Ultrabooks – The Future Of The Laptop?


The playing field for modern technology changes direction roughly every forty two seconds these days, as ideas are hurled violently around the office, ran with; unnecessarily barging innocent bystanders out of the way, and then dropped and completely forgotten about. As a result, predicting what will happen in the future for this usually fascinating equipment is more than a little tricky. Inevitably, it’s only a matter of time before we all walk around wearing Apple augmented reality spectacles, plugged into an app store that tells us how hungry we are and what that stranger just thought about our questionable shorts, never uttering a word because we can Tweet all our thoughts instantly.

Dispensing with hyperbolic speculation though, the latest breakthrough in portable computing hardware is the jumped up marketing phrase ‘Ultrabook’. Up until now, that hasn’t really meant much, but going forward toward the end of this year, these machines look set to change the playing field again.

What is the Ultrabook?

An Ultrabook, the latest denomination of the laptop world, is undoubtedly chip-manufacturer Intel’s response to the coveted and beautiful looking Macbook Air range. Super slim, small and stylish, and with a visual aesthetic that makes people coo irritatingly on any occasion they happen to see one. Truly, the depth of these models is a sight to behold, cramming enough technology into a wafer-thin casing that looks light enough to be taken from you by a determined gust of wind, is impressive by anyone’s standards.

The Differences

So by now, you may be pondering what the difference between these tiny machines and their netbook counterparts is. Whilst netbooks, a craze that took off shortly before Apple brought out the iPad and ruined everybody’s day, concentrated solely on getting the technology down into the smallest box possible, sacrificing vast amounts of video and processing power along the way; Ultrabooks are essentially their stylish, expensive, and better performing successors.

But of course, paying three times the price for a machine that’s 40% shinier and can run Solitare at 60 FPS may not seem like much of a revolution; and it isn’t. So far, Ultrabooks have been continually laden with under-performance issues that come as a result of the size-down, yet have retained their premium price tags. Illustrious buying incentive, this is not.

So why all the gushing in that first paragraph? Because Ultrabooks are about to become the future of portable computing.

The Future

Intel are currently in the process of rolling out their ‘Ivy Bridge’ Ultrabooks. Ivy Bridge is a processing chip that will put Ultrabooks into a competing paradigm with higher-end PCs. Essentially, what this means is the convenient portability of a netbook coupled with high standard visuals and casings, efficient power consumption (better battery life) and top tier performance in a package you can fit in your enormous clown pocket; or bag.

Furthermore, along with all these raw, unfaltering benefits, is the news that price tag is expected to drop to around $699 entry. What that means for us Brits is questionable, but either way, a better price for better kit is always going to make consumers happy.

So what does this mean for the future of laptops? Essentially, when great portability comes with great power at a great price, we’re taking steps toward a more efficient, technologically competent future for computing on the go. No longer will businesses have to try and conduct internet meetings using complicated software on netbooks that can’t handle it, and finally the general consumer can take a machine that will adequately run 3D modelling and video editing programs as well as moderate to high level gaming everywhere they go.

Even issues with 11-14” standard Ultrabook screen sizes have been addressed as the Ivy Bridge integrated graphics core has the capability to output to two additional screens. Could this point to a future where we all carry around ultra-portable, sleek laptops, and simply attach them to monitors for extended or work-related use? One machine does it all?

There are a host of experimental portable computing designs currently surfacing, mixing the idea of tablets and laptops. Essentially, you’ll want to wait a few months for the Ultrabook market to settle before making your purchase, but regardless, this new breed of machines could shape the future for standard laptops, as old styles are phased out in favour of the style, power and precedence of the Ultrabook.

This article was written by Rob Vicars on behalf of ihotdesk. If you’re looking at upgrading your business computing solution or are looking for IT support companies, ihotdesk are on hand to help.

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