We saw some reports on the ASUS VivoBook X202 when it launched at an event last week but we’ve now got un unboxing of the European version of this low-cost Ultrabook-a-like via Notebookitalia.
More and more touchscreen laptops are hitting the sales channels and they’re coming in at both ends of the spectrum. The Acer Aspire V5 Touch is a good example of an Ultrabook-alternative with touch. The ASUS S200E is another. Both of these devices are available with a Core i3 CPU which pushes them into the same processing category as an Ultrabook. The ASUS Vivobook S200E is referred to as a netbook by Amazon in Germany today.
Both Acer and ASUS now have budget lightweight notebooks with Ultrabook-like processing capability for a value price. The Acer Aspire V5 is available in many versions and available in many places, both online and off. The ASUS X401a is a little more shy. A Pentium version of the 14” 1.8KG laptop is now available exclusively from Best Buy, for $330
Use the European comparison engine Skinflint.co.uk today and do a search for Core i5 Ivy Bridge laptops with a screen size up to 13.9” and a weight of under 1.5KG [link] and you’ll find about 32 solutions. 5 of them are Apple MacBook Air solutions, 11 of them are Ultrabook alternatives over 1000 Euros and the rest are Ultrabooks…apart from one which sits nearly 30% cheaper than any other offering. Take the screen size limit down to 11.6” and the Acer V5-171-53314G50 is about half the price of any 11.6 Ultrabook out there; and it’s very difficult to see where the differences are.
It’s time to fire another warning shot across the bows of the over-eager marketing teams. Here’s the truth about the battery life on the ‘18 hour’ Fujitsu SH771.
But first, let us pay respect to the fact that there is a class of devices above Ultrabooks that can retain features like DVD, fully-clocked CPUs, large battery capacity options and still keep the weight down. The Fujitsu SH771 looks like it offers the best of both worlds. In some respects it does, but it starts at $1800.
Press release here. Battery life analysis below.
We keep an updated list of Ultrabook alternatives here.
Apart from the Apple MacBook Air which is built like an Ultrabook but sold like an Apple product, there are other interesting options that hover just outside the weight and features list of a true Ultrabook. You’ve got options with Core i3 or AMD E450 at way below the Ultrabook price level, options without SSD and even high-end options. If you can handle just 500 gm / 1lb more weight and are flexible on specs you can save hundreds. In this report I list your options for Sept-Oct 2011.
Before you take a look at the Ultrabook alternatives, have a look at these two reference articles to find out exactly what an Ultrabook is.
Backgrounder: What’s an Ultrabook?
Backgrounder: Ultrabook features Guide.