Intel's $1000 Ultrabook: The Dream and The Reality

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pbrigido

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I think this is right on the money. More PC makers really need to get some good looking products on the market. For me, that begins with slimming down the laptop and ditching the awful painted plastic that many manufacturers use.

I would love to see a company such as Asus take a risk and streamline a laptop and get it to where it has a really functional design...even if the price may be higher than a competitor with similar specs.
 

decembermouse

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You're right Wolfgang, it doesn't deserve the "Ultra" moniker.

I think the concept should continue to move forward, but not in this direction. Nobody needs a super-thin notebook with an i7 under the hood. That is a workhorse CPU, paired with "meh" graphics. If the industry moves towards this form factor in the future, I'd love to see them do it with more balanced hardware.

I'm talking, of course, about Fusion. I don't need 4 cores with 4 more logical cores in a laptop. 4 cores is fine... take the 4 logical ones, and give me a Radeon 6xxx. Plus, I should be able to underVolt Llano, and Intel has locked their i3/5/7 chips from underclocking or underVolting via software, and everyone knows a laptop BIOS isn't going to give you those options.
 

malphas

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Basically form factor, styling and battery life are top of most people's priorities for this kind of device, much moreso than performance; so what manufacturers need to do is stop using i7's and pricey SSDs and instead get one of these slim chassis' and stick in some cheapish components like like a Celeron B847, a 32GB or 64GB budget SSD, and a few GB of RAM, and sell it for something between $600 to $800.
 
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Holy Smokes Batman!!

from hence forth I shall check on the Author first before reading the article!

Love Apple much!

Made a little bit of sick come into my mouth skimming this article!

SHAME on you Toms, This belongs in a personal blog!
 

jrharbort

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It would be much easier for vendors to hit the price points if Intel didn't charge a premium for their ULV platform. Seriously, some ULV based i7s are well over $300.
 

lamorpa

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[citation][nom]malphas[/nom]Basically form factor, styling and battery life are top of most people's priorities for this kind of device, much moreso than performance[/citation]
What? Not everyone is a sucker. A computer is used. Use is its number one feature. Use is directly related to performance.

I agree there is a (sucker) market segment that buys a computer for bragging rights (thin, shiny, etc.), but those iUsers are not the bulk of the market.
 

cadder

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My wife wanted a 12" notebook, not a netbook, and this was before the airapples were available. I found her a 12" Toshiba, very light, with dual core processor AND a DVD drive. It cost about $1300.

A couple of years later I bought a 13" Toshiba for $550, almost equal to hers. A little heavier, a little wider, no DVD drive, equal performance. It is great for me for travel. I would like a slightly faster processor, more battery, an SSD and a better keyboard. The styling of the machine is great. ASUS had a competing model that was more money. Today I might be able to get all that I want in some of the business class ultraportables, for a little over the $1000 price. For now I'm just considering putting an SSD in mine and living with it.

Thinness is really at the bottom of my wish list. I want light, good battery, and good processor in that order. Today's small ASUS is the U31 and it seems to provide 90% of an ultrabook, for a much lower price.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834220899
The styling is generic but sleek enough, it needs to be a bit lighter, and I would prefer an SSD.
 

rockwell61301

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The main issue with any manufacturer putting out a windows based laptop is the bloatware. Dell, HP, Sony, etc. are putting in their own personal tier of software/interface to "better the user experience" or to set them apart from each other.

How many of you wipe and do a fresh install of Win7 on any laptop, new or used, just to rid of that garbage crapware that is included. This wiping of the HD works for the readers of Toms but for the average computer user it does not. I sympathize with new computer buyers and all the garbage software they have to deal with and I can understand why Apples are an appealing option

When the manufacturers stop installing the bloat and trial software the end user will have a better Windows experience which makes Windows a better product.

My $.02
 

lamorpa

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[citation][nom]rockwell61301[/nom]The main issue with any manufacturer putting out a windows based laptop is the bloatware...[/citation]
Bloatware merely fills HD space, the cheapest thing in the system. If there's only a SSD, they leave the bloatware out. Not relevant.
 

lutel

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For me any notebook nowadays would be "Ultra" if they could give it 4:3 LCD panel, which gives much more space and makes much more sense in notebook world. I'm still working on T60 which is latest 4:3 laptop on the market with decent screen. Notebook producers cheeted all users claiming they are giving "wide screens", when actually theses screens are _short_.
 

decembermouse

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[citation][nom]lamorpa[/nom]Bloatware merely fills HD space, the cheapest thing in the system. If there's only a SSD, they leave the bloatware out. Not relevant.[/citation]

I'm cleaning up an HP laptop right now, and removed 14 services, and 25 startup items. rockwell61301 has a very good point; bloatware turns new computers these days into absolute molasses. That's why so many people complain about how slow their computers are.

