Ultrabook Roundup and Overview – Compared to Pricey Sony Vaio Z Series

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24 Feb, 2012 8:00 am

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With the rise of Ultrabooks, the market for expensive ultraportable laptops in the $3000 to $4000 range like the Sony Vaio Z is quickly dwindling. Ultrabooks are thin and light laptops in the 11-inch to 13-inch range (so far), some with premium features and fashionable styling, like the ASUS Zenbooks, others with a more professional look, like the Lenovo Ideapad U300S. Sascha has a selection of Ultrabooks to compare specs with the more expensive Sony Vaio Z line. Which laptop would be right for you?

If HD screen resolution is a key feature for you, there may not be a current alternative to the Sony Vaio Z. It has a 1080p HD screen that Sascha loves for viewing two webpages side-by-side, or doing video editing. His Vaio Z also has dual SSD internal drives in a RAID configuration which contributes to the $4000 price tag. But it definitely is a mobile powerhouse that currently can’t be matched by Ultrabooks, if that’s what your needs require.

However, if you are more concerned with portability, both with size and weight, the ASUS Zenbooks — UX31 for a 13-inch screen, and UX21 for an 11.6-inch screen — top the list. They have an Ultra-thin wedge form factor, are super light, have a striking circular brushed pattern on their aluminum covers, and the instant-on feature, thanks to the Intel processor inside. Screen resolution is a respectable 1366 x 768 right now, but there are rumors that ASUS and possibly Lenovo may be coming out with Ultrabooks with higher-resolution displays in the 2nd half of 2012. If they can deliver the higher-res screens and Ivy Bridge processors, Sony better watch out!

Finally, the Lenovo Ideapad U300S offers a more professional, executive look, but still sports a brushed aluminum cover. Sascha loves this Ultrabook best out of the 3 because of the great chiclet keyboard and huge trackpad with integrated mouse buttons, boasting very good physical feedback. The ASUS Zenbooks are nice, but their keyboards and trackpads aren’t as good or as large as the Lenovo’s. Again, it depends on your needs, whether the Lenovo or ASUS Ultrabooks are for you.

Check out our video below to see more of the Ultrabook round up, and how they stack up against each other (literally!).

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