Mini-Laptops News Archives

Ultrabooks You Can Get For Less Than $700

If you seek to balance your budget with the best performing laptops or ultrabooks, there are lots of options for you.

Many brands today can be taken off the shelves with just you paying less than $1000.

This is not all! Some of the best brands of ultrabooks running the latest Windows 8 operating system can be taken for less than $700.

Are surprised at this? You should not as the following extract from Gadget Review will want you to know: Some of these Ultrabooks are reaching budget laptop pricing territory, like the Lenovo U310 now selling for $450.

There was even a deal on the high-end Samsung Series 9 at $699 (albeit with 2nd gen CPU) just a few days ago on Amazon, a machine that used to retail for well over $1,200 when first released.

Moreover, you can now brace up to checkout any of the following ultrabooks for less than $700 as listed by Gadget Review:

  • HP Envy 6 Ultrabook Ivy Bridge Core i5-3317U, 32GB mSSD, Windows 8 for $635 plus $10 shipping (normally $700 – use coupon code SAVE15HP).




  • Asus VivoBook S400CA-UH51T Touchscreen Ultrabook, Core i5-3317U, 500 GB SATA 5400 RPM + 24 GB SSD for $649 with free shipping (normally $699).




  • HP Envy 4 Ultrabook Core i3-2377M, 500GB HDD + 32GB mSSD, Windows 8 for $635 plus $10 shipping (normally $650 – use coupon code SAVE15HP).




  • Vizio Thin + Light 14-inch Ultrabook Ivy Bridge Core i3-3217U, 900p Display, 128GB SSD for $630 with free shipping (normally $800).




  • Toshiba Satellite U945-S4380 Ultrabook, Core i3-3217U, 500GB HDD + 32GB SSD Cache for $550 with free shipping (next best is $570).




  • Lenovo IdeaPad U310 43752CU Core i3-3217U, 4GB RAM for $450 plus $8 shipping (next best is $550). Cheapest ever by $92.




  • Dell Inspiron 15z Ultrabook Core i3-3217U, 6GB RAM, 500GB HDD and 32GB mSATA SSD for $699 with free shipping (normally $749 – use coupon code J9ZR64?V1WQ2S0).


Finally, the seven ultrabooks listed above should be considered if you really want some of the best performing ultrabook and save money in the process.

Just click on the links and you would be taken to where you will buy the product and save some good cash. Yes, it is quite possible to get ultrabooks at less than $700. (all Image credit to Gadget Reviews)

LG announces the introduction of its 15.6 inch U560 ultrabook. This is an ultrabook with large screen display but barely fits the ultrabook recommendations from Intel.

This laptop has not being released yet even as it was part of the unveils from LG at the recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show(CES) 2013 in Las Vegas. More details about this ultrabook you will find interesting are revealed below:

lg u560ultrabook 1

LG U560 Ultrabook (credit:

Ultrabooks are cool and thin, but usually underpowered notebooks due to Intel’s precise set of guidelines. However, that did not stop LG from bending those guidelines and coming up with what we like to call an Ultrabook on steroids, the LG U560.

In case you are wondering, Intel’s guideline for Chief River based Ultrabooks based on Ivy Bridge architecture stated that the height, or thickness, can be up to 18mm for 13.3-inch or smaller and up to 21mm for 14-inch and larger display notebooks. Of course, these guidelines include a bunch of other requirements like battery life, maximum resume from hibernation time, minimum storage performance and I/O requirements.

The LG U560 features a 15.6-inch IPS 1080p panel already seen on some other LG notebooks at CES 2013, but the actual thickness of the U560 is at 20.9mm, which is as you can see just 0.1mm short of the guideline. LG’s U560 will be powered by yet to be released Intel’s Core i5 3337U Ivy Bridge CPU clocked at 1.8GHz (2.7GHz Turbo) with 3MB of L3 cache, Intel HD 4000 graphics and a 17W TDP.

According to information from LG’s Korean site, the new U560 will also feature yet to be specified Nvidia discrete graphics card, hybrid storage with SSD and HDD, as well as the optical drive, something that we have not seen on any Ultrabook.

