Lenovo, Toshiba announce first Ultrabooks

Lenovo, Toshiba announce first Ultrabooks

Summary: Despite all the real and virtual ink spilled over the Ultrabook concept, which Intel first announced back in June, the exact specs of these MacBook Air-apparents have remained a mystery. With the official announcement today of the first Ultrabooks, we're getting a much better idea of how these will look.

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Despite all the real and virtual ink spilled over the Ultrabook concept, which Intel first announced back in June, the exact specs of these MacBook Air-apparents have remained a mystery. With the official announcement today of the first Ultrabooks, we're getting a much better idea of how these will look.

The first is the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s, one of three new models in the company's revamped U Series stylish laptops. Based on a 13.3-inch display, the U300s is 0.6 inches thick (12.8 wide by 8.5 inches deep) and weighs in at 2.9 pounds. By comparison, the 13-inch MacBook Air tapers from 0.1 to 0.7 inches front to back (12.8 inches wide by 8.9 inches deep) and weighs about the same. The U300s has an aluminum case that is sand-blasted to resist scratches and comes in either grey or orange. It has an island-style keyboard with rounded keys and a large glass trackpad. The lack of a backlit keyboard seems like a misstep for the U Series, though Lenovo says the keyboard is spill-resistant. The ventilation system draws cool air in through the keyboard and channels it out the sides so there are no vents on the bottom.

The U300s will start at $1,149 with an Intel second-generation Core processor, up to 4GB of memory and a solid-state drive in capacities up to 256GB. The processor options will include the 1.60GHz Core i5-2457M and the 1.80GHz Core i7-2677M. Lenovo says the U300s can boot in as little as 10 seconds and will last up to eight hours on a charge and 30 days on standby. The U300s also has a 1.3-megapixel Webcam, a USB 3.0 port, HDMI out and Intel's Wireless Display technology for streaming video to a TV with a WiDi adapter. It will be available starting in November.

The other new U Series models include the thicker U300, which also has a 13.3-inch display, and the U400 with a 14-inch screen. Both include Intel second-generation Core processors, up to 8GB of memory, AMD Radeon HD discrete graphics with 1GB of video memory, hard drives in capacities of up to 1TB and SSDs up to 256GB. The U400 has better graphics-the Radeon 5670M versus the 5470M in the U300-and an integrated slot-loading DVD-RW drive. The U300 and U400 will also be available starting in November for $799.99 and $849.99, respectively.

Toshiba, which is already known for producing powerful thin-and-lights such as the Portege R830, announced its first Ultrabook, the Portege Z830. So far the company is only showing prototypes and hasn't released as many details, but we know it will measure 0.6 inches thick and weigh 2.5 pounds-Toshiba claims this will make it the lightest 13.3-inch laptop available. The Portege Z830 has a magnesium alloy case reinforced with ribs and other "internal structures" to make it more rigid. It also has a backlit and spill-resistant keyboard.

The Portege Z830 will start at under $1,000 with an Intel second-generation Core processor, up to 6GB of memory and solid-state drives up to 128GB. Toshiba claims it will boot in "just seconds" with the company's Hi-Speed Start Technology. The Portege Z830 also has a 1.3-megapixel Webcam, two USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port (with Sleep and Charge) and HDMI out. The Wireless Display technology is optional. The Portege Z830 will be available in November.

Finally there are rumors that Acer will launch its own 13-inch Ultrabook, possibly called the Ultrabook S3, at its press conference this week at IFA, the consumer electronics show in Berlin. Asus and LG Electronics-among others-can't be far behind.

Topics: Toshiba, Hardware, Intel, Laptops, Lenovo, Mobility, Processors

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8 comments
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  • Anyone know the cycle characteristics of these non removable batteries

    Conventional laptops recommend you remove their batteries if you are going to use it on AC power for an extended period of time. If the battery is not removed it eventually reaches the point where it only holds a charge for a few seconds even when fully charged. I am wondering if these ultrabook batteries suffer the same characteristics. Without being able to remove them they will get into this shape and are non user replacable.
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: Lenovo, Toshiba announce first Ultrabooks

      @Johnny Vegas I used my old Acer (2004, Pentium M) on the mains for years and never removed the battery - it probably got used with the battery a couple of hours every 6 months, it mainly went AC outlet to AC outlet...

      I passed it on to a friend a couple of months back and the battery was still lasting over 2 hours (it made 2.5 hours when new).
      wright_is
  • RE: Lenovo, Toshiba announce first Ultrabooks

    "Ultrabook" is a wholly made-up concept from a technical viewpoint.
    JustCallMeBC
  • RE: Lenovo, Toshiba announce first Ultrabooks

    Those specs are superior to the Air. I like the sound of fast boots as well :D
    Imrhien
  • Do they have touch screen ?

    If not they are not really Ultrabooks but mere MacBook Air copycats [/sarcasm].
    Seriously, PC OEM must work harder to built viable alternative which are not copycats of anything Apple do and which offer better value than MacBooks.
    Especially now that Macbooks strongly benefit from both Apple Halo ,to sell more Macs than ever, and leverage ,to get components at a lower price than any PC OEM, thus being able to offer as cheap or cheaper offerings than PC OEM.
    If PC OEM do not significantly change their way, they will see their already mere profits plummet with their sales.
    They don't need to compete to produce as cheap and as numerous models as they can.
    They need to focus on a few, well though, well built and innovative models which would enable them to justify a reasonnable price, both for them and the customers even if those devices are expensive as Mac book, and to leverage the high volume of components purchase per model to significantly lower the costs.
    They should especially take advantage of Windows 8 to offer a significantly new and better generation of PC with new capabilities.
    timiteh
    • RE: Lenovo, Toshiba announce first Ultrabooks

      @timiteh Intel's Ultrabook specification makes ne metion of touch, as far as I am aware.
      wright_is
      • RE: Lenovo, Toshiba announce first Ultrabooks

        @wright_is
        I guess you miss the [/sarcasm].
        I was just underlining the fact that it would not be enough for PC OEM to come with Mac Book Air copycat to be successful.
        They must come with something different or way better to overcome the Apple Halo. And especially at those prices.
        A Tablet PC combined with Windows 8 would be something different and potentially quite appealing.
        timiteh
  • RE: Lenovo, Toshiba announce first Ultrabooks

    hmm my Acer AO753 dual core Celeron 1.1 with 11.something inch screen eems fine.... does everything I need and gets 7-8 hours windows 7 and it not too thick/heavy at all. I reckon, the resolution of these things needs to be more than 1368x768 (Since they are 13 inch) if they are going to be useful to me for for anything other than surfing/word processing/doing what I do now. Its all very well having the power, but without similar increases in screen real estate I can't see the point in upgrading.
    tora201