Thursday, December 13, 2012

Is An Ultrabook Worth Buying?

This is a guest post by Courtney Lee.

Consumers have more options than ever when shopping for computers. The market is flooded with desktops, laptops, netbooks and tablets. Manufacturers have begun producing ultrabooks - lightweight laptops with full-sized screens and keyboards. Some computing features have been removed in order to slim the devices down, but they still offer full functionality.

What's missing

Ultrabooks are comparable to tablets in terms of weight, but because the super-portable computers have a keyboard, pounds had to be subtracted somewhere. The most noticeable feature that many ultrabooks lack is an ethernet jack- if users need a wired connection they'll have to install a port on their own.

The slimmed down machines usually have less USB slots than full-sized laptops as well. Consumers who require a great deal of peripheral devices would need to buy a network hub to go along with their ultrabooks.

Comparisons with tablets

Tablets have become popular for users who need their content on the go - they're light, Wi-Fi capable and offer a variety of services. Some, however, have found work-related tasks to be a chore on the devices because they lack full document editing tools - a slight drawback of running on mobile operating systems.

Ultrabooks, however, are full PCs. Consumers have access to the same software they'd find on other computers. The devices open like laptops, so they need to be set on a flat surface for convenient use. Those who aren't ready do all their typing via touchscreen should consider ultrabooks for this reason, among others.

Performance versus laptops

Some consumers might have concerns that a slimmed-down device lacks the computing power of a full-sized laptop. However, for most casual users there isn't a noticeable difference between an ultrabook and its bulkier predecessor.

Digital Trends performed a series of tests to compare how ultrabooks and laptops compare. The results showed that the full-sized devices have faster processors because they use more power, while slower speeds give the thinner machines extended battery life.

The website notes that for most everyday tasks, like document editing and surfing the web, there isn't a noticeable difference between the two computers. More demanding applications, such as video creators and image editors, ran better on laptops than on ultrabooks.

What are you looking for when you're buying a computer? Are the functionality and mobility ultrabooks offer good enough reasons to make one of them your next tech purchase?

About the Author
Courtney is a social media and tech blogger who spends a majority of her time searching for the most up-to-date gadgets. When she is not surfing the web, you can find her playing PC games on her Windows RT tablet.