[FEATURE] The Ultrabook Guide

Not too long ago, Steve Jobs said that we’re now living in the Post-PC world, and to be honest it’s looking like he’s right. Growing tablet sales have severely dented laptop and PC sales as people look for more portable and affordable options for home computer use, which they can bring with them easily. The MacBook Air really was the first true Ultrabook, but with PC sales on a slow downward slant, many manufacturers have been quick to jump on the bandwagon and brought out their own super-slim devices.

Here are 4 devices that you should consider, if you don’t want to fork out for the MacBook Air.

Samsung Series 9

This sleek little device is a great example of Samsung’s growing design cred. Their televisions, smartphones and tablets are getting a lot of fans and are largely seen as closest competition to Apple. The Series 9 boasts some strong specs including 4GB RAM, AMOLED screen, 128 GB hard drive space and is one of the thinnest on the market at a mere 19mm! A truly flexible device, it proves you don’t need to sacrifice anything to get an Ultrabook. The downsides are a poor trackpad and a prohibitive price, that makes the low-end Air look like a bargain at €1,500. Saving grace is design and usability.

Series 9 ultrabook

The Samsung Series 9

4/5

Asus Zenbook UX31

A company that rose from relative obscurity thanks to it’s truly brilliant netbooks, Asus has jumped into the Ultrabook market and is doing pretty well for itself. The UX31, despite it’s awkward name is a strong attempt. Measuring 17mm this is a gorgeous machine that John Ive would be pleased with. Boasting USB 3.0, Bluetooth 4, 4GB of RAM thanks to the i7 processor using new Sandy Bridge technology this is a computer that means business and gets on well with peripherals. It’s limited storage and screen resolution really let it down, but at about €1,000 it’s forgivable.

Asus Zenbook

The Asus Zenbook

4/5

Acer Aspire S3

Acer has been knocking around for a while now with some good business machines, which have never been very portable. They aim to change all that with the Aspire S3. Not the thinnest, at 18mm it’s still a decent size for good portability. A sleek build and nice design, it’s not as polished as some of the competition but looks like it means business. Much like the others, it comes with the i7 Intel processor and 4GB of RAM again however, the storage isn’t amazing with only 128GB. The keyboard is also a small bit fidgety, and considering the i7 is a low voltage processor the battery life of 5 hours is poor compared to the Samsung and MacBook Air.

Acer Aspire Ultrabook

The Acer Aspire Ultrabook

3.5/5

Acer Aspire S5

Another Acer, but brand new on the scene and fresh from this year’s CES conference in Las Vegas, this brand new Ultrabook has set some records. A sleek body this new device has usurped the MacBook Air as the world’s thinnest computer: measuring in at only 0.59mm compared to the Air at 0.69 and weighing only 1.3kg! Sporting USB 3.0, HDMI ports and unusually Thunderbolt ports, this little machine really is one to watch. With some nice added features such as a <15 second wake time and the ability to control via smartphone it’s feature rich, without the weight. However, while there are no specifics on pricing and hardware, the sheer novelty of the features on this device deserve a high score.

Acer Aspire s5

The world's thinnest ultrabook, the Aspire S5!

5/5

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