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Hardware  » Microsoft announces Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, concludes that tablets need not be low power devices

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42 posts found
  JeroKane

Elite Member

Joined: 2/21/06
Posts: 4968

9/30/13 3:42:37 PM#21
Originally posted by Nadia
Originally posted by JeroKane

Both the Surface and Surface Pro 2 have a display port and are powerful enough to support an external screen!

It has USB 3.0 port(s), so you can Connect pretty much anything to it you want.

In fact, the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 are excellent tablets that performance wise are no less than the average ultrabook.

The only advantage an ultrabook has, is a larger battery, but Microsoft is fixing that With the release of the new battery touch cover.

Add to the fact, that it also has a Wacom digitizer build in, so it supports pressure sensitive pen input like the Galaxy Note.

It can run full blown Windows 8 Pro without a hitch and so you can run all Your programs on it.

the pricing is still questionable

w Surface, you only get WinRT

 

for $400 (half the price),  this is the competition -- a hybrid tablet/laptop w win8.1

http://liliputing.com/2013/09/asus-introduces-349-transformer-book-t300-convertible-tablet-bay-trail.html

The Transformer Book T100 features a 1.33 GHz Intel Atom Z3740 quad-core processor with turbo boosts up to 1.86 GHz.

10.1 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel IPS touchscreen display, and Windows 8.1 software.

4GB of RAM,  64GB of storage, a 1.2MP camera, and comes with Microsoft Office Home & Student.

1 micro USB port, microSD card reader, micro HDMI port, and audio jack.

The tablet dock adds a full-sized USB 3.0 port, along with a keyboard and touchpad.

Ehh what?  The surface Pro (2) comes With full Windows 8 pro!

 

The normal surface and surface 2 come With Windows RT and are a lot cheaper.

 

The Transformer books With Atom processors are crap! The New Bailtrail Atom CPU has still horrible performance. Especially when you want to run full blown Windows on it and run software without horrible lag and performance issues!

The screen is also 720p and not full HD 1080p, like Sufrace Pro (2). It also doesn´t have a Wacom Digitizer.

The reason why Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 are in the price range they are, is because they directly compete With ultrabooks, as they have the same hardware specs. I.e. running full blown Intel CPU´s and not the Atom crap. The build in Wacom Digitizer also adds to the price.

 

The Asus, Acer and Samsung Windows 8 tablets/convertibles With full blown Intel CPU´s are in the exact same price range as the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2. The Samsung tablets/convertibles are even higher in price.

 

Sorry, but you have no Clue what you are talking about and comparing Apples With Oranges. /shrug

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13283

 
OP  9/30/13 4:19:10 PM#22
Originally posted by JeroKane

In fact, the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 are excellent tablets that performance wise are no less than the average ultrabook.

The only advantage an ultrabook has, is a larger battery, but Microsoft is fixing that With the release of the new battery touch cover.

While the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 will indeed perform identically to Ultrabooks from their respective generations, that's because they use exactly the same internal hardware as an Ultrabook, and just put it in a different form factor.  But even if we agree that it's no worse than an Ultrabook (which I wouldn't, as the tablet form factor means that the Surface Pro is vastly more likely to have heat issues if you try to do anything demanding with it), that doesn't necessarily mean much, as I don't see any good reason why anyone would want an Ultrabook.

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3346

9/30/13 10:53:00 PM#23

I don't get why people get all bent out of shape over tablet performance.

Sure it should be snappy enough, and I'm glad they get a bit faster each generation, but inside of a given generation I don't really care if Tablet A can run a benchmark faster than Tablet B - so long as both can run a web browser and basic computational skills without totally choking, I'm ok with that.

What I really care about is battery life, functionality, connectivity, and the ecosystem.

Performance is way down near the bottom of the list when I think of something to carry around with me. If I need performance on the road, I will tunnel into a desktop and make that perform for me remotely.

A tablet that can't get all-day battery life with moderate demand (my travel test, can I fly cross-country with layovers while using the tablet in various ways (watching movies, ebook reader, light gaming, web browsing) and not have to recharge it). If it can't last a day through a charge, it's of limited use and may as well lug around a full laptop and just plug it in everywhere.

