Boutique system builder Velocity Micro has expanded its mobile offerings with a new ultrabook range that includes three machines: the NoteMagix U430, U450 and U470. On the most affordable end of things, the U430 starts at $799.99 and offers a 14-inch 1366x768 anti-glare display, an Intel Core i3-3217U processor, 4GB of memory, a 500GB hard drive with 24GB of flash storage, a DVD burner and a 720p webcam.
Scaling upward, the U450 goes for $899.99 and replaces the 1.8GHz Core i3 with a Core i5-3317U, which has a base clock of 1.7GHz and a Turbo frequency of 2.6GHz. The extra $100 also gets you a 120GB Intel 520 Series SSD instead of the U430's hybrid solution. If you're willing to plunk down another $200 ($1,099.99), the U470 pushes that to a Core i7-3517U (1.9GHz base, 3GHz Turbo) and a 240GB Intel 520 Series SSD.
Connectivity seems shared across all three variants. Their spec sheets mention gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, while a picture on the company's site reveals two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, a card reader and an audio jack on the right side of the machine. The left side of the system is likely occupied by the above-mentioned optical drive, which also presumably accounts for the lineup's relatively bulky size.
All three systems weigh four pounds and measure 0.82 inches (21mm) thick -- roughly half a pound to a whole pound heavier and a few millimeters thicker than most competing models. Battery life doesn't appear to be a particularly strong point either with a claimed run time of six hours or so. On the bright side, Velocity Micro will let you choose between Windows 7 and Windows 8, and your system will ship bloatware-free.
The Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A features a 3rd generation Intel Core i7 3517U Processor, 6Gbps SATA 128GB SSD, Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 and 4GB of 1600MHz DDR3L RAM. Ports and connectivity include two USB 3.0, a headphone jack, mini-VGA, micro-HDMI, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.
The MacBook Air sports a 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor that Turbo Boosts up to 2.8GHz, 4GB of 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM, 128GB of flash storage and integrated Intel graphics. It is still extremely thin and lightweight at only 0.68-inches at the thickest part and 2.96 pounds. The MacBook Air carries a 13.3-inch diagonal LED backlit display, operating at 1440 x 900 with a 16:10 aspect ratio.
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