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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.