Tagged With ultrabooks

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HP's newest laptop is also its thinnest. It's the world's thinnest, actually. At only 10.4 millimetres thick, it's almost 30 per cent thinner again than the already seriously skinny Apple MacBook, and it's thinner even than most of the standalone tablets with detachable keyboard — like HP's own Spectre X2. But it doesn't use some super-low-voltage processor and battery-sipping hardware to get there.

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Laptops made by gaming companies are usually big, chunky, heavy, bulky slabs of plastic and metal and silicon and glass that you have to carry around with both hands. You don't want to take them too far from their chargers either. Usually. Razer's new Blade Stealth is a laptop from a gaming company, but it's not necessarily a gaming laptop; it's a laptop that can be used for gaming if you're so inclined, but straight out of the box it's essentially a MacBook Pro — but a cooler MacBook Pro, because it's black and has flashy lights.

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A simple, beautiful, seamless design. An incredibly thin chassis, crafted from metal and finished in a high quality dark grey paint. A fanless, low-power Intel Core M processor and oodles of battery life hidden away underneath a big trackpad and great keyboard. Sounds like Apple's new MacBook, right? Nope. The Windows 8.1-powered Asus ZenBook UX305 is an amazing feat of computing. This is a laptop that I want to use every single day.

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Toshiba's Portege laptops have always been thin and light. Really thin and light. They're known for their ultraportable and small form factors, business-friendly designs and impressive feats of battery life. That same trend continues with the new Portege Z20t, which now splits in half — it's one half Intel Core M-powered tablet and one half battery-packing keyboard dock, combining for one versatile Ultrabook.

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There are times when you just need a bit of extra grunt from your laptop, whether it's for a bit of workday number-crunching or a spot of after-work gaming on the sly. Asus's ZenBook UX303LN is a thin and light Ultrabook, but has more than its fair share of extra graphical and computing power.

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The desktop graphics space hasn't been that exciting in recent years, but all the improvements in power optimisation, fabrication processes and performance have not gone to waste. Now more than ever, lightweight, yet powerful gaming notebooks are becoming commonplace (and affordable) and while there's still a way to go, getting grunt without sacrificing on portability is very realistic.

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The new Macbook Air-esque Folio 1020 business laptop comes in two editions: standard, which weighs 1.2kg (and can be fitted with a touchscreen), and a 'special' edition, which weighs in at 1kg without any touchiness. Guts-wise, it's what you'd expect from a modern high-end laptop: 8GB of RAM and SSD storage.

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Ultrabooks are thin and light laptops, focused on portability while still remaining productive and keeping a traditional keyboard and touchpad handy for when you need to do some serious work. There are quite a few out there on store shelves, though, and picking the right one can be a bit of a difficult ask. If you can stick to a specific price point, you'll have far better luck and an easier time.

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There's an old joke about a doctor giving an elderly patient some good news and bad news. "Give me the bad news first," the old guy says. "OK, you've got cancer and you're dying. Best case, you have a few years left." "Oh god, that's awful," cries the old man. "What's the good news?" "Well," says the doctor, "You're in the best shape of your life, and your dementia means you won't remember any of this in a few hours." And that is, essentially, the Windows laptop renaissance.