Best Ultrabooks Under $1000

For years, Apple Mac Book Air has been dominating the "Ultrabook" market. Although some manufactures did try to compete but until recently... most of them didn't succeed that much (obviously). But in 2011 we first saw Asus boasting about their world's thinnest Ultrabook which was named UX21 (they have a cheap Netbook edition too!) that's even thinner than the Mac Book Air!. Anyhow, it seems that other manufacturers are also lining up with their own versions of "best Ultrabooks" and few of them are actually worth mentioning.

But remember, since these are quite powerful than Netbooks and you can watch full HD videos, decent gaming, excellent multi-application performance (although may not necessarily be powerful than some of the Laptops but) but the price is definitely above even the average Laptop because to "convert" a powerful Laptop into an ultra portable Netbook or an Ultrabook (without losing the performance factor), it costs $$, a lot.

Seriously Dude!, what's an Ultrabook?

Well, although some say Intel invented the "standard" but in truth, Apple was the one who came up with the design (not necessarily the product, more later). Anyhow, an Ultrabook is a computer that's powerful than a standard Netbook or most of the Laptops (since there are Latops that beat the Ultrabooks) that has a very slim + extra low weight factors but still retaining a cheap price tag (in relative terms).

In that sense, as said above, the recently introduced Apple Mac Book Air 11" is/maybe an Ultrabook... but others are just too expensive to be considered as Ultrabooks.

And also remember, even though they come with Intel Core i3/i5 or i7 processors yet they are not as fast as some of the Laptop or Desktop versions (because these Core i versions are low-voltage ones) thus these expensive Ultrabooks may not be as powerful as some of the Laptops either. But in comparison with the Atom and low-end AMD (C-30/C-50 and even the recently introduced E-350 APUs), they are really powerful nonetheless.

Update: Well, it's been a little while since I wrote this post and all of these products are actually available via various sources. But since I'm an Amazon affiliate I've included few links so could by them easily ;-)... 

Asus UX21

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Although this ain't released yet but this is a serious looking Ultrabook from Asus.

*. 11.6 inch display with 1366 x 768 resolution.

*. Run the Intel Core i5 or i7 processor.

*. SSD drive for faster performance + efficient power management (+ enhanced battery life). Although as far as I know, Asus does not offer a SATA version over the SSD.

*. Thickness: 0.67 at max and just 0.12 at the most thinnest point!.

Acer Aspire S3
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Acer, few hours ago officially announced this extremely ultra portable (Ultrabook, which could become one of the best so far) which comes with a price tag of €799 (launched in Europe) but not sure when it'll hit the US.

*. 13.3 inch display with 1366 x 768 HD resolution.

*. We can choose either Intel i3/i5 or i7 low voltage processors.

*. Two USB ports.

*. HDMI port.

*. 2 in 1 card reader.

*. Just 0.51 inch at max point.

*. 240GB SSD or 320-500GB SATA drive. Even if you go for the SATA edition, the S3 will still come with an integrated SSD drive (for OS data cache, etc) for performance purposes.

Acer is actually one of my favorite manufactures because they produce cheaper versions when comparing with some others (Asus  or Toshiba for instance) + most of their products makes it really easy to do upgrades + comes with lot of choices. In general, I just love their "customer-approach".

*. RAM: 4GB

*. Wi-Fi and a 1.3 MP front camera.

*. 7 Hours of battery life.

Toshiba Portege Z830
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This is another Ultrabook from Toshiba and to begin with, not only the Z830 series is slim but it's even light weight (1.12kg) than the Mac Book Air too.

*. 13.3-inch magnesium-clad display with 1366 x 768 resolution.

*. Up to 6GB DDR3 memory supported.

*. 128SSD (no SATA version).

*. Intel Core i5/i7 processor.

*. Although this ain't released... but according to beta testers, it seems to has an excellent chick-let keyboard (I'm with the old-school dudes here... although some "testers" just brag about the Chicklet keyboard... but in truth, they're not that efficient. But hey!, it's all about cutting out the cost right?).

*. 0.63 Inch thick at the max point.

*. One USB 3.0 and 2 USB 2.0 ports.

*. 1.3 MP camera.

Update: Although Ultrabooks should have a decent amount of battery life by definition, yet some won't give you more than 5 hours. If however you're looking for one of the best Ultrabooks with excellent battery life (over 7 hours under normal usage) then Portege Z830 is among the best!.

Lenovo U300s

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Lenovo has a way of its own when it comes to designing really professional looking Laptops/Netbooks (without rounded edges, etc ;-)) and they have one of the best keyboards in the industry without a doubt as well. This Ultrabook called U300s has the following characteristics...

*. 13.3 Inch display with 1366 x 768 resolution.

*. We can choose either Core i5-2457M or Core i7-2677M.

*. Supports max memory about 4GB (DDR3).

*. Comes with a 256 SSD drive and again, unlike Acer... Lenovo also doesn't give any SATA options.

*. Weights about 2.9 lb.

*. 1 USB 2.0 port and another USB 3.0 port.

*. 1.3 MP front camera.

*. Wi-Fi.

*. 8 hours of battery life (according to the manufacture thus the actual batter life may differ in actual circumstances).

Although, for this one, you'll actually have to pay more than $1000 (starting price of $1200).

Other than being Slim, to consider as something excellent, an Ultrabook has to "pass" other things such as the overall heat, battery life, graphics performance (I don' think these Ultrabooks come with Nvidia or ATI dedicated graphics. So even though there's the Intel Low voltage CPU... still Games can run much better with dedicated GPUs nonetheless), etc.

But the rest assured, they do have their own "universal" benefits such as giving more than one USB ports (since Mac Book Air only has one), come pre-installed with MS Windows, marginally slimmer and weights less and better battery life. So if you have some money and looking for something that's more powerful, durably built + better looking :D, then Ultrabooks are the best "option" for you, it seems.

But for other geeks (talking about me here), well, they cost tooooooooooo much!.

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