People often suggest to me that an Ultrabook is simply a lightweight laptop. There’s one very important thing they miss – it’s an Intel-based lightweight laptop. Why is that important? It’s important because if you get the word ‘Ultrabook’ into peoples heads, you’ve cut off a huge chunk of competition. Take this RFP for example; The TSA [that’s the USA governments Transportation Security Administration] is asking for proposals to fulfill a requirement for Ultrabooks for around 500 locations in a contract worth up to $2.1 million. This is a big win for Intel and Ultrabooks.
It’s an interesting read to see how a country security organization deals with laptop requirements. VPro (another Intel-only keyword) is part of the requirements which bring the number of options down to a very manageable number. Take a look at some of the other requirements…
- Intel i7 or equivalent
- 128GB Solid State Drive
- 11-14” inch viewable display
- Weight less than 3lb including battery [1.36KG]
- Business appropriate hard shell resistant to incidental damage and shock
- Wired 10/100/1000 LAN (RJ 45) Ethernet support;
- Compatible with Microsoft Windows 8 Professional (64 bit version);
- 5 hour battery life as measured by MobileMark™ productivity 2007 or other independent testing
Nice-to-have requirements include:
- Upgrade SSD with hardware encrypted SSD
- Spare/2nd battery
- Add support for broadband/cellular data (ATT,Verizon,Sprint 4G LTE)
Looking further into the RFP it looks like choosing the Ultrabook is the easy bit as there are pages-long lists of requirements to be fulfilled including policies on human trafficking, convict labor and “Encouraging Contractor Policies to Ban Text Messaging While Driving.” The “Buy American Act” is also in there.
Got any solutions in mind? I think Toshiba and Lenovo are in with a good chance here from a technical perspective. The Z935 with VPro is available and then there’s the Lenovo X1 Carbon. The HP Elitebook Folio 9470M is outside the weight requirements. Other VPro options we know about are:
- Dell 6430u
- ASUSPro BU400
- Fujitsu U772
- NEC Versa Pro (Japan Only)
I’ll be looking out for the results!