Every year, competition is getting tougher among manufacturers of premium ultrabooks, with a lot of players vying for the market, and a good number of consumers who are slowly moving to Windows products. Today, there is a growing trend of ultrabooks being the mobile computing device of choice against laptops. So what makes this device attractive to the new tech-savvy generation? Ultrabooks are the new category of notebook computers that aim to fill the gap between lightweight tablets and laptops. The term was dubbed by Intel when the company announced how it plans to focus its efforts on developing a new class of lightweight laptops with longer batter lives, high-powered and low voltage Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge processors, and fast storage through solid state drives. Here are a two of the best ultrabooks that should be on your shortlist the next time you think about upgrading your mobile computing device.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook
Earlier this month, Lenovo finally raised the curtain on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, a 14-inch, Ivy Bridge-packed ultrabook. Its entry level model runs on a 1.7 GHz Core i5 CPU, a 128 GB solid state drive, and Intel’s HD graphics. Just like the ThinkPad X1 model, 3G connectivity is available as an optional feature. Aside from its praiseworthy Ivy Bridge processors, the device steps up from its predecessor models with its high resolution 1600 x 900 display. Even though its panel is one inch bigger, the Carbon is still 0.13 inc thinner and 0.7 pounds lighter than the first X1 ultrabook. Lenovo is currently advertising the ThinkPad Carbon as the lightest business ultrabook with good crossover potential.
Lenovo has also stocked the ThinkPad X1 Carbon with a RapidCharge utility that can juice up the device’s 45Wh battery to 80% in just about 30 minutes. Similar to the X1, the Carbon has also replaced the wide keys for the chicklet style version, and it works beautifully. The keys are comfortable, evenly spaced, and have good response and feedback. Overall, this business-oriented ThinkPad X1 is an impressive device that can take your everyday computing task to the next level.
Dell XPS 14 Ultrabook
Although it is based on Intel’s fastest Ivy Bridge processor for ultrabooks, the XPS 14 hovers closely to the all-purpose category, weighing 4.7 pounds. However, Dell does give you many reasons to indulge in the extra weight around, especially if you opt for high-quality multimedia features. Sitting in between Dell’s XPS and 15 continuum models, the XPS 14 boasts exceptionally brilliant resolution (1600 x 900) 14 inch display and the nVidia GT630M graphics with a memory of 1GB for videos and gaming.
With a 3rd generation Intel core processor, nVidia GT 630M, and 8GB of memory, the Dell XPS 14 produces speedy multimedia benchmark results. Although its good batter life lifted its overall performance to a respectable mark, its 5400 rpm hard drive dragged it down, especially when it comes to video encoding and hard drive operations. While the ultrabook’s overall performance is still above average, the XPS 14 also had some strong spots, such as the premier PCMark Productivity Suite.