A tablet that's unwieldy to carry around, or is awkward to use - bad functionality. If it's a chore to carry around, I won't. If it's a chore to use it, I won't.

A tablet that can't connect is totally useless - for most people it's just WiFi, I usually look for at least 1 cellular option (I'm lucky enough to have a tethering data plan through work, but some people I give advice to don't) available although I don't always recommend it to people based on their actual needs because it is an expensive option. I don't consider peripherals here outside of some extraordinary cases (heavy digital photography people, etc), but I acknowledge some people may. I don't care if a tablet has 14 USB 3.0 ports and 7 miniHDMI ports if I'm never going to use them. If I really need more storage, I'll connect to it over LAN WiFi. If I really want to see my Tablet on TV, I'll stream it via AirPlay/ChromeCast. Tablets are meant to be unwired and carried around, not locked down with a cable, so I don't care if it has ports or not - I care what it can do with me sitting on the the couch/toilet/stuck in traffic with no cables attached at all.

A tablet without the apps you need is useless. A tablet that's full of malware is useless. I'm not a huge proponent of Apple's closed ecosystem, but the availablity of software there is second to none -- Apple flipped the tables on the old Windows argument there (You need XXX OS because that's what all the software runs on). If you need certain software, odds are it runs under iOS - it may or may not run under one of the 15 different Android variants out there, and your hardware may or may not qualify for various Android upgrades. Some people may be fine with a Kindle Fire and the limited Amazon store is more than enough - some people may want a certain flavor of Android. Most people won't go wrong with Apple if they can afford it. If you go out and get some $99 Coby running Froyo your likely stuck with whatever crap Coby bundled with it.

But a tablet that crunches numbers fast, or has super fast graphics over another - if it's at the expense of any of those other 4 things, forget about it, it's not a feature then, it's a detriment in a tablet.

The Surface Pro (and Pro 2) aren't competing against other tablets. They are competing against other full blown laptops. And they don't stack up that well outside of the novelty aspect.

  JeroKane

Elite Member

Joined: 2/21/06
Posts: 4968

10/01/13 3:50:56 AM#24
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by JeroKane

In fact, the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 are excellent tablets that performance wise are no less than the average ultrabook.

The only advantage an ultrabook has, is a larger battery, but Microsoft is fixing that With the release of the new battery touch cover.

While the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 will indeed perform identically to Ultrabooks from their respective generations, that's because they use exactly the same internal hardware as an Ultrabook, and just put it in a different form factor.  But even if we agree that it's no worse than an Ultrabook (which I wouldn't, as the tablet form factor means that the Surface Pro is vastly more likely to have heat issues if you try to do anything demanding with it), that doesn't necessarily mean much, as I don't see any good reason why anyone would want an Ultrabook.

That´s because you are kid at School (presumably) and don´t work yet.

Ultrabooks are no kids toys.  They are business Laptops for business People that travel a lot and want to minimize carrying weight and more portability.

I work for a very large IT Company as one of many consultants (10.000 total employees) and I see more People With ultrabooks every single day! Me included.

I am a consultant myself. Have back problems and thus need to reduce carrying weight as much as possible. These 1 kilo ultrabooks were gift from heaven for me. And performance wise they are excellent for work tasks.

And by the way. When I am at work, I work and don´t play games! So I do not need a high performing gaming Laptop at work.

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3346

10/01/13 9:57:29 AM#25


Originally posted by JeroKane

Originally posted by Quizzical

Originally posted by JeroKane In fact, the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 are excellent tablets that performance wise are no less than the average ultrabook. The only advantage an ultrabook has, is a larger battery, but Microsoft is fixing that With the release of the new battery touch cover.
While the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 will indeed perform identically to Ultrabooks from their respective generations, that's because they use exactly the same internal hardware as an Ultrabook, and just put it in a different form factor.  But even if we agree that it's no worse than an Ultrabook (which I wouldn't, as the tablet form factor means that the Surface Pro is vastly more likely to have heat issues if you try to do anything demanding with it), that doesn't necessarily mean much, as I don't see any good reason why anyone would want an Ultrabook.
That´s because you are kid at School (presumably) and don´t work yet.

