The ultrabook is a sleek, streamlined laptop that was introduced to the market as the next inevitable evolution, but the sales never quite reached the level that the manufacturers had hoped. A lot of this had to do with the introduction of the tablet computer, which started to change the overall industry.
The tablet was a great new device that offered a lot of convenience. It could not match the power of an ultrabook, but a lot of consumers opted to simply complement their current laptop with a tablet instead of buying a whole new computer. Of course, this then leads to another problem – instead of a single computer to handle all your productivity and entertainment needs, you have to juggle at least two separate devices.
This is the environment into which the ultrabook convertibles were introduced. These machines have been designed to include the best of both worlds – the laptop and the tablet – so a user will have access to the powerful productivity applications as well as the simple convenience of a touchscreen tablet.
Ultrabook convertibles really want to be everything to everyone. They offer the power and options of a traditional laptop, but the slim form factor, improved battery life, and simple interface of a tablet.
As an ultrabook, the user will have access to a full range of PC features. Since they run on Windows 8, they will be compatible with all the other programs and applications you are accustomed to using. This means you can do much more than watch videos, send emails, and update your social media. The power of the ultrabook, as well as the tactile keyboard and mouse interface, provide a way to be far more productive than you could on a tablet. The same applies to entertainment, though, since you can run some serious games as well as all your media through a convertible ultrabook.
As a tablet, you will get to take advantage of the simple convenience of a touch screen interface, the fast boot up and runtimes, as well as the Live Tiles that keep you updated with your social media and messaging at a glance. You will also have access to many different apps that add to the convenience, and you can use it almost anywhere.
What to Expect
So the question is whether or not these hybrid ultrabooks are the perfect balance for the modern consumer. While they do provide a range of benefits, there are still some things you need to understand. Mobile devices have changed consumer expectations for battery life, runtime, and startup time. They have made it so we expect to use a device at home, at the office, in line to buy groceries, etc. Will an ultrabook live up to these expectations? Can it really provide the added power but keep the convenience?
The simple answer is: yes it does. By consolidating all your devices into one, you can get the best of both worlds. However, there are still some differences you should expect. For example, since an ultrabook has a fully functional keyboard attached, it will always be a bit heavier than a tablet on its own. Along those same lines, Windows does not yet have an app library quite as extensive as the others. This is changing though, and there are currently a wide range of options for the average user.
What to Look For
There are enough differences between a traditional laptop and a convertible model. There are a few more things you should look for when you make a purchase. First, the slim design of the ultrabook may lead to a smaller keyboard than you are accustomed to, so be sure you are comfortable with the design. The touch screen should feature a high, bright resolution, and be very responsive to your actions.
Make sure that the computer has a strong chassis – one that can stand up to repeated use – and be sure that it feels comfortable in your hand. Take a look at some of the available apps and do some research to ensure that Windows 8 still runs the programs you intend to use. When you take the time to consider a few of these characteristics, you will be in a better position to know if these convertibles have the perfect balance for you.
What are your thoughts on ultrabooks? Let us know below.
About the Author:
Bruno Galera works for Dell and has a passion for technology. When he’s not reading about the latest industry trends, you can find him cooking, reading, cheering on his favorite football team or at a museum enjoying contemporary art and photography.