Business Traveler (USA) - - TECH SAVVY -

Ap­ple’s jaw-drop­pingly at­trac­tive ul­tra-por­ta­ble de­vice has changed the way peo­ple think about lap­tops. It isn’t just some­thing to or­der your shop­ping from – it’s a thing of beauty.

The new ver­sion’s big­gest sell­ing point is that it now has what Ap­ple calls “all-day bat­tery life,” mean­ing you can watch, browse and play for a full 12 the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion, with a thick­ness of just 1.7cm.

As if that weren’t enough, you can also get it with Ap­ple’s new Mav­er­icks op­er­at­ing sys­tem, which in­cludes the abil­ity to wire­lessly beam your desk­top to an and speed. OS X Mav­er­icks is avail­able for a free down­load at the Mac App Store.

Sleek, pow­er­ful and thin Not easy to cus­tom­ize there is a new crop of ma­chines that work both as dis­tinct tablets and full-key­board lap­tops. In­tel has pinned its col­ors to this mast, with ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent Tom Kil­roy re­cently say­ing he be­lieves the twoin-one will even­tu­ally usurp the stand­alone tablet.

He has a vested in­ter­est: Ap­ple’s iPads – the most suc­cess­ful tablet – use ARM chips, whereas al­most all two-in-ones use In­tel. But In­tel has shown why it is still the world’s big­gest chip­maker. Its new line of 4th-gen­er­a­tion Core processors have al­lowed man­u­fac­tur­ers to im­prove bat­tery life dras­ti­cally with­out adding weight or size.

Lap­tops have also be­gun to bor­row the con­cept of“touch”from their flatscreen cousins. Mi­crosoft’s lat­est ver­sion of Win­dows (which, ad­mit­tedly, hasn’t had the best of re­cep­tions) has touch at its heart, and a host of new lap­tops are mak­ing in­ter­est­ing use of the tech­nol­ogy.

The other big move­ment in lap­tops is pix­els. Lots of them. Trig­gered by the in­cred­i­ble retina dis­play in Ap­ple’s Pro range, the big man­u­fac­tur­ers are com­pet­ing to pack the high­est res­o­lu­tion; great news for movie fans.

All Things Con­sid­ered

So what should you con­sider be­fore splash­ing out? First, think about what you’re go­ing to use it for. Spend­ing $400 on an ex­tra 4GB of RAM might seem like a great idea, but not if you only use your lap­top for re­ply­ing to e-mails.

Where are you go­ing to use it? If it is your main house­hold ma­chine, you might want to spend a bit ex­tra on a 17-inch screen – al­ter­na­tively, go for one that can mir­ror its dis­play on your TV.

If you’re as likely to use your com­puter on an air­line tray ta­ble as in the liv­ing room, think se­ri­ously about an ul­tra­book. You will sac­ri­fice that nice big screen and a bit of power, but you’ll save your­self get­ting a back­ache lug­ging a gi­gan­tic box around with you.

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