Ultrabooks are no kids toys.  They are business Laptops for business People that travel a lot and want to minimize carrying weight and more portability.

I work for a very large IT Company as one of many consultants (10.000 total employees) and I see more People With ultrabooks every single day! Me included.

I am a consultant myself. Have back problems and thus need to reduce carrying weight as much as possible. These 1 kilo ultrabooks were gift from heaven for me. And performance wise they are excellent for work tasks.

And by the way. When I am at work, I work and don´t play games! So I do not need a high performing gaming Laptop at work.


IDK about that not working part, but I can confirm that in our corporate end, smaller laptops are definitly taking over. Not necessarily ultrabooks though. I see a lot more Macbook Pro 15" and Macbook 13" Airs, along with similar sized Asus/HP/Sony models than I do the larger and higher performing options - but these aren't really "Ultrabook" form factor. I don't see very many Eee books or Chromebooks or what you would necessarily classify as "Ultrabook" though, nor do I see a lot of people using touchscreens on a laptop - it's almost always keyboard/mouse, even if the device is touch-capable. Touch kinda sucks for doing spreadsheets.

You don't need a lot of power to do Word or Excel or Outlook, and that's 95% of what our office works with.

  Phry

Elite Member

Joined: 7/01/04
Posts: 5192

10/01/13 10:17:52 AM#26
Sounds like their trying to aim at business users with it, but im not sure its even half good enough, plus windows 8 is not attractive to corporate users, and where price isnt really a concern, there are much better offerings, while i can't mention the name of the organisation i work for, the only tablet PC's in use, are the Dell Motion Tablets, the handwriting recognition is pretty awesome too, and we've been using these things for several years now, none of the win8 tablets really meet minimum requirements in any case
  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13283

 
OP  10/01/13 10:22:09 AM#27
Originally posted by JeroKane
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by JeroKane

In fact, the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 are excellent tablets that performance wise are no less than the average ultrabook.

The only advantage an ultrabook has, is a larger battery, but Microsoft is fixing that With the release of the new battery touch cover.

While the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 will indeed perform identically to Ultrabooks from their respective generations, that's because they use exactly the same internal hardware as an Ultrabook, and just put it in a different form factor.  But even if we agree that it's no worse than an Ultrabook (which I wouldn't, as the tablet form factor means that the Surface Pro is vastly more likely to have heat issues if you try to do anything demanding with it), that doesn't necessarily mean much, as I don't see any good reason why anyone would want an Ultrabook.

That´s because you are kid at School (presumably) and don´t work yet.

Ultrabooks are no kids toys.  They are business Laptops for business People that travel a lot and want to minimize carrying weight and more portability.

I work for a very large IT Company as one of many consultants (10.000 total employees) and I see more People With ultrabooks every single day! Me included.

I am a consultant myself. Have back problems and thus need to reduce carrying weight as much as possible. These 1 kilo ultrabooks were gift from heaven for me. And performance wise they are excellent for work tasks.

And by the way. When I am at work, I work and don´t play games! So I do not need a high performing gaming Laptop at work.

I certainly understand why some people would value lightweight.  But "Ultrabook" doesn't mean "lightweight".  Ultrabook primarily means thin--and makes a ton of crippling sacrifices to get that thinness that wouldn't be necessary if low weight were the goal.

The reasons why someone who carries around a laptop a lot would want it to be light weight are obvious.  But the reasons why he would also want it to be feature-barren, fragile, difficult or impossible to repair, unreliable, have poor battery life, have an awkward keyboard, and be expensive to get all of those problems?  Allow a few more millimeters of thickness and you can fix all of those except the battery life, and without meaningfully changing the weight.  But an Ultrabook says you can't do that.

While the MacBook Air was the inspiration for Ultrabooks, it is not itself an Ultrabook.  Apple can make a MacBook Air as thick as they please, wherever they please, and do it for reasons of engineering rather than Intel marketing.

