Today, we prefer computing devices that are sleeker, faster and allow us to connect to the Internet instantly, without compromising on the performance. And, mobile computing especially is being reinvented with the introduction of ultrabook devices.
All the early signs point in the right direction and the buzz in the category has been unprecedented. In India, all major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have already launched a wide range of ultrabooks and there are a series of newer, sleeker ultrabooks which are in the pipeline, ready to be launched this year.
Ultrabook is an exciting new category that gives consumers the features and form factor that they love in laptops, but also delivers the features they enjoy with their tablets.
There will be a consistent set of expectations that a buyer can have of any ultrabook including the thickness of the device, battery life, the processor that powers the device and certain technologies for instant boot-up and better security.
Sandeep Aurora, director of marketing , Intel South Asia, says, “Ultrabooks take advantage of a technology called the Intel Rapid Start Technology that helps get the system up and running from deepest sleep, saving both time and battery life. A current PC may take a minute or more to wake up from deep sleep. On an average, an ultrabook takes less than seven seconds. So it could save you five minutes in a week, 20 minutes in a month or four hours in a year, that’s half a work day. If we were to capture the essence of these devices in one line it would be that ultrabooks are ultra-sleek, ultra-responsive, ultra-you.”
ALTERNATIVE TO TABLETS
The quick boot-up and start up time will change the way people interact with their PC without leaving the Windows experience.
Vishal Tripathi, principal research analyst, Gartner, feels, “This new form factor can be very appealing to the people who are not big tablet fans, but need some device which is sleek, lightweight, smart to carry and meet their computing needs. Most consumers will see ultrabook as an alternative to tablets unless their screen is so big that hinders portability.”
No doubt, ultrabooks are the result of a marriage between the best of PCs and tablets. Shishir Singh, director, product marketing, CSMB, Dell India, says, “Mobility will dictate the form factor of computing devices in the years to come. Today, devices are changing according to the needs of the consumers and there is a huge convergence of user devices which enable them to easily connect anytime, anywhere. We see ultrabooks as an important niche category for those looking for a companion PC device that moves beyond the basic computing needs.”
PERFECT TRAVEL MATE
Ultrabooks are ideal for content creation and consumption-writing , browsing, presentations, research, entertainment, multimedia and almost all the regular everyday tasks that prosumers (professional consumers) want.
They are your perfect travel mate owing to their ultraportability and longer battery life, adds Singh.
Vinay Awasthi, senior director, product category, PSG, HP India, concurs.
“Ultrabooks are meant for people who look for full day uninterrupted computing experience. They will be embraced by both professionals working in an enterprise and by prosumers who want the power of mobility.”
One of the important growth drivers we see affecting ultrabooks is the trend of BYOD (bring your own device) in the workplace. Rajesh Thadani, director, consumer business segment, Lenovo India, is of the opinion that “Ultrabooks are adding to the choices available for a notebook user. In short, they marry the best features of notebooks and netbooks.”
Ultrabooks cater to a consumer segment that loves fashion and looks for the finest of everything they can afford.
Ranjit Yadav, country head, Samsung Mobile and IT, says, “As far as penetration of ultrabooks is concerned, the IDC figures clearly state that notebook PCs and ultrabooks are growing at a faster rate than desktop PCs with the earlier accounting for 24 per cent as compared to desktops which is around five per cent.”
Ultrabooks come in the price range of 48,000 to one lakh plus. The end user adoption is low due to the high price points, which are not appropriate for the cost-conscious mass market.
“Windows 8 launch, with touch experience and Metro UI apps, might act as a catalyst for ultrabooks and could propel the penetration of these devices in India. Intel’s 3rd generation Ivy Bridge processors will let vendors come with more skews, making the market more competitive and this could enable some price drop in the future,” foresees Tripathi.
WHAT MAKES AN ULTRABOOK?
The first phase of ultrabooks is based on ultra-low voltage (ULV) 2nd generation Intel core processors that have enabled the thin, light, beautiful designs. The next phase will be based on next generation chip codenamed “Ivy Bridge” , which will bring improved power efficiency and enhanced security. “Haswell” is the third step toward accelerating it.
These are less than 0.8 inches in width; some are much thinner.
ULTRA-FAST START-UP :
Intel Rapid Start Technology gets a system up and running faster from the deepest sleep, saving time and battery life.
EXTENDED BATTERY LIFE:
Ultrabooks offer at least five hours of battery life, some even provide eight hours or more.
Identity protection technology provides a secure online experience for shopping, banking or gaming online. Anti-theft technology deters theft. If stolen, it can be disabled automatically or one can notify the service provider.