Friday, January 13, 2012

Ultrabooks Big at CES

The Future of Laptops is Slim

(I promised to cover a few items getting buzz at the Consumer Electronics Show this week. This piece is the second in that series)

There are a few trends emerging from CES 2012, but one of the strongest seems to be "Ultrabooks."  The term is an Intel trademark, and indeed all the ultrabooks being shown at CES have Intel processors. But the term seems to indicate ultra-slim laptop computers with solid state storage and long life battery. Sort of like the MacBook air, introduced a full four years ago at MacWorld.

Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, LG, Samsung and others all introduced ultrabook models at CES. Wired has a nice piece describing 11 of their favorite ultrabooks and tables. The Lenovo Yoga looks quite interesting in that it is a sort of ultrabook/tablet hybrid.

The product category really does seem to be an important one. The future of laptops is slim. My impression is that laptop users largely rejected the low-cost low-performance "netbook" idea of a few years ago. I think that many now prefer to use tablets in that low-cost, light device, simple access space. They want full function and portability for their laptops, which is where ultrabooks seem to shine.

Seems like Apple really had this one nailed before the competition: they rejected netbooks, introduced the MacBook Air, and then introduced the iPad.

Is an ultrabook in your future? Is a smartphone in your pocket, a tablet in your hand, and an ultrabook back at your desk (or in your messenger bag) the magic combination for an information worker? Leave a comment and let us know what you think.


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1 comment:

  1. You nailed how Apple, once again, saw into the future more clearly. Reflecting from one industry - legal - Laptops or Notebooks have become the dominant "desktop" for many lawyers. One issue will be whether these ultrabooks will have the capability to dock and support network connectivity, as the new "thin clients" for business wide nets. If they do, then they will have a place that iPad or other tablets can't fill. For me, I'm still happy with my HP EliteBook level of Desktop replacement, but I am weird and ever day more a geezer. TONY