Following on from one of our favorite Ultrabooks of 2012 is the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus. It uses the same stylish design as the previous model but offers a few interesting upgrades on the specifications. A QHD (3200×1800) touchscreen and Haswell CPU for example. Read on to find out if the ATIV Book 9 is still up there with the best Ultrabooks of 2013.
At the Fujitsu Forum 2013 preview in Munich yesterday (and continuing for the next 2 days) I had the chance to get hands-on with a number of new Fujitsu products. The Fujitsu Stylistic Q584 might interest you if you’re looking for a very lightweight, waterproof 10-inch Windows 8.1 tablet on Baytrail but Ultrabooknews readers are more likely to want to know about what’s cooking on Haswell. The Stylistic Q704 is the successor to the Q702 that I tested at MWC this year. That was “the most complex and multi-faceted PC we’ve ever tested.” The Q704 follows the same path in offering fully-featured high-quality tablet or laptop-style productivity but this time in a waterproof and dustproof casing. The design is much improved, the keyboard feels better and Haswell will really improve the battery life.
Surface Pro 2 has just been announced and, surprisingly, Microsoft haven’t chosen to go with a Y-Series low-TDP Haswell CPU for a thinner design. For the time being the Tap 11 remains the thinnest and lightest Haswel-based tablet. What Microsoft have done is gone for processing power and lots more battery life, largely enabled by a keyboard cover with a 30Wh battery inside. There’s a brand new docking station too which seals its position as a professional tablet. Size and weight doesn’t change and price starts at $899.
The Sony Vaio Tap 11 has got an 11.6” screen which really puts it outside the ‘handheld WIndows’ category. On the other hand it weighs only 780gm, comes with a super light, but very usable keyboard, offers full Core-level performance and has a digitizer. It is, in my opinion, a benchmark for 2013 and 2014 Haswell-based tablets.
“IDF 2013 represents the beginning of a new era for Intel” says the first line of the keynote overview for Intel’s Developer Forum 2013. It starts on Tuesday Sept 10th in San Francisco and we’ll be there. IDF is always an informative experience and, if you listen and read carefully, you get some big tips on Intel’s strategy.
I’m very lucky to be one of the few people with a Haswell-based Ultrabook. There are even fewer people that have a Connected-Standby capable Haswell Ultrabook and when you add 3G, FullHD, NFC, GPS, HD5000 and a great looking build, you’re talking about leading edge. What a shame this Ultrabook isn’t available to buy. Developers will have access to it (I’m working on getting information as to how developers can get one) but end users will have to wait because this product has been made by Intel as a showcase and developer platform. I’m not a developer so I’m just going to tell you about how good, how well-rounded and complete this Ultrabook is. Let’s hope manufacturers read this and that it influences their decisions in making their Ultrabooks. For others, this is your benchmark for a classic Ultrabook.
Today I’m pitting the Sony Vaio Duo 13 (third-gen Haswell Ultrabook) against the Asus UX31E (first-gen Sandybridge Ultrabook) in sleep and wake times. One of Intel’s goals for the Ultrabook platform was to eventually reach a point of instant-on, just like a tablet or smartphone, with Haswell, they’ve finally done it.
Testing power usage on Haswell Ultrabooks is difficult due to the huge range of scenarios that the next generation Ultrabooks have. They’ll stream music for days and yet if you try to do too much gaming on them, you might be out of juice in as little as two hours. What we can say though, without a shadow of a doubt, is that the battery life on Haswell Ultrabooks, compared to Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks is hugely improved. We’ve got a Dell XPS 12 with Haswell here that proves it.
A few surprises have been revealed in Intel’s CPU database updates today. It turns out that some U-Series processors – the ones we expected only to appear in Ultrabooks – will have HD4xxx graphics. Given that Intel had previously said that Ultrabooks will only have GT3 graphics (HD5000 and Iris HD5100) it could mean that mainstream laptops will also have the option of U-Series SoCs and therefore the possibility of smaller mainboards and S0ix support (for Windows 8 Connected Standy.) It’s confusing and we’re trying to get clarification from Intel but we’ve got an overview of the part numbers, TDP, clocks and graphics below including some Y-Series processors and the real meaning of “6W SDP” which is actually an 11.5W TDP CPU.