That, and the fact that Dell/HP/Acer/Gateway/etc. won't let you install updated drivers from Intel, AMD/ATi, Nvidia, Broadcom, etc., unless they provide it. You're locked into crap performance unless you know how to get rid of that bloatware and improve your driver situation.
 

lamorpa

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[citation][nom]decembermouse[/nom]I'm cleaning up an HP laptop right now...[/citation]
I just assume everyone kills the bloatware. Either way, it's a performance hit, but not "the main issue" The manufacturers are not that dumb.
 

sundragon

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This article hits it right on target in my opinion. Dell has come close a few times with it's attempt at good ID (industrial design) - Adamo - but it fell short on price for bang.
I think it would require a fundamental change in the way the company handles its ID - to change every laptop/pc to a specific ID standard.
 

whysobluepandabear

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[citation][nom]rockwell61301[/nom]The main issue with any manufacturer putting out a windows based laptop is the bloatware. Dell, HP, Sony, etc. are putting in their own personal tier of software/interface to "better the user experience" or to set them apart from each other.How many of you wipe and do a fresh install of Win7 on any laptop, new or used, just to rid of that garbage crapware that is included. This wiping of the HD works for the readers of Toms but for the average computer user it does not. I sympathize with new computer buyers and all the garbage software they have to deal with and I can understand why Apples are an appealing optionWhen the manufacturers stop installing the bloat and trial software the end user will have a better Windows experience which makes Windows a better product.My $.02[/citation]
So you rather pay $400+ more dollars for the same hardware, just so it doesn't have bloatware?

Be my guest.
 
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According to this article, sales of the MacBook Air are very brisk, particularly for the high-end 11" model (which runs from $1200-1650) so there definitely is a market for "ultrabooks" in the $1200 price range.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/08/01/strong_sales_of_apples_new_thunderbolt_macbook_airs_cause_some_stock_outs.html

The Acer looks like a carbon copy of the MacBook Air (at least from the outside) and might appeal to people who don't like OS X and who are currently buying MacBook Airs and installing Windows 7 on them. The Sony Vaio Z is not a copy, and is actually lighter and more powerful, but also more expensive (it's easy to drop more than $2,000 on one) than the MacBook Air.
 

liveonc

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The argument for these ultrabooks is portability & performance at a premium for both, but the power-brick still weighs 350g & comes in 5 or more varieties. USB chargers did away with the jumble of different chargers that insisted, no-name alternatives could neither be able to produce nor sell these no-name chargers. That wireless chargers one day might have a place in every home, doesn't mean that there is no future in a standardized laptop charger port for all the different brands that want to offer a no-BS alternative for those on the road with a laptop.
 

frye

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Screen resolution is an issue too. I hope these Ultrabooks are on par with Sony, who actually provide an option for 1080P on their 13 inch models. Far too many good 13/14 inch (and even some 15 inch) laptops are ruined by cheap 1366x768 panels with horrible viewing angles.
 

ben850

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[citation][nom]lamorpa[/nom]What? Not everyone is a sucker. A computer is used. Use is its number one feature. Use is directly related to performance.I agree there is a (sucker) market segment that buys a computer for bragging rights (thin, shiny, etc.), but those iUsers are not the bulk of the market.[/citation]

So you're saying that you'd walk out of the house with a pink outfit, as long as it covered enough skin? Doubt it. When people use things "outside" they tend to pick items that match their own lifestyle. At least to a certain extent.
 

alidan

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[citation][nom]pbrigido[/nom]I think this is right on the money. More PC makers really need to get some good looking products on the market. For me, that begins with slimming down the laptop and ditching the awful painted plastic that many manufacturers use.I would love to see a company such as Asus take a risk and streamline a laptop and get it to where it has a really functional design...even if the price may be higher than a competitor with similar specs.[/citation]

personally, i hope people who view a laptop as a fashion accessory die off.

it encourages people to charge more for looking "prettier"
 

alidan

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[citation][nom]mw__happycamper[/nom]Even among Tom's readership, there are a lot of folks using $600 laptops. Cost IS a factor.[/citation]

a laptop to me is for a mobile experience, it needs a battery life long enough to go from outlet to outlet. and needs to be able to play a 1080p video without gpu assist. anything that can do those two thing and cheapest gets my buy.

desktop replacement is a whole different category of computer, and ultrabooks aren't desktop replacements, they are in my eyes barely netbook replacements.
 
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Laptops are thin enough now, any thinner and you sacrifice cooling ability, which ultimately hurts potential performance. Only fashionista douchebags and people who are too lazy to carry around a whopping 3% of their body weight actually think they need something that thin. Needless to say, neither group does any serious computing anyways.
 

sundragon

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[citation][nom]alidan[/nom]personally, i hope people who view a laptop as a fashion accessory die off. it encourages people to charge more for looking "prettier"[/citation]

You then don't give a hoot about what you wear? Even if it's a jacket that's meant to be used? Or your car for that matter - it's a utility to go from A to B?

Laptops are tools, nothing wrong with spending a little effort making them pleasing to the eye... Apple certainly makes a killing doing this, haha.

 

sundragon

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[citation][nom]fashionista_douchebag[/nom]Laptops are thin enough now, any thinner and you sacrifice cooling ability, which ultimately hurts potential performance. Only fashionista douchebags and people who are too lazy to carry around a whopping 3% of their body weight actually think they need something that thin. Needless to say, neither group does any serious computing anyways.[/citation]

Color me a "fashionista_douchebag" - I do quite a bit of serious computing, buddy :)
I care about what I look like... Women love it! :)
I care about what I drive, what I wear, what my laptop looks like :) There's nothing holding the PC manufacturers back if Apple (I
 
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