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Definition of an ultraportable laptop.

Asus UX series ultraportable laptop coming soon!

I’ve been following the emergence of netbooks and small, portable laptops since early 2010. In 2011 what became clear is that consumers want portable laptops which are small but don’t compromise in speed and power.

An ultraportable laptop is not a netbook. Full powered processors are what make an ultraportable different than a netbook. The size of an ultraportable laptop is around 13 inches to around 11 inches.

Other words and terms that mean ultraportable laptop

Currently in late 2011, the new ultrabook laptop category is a prime example of how the ultraportable laptop market is emerging. Expect to see ultrabook laptops front and center. Certainly our website will provide in depth information about these new ultraportable laptops.

You will also see the term ultrathin laptop, which is a category of laptop that is targeted above netbooks. These laptops feature a more low power processor but are still considered a category above netbooks in terms of functionality, price and power.

Ultraportable vs Netbook

To make this site more usable, we want to ensure a line between what is or isn’t a netbook and what is or isn’t an ultraportable. Here is a breakdown which should help clarify our definition.

Asus Eee PC 1215N

This is a 12.1-inch laptop. Some might consider this an ultraportable, but Asus themselves label this laptop as a netbook. Is Asus wrongfully categorizing their laptop? Not really.

The big indicator is in the processor which in the Asus 1215N is actually the Intel Atom. This is a low cost, low power processor and is the reason why we would not consider this to be an ultraportable laptop.

Also understand that Asus has another 12.1″ laptop, the UL20 series which they do not label at being a netbook. The reason? Yes, you guessed it. The processor in the UL20 is a powerful and not low cost Intel processor.


Being concise is important to us. We want you to know what laptops we will be reviewing and discussing. Definitions of an ultraportable laptop should remain consistent. The processors will obviously change and improve, but a small, light, thin, laptop without compromising power, speed and features is ultimately what makes a laptop an ultraportable laptop.


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Ultrabook with dvd drive? Acer M3 ultraportable is what you want!

acer ultraportable m3 ultrabook

We’re not sure how far to push the ultraportable size limit. At 15-inches, does the Acer Timeline M3 Ultra really classify in your opinion? If it does then you may be really impressed. There are some features on the Acer M3 that you just don’t see in ultraportables, like a dvd drive and discrete graphics. This ultrabook from Acer does appear to be a front runner in terms of versatility and originality. With that said, how many people want a dvd drive? Acer is about to find out. This is coming out in March 2012 which means any week now.

Here is a clip from the official Acer press release:

The latest Timeline series is slimmer and lighter than its predecessors (measuring just 20 mm thin), without compromising its state-of-the-art performance. In fact, the new Aspire Timeline Ultra M3 raises the bar by being the first Ultrabook™ with dedicated NVIDIA® GeForce® GT640M graphics for enhanced content creation and consumption.

The slim design houses powerful all-around performance features. The latest Intel® Core™ processor and superior dedicated graphics ensure fast navigation and multitasking even with graphics-intensive gaming and multimedia apps.

An ample hard disk drive offers plenty of space for large files, and an integrated solid state drive enables instant-on capability. An SSD-only configuration is also available. The highly durable SSD lets users access files faster, run the battery longer, and operate more quietly.

The overall experience is ultra-responsive. Acer Green Instant-On provides fast resume in 1.5 seconds from sleep mode. Likewise, Acer Instant Connect automatically scans and registers most-visited access points, letting users connect to the Internet in just 2.5 seconds, which is four times faster than conventional methods.

The Aspire Timeline Ultra M3 is also the first 15″ 2-spindle Ultrabook™ to feature an optical drive for DVD enjoyment. Other entertainment enhancements include Dolby® Home Theater® v4 and premium speakers. The professionally-tuned sound system delivers industry-leading high volume, clear dialogue and sound effects for music, movies and games.

In the Timeline tradition, this Ultrabook™ features 8 hours of battery life, providing a full day of on-demand multimedia enjoyment and productivity on a single charge.

The ultra-thin profile of the M3 delivers a minimalist, modern look. The stylish black cover is made of an aluminum alloy that adds to the sturdiness. The full-size chiclet keyboard with a numeric keypad makes typing more comfortable and increases productivity.

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AMD ultraportable laptops coming and named ultrathin

Ultrabooks vs Ultrathins. That appears to be the combatants for the Intel vs AMD ultraportable 2012 landscape. The release date of the AMD ultraportable laptops will be in June of 2012 and will be priced about 10%-20% lower than the Intel Ultrabooks. If you recall, AMD pushed out ultrathin laptops a year ago without a lot of success. With the push of Intel Ultrabooks it appears AMD feel that their competitive price point can increase their market share. The bottom line for us as consumers is going to be cheaper prices for ultraportable laptops in mid 2012.

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Acer in 2012 will lead the cheap ultrabook race

There is a report today that Acer officially discussed their 2012 plans and they are going aggressively into the ultraportable market with cheap pricing. This shouldn’t be a surprise. Acer has always been one of the cheapest laptop manufacturers.

As you may know, the ultrabooks so far have seen pricing at around $800 and up. Acer is planning to hit $699 and $799 price points. No word on which models will see this pricing but we will post details when they come available. Expect to see these cheap ultraportables in about the third quarter of 2012.

Read more on Digitimes here.

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Asus B23E – Business Ultraportable Laptop

asus b23e business ultraportable laptop

Are you looking for a business worth ultraportable laptop? The new Asus B23E may be just what you’re looking for. The main features which make this a “pro” or “business” ultraportable includes things such as a fingerprint reader, anti-shock mounted hard drive, spill proof keyboard, magnesium aluminum alloy case and a privacy on off switch on the webcam. There are also various security features that make this a secure laptop for business purposes.

The Asus B23E Specs (click on image to enlarge):

Source: Asus.com

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Ultrabooks will be the best ultraportable laptops. Intel is banking on it.

Let’s just say 2012 will be the year of the ultrabook. Intel is depending on this and is putting the money and urgency to make it happen. You will see the ads and the marketing. You will see all the new ultrabooks coming to the market in 2012. You will see CES 2012 dominated by ultrabooks. It’s a critical time for Microsoft and Intel. They see tablets as a threat and don’t feel that those netbooks are the answer to the consumers wants and desires.

Without question, the best ultraportable laptop will be the ultrabook. With all the features crammed into a thin and portable chassis, it’s a sure thing. The only issue might be price point. Isn’t that always the case? Look at tablets. HP TouchPad fire sale, then the Amazon Fire tablet, then the PlayBook price reduction and most recently the Sony tablet price reduction. The parallel is clear. Consumers care about price above all.

Ultrabooks have the netbook to compete against. Like the tablet market, the manufacturers (other than Apple) have the Amazon tablet(s) to compete against. Amazon is setting the price point so low that it has softened the consumers desire to pay more. Similarly the netbook has softened consumers expectations for small portable laptops. Intel better hope that there is an appetite for their ultrabooks which certainly can’t compete price wise to netbooks. Our website is dedicated to the best and fastest portable laptops and certainly that doesn’t mean cheap. You can’t get “ultraportable” at a price that’s on par with netbooks. Ultraportable laptops are for those of us who want power, without compromise, in a small bundle of joy. Right now that appears to be ultrabooks.

So expect our news and coverage to largely cover ultrabooks in 2012. It seems like a trend that will not slow down at least for a year. Intel is pushing very hard and will give it their all. We’re happy. There will be lots of ultraportable laptops for us to cover! Join us. 2012 is going to be fun!

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