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Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Ultrabooks Dazzle 2012 CES Attendees

Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Acer have taken the wraps off new ultra-thin notebooks that promise to give Apple's successful MacBook Air product lineup a run for the money beginning later this year. Launched by Intel last May, the new Ultrabook PC category encompasses devices that feature a super-thin form factor with no optical drives, and are designed around Intel mobile processors and chipsets.

The major emphasis at the 2012 international Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas seems to be on new products in the Ultrabook category, noted InStat Senior Analyst Stephanie Ethier. "However, they're all shaping up to be Apple MacBook Air clones in terms of design and usage," Ethier wrote in a Tuesday blog.

Many business professionals will find plenty of things to like about the latest Ultrabooks coming to market, such as their svelte, lightweight designs, powerful multimedia capabilities and elegant appearance.

For example, Lenovo's new IdeaPad Yoga is a mere 0.67 inches in thickness and tips the scales at 3.1 lbs. When the user folds the screen all the way back, the 13.1-inch high-definition (1600x900 pixel) display morphs into a media tablet that is responsive to 10-point capacitive touch commands.

With its IdeaPad Yoga, Lenovo has combined the Ultrabook and tablet form factors to create a market crossover, Ethier noted. "The IdeaPad Yoga has a 13.1-inch display with a 360-degree flip-and-fold design, allowing the consumer to convert the Ultrabook into a touch-screen tablet using a hinged case," she said.

Ultrabook Eye Candy

Offering 8 GB RAM and up to 256GB of solid-state drive (SSD) storage, Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga also promises to deliver up to eight hours of battery life. However, prospective buyers will have to wait until the second half of this year to buy Lenovo's new crossover product, which will be priced at $1,200. ...

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