and work out just what we need to do with our laptops. This article explains the ultrabook for the novice.
Jan 7, 2012 4:12am
Exactly Eileen. There are differences between the ultrabooks as well. If you are a designer, you should get the Asus for instance, most of all because of the high resolution!
Jan 4, 2012 9:08pm
oh my word, these ultrabooks are thinner with the same power! can't wait until these are widely available and the prices get competitive!
Jan 7, 2012 4:13am
Well, most of the prices of the UltraBooks are around 1000$ right now, so they are already competing with the MacBooks! I predict a big use of them in 2012!
Jan 6, 2012 8:03am
Great job on this article! Very informative to say the least. I personally use a Macbook Pro laptop, and I find it to be perfect in terms of size and dexterity. While some people like thinner and smaller products, at some point those products become really easy to break while maintaining a high price point. It's certainly a "to each his own" type of thing. UltraBooks at least are interesting to read about and be aware of before making any purchasing decisions, which is probably the most important point of having an article on them!
Jan 7, 2012 4:14am
Thanks Ulalume! I use a MacBook Pro as well, but these UltraBooks look promising indeed. Seeing my mother walking around with a MacBook Air gives me a good view on how it can all work out, as she is not tech savvy at all!
Jan 6, 2012 7:59pm
Very clear info, thanks. I have to say that I loooove my netbook, and don't have any interest in getting any of those Ultra Books yet. I don't have a desktop computer anymore, and I type just fine on this....
Jan 7, 2012 4:15am
Thanks Footloose! I have a netbook as well (came in a package with another laptop) and I used it for a while in trains and such, still use it when I need to run some Windows applications. But I cannot do without the screensize of more than 13 inch, haha!
Jan 7, 2012 4:02am
I use a MAC desktop at the moment but Its frustrating when I want to use it in different parts of the house. I may consider something like this for its portability, great read.
Jan 7, 2012 4:15am
Thanks MrKIA! The portability of UltraBooks is simply amazing.
Jan 7, 2012 5:39pm
My Toshiba laptop is great but it is not the latest and greatest in terms of being ultra thin but I love it. I can't believe how thin very these newer machines are. This is a nice summary!
Jan 10, 2012 1:50pm
What cool, thinner UltraBooks! I've been thinking about upgrading my 'ancient' laptop, so you're article's pretty timely. Thanks for sharing. I Google + and posted to Facebook and Twitter.
Jan 11, 2012 6:45am
Great back to back featured articles from you! :)
Jan 11, 2012 2:14pm
Awesome. Technology is so amazing. I had an Acer laptop back in med school. Has that brand improved their quality since I bought mine 15 years ago?
Jan 12, 2012 2:27pm
Informative article, nice job. Word of advice check for plurality of the subject as well as spelling. Check the paragraph under Computers cannot get any faster for some of these mistakes. IE 'Result' should be 'Results'. Otherwise keep up the good work!
Jun 2, 2013 4:25am
I prefer Macbook Air
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