An Introduction to Ultraportable Laptops

Ultraportable LaptopsOver the next few days we’re going to take a look at a new generation of laptops – ultraportable laptops – and show you how you can leverage ultraportable laptops for your digital lifestyle, what to look for when buying one, and how to know when you’re buying the right computer.

What is an Ultraportable Laptop?

Ultraportable laptops are a newer breed of laptop that has been introduced to consumers in the last few years. These computers, aimed at providing the full experience of a normal laptop, typically apply the “less is more” approach in design so they can be more easily carried around than your 6-10 pound brick of a laptop.

Standard classifications for ultraportable laptops have yet to surface but Intel is leading the way with their Ultrabook standard to create a standard among PC makers. While less is more, the features of ultraportable laptops allow users to go farther and be more mobile than they can be with traditional laptops. Ultraportables are defined as laptops whose screens are less than 13.3 inches and weigh less than 4 pounds. Although screen sizes might vary and be as little as 7 inches, the emphasis of an ultraportable is its weight which determines, many times, what features are or are not included in the laptop. Battery life, overall thinness, and memory/hard drive space are also determining factors that make classify a laptop as an ultraportable.

Read on for more defining characteristics, netbooks are now considered defunct, and an overview of the various types of ultraportable laptops.

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Mobile Technology Shines At CES

The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES for short, is a technology conference going on right now in Las Vegas, Nevada.  CES is an annual event where technology companies launch their products to generate buzz among consumers and the press as well as to feed the geek frenzy right after the holiday season.

It’s no surprise this year that mobile technology is taking center stage with phones, tablets, and other devices leading the pack in overall discussion.  Here is a quick roundup of some of the more interesting mobile tech stories:

No Verizon iPhone, Yet…

It may be on everybody’s technology wishlist this year but so far Verizon is mum on when they will be releasing Apple’s iPhone on their wireless network.  According to the moment at which an announcement would likely have been made, Verizon’s keynote address, was void of any mention of the iPhone or Apple for that matter.  Even if the elusive question remained unanswered, Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon’s CEO, still gave an interesting talk on the future of mobile technology.

NEC's LT-W Cloud Communicator Tablet
NEC's LT-W Cloud Communicator Tablet

A Tablet Built for Your Commute

Maybe you’re past the Verizon/Apple/iPhone hoopla already.  If so, an interesting product launch out of the CES is a tablet that reads like a book and fits in your bag or large pocket quite easily.  NEC’s LT-W Cloud Communicator is an innovative Android device with a 7-inch screen which treats itself like the true digital equivalent to paper books.  As CNET notes this device will most likely revolutionize a person’s commute in the coming month.  Personally, I’m really happy that this device is out as will make the reading process less clunky when you’re on the train squeezed in between two people.

The Phone, Laptop, and PC in One Device

Motorola’s Atrix phone showcases the growing ability of smartphones to act as a laptop and vice-versa.  The Atrix might well be the first device that combines the capabilities of a smartphone and the laptop in one product.  The phone can run multiple operating systems and also be connected to a monitor to essentially become a standalone desktop computer.

Excited about the new offerings from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show?  Check CNET’s CES Guide and be sure to come back to this blog next week as we will provide more indepth looks at other exciting new technology products.