Thin, light, powerful and long- lasting new ultrabooks have arrived, write Maureen Shelley and Jennifer Dudley- Nicholson
MACBOOK AIR 13- INCH Apple, $ 1449-$ 1899, apple. com
APPLE is renowned for its stylish design and the Macbook Air cements that reputation. The Air delivers a 13.3- inch LED- backlit screen with a processor as fast as the 1.8GHZ secondgeneration Intel Core i7 processor, yet it is still just 1.7cm at its thickest and weighs only 1.35kg. It has a multi- touch trackpad and Intel’s HD Graphics 3000 card onboard for added graphical grunt. Its memory is expandable to 8GB and users can choose a solidstate hard drive up to 256GB. It has two USB ports, a built- in webcam, SDXC slot plus wi- fi and Bluetooth. All input is via its USB, SD or Thunderbolt ports.
SAMSUNG SERIES 3 Samsung, $ 1199, samsung. com. au
SAMSUNG’S Series 3 laptop is hardly the thinnest of the bunch, but it is the most powerful. Where this laptop saves on space is in the border around its screen, the display features a tiny 1cm bezel that lets Samsung fit an inch more display under the hood. This sleek, if not slender, laptop is also powerful as it uses the latest AMD A Series processor ( 1.8GHZ) and packs in 8GB RAM for efficient multi- tasking. The laptop has a built- in Blu- ray Disc/ DVD drive and plenty of ports including HDMI and three USB connections. At 2.45kg, however, it might not suit all travellers.
DELL XPS 14Z 13- INCH Dell, $ 1199, dell. com. au
IF you want a slender laptop also able to play DVDS, this Dell could be for you. It offers Windows 7 Home Premium, a dual- core processor ( Intel Core i5 or i7), NVIDIA graphics technology plus a hard drive up to 750GB. The keyboard is backlit and moisture- resistant. There are only two USB ports close together, so if you use a mobile broadband dongle you will need a USB hub to connect another device. The builtin webcam is only 1.3 megapixels but the speakers are a decent size and the software allows easy access to music, video and photos.
ACER ASPIRE S3 Acer, $ 1199-$ 2099, acer. com. au
THE first ultrabook off the rank in Australia is this model, Acer’s 13.3- inch sleek, silver computer. The Aspire S3 is just 1.3cm thick, weighs as little as 1.4kg and fulfils promises Intel made of the ultrabook. The sleek laptop will wake in less than two seconds after you open its lid and Acer promises its battery can last up to seven hours on a full charge. Its screen could be better from an angle and its specs are limited to a 1.7GHZ chip and 4GB RAM, but this portable laptop is powerful.
TOSHIBA SATELLITE Z830 Toshiba, $ 1399, toshiba. com. au
TOSHIBA delivers a stylish, practical ultrabook in this Satellite model to make some Mac users envious given its sleek size. The ultrabook weighs 1.12kg and is 16mm thick, so the company claims it is ‘‘ the world’s lightest’’ ultrabook. It has a sexy back- lit, spill- resistant keyboard and three USB ports including a faster USB 3.0 slot. A 128GB solid- state hard drive is on board as is up to 6GB RAM. The polysilicone screen is lightweight and almost matte in appearance and the image quality is impressive.