The entire thing weighs in at 1.95kg, which is quite impressive for a 15.6-incher. Unfortunately, other details are still unknown as we wait for this one to be launched for the rest of the world. Source.

So, if you are targeting this product, then you should be mindful of all the facts stated above. The LG U560 runs the Windows 8 operating system and at least it could serve your purpose for productivity and entertainments needs on the go.

More details about this final release of this product would be made available in this website as soon as we have it from LG.

Meanwhile, take time again to check out the features and specifications of this 15.6 inch screen ultrabook on steroid.

Asus S400CA and Sony VAIO T are two different brands of ultrabooks with touchscreen features. Both promises good performance and enduring battery life.

More so, these ultrabooks can be bought for less than $700, but you may still want to know which the best touch ultrabook between them is. Well, not to worry, the hard part of comparison has been done for you.

Below are comparative features of these ultrabooks as highlighted in


Design and Build Quality

Something both Sony and ASUS agree on is a sleek external design; the VAIO T goes for the all-silver approach while the S400CA throws in a black lid and screen surround. The quality of build materials is more or less the same for both, with metallic exteriors and little or no chassis flex. Where they differ is in physical dimensions; the VAIO T has a 13.3″ screen while the S400CA has a 14″; the S400CA is about a half inch bigger horizontally and vertically and 0.1″ thicker; the weight difference is just under a half pound (3.5 lbs for the VAIO T vs. 3.96 lbs for the S400CA).

Overall there’s no significant difference between them; the S400CA is the better choice if you prefer a bigger screen and vice versa for the VAIO T.

Asus S400CA Ultrabook(credit:Notebooks Reviews)

The S400CA and VAIO T both employ a “TN” type display, the lowest quality panel offered on modern computers. The viewing angles and color reproduction in general are poor. The redeeming factor of these displays is the touch capability, which works well but is kind of awkward to use (reaching out and touching the screen just isn’t a natural gesture in a standard notebook form factor). The VAIO T wins this round because it has an anti-glare display surface; this is a great help in well-lit environments, where glossy displays can have a problem with reflections.

Battery Life

Using our Powermark battery life test, we measured the VAIO T at three hours, 26 minutes and the S400CA at three hours, 51 minutes. The S400CA has a slightly larger battery but also a slightly larger screen to even things out; it wins through and through.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The S400CA’s keyboard suffers from a hollow feel and keyboard flex; it doesn’t provide the most inspiring typing experience. The VAIO T fares better; it feels solid and has better tactile feedback, if just barely. Notebook manufacturers have always had trouble getting the keyboard right on an Ultrabook; the thin design means there’s a limited amount of key travel. It’s all about making the most out of that.

Sony VAIO T (T13122CSX) (credit: Notebook Reviews)

Ultrabooks typically don’t offer much in the way of ports and neither of these notebooks are an exception. The S400CA offers an additional USB port (for a total of three) compared to the VAIO T’s two. Another feature I like about the S400CA is the inclusion of a Kensington lock slot; it’s important to secure your notebook on the go.


The S400CA and VAIO T offer minimum-strength specifications: 4GB of RAM (the minimum accepted these days), a slow 500GB 5400RPM hard drive and a small SSD cache slaved to the hard drive in an attempt to make it feel faster. The only real difference between these two notebooks is the processor; the VAIO T has an Intel Core i3-3217U dual-core processor while the S400CA has a slightly faster Core i5-3317U dual-core. Either processor is fast enough for everyday usage.


The winner of this roundup is the ASUS S400CA. The differences we noted throughout this comparison are relatively minor but significant at the same time, considering these notebooks are identically priced at $699. The S400CA is slightly larger with a 14-inch screen (the VAIO T is 13.3″) and offers an extra USB port, over 10% better battery life and a faster processor. The VAIO T isn’t a bad choice by any means, though given a choice the S400CA represents a slightly better value. Source.

So, from the comparison made above, the Asus S400CA has been declared the winner. This means it offers better values with its features than the Sony VAIO T.

However, by all standards, the Sony VAIO is still a solid product with good performance; many still prefer this brand to the Asus model.