  Nadia

Elite Member

Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 11397

10/01/13 10:53:45 AM#28
Originally posted by JeroKane

The Transformer books With Atom processors are crap! The New Bailtrail Atom CPU has still horrible performance. Especially when you want to run full blown Windows on it and run software without horrible lag and performance issues!

yet to be seen - will know more when they launch later this month

http://liliputing.com/2013/09/intel-atom-bay-trail-benchmark-test-shows-a-big-performance-boost.html

posted benchmark results for an upcoming Intel Atom Bay Trail processor called the Atom Z3770. It’s a quad-core chip running at 1.47 GHz, and according to AnandTech it scores almost as well in the Cinebench test as a 2011-era Intel Pentium processor.

That’s about 3 times better than what you’d expect from an Intel Atom Z2760 Clover Trail processor, and about what you’d expect from a 2010 Core 2 Duo chip.

In other words, Intel’s upcoming low-power tablet chips will offer the same kind of performance you would have gotten from one of Intel’s best laptop chips just 3 years ago.

At least, that’s what we see when running a multi-core test like Cinebench.

 

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13283

 
OP  10/01/13 11:04:51 AM#29
Originally posted by Ridelynn

I don't get why people get all bent out of shape over tablet performance.

Sure it should be snappy enough, and I'm glad they get a bit faster each generation, but inside of a given generation I don't really care if Tablet A can run a benchmark faster than Tablet B - so long as both can run a web browser and basic computational skills without totally choking, I'm ok with that.

I take the view that you want as much performance as comfortably fits the form factor.  In a tablet today, you want AMD Temash, Intel Bay Trail Atom, Apple Swift, Qualcomm Krait, or ARM Cortex A15.  You don't want dramatically lower performance from Intel Cedar Trail Atom or ARM Cortex A9 when you could just as well have had more performance.  But you also don't want something like Haswell that doesn't comfortably fit the form factor.

But of course, in a desktop (say, Mini ITX or bigger), you don't want any of those, as you can get far higher performance that fits the form factor.  But you weren't arguing against that.

It's not just how well the tablet can run things today.  There's also the question of how well it can run things a few years from now.  This generation is a huge jump on the CPU side from the previous, and in a few years, you might see a lot of applications that assume you have a tablet on the "good" side of that jump.  Or you might not, if those applications still need to run on cell phones.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13283

 
OP  10/01/13 11:08:37 AM#30
Originally posted by Nadia
Originally posted by JeroKane

The Transformer books With Atom processors are crap! The New Bailtrail Atom CPU has still horrible performance. Especially when you want to run full blown Windows on it and run software without horrible lag and performance issues!

yet to be seen - will know more when they launch later this month

http://liliputing.com/2013/09/intel-atom-bay-trail-benchmark-test-shows-a-big-performance-boost.html

posted benchmark results for an upcoming Intel Atom Bay Trail processor called the Atom Z3770. It’s a quad-core chip running at 1.47 GHz, and according to AnandTech it scores almost as well in the Cinebench test as a 2011-era Intel Pentium processor.

That’s about 3 times better than what you’d expect from an Intel Atom Z2760 Clover Trail processor, and about what you’d expect from a 2010 Core 2 Duo chip.

In other words, Intel’s upcoming low-power tablet chips will offer the same kind of performance you would have gotten from one of Intel’s best laptop chips just 3 years ago.

At least, that’s what we see when running a multi-core test like Cinebench.

They're wrong on a whole bunch of counts.  For starters, Atom Z3770 will run at 2.4 GHz at load if you aren't also pushing the GPU.  It's a lot faster than Clover Trail, but the bulk of the improvement is from four cores versus two--which only benefits if you're actually scale to four cores.  Core 2 Duo was Intel's 2006-2008 architecture and was long obsolete by 2010, so I have no clue what a "2010 Core 2 Duo" is.  With both that and the "Pentium", without a clock speed, the comparison is meaningless.  Three years ago, Intel's best laptop chips were Clarksfield, which would probably about triple the performance of the Atom Z3770 in most programs--whether single-threaded or scaling well to many cores.

