Can Ultrabooks save the laptop market from the Tablet?

Tablets are sweeping all before them and projected to sell more than PC’s by 2015. They are forecast to grow to 20.4 million sales in 2015 with desktop sales expected to drop from 18.7 million units in 2010 to 15.7 million units by 2015. Can the Ultrabook help in stopping the touch friendly stampede?

They provide a lightweight alternative to tablets for people who just can’t work without a full QWERTY keyboard and whilst you can opt for a tablet hybrid like the Asus Transformer Prime which utilises a clip on keyboard, it runs the Android OS and not Windows 7 or the upcoming Windows 8 OS which have a full desktop environment with familiar suites like Microsoft Office.

Intel revealed the Ultrabook concept in 2011 as a thin (less than 0.8 inches thick) notebook that uses Intel processors and comes with very tightly defined parameters in order to be granted Ultrabook designation.

An Ultrabook is a higher-end type of subnotebook as defined by Intel. They feature much reduced size and weight without compromising performance and battery life, typically a minimum of 5 hours. You get between 11-inch and 14-inch screens; they use Intel processors which are low powered and efficient with integrated graphics, and a unibody chassis to fit larger batteries into smaller cases. Some models invariably have limited external ports due to their extremely thin profiles. These will also become more efficient with the arrival of the new Ivy Bridge processors, which has an extremely low 77W default thermal design power. Some also incorporate innovative security features like face unlocking, instant-on and quick standby.

Additionally, the Ultrabook directly competes against  Apple’s Macbook Air which could be argued inspired the Ultrabook concept in the first place as it has similar form specifications and is also powered by Intel CPUs, but running the Mac OS.

Should you be looking at grabbing one of these lean sleek machines, consider one of the following as they showcase Intel’s idealogy of extremely thin, battery efficient and lightweight.

HP Envy 14 Spectre which has a borderless 14-inch gorilla glass screen with Beats Audio .

Asus UX31A and UX21A Zenbooks have 13.3-inch and 11.6inch screens respectively, these are closest in design to the Macbook Air, should you prefer the minimalist look with optional 1080p panels and backlit keyboards.

Samsung Series 9 Ultrabook which has just been upgraded with Ivy Bridge processors, a 128GB SSD for super quick performance and 8GB of RAM.

Sony Vaio T13 Ultrabook with nine hours battery life between charges, measuring 226 x 17.8 x 323 mm and weighing 1.6Kg.

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook wrapped in a carbon fibre and aluminium chassis with a 13.3inch gorilla glass protected screen which also helps to keep the border to a minimum.

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