Conclusively, your choice for either of this could be influenced by personal reasons. Checkout other review sites for more details.

As you crave to find the best mini laptops out there, the Dell Latitude tablet is a device you may readily crave for.

It certainly is packed with so much features that can allow you to do your work on the go. It comes with the Windows 8 operating system and built with stunning design features.

Here is a review of this tablet which you can ideally for in place of a mini laptop or ultrabook:

While it certainly looks like it’s going to take a while for Microsoft Surface to make its entry into the Indian market, OEMs are surely not going to wait that long. We got our hands on the latest Windows 8 Pro sporting tablet from Dell called the Latitude 10. This is probably the first Windows 8 Pro tablet that you shall see in the Indian market.

Last month we had seen the Samsung Ativ S tablet which comes with a keyboard and battery dock. But the major difference between these two devices is what’s under the hood. While the Samsung Ativ S can easily be a laptop or desktop replacement with an Intel Core i5 processor housed within it, the Dell Latitude 10 has taken a different approach in the tablet segment.

Dell Latitude 10 (credit:ThinkDigit)

The Latitude 10 houses an Intel Atom Z2760 which you may have realised from the Atom moniker, is not meant to be a performance powerhouse. With the Latitude, Dell is targetting corporate users who want to experience the best of both worlds – modern UI for media consumption and the Desktop UI for work. But before we see how well it performs and if it fulfils what it set out to do in the first place, let us take a look at the build of this beautiful-looking device.

Build and Design

The Latitude 10 comes in an all-black body with a glossy front-finish and a matte-finish on the rear side. A 2.5 cm thick bezel surrounds the actual 10.1-inch display, which may seem like a waste of screen real-estate at first, but makes sense if you take into consideration the gestures on all sides involving you to do a lot of swiping in and out of the screen. There is a single Windows logo button sitting at the bottom-centre of the bezel and a decent 2.0 MP front-facing camera at the top. The Corning glass used for the display is scratch-resistant.

The body is made of magnesium alloy thereby adding a bit of sturdiness to the tablet. All the edges on the Latitude 10 have something or the other: the microUSB port and proprietary charging port on the bottom edge; a volume rocker on the top left-hand edge with the facility to add in a Kensington lock below; on the top edge, you have the SD card slot, followed by the power/stand-by button and an auto-rotation lock key and finally coming to the right hand edge, you have a 3.5-mm audio jack, the USB port and a mini HDMI port. When you look at the front face of the tablet, the only non-glossy element is the thin strip of the protruding edge.

The edges and the rear side of the tablet have a matte-black finish and thanks to the rubbery-feel the grip on the Latitude 10 is quite good. It weighs around 658 grams, almost matching the iPad 4th gen in terms of weight (652 grams for the Wi-Fi version and 662 grams for the Wi-Fi+Cellular version). The rear side has a clean design for majority of its area, except for the top and bottom left and right edges. The 8.0MP camera is housed at the top edge and it also comes with a flash unit beside it. The 2-cell battery on its rear side is swappable thanks to a notch just below it. This is quite thoughtful specially considering this device is targetted at people who are constantly on the move.

The speaker section of the Dell Latitude 10 is located on the left and right hand bottom edges on the rear side. When you hold the tablet in the landscape orientation, your palm completely covers the speakers. This may make one think that the audio coming out of the speaker will be slightly muffled, but that isn’t entirely true. There is a slight gap between where the fingers touch the rear side and your palm touch the edge of the tablet – provided you are holding the tablet with the thumbs pressing onto the front bezel. This tends to form a cup around the speaker grilles thereby giving a slight boost to the volume.

Features and Performance

The Latitude 10 houses an Intel Atom Z2760 dual-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz and has 2 GB of RAM. The unit we got had an SSD of 64GB capacity, but this can be upgraded to upto 256 GB. Looking at the specifications, it is understood that this device is not meant to run heavy applications such as Photoshop. Cinebench R11.5 was crawling when we were running the benchmark which is understandable as the processor is no match for the more mainstream Intel Core i-series processors.