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3346

10/01/13 11:24:52 AM#31


Originally posted by Quizzical
It's not just how well the tablet can run things today.  There's also the question of how well it can run things a few years from now.  This generation is a huge jump on the CPU side from the previous, and in a few years, you might see a lot of applications that assume you have a tablet on the "good" side of that jump.  Or you might not, if those applications still need to run on cell phones.

Well, in a tablet, longevity is also somewhat different.

Right now, the tablet landscape is changing so fast that inside of 2 years, your tablet is basically obsolete in terms of hardware support by software. We are seeing almost 2 generations of tablets a year right now. That is pretty astonishing, seeing as how the entire tablet industry has only been around since 2010, but I do expect it to slow down as we see the market mature a bit more. Android is more driving this than Apple, because of their severe device fragmentation and multiple vendors all looking to one-up each other to gain market appeal, not to mention multiple storefronts which are not all compatible. Apple only has 1 tablet that can't be upgraded to their latest iOS.

And then looking at the technical aspect: most tablets do not have user replacable batteries. Those LiIon batteries only have a 2-3 year service life anyway under normal conditions before they really start to degrade into something less than desirable.

I have an original iPad. It has an A4 / Cortex A8 CPU. Aside from some javascript-intensive web pages, it still performs more than adequately for me for everything I do with it: mostly web browsing, Netflix, light casual gaming, and Kindle reader. It doesn't quite have the battery life it did when it was new, but it still passes my "All Day Airline Travel" test with ease. It doesn't have a Retina display, but it's still easy on the eyes. It doesn't have iOS7, or even iOS6, but there are still a good number of apps available for it, and most of the apps I have are still receiving updates that work on iOS5. For me, I have no reason to upgrade it right now, and so I haven't.

When I do travel, more often than not I just take my iPad rather than my laptop. If I'm just expecting to need email and light editing capability, the iPad 1.0 still has more than enough muscle to do that for me. If I need to hook up to industrial equipment or really work on some large spreadsheets, I'll take the laptop.

So - your right, I want as much CPU as will comfortably fit in the form factor, but that doesn't need to be a lot. The old Cortex A8 still packs enough punch for what I need to do in something I can carry around. That being said, I do understand your point, if I were buying new today, I wouldn't pay $400 for a Cortex A8 when I could get a Swift or A9 for the same price and battery life. Putting Haswell, or any other CPU for that matter, in a tablet form factor when it detracts from battery life or adds weight/size, is just a dumb idea.

Performance isn't really a factor in tablets, unless your one of those people who just likes to post their benchmarks for the sake of it.

And the concept of "How well will it run years from now" also isn't so much of a concern. There is the question of usable battery life in a non-replaceable battery. You want your device to still be supported, sure. You could argue the iPad 1 is not supported any longer, since it doesn't allow either of the last 2 iOS upgrades - but not for reasons of CPU speed (it has the same CPU as the iPhone 4 at a faster clock speed, which can run iOS6/7), but because it lacks a camera.

  JeroKane

Elite Member

Joined: 2/21/06
Posts: 4968

10/01/13 1:57:33 PM#32
Originally posted by Quizzical

 

I certainly understand why some people would value lightweight.  But "Ultrabook" doesn't mean "lightweight".  Ultrabook primarily means thin--and makes a ton of crippling sacrifices to get that thinness that wouldn't be necessary if low weight were the goal.

The reasons why someone who carries around a laptop a lot would want it to be light weight are obvious.  But the reasons why he would also want it to be feature-barren, fragile, difficult or impossible to repair, unreliable, have poor battery life, have an awkward keyboard, and be expensive to get all of those problems?  Allow a few more millimeters of thickness and you can fix all of those except the battery life, and without meaningfully changing the weight.  But an Ultrabook says you can't do that.

While the MacBook Air was the inspiration for Ultrabooks, it is not itself an Ultrabook.  Apple can make a MacBook Air as thick as they please, wherever they please, and do it for reasons of engineering rather than Intel marketing.

You again proof you do not know what you are talking about!

Ultrabook is exactly what it is! Lightweight!  It´s the primary sales Pitch of the ultrabook!

