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Jul 27

STOP! Don’t Buy that Laptop!

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The PC world is experiencing a revolution. In fact, for me who am still using an HP Pavilion dv6000 laptop that weighs about 3kg, these new computers make me feel like I’m going around hauling a desktop. There has been a lot of buzz with several reviews about this new face of personal computers. These devices that have turned the computing world around, and make your laptop look old fashioned are called: ULTRABOOKS.

Ultrabooks are a lightweight alternative to tablet devices for people who just can’t work without a full QWERTY keyboard. Just like me, I love the comfort and speed QWERTY provides. That’s the reason i find it difficult to dump my laptop for an iPad or Galaxy tab. So, i truly appreciate Intel for putting people like us into consideration: People who want to enjoy the speed and long battery life a tablet provides, and yet have the comfort of using a mouse and keyboard with it.

What Makes an Ultrabook Different?

Intel did not just dream up the idea of Ultrabooks. They went into deep research. They worked with experts in neuroscience, cognitive psychology and behavioral psychology to conduct what they termed ‘Emotional Enquiry’. The goal was to find what people mean emotionally when they talk about computer or microprocessor performance. This is because the term ‘performance’ is commonly cited when people talk about why they bought a new computer or would want to buy a new computer.

After conducting consumer interviews around the world, it became clear that “performance” didn’t only mean speed.

In the words of Intel’s Director of Insights and Market Research, David Ginsberg, “People want technology to fade away into the background so they can focus on the task at hand,” According to him, “That still implies speed but it’s about how people experience speed.”

Since Intel’s PC division was looking for ideas about next-generation laptops, they came up with the perfect product: Ultrabook.

So, for a laptop to be termed an Ultrabook, Intel says it must satisfy these five qualities:

  • First and foremost, it should be powered by Intel!
  • Quick start-up: it should flow; meaning an instant-on, always-connected device that loads applications quickly. Going from hibernate to keyboard interaction must take 7 seconds or less and Resuming from sleep should be even faster than that.
  •  Long battery life: The minimum for a single charge of the battery is 5 hours, and some models promise up to 8 hours.
  •  Thinness: the device has to be light and compact but also capable. Ultrabooks need to be less than 21mm (0.82 inch) thick. Most models that have come out so far are much thinner. You have Asus Zenbook as thin as 11mm. In fact, Asus Zenbook is a phenomenon. It has a wedge design. The thicker part, which holds the screen, is 11mm and the thinner part is just 3mm! In fact, call it a knife-edge or cutting edge. It’s got a very sleek design.
  • Enhanced security: The laptop firmware has to support Intel’s Anti-Theft and Identity Protection technology. I will explain what these terms mean. 
    • Anti-theft Protection:  If your Ultrabook is stolen, it can be disabled automatically or you can notify your service provider to disable the system. If you’re lucky to find your Ultrabook and it is intact, then provider can re-enable the system.   
    •  Intel Identity Protection Technology: Intel’s goal is to provide a safer and simpler experience for individuals who engage in online transactions: who are shopping, gaming or banking online while using Intel-powered Ultrabooks. Intel recently announced a strategic collaboration with MasterCard to optimize a variety of emerging payments technologies. The alliance aims to provide more options for a safer and simpler checkout process for online merchants and consumers using Ultrabook devices

All of these fantastic features are what u will find in an Ultrabook, but that’s not all. Ultrabooks also have the Cloud feature!

According to Tony Salvador, an ethnographer at Intels “Data will flow from device to device and that means that if you were reading an article online using your smart phone, an Ultrabook would know exactly where you stopped reading and bring up the story — flagging where you left off — such that the story could be finished on the PC.  So when Intel talks about mobility, “It isn’t about a person moving around,” “It is about data moving.”

Disadvantages of Ultrabooks in comparison to a traditional laptop PC

All these fantastic features definitely come with a price. Due to the thin nature of Ultrabooks, some features in a laptop PC were eliminated.

  • They don’t have room for optical drives, so you’ll need to add a USB DVD or Blu-ray drive to load software or movie discs.
  • They have fewer ports, so there’s a greater reliance on mini connections (such as Mini HDMI or Mini DisplayPort).
  • Most don’t have Ethernet jacks; that mean you are stuck with Wi-Fi or nothing

For me, none of these disadvantages stand a chance. I will choose an Ultrabook over a regular laptop, anytime, and my best choice is a Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga.

  •  Though it is thicker than other Ultrabooks at16.9mm yet it is thinner than my PC.
  • It has a 360 degree flip-and fold-design so you can use it whichever way you want it. It also has four convertible ‘modes’– standard notebook, converted tablet, ‘stand’ and ‘tent’.
  •  Did i mention that it also has the touch screen feature? Yes! It’s got touch screen feature. It has full features of a tablet. When you get tired of the day’s work, you can flip the screen and engage the tablet mode. Have some fun watching movies or playing games, while sipping a glass of juice.

So if you must buy a laptop, be in the trend. Buy an Ultrabook.

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About the author

Njumoke Abiola-Oseni

Njumoke Abiola-Oseni is the Executive Director, Training and Business Intelligence at Trisat Communications Ltd. She holds a Bachelors Degree(B.Tech) in Computer Engineering with ICT Certifications such as Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Project Management, MikroTik Certified Network Associate (MTCNA), and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). She currently administers all Trisat training engagements and consults for SMBs on Business Intelligence such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS), Messaging Systems and Call Center Solutions and Customised Software Application. Njumoke Abiola-Oseni is a Co-Founder of Trisat Communications Ltd.