The audio on the device isn’t as loud as we would have liked. You will most definitely be using headphones with the Latitude 10. When we tried playing MKV files on the native video player we faced some issues, but on downloading and installing the K-lite codec pack, things ran quite smoothly. This is the best part about the Windows 8 Pro tablet. You don’t have to always go to the Windows Store to download apps, in case some file is incompatible with your native applications. Just like your desktop, you just go to the browser and download the relevant software.

The USB port on the Latitude 10 allows you to connect your keyboard or mouse and use it as a regular laptop/desktop. We connected a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to it and it worked fine. The finest example of how lag-free the response is the fact that you can play Quake III on this tablet without any lag. But do not be ambitious and install heavy games on the Latitude 10 as its Atom processor will not be able to handle the graphics.

It also comes with a stylus for those planning to use the touch interface on the desktop mode. The pen has a capacitive tip and a button on its side for emulating right click.

The HDMI out port is a boon for corporate users who have to give presentations. The Latitude 10 can be connected to any HDTV which takes in an HDMI port and you can duplicate your tablet’s screen onto a bigger display.

The IE10 browser looks different in the modern UI mode and the desktop mode. While in the desktop mode you have a regular IE10 browser with the address bar on the top, in the modern UI mode, the address bar is at the base. We did not really like the tabs implementation in the modern UI as you need to slide from the top to see open tabs or to add more tabs. It takes more time than a normal IE10 browser where you don’t need an additional slide or click to view open tabs or add more tabs.

We were surprised to find a brick-like charger port as is generally seen on laptops. But thankfully you will not need to carry that all the time, as just beside the charging port, you have the microUSB port which can charge your Latitude 10. This is a thoughtful addition.

Dell Latitude 10 (credit:ThinkDigit)

The battery life on the Latitude 10 is quite impressive. While performing our video-on-loop stress test we noticed that the tablet lasted for a good 5 hours. On normal usage, you can easily extract over 8 hours from the Latitude 10. This is again a plus point for corporate users on the move. Click here to read the full review.

Dell Latitude 10 tablet is available in India and its starting price is Rs 40,000. This tablet can help you do some of those things which the ultrabooks will want.

Dell Latitude 10 can be compared with the Apple iPad in many respects. Hence, with all that this product has to offer, you simply would be taking advantage of a good productivity device.

It is likely that Intel is going to drop the manufacture of its desktop motherboards to concentrate mainly on the manufacture of x86 architecture hardware, which is compatible with ultrabooks and tablets.

Although this winding up may take place over the next three years, Ray Shaw of IT Wire provided insights on the conclusions that could be drawn from this development:

Intel will wind down its manufacture of desktop motherboards (MB) over the next three years. No big deal – responsible companies must jettison unprofitable operations to protect shareholder value…

But it is important to dig deeper as to why has its desktop (that’s a key word) MB manufacture become unprofitable and what conclusions can we draw from that.

Conclusion 1 – desktop (and mini-tower) PC’s are dead (and by that I mean Windows, Mac and Linux based x86 “boxes”). In my household of four we peaked a few years ago at a PC each plus being a techie type a variety of test units and a Windows Media Centre. PC’s were cheaper than laptops, easy to maintain and repair and had a useful life of 5 plus years. Over that time the very same PC could have started life as Windows XP (good reliable OS), gone to Vista (groan), then to Windows 7 (better) and to Windows 8 (best) with nary a change of hardware – well apart perhaps from more memory.

PC’s served the “LCD” factor well – Lowest Common (or Cost, or Convenience) Denominator. Today our family of four has become three separate households and has a total of six notebooks (and four large LCD monitors), one netbook, one tablet and four smart phones. I am not counting the computing power now in the various TV’s or home entertainment units either (some of which have more power than a PC).

Two things have happened to kill off PC’s

First PC’s are now more expensive than laptops or tablets (a misnomer of a term – portable computing devices would be more appropriate).

Second mobility (and space saving) became more important. It became an imperative for students to have a notebook and for adults to take an e-reader or tablet to bed.

Summary: Intel’s desktop MB business was originally started to develop reference designs that all the PC’s makers could use or adapt. Intel never manufactured MB’s – they engaged handful of Asian OEM manufacturers to make the board for them wrapped in an Intel brand and package.