Asus Zenbook series are for example awesome ultrabooks that offer very good performance and yet manages a very thin and lightweight design.

The reason why they can go this thin, is because they  don´t have a dedicated GFX onboard that requires serious cooling. They are targeted for business and People that don´t need highend GFX performance.

The Macbook Air 2013 model is awesome! My girlfriend has the 13inch Version. It´s extremely light, has excellent batterylife and surpisingly good performance.  Even the New Intel Integrated HD 5000 Graphics are impressive.

The MacBook Air is currently one of the most sold Laptop hands Down! they are almost continiously on back order.

At my work I see a ton of People walking around with one.

The Asus Zenbook ultrabooks are also very popular. And Asus even released 15inch and 17inch Versions now, for People that would like a larger screen, but still want a low carry weight.

Ultrabooks are the future! Especially in business. And now Intel has launched the first series of Haswell CPU´s, you will see a lot more ultrabooks, convertibles and tablets coming to market.

 

I get it, you don´t like them. But you are obviously not their target audience. Ultrabooks are not targeted at gamers. Period!

  Bladestrom

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/04/11
Posts: 3239

10/01/13 2:04:10 PM#33
I have lenova yoga touch screen, i7 and it's a pretty slick machine which I use just for work and it's ideal. Personally I think the surface is a confused idea, it should be a lap top first with tablet as a secondary function- j just don't use the latter that much, but it's handy on trains etc.

rpg/mmorg history: Dun Darach>Bloodwych>Bards Tale 1-3>Eye of the beholder > Might and Magic 2,3,5 > FFVII> Baldur's Gate 1, 2 > Planescape Torment >Morrowind > WOW (1000 hrs on main mage)> oblivion > LOTR (480 Hunter) > Rift (230 hours mage) > Guild Wars (1900hrs elementalist) Vanguard. > GW2(900 elementalist), Wildstar

Now playing GW2, AOW 3

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13283

 
OP  10/01/13 2:25:06 PM#34
Originally posted by JeroKane

The reason why they can go this thin, is because they  don´t have a dedicated GFX onboard that requires serious cooling. They are targeted for business and People that don´t need highend GFX performance.

Ultrabook is an Intel trademark and means whatever Intel defines it to mean.  Part of Intel's definition of Ultrabook is that it has to be extremely thin.  If any portion of your laptop is a fraction of a millimeter thicker than Intel's marketing department thinks it ought to be, then it's not an Ultrabook.  If your engineers say that you need to make some portion of the laptop a fraction of a millimeter thicker for engineering reasons in order not to be a terrible device, then your choices are either making a terrible device or making it not an Ultrabook and missing out on Intel's marketing money.  The MacBook Air is under no such artificial constraints, so Apple makes it as thin and light as makes engineering sense, rather than what Intel's marketing department thinks it ought to be.

Another part of the definition of an Ultrabook is that it has to have a high price, low performance Intel ULV processor.  If AMD has clearly superior hardware for the form factor in some future generation of hardware, and you use AMD hardware, then it's not an Ultrabook, even if it meets all of the other requirements.

And yes, the thinness constraints cause big problems.  For example, the hardware most likely to go bad is the memory, storage, and battery.  In normal laptops, these three components tend to be replaceable by the end user.  Ultrabook thinness means that you don't have room for normal SODIMM slots or a SATA port with a typical drive.  Instead, you have to solder everything onto the motherboard directly.  That adds considerably to the cost.

It also means that if a memory module is having problems, instead of a $20 replacement, your $1000+ Ultrabook is completely dead.  Depending on how big of problems the memory module is having, if you can't boot, it may mean that your data is unrecoverable, even if the storage is still working completely fine.  And that, of course, is part of the point of Ultrabooks:  short life expectancies mean that you have to buy another one soon.  Intel likes that, for obvious reasons.  Why businesses would like it is something of a mystery.

