Tag Archives: Ultrabook

New Prism Battery Technology to Potentially Change Laptop Structure

6 Sep

As many may be aware, most traditional notebooks utilize cylindrical batteries. These are generally found at the bottom of a laptop device and can be conveniently removed or replaced by its users. Ultrabooks, on the other hand, generally use flat, lithium polymer batteries that are embedded within the hardware device. The cost and price of these cells are a lot higher than those of the traditional ones, which explains why the retail prices of MacBook Air and other ultra books tend to be so expensive.

In the future, there will likely be a new form of battery similar to the slim ones found in cell phones, but only bigger. These are known as Prism Batteries, and many are already used in smart-phone and tablet pc products. If proper adjustments are applied within the manufacturing process, then the new battery models can be made by the same production equipments that makes the cylindrical batteries. Compared to the lithium cells used for ultrabooks, one of the major benefits of the new batteries is that they can be standardized.

With the release of the new battery models, an opening can be made in the rear of light ultrabooks or any “ultrabook-like” products, allowing users the convenience of replacing the battery with ease. At the moment, replacing customized batteries for existing ultrabooks not only burdens the users, but is inappropriate to the hardware as well.

According to TrendInsider, the NB manufacturers likely to utilize the new battery technology will be those equipped with better design and manufacturing capabilities rather than those that rely heavily on ODMs and OEMs. It is predicted that leading US and Korean manufacturers will utilize the new battery standard to create a notebook that not only blurs the boundary between traditional laptops and ultrabooks, but also comes at a cheaper price.

2.2 lbs(1kg) or Less: The New Strategy for Ultrabooks

3 Jul

Now that many computer hardware companies are highly capable of developing their own brand of ultrabooks, creating a slim laptop that merely outperforms Apple’s 1.3kg MacBook Air is no longer the top priority. Much of the focus these days, rather, seem to be directed towards finding a way to develop the lightest, thinnest laptop possible, with the ultimate goal being to create an ultrabook that weighs less than 1kg (2.2 pounds).

Surprisingly, only one company so far has been able to accomplish this feat. About month ago, Japan based hardware company, NEC, is reported to have successfully created a 13.3-inch ultrabook that weighs a mere 875 grams (0.9 kg). The NEC laptop is currently lighter than any of the 13-inch ultrabooks out there, including Acer’s S5 (1.5kg), Sony’s VAIO Z (1.15kg), and Samsung’s Series 9 (1.19 kg).

NEC’s unique 13.3-inch ultrabook, a part of the company’s LaVie Z series, is composed of a material known as magnesium lithium, which is 1mm thinner than aluminum alloy, and weighs 60% lighter. The laptop utilizes a single-frame structure design to give the body a necessary sturdiness, and takes advantage of a “unified” keyboard frame that allows the computer to be 10% thinner than a typical ultrabook. With its light mass, slim body, and surprisingly powerful battery (8.1 hours per charge), the 13.3-inch LaVie Z is the ideal product for anyone looking for a light and highly portable computer.

The main appeal of NEC’s 13.3-inch ultrabook, according to TrendInsider, ultimately boils down to three essential qualities: light weight, long usage hours, and high power efficiency. Complementing these inherent qualities are the computers’ impressive specs, which includes a 1600×900 resolution screen, a highly functional HDMI port, two major USB ports (2.0 and 3.0), and a SD card reader. During August, NEC plans to release both the Core i7-3517U(1.90GHz) and Core i5-3317U(1.70GHz) versions of the 13.3-inch ultrabooks at a retail price of 160 thousand and 130 thousand yen, respectively.

Taking into account the potential success of NEC’s ultra-lightweight ultrabook, we believe it will only be a matter of time before big names like Sony, Acer, Asus, Fujitsu, and Toshiba jump onto the bandwagon and begin developing their own line of “ultra-light” ultrabooks. Before that happens, though, the trophy for creating the lightest notebook in the market rightfully belongs to NEC.

The Rise of Low Priced Ultrabooks: Traditional Notebook Market to Take a Hit

3 Jul

The Ultrabook market is about to get a lot bigger following the introduction of Intel’s third generation Ivy Bridge processor (first announced at the 2012 Computex Event). In addition to reports suggesting the impending surge of ultrabooks which utilize Ivy Bridge i7 and i5 processors, several sources have confirmed that a great majority of these computers will be offered to consumers at highly affordable prices. Compared to conventional slim notebooks, many of which inevitably fall around the $1000 USD mark, the average price of an Ivy Bridge-powered ultrabook is expected to hover between $699 and $799 USD.

That an ultrabook could be available at such a low price is attributable to a variety of manufacture-related factors. Notable examples include the efficient use of raw materials, simplification of board components, and more importantly, the utilization of Intel’s 17W Celeron 887 processor, which costs significantly less than the Core i3 processor. A bundle of these materials could allegedly be purchased for as low as $85 USD, making the production of the current generation of ultrabooks an extremely cost-effective process.

While low-cost ultrabooks will undoubtedly create waves of impact upon their release, traditional, weightier notebooks are expected to take the hardest hit. With features that are potentially outmatched in every way, conventional notebooks will only stand a chance against their slimmer, more affordably priced cousins during the back-to-school sales season, when prices tend to fall across the board.

Considering the current global economic situation, TrendInsider believes that low-priced ultrabooks will not only succeed beyond expectations, but also significantly outperform traditional notebooks in terms of sales. Looking back, 2012 has not been a particularly good year for original equipment manufacturers (OEM) nor brand-based industries. Given that this trend is likely to continue into 2013, and assuming that SSD prices will continue to fall, it will be interesting to observe just how the traditional notebook industry will try to maintain their profit margins in the face of the ultrabook’s rising dominance.