Conclusion 2 – Intel dropped the ball by sticking with x86 architecture given the mobility trend (that Apple created)

Intel’s answer to mobility was to develop a crippled x86 version of its great desktop processor called Atom – to be fair I love my Atom based netbook and never found the Atom to be “too underpowered” to run Office etc., but it does not have a working days battery life. The exploding smart phone and tablet market wanted better battery life rather than x86 compatibility and led by Apple went down the LCD (Lowest Cost Denominator) route by adopting ARM based processors (NVidia Tegra, Apple Ax etc.)

ARM processors are now the world’s most popular computing processor. In 2011 7.9 billion of the tiny chips powered 95% of all smart phones, 90% of all disk drives, 40% of TV’s and set top boxes, 15% of microcontrollers and 20% of mobile (tablet) computers. The figures are out of date now but it is fair to say that all categories above would now be aproaching 100% use of ARM processors. Even the mighty Microsoft (computing was once referred to as Wintel – Windows and Intel) now uses ARM CPU’s in its Surface consumer based tablets and Windows 8 Phone is made to run ARM, not x86 processors (will we call that WinArm or ArmDows?)– end of the line for Intel here and it cannot put the genie back in the bottle.

Summary: Every ARM processor sold is a mortal wound to Intel who hoped it would be an x86 Atom… Can Intel’s mighty new Atom “system on a chip” break the ARM stronghold? I don’t know but the number of smart phones and tablets using the new Atom (and running full versions of Windows) is pathetically small.

Conclusion 3 – personal computing is no longer about hardware


• Tablets and mobile devices have largely replaced the LCD (cost) imperative to use a desktop (or notebook) and we all want to be mobile

• Cloud computing reduces the need for more powerful CPU’s and large hard disks (iCloud, SkyDrive etc)

• More and more applications are cloud (server side or thin client) or browser based making them potentially hardware agnostic

• Internet is gradually becoming ubiquitous and  cheap (needs to be free) and

• Apple and Samsung almost have a duopoly in this space and a vested interest to gradually kill off x86 computing except for perhaps servers (and put pressure on ISP’s for better global internet coverage)

The outcome will be a swift move to portable computing devices.

Google has a vested interest here and has developed Chrome OS that runs on ARM processor based devices and works exclusively web applications (its own it hopes). It takes a minimalist approach – the only application on the device (currently a netbook made by Samsung) is the Chrome Browser so all work is done server side.


Dell has also seen the writing on the wall and bought WYSE (formerly a “dumb” terminal maker from the Xenix/Unix era) but latterly a thin client maker (server side computing). Via this acquisition Dell/Wyse are developing cloud computing and virtualisation solutions for business that cut costs, reduces systems management, enhances mobility and gives a rich user experience (no I did not copy this from their PR material). No wonder MS is rumoured to be interested in part acquisition of Dell – the world’s 3rd largest Windows x86 PC maker could cease to be a MS customer in time.

Then for business there is a huge move to virtualisation of operating systems, desktops and applications. Instead of a notebook a low cost tablet can run the Windows Desktop and Office. Virtualisation offers a major (but not the only) security solution to the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) dilemma that business’s face.

Summary: The battle for the computing environment is raging. I don’t dare predict the outcome but if the growth of Apple and the relative demise of those on the x86 bandwagon is any indication I think we are in for a wild ride.

Personally I believe x86 will remain the mainstay of business for some time to come but only if that camp addresses BYOD and strongly reassess their adherence to Office (and there are good reasons to adhere to it – standards, training etc). But I would be seriously looking at thin clients over PC/Workstations.

And in the consumer space it is shortly bye-bye Wintel.

Authors note: This is an opinion piece. Constructive dialogue is welcomed and if Intel, MS, Apple or others wish to put their views on record I will gladly incorporate them into the article. Source.

Conclusion, like Ray Shaw has said, it just his opinion, however he has made quite a lot of salient points.

These should not be ignored. More so, switching away from the desktop motherboard is simply the function of increasing acceptance of mobile computers like laptops, ultrabooks and tablets.