Take away the thinness requirements and, without making the laptop meaningfully heavier, you can have normal SODIMM slots, a normal 2.5" storage drive, and a removable battery.  Not requiring weird engineering contortions can easily take hundreds off of the price tag.  More depth means more space for a decent keyboard, and more space for airflow.  That can let you make a device that, at the cost of making the laptop several millimeters thinner and a rounding error worth of added weight, is far superior in many ways to what you can make in an Ultrabook, while costing far less.

Now, laptop vendors aren't making very many such devices, as there isn't a very big market for them.  Just like there isn't much of a market for Ultrabooks.

  Nadia

Elite Member

Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 11397

10/01/13 2:37:31 PM#35
Originally posted by Quizzical

Ultrabook is an Intel trademark and means whatever Intel defines it to mean.  Part of Intel's definition of Ultrabook is that it has to be extremely thin. 

look at this 2013 link - i agree

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2040694/thinner-touchier-more-efficient-intel-tightens-its-ultrabook-definition.html

An Ultrabook must now be outfitted with a touchscreen, and Intel is encouraging manufacturers to build two-in-one convertible designs (notebooks with touchscreens that detach from their keyboards to become tablets). Also, no laptop can be thicker than 23mm (0.9 inches) if it’s to be marketed as an Ultrabook, and it must now be hardware-ready for voice command and control.

  JeroKane

Elite Member

Joined: 2/21/06
Posts: 4968

10/01/13 2:46:23 PM#36
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by JeroKane

The reason why they can go this thin, is because they  don´t have a dedicated GFX onboard that requires serious cooling. They are targeted for business and People that don´t need highend GFX performance.

Ultrabook is an Intel trademark and means whatever Intel defines it to mean.  Part of Intel's definition of Ultrabook is that it has to be extremely thin.  If any portion of your laptop is a fraction of a millimeter thicker than Intel's marketing department thinks it ought to be, then it's not an Ultrabook.  If your engineers say that you need to make some portion of the laptop a fraction of a millimeter thicker for engineering reasons in order not to be a terrible device, then your choices are either making a terrible device or making it not an Ultrabook and missing out on Intel's marketing money.  The MacBook Air is under no such artificial constraints, so Apple makes it as thin and light as makes engineering sense, rather than what Intel's marketing department thinks it ought to be.

Another part of the definition of an Ultrabook is that it has to have a high price, low performance Intel ULV processor.  If AMD has clearly superior hardware for the form factor in some future generation of hardware, and you use AMD hardware, then it's not an Ultrabook, even if it meets all of the other requirements.

And yes, the thinness constraints cause big problems.  For example, the hardware most likely to go bad is the memory, storage, and battery.  In normal laptops, these three components tend to be replaceable by the end user.  Ultrabook thinness means that you don't have room for normal SODIMM slots or a SATA port with a typical drive.  Instead, you have to solder everything onto the motherboard directly.  That adds considerably to the cost.

It also means that if a memory module is having problems, instead of a $20 replacement, your $1000+ Ultrabook is completely dead.  Depending on how big of problems the memory module is having, if you can't boot, it may mean that your data is unrecoverable, even if the storage is still working completely fine.  And that, of course, is part of the point of Ultrabooks:  short life expectancies mean that you have to buy another one soon.  Intel likes that, for obvious reasons.  Why businesses would like it is something of a mystery.

Take away the thinness requirements and, without making the laptop meaningfully heavier, you can have normal SODIMM slots, a normal 2.5" storage drive, and a removable battery.  Not requiring weird engineering contortions can easily take hundreds off of the price tag.  More depth means more space for a decent keyboard, and more space for airflow.  That can let you make a device that, at the cost of making the laptop several millimeters thinner and a rounding error worth of added weight, is far superior in many ways to what you can make in an Ultrabook, while costing far less.

Now, laptop vendors aren't making very many such devices, as there isn't a very big market for them.  Just like there isn't much of a market for Ultrabooks.

 

Dude seriously. The tablet market has completely taken over the PC / Laptop market! Followed by Ultrabooks (or lightweight Laptops whatever you want to name it)

It´s the primary reason why Dell is in such trouble and goes private. They are completely surviving on their Server hardware sales atm.  HP isn´t doing that much better either, but still has a printer market and also still doing well selling Server Hardware.

