For those that are interested in the Lenovo Yoga 11S (and I’m sure many are because it’s a great bit of kit) I’ve put together two video reviews for you. They follow-on from the full review posted here last week and, as that review did, focuses on the value and performance of the Ivy Bridge Core i3 1.4Ghz version at $699.
While the i3 version is good enough for daily duties (mostly thanks to a good, fast SSD,) fast enough to do some 1080p video editing and great value at $699, I am personally more interested in a Haswell version of a Core i5 or i7 as a total desktop replacement and go-anywhere all-in-one. The ergonomics of this subnotebook/ultrabook/convertible are second to none and the Lenovo Yoga 11S appeals to both the productive and social side of my requirements. Yours too?
Looking for a Black Friday Ultrabook deal? We just tracked down another great one. You can pick up the Acer Aspire S3 for $499, and unlike most laptops these days, you can pick between Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Intel has made speed a big priority in Ultrabooks from the beginning. Instead of continuing the race-to-the-bottom that was the netbook, Intel wanted to pack premium components into sleek laptops. With the first generation, Intel made sure that every Ultrabook included Rapid Start, among other technologies, which cut resume times from something like 10-15 seconds down to 3-4 seconds. With even more performance in the second generation of Ultrabooks, Intel is now passing the threshold into ‘instant-on’ Ultrabooks.
If you’ve been following along the last few days, you saw us highlight plenty of Ultrabook deals for those looking to snag a machine on the cheap for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. The deals came in many shapes and sizes and often spanned the gap between first generation (Sandy Bride) and second generation (Ivy Bridge) Ultrabooks. If you haven’t been following the Ultrabook space closely, as we have, you might be confused about the difference. This article aims to clear that up and tell you how to identify one from the other.
Thanks to the exploding world of mobile, the computer industry has seen a refreshed interest in high efficiency components. Though Intel has always made a wide range of processors, until lately the company’s low-power products were sometimes seen as second-class citizens of the CPU world. Sure, they used less power, but this was often achieve this with lower clock speeds, fewer features, and sometimes the disabling of cores in the case of multi-core processors. With the Ultrabook initiative Intel has renewed emphasis on efficient processors that are not just on equal footing as the rest of their offerings, but rather showcase the extent of Intel’s processor prowess. The latest Ivy Bridge Core U-series processors found in Ultrabooks are more than just low-power — they are highly efficient processors capable of a high dynamic range of computing tasks. By packing the latest and greatest processor technology into a package that also has practical limits on how much power it can draw and how much heat it can produce, these CPUs present an alternative to using a standard CPU and simply slapping in a big battery; But which is better?
One in ten of you reading this article are from Germany, a country that leads the world in Ultrabook availability. How do we know this? We know this because we regularly scan retailers in USA, Germany, UK, Canada, France, Italy and Australia for information on pricing and availability for our database and Germany is always out front.
Those of you that think the English-language countries are the place to look for Ultrabook trends, reports, sales numbers need to think again because not only is there a huge availability of Ultrabooks, the cheapest Ultrabook is close to the $600 mark (pre-tax.) 599 Euros buys you the Lenovo U310 today – inclusive of 19% sales tax which most EU businesses will claim back.
Here’s a list of interesting Ultrabooks, including my comments, that you might want to look at if you’re a QWERTZ person. Pass it on to your German friends!
With the release on Intel’s latest generation of processors, codenamed Ivy Bridge, comes Quick Sync Video 2.0. This is an enhancement to Intel’s original Quick Sync Video technology which provides hardware encoding and decoding of video directly on the processor. All second-generation Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks feature Quick Sync 2.0 which is up to twice as fast as Quick Sync found in first-generation Sandy Bridge Ultrabooks. In order to take advantage of Quick Sync 2.0 you need to be using software that is designed to use it; a number of companies have announce support for the technology.
We spent a few hours with Toshiba in Germany yesterday and came away impressed by the commitment that this Japanese company has with the Ultrabook segment. In 2011 we saw the very thin, very light Toshiba Z830 but in mid 2012 there’s now three models to choose from. Entry level with the U840, business with the Z930 and the interesting wide-screen U840W which we think is going to find some friends.
In the USA the models numbers are slightly different but the U845, U845W and Z935 correspond closely to what Europe will see.
Unlike the “new” XPS 13 which we warned you about the other day, Dell’s XPS 14 Ultrabook actually is new and starts at $1099 for the base model with a 1600×900 display. Dell says it’ll last for 11 hours on a charge. Four configurations are offered, all of which are Ivy Bridge, and range from Core i5 with integrated graphics to Core i7 with discrete graphics. Step inside and we’ll break it down.
Were you wondering when the low-end Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks would start to appear? Right about now is the answer.
Intel have launched the Core i3-3217U. There’s no Turbo Boost but it comes with a handy 1.8Ghz base clockrate.
The Core i3-3217U also comes with all the Intel Quick Sync Video and HD4000 goodness you’d expect from an Ultrabook and together it forms a huge improvement over the 2nd Gen Core i3 option which was only clocking at 1.3 or 1.4Ghz. In fact, in long-term high-power scenarios, there may not be any difference between the Core i3 and Core i5. Take the Samsung Series 9 under battery power for example. The Core i5 CPU is locked at 1.8Ghz max in this mode – exactly what the Core i3 would deliver.
Acer America has just announced two new Ultrabooks as part of a new ‘Timeline Ultra’ series. On offer is a 14″ and 15.6″ display, the latter of which has a full numpad on the keyboard. The bezels appear to be nice and thin but the resolution leaves much to be desired. Discrete graphics from Nvidia are included as well as optical drives. Both come in at rather affordable prices, but we’re unsure that the inclusion of the optical drive is such a great idea.
Today Vizio is making their two new Ultrabooks available for pre-order, this move marks Vizio’s first jump into the PC space. Vizio is a maker of HDTVs first and foremost, but they’ve recently taken a shot at the tablet market and now they’re trying their hand in the PC world. The company is offering an Ivy Bridge Ultrabook which comes in 14″ or 15.6″ variant as well as a full-sized laptop and an all-in-one desktop. We’re of course most interested in the Ultrabooks, step inside for a rundown.