Thursday, December 22, 2011
Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 12:00 PM
"When Intel initially put out the idea of the ultrabook as a new type of laptop, I admit harboring plenty of skepticism—isn’t the ultrabook just a gussied up rebranding of an ultraportable? Unfortunately, being a skeptic/cynic has served me well over the years, and so now here I sit in front of two ultrabooks trying to determine a couple of things: which ultrabook is the “best” right now, and are any of them actually worth buying."
A well-done review, that hints that buying a first-generation ultrabook means that some compromises are necessary. For example, both the S3 and the UX31E have decidedly mediocre LCDs, with the ASUS system being brighter, and with better contrast. The SSDs differ greatly in performance. Both have keyboards that are okay, but are not backlit. Performance is best with the ASUS, and it also has better battery life (but also a larger battery). The bottom line is that both of these system are trying to unseat the MacBook Air from the top of the heap, and while neither one really succeeds, the ASUS UX31E comes close. Samsung's S9 also is getting some good reviews, so if it has to be Windows, you'll probably want to look at (and try in-person) all three of these ultrabooks.