Its still a matter of time to discover that the x86 architecture will readily become the mainstay of business for some time to come.

SSD (solid state drive) is the storage device on which data and files on the ultrabooks can be stored.

IHS Suppli, a market intelligence firm has predicted that in 2013, the total shipment for SSD could climb to 83 million doubling the about 39 units shipped in 2012.

Rachel King of ZDNet recapped this projection in her January 23, 2013 online post. Details of the post include explanations by Ryan Chien, an analyst covering memory and storage at IHS. The online post highlights the following details:

According to the market intelligence firm, SSD shipments worldwide are poised to reach 83 million units this year–up from 39 million in 2012.

Ryan Chien, an analyst covering memory and storage at IHS, explained in the report that ultra-thin computing devices are expected to be more popular this year, especially thanks to the recent launch of Windows 8.

The fate of the SSD business is closely tied to the market for ultrabooks and other ultrathin PCs that use cache drives. While SSD shipments rose by 124 percent last year, growth actually fell short of expectations because ultrabook sales faltered due to poor marketing, high prices, and a lack of appealing features. However, if sales of the new generation of ultrabooks take off this year as expected, the SSD market is set for robust growth.

Besides projected ultrabook sales, analysts cited lower prices for NAND flash memory as well as more use within the enterprise sector as contributing factors to an expected record year for the SSD segment.

IHS analysts forecasted that SSD shipments will grow to approximately 239 million units by 2016, which would equal roughly 40 percent of the hard-disk drive market at that time.

Conclusively, it is common sense to know that there would be increase for demand for SSD if the market for ultrabook keeps looking bright. Ultrabooks are expected to be sold more in 2013 and SSDs will leverage on this fact to increase in shipments. However, let’s not forget that the projections will depend how well the ultrabook will sell.

Microsoft has officially announced that the second version of its flagship tablet device, Surface Pro  will be come on board on starting  from February 9, 2013. The tablet is going to be available at the Microsoft’s online store.

A review of what this new tablet that is being keenly expected offers is made on the ABC News website. You can read more about this tablet in the following extract:

PHOTO: Microsoft's $899 Surface Pro comes with a stylus and keyboard.

PHOTO: Microsoft's $899 Surface Pro comes with a stylus and keyboard. (credit:

The second wave of Microsoft’s tablet assault comes next month. The company announced today that the second version of its Surface tablet — the Surface Windows 8 Pro — will launch on Feb. 9 for $899.99.

In October, Microsoft released Windows 8 and, along with it, its own $499 Surface RT tablet. The tablet ran Windows RT, a stripped-down version of Microsoft’s new operating system, and was powered by an ARM processor, which didn’t allow it to run many well-known Windows programs.

The Surface Pro tablet, however, has an Intel Core i5 processor and Windows Pro, which is capable of running new versions of Windows programs as well as traditional programs. Because of its greater power, including 64GB or 128GB solid state drive options, the Pro version will start at $899.

Included with the tablet is a stylus or Surface pen, but to get a keyboard you’ll have to shell out some more money. The Touch Cover, which we reviewed with the Surface RT, has touch sensors instead of physical keys one can press, and costs $120. The Type Cover, which has physical keys, costs $130.

Microsoft promoted the Surface launch with massive advertising and marketing campaigns in the U.S. (you might have seen the big billboards or the commercials). However, analysts say they have not seen strong sales. According to The New York Times, which cites a UBS analyst, Microsoft sold just one million tablets in the fourth quarter. (Apple, in comparison, sold three times that in the first weekend that its iPad Mini was on the market.)

Microsoft is increasing the production of the Surface RT tablet and expanding its worldwide distribution; the Surface RT was only available at Microsoft stores when it launched.

More: Everything You Need to Know About Windows 8

Analysts say it’s still early to predict the success of Microsoft’s Surface business. “Given the limited availability of Surface over the holidays and that it runs Windows RT, it’s hard to say how well it really did in the market or make judgments about how well Surface Pro might do,” Michael Gartenberg, Gartner Research Director, told ABC News.