Lenovo is one of the few Laptop manufacturers doing well, due to their reputation of durable design and good hardware. They also manage to sell their Laptops at twice the price of a HP or Dell Laptop and so have much higher profit margins.

Their New carbon ultrathin Laptops are selling really well and very popular within the Company.

 The same With Apple. Their primary sales atm are the iPhone and iPad. Followed by the iPods. Then MacBook Airs. Regular Laptops and iMacs following behind.

Samsung. Galaxy Phones 1st Place in sales, followed by their Galaxy tablets. Laptops way Down the list.

Amazon and Google are selling their Kindle Fire and Nexus tablets like hotcakes.

 

But whatever man....

  JeroKane

Elite Member

Joined: 2/21/06
Posts: 4968

10/01/13 2:49:13 PM#37
Originally posted by Nadia
Originally posted by Quizzical

Ultrabook is an Intel trademark and means whatever Intel defines it to mean.  Part of Intel's definition of Ultrabook is that it has to be extremely thin. 

look at this 2013 link - i agree

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2040694/thinner-touchier-more-efficient-intel-tightens-its-ultrabook-definition.html

An Ultrabook must now be outfitted with a touchscreen, and Intel is encouraging manufacturers to build two-in-one convertible designs (notebooks with touchscreens that detach from their keyboards to become tablets). Also, no laptop can be thicker than 23mm (0.9 inches) if it’s to be marketed as an Ultrabook, and it must now be hardware-ready for voice command and control.

Ultrabook is just a trademark created by Intel. It´s used by EVERYONE to define a thin and lightweight Laptop. Intel can´t put a stop on the new slang everyone is using it´s trademark for.

So Intel can make up all kinds of rules for their Ultrabook trademark.  The name itself however has far surpassed to what Intel wants to make it out to be.  It has become the general slang Word for ultrathin lightweight Laptops.

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3346

10/01/13 2:54:06 PM#38

I think the entire point of this thread was Surface 2 (RT and Pro)...

Not Ultrabooks.

As far as I can tell, the Surface Pro 2 is not officially an Ultrabook, although it's specs, performance, and limitations more accuratly fit in that genre than in the tablet arena.

What you call something is very much important. Such as the Macbook Air - it's an ultra thin laptop, but definitely not an Ultrabook.

  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 3771

10/03/13 7:00:19 PM#39

All incarnations of the Surface--be they RT or Pro or 2, just confirm the MS dedication to the business market. Entertainment has always been an afterthought for them. Despite their aggressive home and entertainment focused advertising, they are really odd ducks. Niche gizmos for the tech-challenged affluent business traveler.

That's not to say that Surface can't be used for entertainment. But most who starts looking at them for that purpose (since they run  Windows programs--including thousands of PC games) inevitably leave all thoughts of the Surface behind and look instead at the available laptops (of all sizes) with better gaming potential. Many already have touch screens and can be converted into tablets (fat ones usually but whatever) and are not that far off the $900 Pro price.

Nice try Microsoft...close but no cigar.

 

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13283

 
OP  10/03/13 7:34:03 PM#40

http://semiaccurate.com/2013/10/02/intel-labels-ultrabooks-failure/

He claims that Intel is going to abandon Ultrabooks in favor of "two-in-ones".  Intel's $300 million campaign to convince the world that everyone needs an Ultrabook has certainly been a failure thus far.

The new approach of detachables--such as the Microsoft Surface--is a form factor that does make some sense, I think.  Just not with the Haswell hardware that Intel will surely push for it.  For that, with Windows, you want either AMD Temash or Intel Bay Trail Atom.

Speaking of which, if businesses need light, portable machines that don't offer much performance, why go for Haswell, anyway?  If you don't need much performance, then why aren't Temash and Bay Trail Atom perfectly acceptable?

-----

In other news, now that Dell has pulled out of Windows RT devices, it looks like the only Windows RT devices on the market are the Surface RT and soon the Surface 2.  So Microsoft has the Windows RT market all to themselves.  Which surely wasn't what they had in mind when they wanted to license an OS to other vendors.

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