Its raining Ultrabooks this season with every manufacturer releasing their own version of Ultrabook. Ultrabooks have started making entries from manufacturers such as Lenovo, HP , Sony and even Dell. But lets get realistic in the age of tablets with keyboards and hybrids that promise to push the limits of mobility thanks to Microsoft’s intervention to this “Surface”, do we really need another category of devices that fit in some where between a super laptop and a high end tablet?
As of now it seems pretty evident that both Ultrabooks and tablets can coexist and cater to their demography. But the question is how long can they hold on to their ground? Can Tablets replace the Ultrabooks in the coming days. Here are some of the factors that could help answer this question.
Factors Favoring Ultrabooks and Tablets
The biggest factor that could play the deciding role in this battle is the user group. If you are a programmer you can certainly not program on your fancy tablet. Programming is one among many high resource consuming tasks. The same holds good for designers using high end design tools. An Ultrabook comes to the rescue here. You throw anything at it and it promises to deliver. If you are belong to the business class you certainly enjoy checking you emails, making your presentations or browsing the web on your tablet and if you are a hardcore gamer then its anybody’s guess that you would choose performance over mobility. This said both of them could hold their respective grounds when it comes to user group.
The operating systems at least for now are different. Ultrabooks as now feature the conventional Desktop operating systems, predominantly windows. Tablets on the other hand use operating systems that have been made for mobility. These operating systems include the likes of Android, iOS, Blackberry playbook os and the web os from HP. All these operating systems were designed for a mobile ecosystem. So it depends on what kind of operating system will the race.
This is a factor that almost both these category devices go neck to neck. Both these devices can easily be carried. Though there is hardly anything to choose between both of them on this regard tablets have slight edge with their form factor.
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This is the crucial factor. At least for now it looks that ultrabooks are a clear winner in this aspect. An ultrabook can almost do everything that a tablet can do. But vice-versa is not possible as of now. Can tablets get there or will Ultrabooks manage to become tablets. This could be the very factor that could decide the fate of these devices.
The biggest factor in mobility is how long can device sustain on its own. The minimum battery life of an Ultrabook is 5 hours whereas the that of a tablet is 7 hours. With the added accessories such as the keyboard which extend the battery life even further. This seems to be a one sided affair as of now.
Another important factor is the cost. Intel’s dream is to make Ultrabooks available for less than $1000. Which is quite expensive. A high end tablet would cost $700 at the most. Tablets seem to be the more cost efficient at the moment. But this could change if the manufacturing cost Ultrabooks decreases.
There can be no comparison when it comes to memory. Ultrabooks can offer a memory up to 1TB where as at the most a tablet can manage 64GB. So choose your memory wisely.
This is the factor that is the most important. The performance of an Ultrabook cannot be compared to that of a high end tablets. This would be rather unfair. But if they are seen on the same lines. Then the performance of an ultrabook would be better given the architecture of processor, the operating system and the wide range of features it has to offer. Ultrabooks emerge as a clear winner here.
The factors that have been mentioned above could be thought of as conventional factors. In addition to these there are at least two main factors that could decide the fate of Ultrabooks and tablets. These are hybrid factor and the surface factor.
All said done its still very early days for Ultrabooks and tablets are about take their next big plunge to dive deep into mobility with hybrids. The fate of Ultrabooks will depend on Microsoft Surface and Windows 8 tablets. Has Microsoft conquered the ultimate frontier of mobility with its hybrid or will it prove a blessing in disguise for Ultrabooks? Only time will tell.