“Given that Surface Pro runs on an Intel processor and Windows 8 with legacy application support will make a major difference in explaining it to consumers and it will be the best representation of Microsoft’s interoperation of how the personal computer and tablet have evolved.”

The Surface Pro tablet will be available at Microsoft’s online store, as well as Staples and Best Buy, on Feb. 9. Source.

So, there are lots of expectations from this second version of the Surface tablet from Microsoft. The device features the now popular Windows 8 operating system, and it can help users readily take advantage of the functions of ultrabooks as well as tablets.

For a price tag of $ 899 this new tablet would be yours for the taking. Keep date with the online stores mentioned above and order for your device today.

Dell XPS 13 ultrabook can simply be considered as a premium ultrabook. It comes with features that are found in the high end  spectrum of ultrabooks.

One of the good things about this product which you should readily take advantage of now is the low price at which you can pay to make this ultrabook yours. At there is a deal for this product and it is important you read the details by yourself:

 With the rise of ultrabooks in 2012, we have seen two distinct classes of the ultra-thin laptops emerge. There are those clearly aimed at the budget-conscious, featuring little to no aluminum in the chassis and the minimum specs required to get the ultrabook label from Intel.

Dell XPS 13 ultrabook

Dell XPS 13 ultrabook (image credit: Mercury News)

On the other end of the spectrum are ultrabooks that aim to redefine the term premium, incorporating goodies like Gorilla Glass, full-size SSDs (compared to the mSATA SSD cache that meets the minimum ultrabook requirements), soft-touch surfaces, single-piece aluminum designs, and more. In mid-2012, we usually saw these premium models priced around $1000 or more.

Dell’s XPS 13 is technically a last generation ultrabook, coming equipped with a 2nd gen Sandy Bridge Core i5 processor, but in our eyes this is a perfect reasonable sacrifice to get a boat load of premium features at a bargain price. The specs list gets you the dual-core Core i5, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD; but the real value is in every nook and cranny of the XPS 13.

It starts with a carbon fiber base for added durability over aluminum and lower weight. The top cover does use aluminum, making for a computer that is 6mm thick at the front and just 18mm in the rear. Even the palm rest of made of magnesium and covered in lush soft touch paint.

Moving up to the display, you get a 13.3-inch screen with a nearly-frameless design, keeping the overall dimensions to a minimum. The screen itself is covered in Gorilla Glass for even more durability. You also get a backlit keyboard and glass touchpad, all standard.

You don’t have to worry about connectivity either, with a pair of USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, Mini DisplayPort video output, Wireless-N, webcam, and Bluetooth. Being a premium product, Dell backs it up with one year of on-site warranty coverage and 24×7 premium phone support.

The XPS 13 has every bell and whistle you can think of, but for a limited time you can snag it for just $799.99 with free shipping AND a free $100 Dell e-gift card. The gift card is good for anything from, making for the perfect opportunity to grab some accessories for your slick new laptop. This is the lowest price we have ever seen on the XPS 13, especially if you consider the value of the gift card, and an amazing value on such a feature-filled Ultrabook.

Dell XPS 13 Core i5 13.3-inch ultrabook and $100 Gift Card for $799.99 + free shipping & $100 GC

(reg. $949.99 | $100 e-gift card delivered by email | ends Jan. 16 or sooner)


So, you sure can make the Dell XPS 13 ultrabook yours for the keeping by paying less for it. The deal makes sense, especially for a product that has been classified as ‘premium’.

You should also checkout this geek deal at the website for more details on the gift card that comes with the deal. As an ultrabook, the Dell XPS 13 is meant to offer you the best performance.

Ultrabooks are not the same as the desktop and they lack certain features which can be found in the standard notebooks. If you are looking to have the best of ultrabooks that will give you those sleek and light features without sacrificing performance, then it is good you are reading this piece.

A post made January 21, 2013 in Mercury News highlights three ultrabook options you can choose from. These devices are sleek and slim to meet your expectation. However, they still come with certain shortcomings you must never ignore. The details of these ultrabooks are:

Apple MacBook Air (summer 2012)

The good: The 13-inch MacBook Air has new Intel CPUs, better battery life, an improved 720p webcam, and finally adds USB 3.0 ports. The bad: The design, while strong, stays largely the same: there’s no Ethernet port, and the base SSD storage option of 128GB is smaller than a standard hard drive, though common for ultrabooks.

