With the holiday shopping season in full swing it's time we give our Laptop Buying Guide one last pass before the year is over to make sure it's packing enough punch. Netbooks have lost their lure to simply become smaller, entry-level notebooks, while other categories are only seeing minor spec bumps. But if you are looking into the ultraportable market, a new breed of devices has emerged. Intel is pushing the Ultrabooks as thin and light systems with plenty of power, for now we're seeing a first generation of devices, with plenty more to come.
|Ultraportables Thin and light laptops balance portability, performance and battery life.||Business Mid to high end components with an emphasis on durability, security and battery life.|
|Desktop Replacements The most complete set of features, often forgo battery life and portability for extra horsepower.||Gaming If mobility is a priority, there are some solid choices for gaming on the go.|
|Budget-oriented A good blend of price and features, but slim form factors are not necessarily a priority.|
Editorial It appears as though we're just now arriving to that sweet spot where fewer compromises can be made to build fast and svelte machines that are budget-friendly, all at the same time. However, it's easy to miss what a true next-generation ultraportable notebook should be.
Manufacturers are short-sighted if they only focus on building fast machines that weigh 3 pounds or less, without putting design and user experience at the core of their future developments. Here are some key aspects where I believe PC makers should focus and where some are already failing on their first try to deliver a killer ultrabook.
According to research by IHS iSuppli, Ultrabooks will account for 43% of worldwide notebook shipments by 2015, despite the devices only just starting to arrive on the market. An Ultrabook is defined as being a notebook that...