Poll: Do You Still Want Larger Ultrabooks?

Posted on 19 February 2013 by

UX21E-UX21A.jpg

The offerings in the Ultrabook category have been growing steadily since second-gen Ivy Bridge devices started hitting the market. With this growth comes new screen sizes that deviate from the typical 13.3-inch ‘baseline’ Ultrabook. To my surprise, I’ve watched many manufacturers increasingly launch larger, not smaller, Ultrabooks. We ran a poll back in May of 2012 asking what your ideal screen size was. I was surprised to find that more of you were interested in a 14-inch Ultrabook than a more portable 11.6-inch unit. Now that the market has seeded 14-inch and even 15-inch Ultrabooks, do you still want larger Ultrabooks?

Top three Ultrabook screen sizes currently available, according to our Ultrabook database:

  • 13.3 inch screen (43 devices)
  • 14.0 inch screen (38)
  • 11.6 inch screen (33)

While there are a decent number of 11.6-inch Ultrabooks on the market, many of them are not available in the U.S. This struck me as somewhat odd.

In particular, I watched as Sony launched their 13.3-inch Vaio T13 Ultrabook in the U.S. while leaving the 11-inch T11 out of the game. Later, instead of launching the already existing T11, Sony opted to launch a brand new T14 and T15!

Asus too seems fearful of the 11.6-inch Ultrabook market in the U.S. While the Company originally launched the 11.6-inch UX21E and 13.3-inch UX31E in America, they pulled out of the 11.6-inch category by only offering the newer 13.3-inch UX31A but not the new 11.6-inch UX21A.


Personally I think 13.3-inches is a great all-around size for portable use. It’s big enough for desk work but, at the same time, small enough to easily slide into a bag. This works great for me, but I also feel like 11.6-inch would be significantly more portable for those people who take their Ultrabook with them somewhere every day.

In my opinion, once you hit 14-inches, and especially 15-inches, you start to widdle away at the ultra-portable part of the Ultrabook.

But there are many considerations. For one, there the tablet-factor at play… maybe people gravitate toward 13.3-inch Ultrabooks and above because they already have a tablet which fills their portable needs? I’m not a tablet owner myself, so I don’t have that perspective.

And that’s why we’re running our screen-size poll again in 2013. Have your feelings on the size of the ideal Ultrabook changed now that 14-inch and 15-inch options are available? Do you want even larger Ultrabooks or are you happy with the choices available? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments — and give us a mark with your vote in the poll!

[poll id=”8″]

  • Jorgen

    My X1 Carbon has the perfect size to me; 14″ screen in 13.3″ case. :-)

  • guy

    Maybe with the whole touch and convertible design thing being “in” right now, I can people going for smaller screens/devices. As things get larger, touch just gets too cumbersome on personal devices.

  • jjrdias

    I’d say 14″ is the sweet spot. But it’s all about how said ultra book is engineered. If you cut some of the ridiculous bezel sizes you see on some devices, you could easily put a 14″ screen on a device with the footprint of a current 13″ device. In the end, battery stamina is the major deciding point, as far as I’m concerned. A 14″ touchscreen ultrabook with 8 to 10 hours of battery life would be ideal. And, of course, Anything But Apple.

  • timo

    I want a 10″ screen or an 11″ screen in a 13″ chassis. I’m fine with the OEM not conforming to the “ultrabook” standard and making it thicker to accomplish this. A docking port would be nice since of course you can’t do everything on a 10″-14″ screen.

    • looser

      11″ screen in a 13″ chassis?

      • me

        Many notebooks have very large bezels where a bigger screen can fit ignoring whatever OEMs put in those bezels (ie. antennas, wires, etc.).

  • http://www.tech-surge.com wonky73

    To me an ultrabook is an 11 -13 inch device. Anything bigger than that is a desktop replacement and not a road warrior device. So I don’t care how much it weighs really. But what do I know. I am still using a netbook :)

  • Hany Hanna

    Smaller, smaller, smaller…..I thought that was the whole point

    • Joe

      That’s what I thought too with Intel pushing ultrabooks mainly towards consumers who move around a lot and possibly use their devices in cramped places.

  • CS

    Well, for me the screen real estate is just vital for comfortable work and multitasking. I wouldn’t consider anything below 14″. Preferably 15″-15.6″ – samsung series 9 style. It’s like ~1.7 kg. With all respect, but I’m tempted to suspect that people who complain that this is heavy need to hit to gym more often. Yeah, would be spectacular if it was as light as some 7″ tablet, but come on, it’s a fair compromise.

    • yak

      i agree and the ideal is to get 15 inch
      convertible full hd device

  • Matt

    I can’t see hybrids being practical with greater than 11″ screens. 11″ may even be too big for some too.

    As for thin notebooks, I guess 14″ is a nice size.

    • CS

      Well, again – I use A4 paper notebooks for writing. I would much rather use onenote with digital inking on a windows 8 tablet, but the thing is – 11.6 is the biggest you can get these days with a wacom stylus. It’s terribly small. I would much rather have it 14″ inch size. Yes, I mean exactly what I said, 14″ inch windows 8 tablet. With a wacom stylus. For the sole purpose of being a digital notebook.. onenote, office, reading/annotating pdfs, webpages etc. With a screen big enough to rest hand on it and comfortably write, without having constantly that feeling of resting my wrist on the edge of the screen. With enough screen size to multitask big onenote window half screen (writing area gives you overview!), and a big pdf file the other half screen (lots of tiny equations with tiny indices, that I would much rather not zoooom in constantly). With the amount of paper I process in my life, that would be a huge saver and incredible convencience to have one device to rule them all. You know, paperless life is something of an appeal for me.

    • Joe

      I agree.

  • Pingback: Asus UX21A 11-inch Ivy Bridge Ultrabook Finally Available inside the U.S. (for a fair cost too!) | DailyGadgets()

  • Raidy

    I was all about the smaller sizes for portability (and own a netbook), but came to realize – as CS mentioned – that the screen size is as important, if you want to get real work done. I’ve found from browsing around stores for actual hands-on, that the new T series 15.x” Vaio is actually a great piece of hardware for the price – and I had sworn off Sony after owning a Vaio in the past that was more flash than substance.

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