Throughout the past year or so, a new laptop/tablet hybrid has popped up nearly everywhere. This combination of a laptop and tablet is known as an ultrabook – a name that you, no doubt, familiar with. Familiarity has limits though and even though ultrabooks are popular, rarely to electronics stores or tech mags provide a decent explanation of these devices. If you’re trying to shop for a laptop or an ultrabook and aren’t sure which system to put your money on, this guide should help clear things up.
The first thing you’ll notice when you look at an ultrabook display is that these computers are much smaller than laptops. Most ultrabooks are also lighter than the majority of laptops on the market, though this is changing somewhat. An ultrabook isn’t as much of a workhorse as a laptop is, though these compact wonders will get most basic jobs done. In addition, ultrabooks tend to have longer battery lives than laptops, though there are exceptions to every rule (keep this in mind).
Inside of the average ultrabook you will find that Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors are the norm (and these are excellent processors, make no mistake!). The one thing missing from ultrabooks that you will see, as a standard feature of most laptops is that ultrabooks don’t have optical drives. This is usually due to the fact that an optical drive will make any device heavier and bigger, which would negate the point of a light and thin ultrabook. One last thing to note about ultrabooks: if you plan to use your new ultrabook outside in the sunshine, you might be annoyed by all the glare. Most ultrabooks come with shiny screens as opposed to the matte screen of the average laptop, and since shiny screens reflect the sun, it’s somewhat difficult to work outside on a sunny day with an ultrabook.
The Tried and True Laptop
Laptops range in size, weight, and overall thinness. Laptop screens tend to range from 13-20-inches in size, and these screens come in both shiny and matte format depending on the laptop chosen. Weight-wise, some laptops weigh around 3 pounds while much heavier laptops can weigh up to 18 pounds. If you want a laptop that you can bring with you everywhere you go, keep the size and heft of a laptop in mind before you purchase any system.
Battery life where laptops are concerned tends to be on the short side, though some laptops do come with powerful batteries. If you need to have that optical drive, there’s really no replacement for the standard laptop. Then again, most people today rarely use optical drives, and these drives might cease to exist within a few years when it comes to the standard laptop.
Should You Choose an Ultrabook or Laptop?
In the end, whether you choose an ultrabook or laptop depends on what you plan to use your new system for. If you want a device that will allow you to surf the net, send out emails, and do a few database or spreadsheet operations, an ultrabook is perfect. If you are a gamer, need an optical drive, and don’t care about battery life or portability, a laptop is the way to go. Price-wise, laptops tend to be a bit more expensive than ultrabooks, but, again, it depends on the brand and the components included.