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13

The good: The IdeaPad Yoga 13 looks as good as any 13-inch ultrabook, with the added attraction of a 360-degree screen. The bad: Tablet mode leaves the keyboard exposed, and the Yoga 13 costs more than standard ultrabooks with similar components.

Acer Aspire S7-391-9886

The good: The Aspire S7 is a premium-looking ultrabook, with great performance, strong battery life and a high-res touch screen. The bad: It is priced well beyond most other touch-screen Windows 8 laptops.

So, the above are just quick details of what you should know and consider when it comes to sleek and light ultrabooks. What’s more important is that these devices can meet your productivity and entertainment needs readily.

Acer Iconia W700 is device that particularly features remarkable and unique features that tilt more towards an ultrabook.

This device is originally a tablet but more or less, the user will find it more useful being an ultrabook than being a tablet.

If you are wondering how this will come to be, the following review of this product will readily clear your doubt:

 Our Windows 8 device reviews so far have focused on two types of computers: laptops (like Dell’s XPS 12) that attempt to convert themselves into chunky tablets, and Windows RT tablets (like the Asus VivoTab RT) that plug into some sort of keyboard accessory to become awkward laptops.

The Acer Iconia W700 tablet with its included cradle and Bluetooth keyboard (

Acer’s Iconia W700 is neither: it’s a pure 11.6-inch tablet with no keyboard dock or flippable screen, but like Microsoft’s upcoming Surface Pro it includes Intel’s Ultrabook-class Ivy Bridge processors rather than the ARM or Atom processors used by other Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets.

This has implications for the tablet’s size, weight, battery life, and performance—does the W700 strike the right balance, or will we have to keep on waiting to get a good high-performance tablet? Let’s dig in.

The W700′s speedy processor means that it needs more battery and cooling than most ARM tablets, and it shows in the tablet’s size and weight: it’s 0.5″ thick and weighs 2.1 pounds, a noticeable step up from the Microsoft Surface’s 0.37″ and 1.5 pounds. If you’re already used to the balance of a widescreen tablet, you can take the W700 pretty much anywhere a Surface or Nexus 10 would go—it’s still a much better tablet than even the best of the convertible laptops we’ve seen so far, and the steadily improving state of the Windows 8 app store is making it a bit easier to get things done without needing to jump to the desktop (though most Windows apps are still going to run on the desktop for the foreseeable future).

During use, the most notable difference wasn’t its size, but its fans. ARM processors have gotten us used to quiet, fan-less tablets, but the W700 has a pair of vents on its top edge to help dissipate that Ivy Bridge CPU’s heat. The noise isn’t deafening but it’s definitely audible, and once the tablet has been on for a few minutes they seldom shut off even if you’re just sitting idle at the Start screen. The fans also kick up to a more audible whine when the tablet is under load. The volume is in line with the fans in most Ultrabooks, but psychologically it takes some time to get used to that sound emanating from a tablet.

Weight and thickness aside, the tablet feels good to hold—its aluminum back and sides are solid and don’t flex, and the texture makes the tablet easy to grip without feeling too “grippy,” like the Nexus 10.

The W700 is a nicely built tablet with a great 1080p screen, though it's a bit less responsive to touch input than others we've tested.(

All of its ports, buttons, and switches are located on its left, right, and top edges—the orientation lock is on the top; the power and volume buttons and headphone jack are on the right; and the single full-size USB 3.0 port, micro HDMI port, and power jack are on the left. Two tinny-but-listenable stereo speakers adorn the tablet’s bottom edge, but unfortunately there’s not an SD card slot to be found on either the tablet itself or its included dock.

Click here for the complete review.

Finally, based on the facts and figures provided in the above review, it becomes really revealing to know what the Acer Iconia W700 tablet has to offer.

It is indeed a tablet that will readily serve the purpose of those with demanding ultrabooks.

You should readily take advantage of this device today. The review has also provided you with expanded options to consider.

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