Three new Ultrabooks have appeared at Amazon US in the last week. The Lenovo U310, Lenovo U410 and Acer Aspire S5
Starting with the Acer Aspire S5-391 you can pre-order for $1399.99. [Amazon link] It sounds expensive but as is often the case, the high-end version is being made available first. Core i7-3517U at 1.9-3.0Ghz with 4GB RAM and a healthy 256GB SSD. Be aware though that the screen is 1366×768. At this price it could be a difficult sell don’t you think?
Next up we go to the bottom of the pricing range to look at the Lenovo U310 at $749. In stock now. [Amazon Link] We expect this one to appear at $699 in the back-to-school season but even at this price you’re getting a Core i5-U3317 which is the same as was in the Samsung Series 9 we reviewed last week – for many hundreds of dollars more. 4GB of RAM and a 500GB Hybrid HDD are par for the price and again, there’s a 13.3” 1366×768 display on offer. It’s a tidy looking Ultrabook for the price, possibly better than the Samsung Series 5 that we’ve been fans of for a while. Weigh: 3.7lbs
If the 13.3” display doesn’t do it for you, take the 14” version for $50 more. The Lenovo U410 is available now. [Amazon Link] It’s priced at $799 but you’re only getting the Core i3-3217 at 1.8Ghz. [Hold-on! That CPU hasn’t been announced yet. Update: That Core i3 CPU has just been announced.] You get the Nvidia 610M discreet graphics unit too. Note that the Core i3 CPUs don’t include Turbo Boost. Given the relatively high base clock of that Core i3 though, it shouldn’t underperform the Core i5 by too much in long-term performance tests. It’s in stock now. We’d be interested in hearing from any of you considering this interesting Ultrabook option and we’re looking out for the first reviews.
With a price spread of $799 to $1399 it’s clear that the Ultrabook is moving down into mainstream as well as breaking new ground in design of high-end mobile laptops although the performance differential between cheap and expensive is not as large as one might be led to believe. Is it time for Intel to introduce a higher-end Ultrabook CPU?