Ultra-slim Ultrabooks strut down the catwalk

IDF — Mooly Eden laid out the basic parameters for the new wave of laptops that Intel has been pushing during his IDF keynote earlier this morning. In a nutshell, Intel is encouraging PC makers to emulate Apple’s MacBook Air systems, although (of course) they don’t use those exact words.  The systems are intended to be very thin and light, with decent performance courtesy of Sandy Bridge processors, solid battery life (although that one seems negotiable so long as the thinness remains), and prices below $1000.  The first Ultrabooks should be arriving in the next few months, though obviously the Sandy Bridge-based MacBook Air is out now, as is Samsung’s Series 9, which we’ve reviewed. In order to achieve their thin profiles, Ultrabooks are likely to include SSDs (almost exclusively) and non-user-replaceable batteries.

Good design is to be a part of the Ultrabook formula, too. As you can see in the raft of pictures we snapped in the gallery below, that oftentimes means emulating the MacBook Air in other ways: very large touchpads, chiclet-style keyboards, extra-thin and tapered case edges, and premium metal enclosure finishes.  Mostly, copying those traits from Apple’s flagship is a good thing, although we’re not entirely sold on the make-it-look-thin tapered edges in every case.

A host of ODMs and OEMs (device makers and large PC brands) have Ultrabook systems on display here at IDF, including Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Pegatron, and Toshiba. Most of them are in the 11.6" to 13" display size range. Among those, the Toshiba was our instant favorite, with its distinctive looks and backlit keyboard. Asus’ offerings are angular and striking, too, although key travel seems to have suffered during the process of making these systems so uncannily thin. Maybe a smaller steamroller would be in order next time.

We should see some Ultrabooks in the market for the upcoming Christmas shopping season, but our sense is that these systems likely won’t hit full stride until the Ivy Bridge-based models arrive next spring. Those systems are more likely to deliver the combination of performance and battery life that users expect from fairly nice ultraportable laptops. Already, though, the demo units on display are striking and exciting to hold and behold, as the gallery below illustrates.

Comments closed
    • link626
    • 8 years ago

    they need to do something about the crappy screens they put on these.

    needs to be more contrast, better viewing angles.

    • Code:[M]ayhem
    • 8 years ago

    “Non-user-replaceable batteries”

    I immediately lost interest in ever buying a Ultrabook after reading that line….

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 8 years ago

      wtf does it even mean. I know hot to take a laptop apart, I have swapped parts out. Can you not unscrew the case and plop in a new battery? Why not just say Non replaceable batteries???

    • tfp
    • 8 years ago

    The catwalk?

    [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39YUXIKrOFk&ob=av2e[/url<]

    • FuturePastNow
    • 8 years ago

    I’m all for thin and light laptops that get great battery life, but given the way 17″ behemoths (and 15″ “laptops” that get bigger every year) seem to dominate store shelves, I’m not sure how much market there is.

    I guess we’ll find out.

      • A_Pickle
      • 8 years ago

      …and I will keep retailers and e-tailers stocking the 17″ behemoths, much to your dismay. Desktop power on the go is nice.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    god those look sexy, I will try to hold out one more year for gen 2 ultrabooks!!! (for better integrated gpus)

    • cjb110
    • 8 years ago

    Wish they had bluray drives and hdmi out, would double up as portable players then.

    • Chrispy_
    • 8 years ago

    I’m not so excited about an intel Ultrabook: Too expensive, too much CPU power and too little GPU power for today’s application needs.

    I am however excited that companies I’d normally associate with “cheap”, “gaudy”, and “cluttered design” are making things that are minimalist, functional, and using high-quality materials.

    Once they have the chassis sorted we’ll see these with other processors. If there was a Llano version of any of these, I’d sell my i7 probook and buy one in a heartbeat.

      • BestJinjo
      • 8 years ago

      – Most of today’s applications don’t need more GPU power than what HD3000 offers. In fact, my 4 year old Intel integrated GPU with C2D is fast enough for all HD content.

      Are you talking about flash? Flash works like garbage even on my “Flash accelerated” HD6970. For H.264 or 1080P movies, HD3000 is MORE than fast enough. In fact, it will easily do 2x streams of 1080P sources without slowing down. Do you watch 2 movies at the same time on 1 screen?

      – These laptops focus on thin form factor, long battery life and light weight and portability. If you want a laptop with a GeForce 560 and 5-6 lbs in weight, there is a market for you and it’s not Ultrabook market where people could care less about graphics power (which in itself is laughable for a laptop when a $160 desktop GTX560 GPU is faster than the $700 GTX580 in a laptop).

      – Its primary competitor costs $1300 at least. So $1000-1300 for these puppies is in line with what the market thinks they should be worth

      – Llano? You can’t be serious. That CPU is hardly better than the already slow Athlon II X4, and 400 shaders is not going to be enough to play ANY modern games at nice settings. Forget about AA or using SSAO or Tessellation or soft shadows. Llano is only useful if you want to play 3-5 year old games or perhaps WOW. Try playing Metro 2033, Crysis 2, Hard Reset, Witcher 2, Dragon Age 2, Shogun 2, STALKER: COP on Llano APU – what a joke! In that case, you might as well get a PS Vita if you are OK playing games at console level graphics.

      – The only time you need GPU power is if you are using CUDA applications or playing videogames: both situations that exceed on a desktop. You’d need to spend $1700 on an Alienware laptop to get a decent gaming laptop, but it’ll also weigh 7-8 lbs!

      Laptop gaming only makes sense if you can afford to blow $2k on a new laptop every 12 months OR if you play casual games. Otherwise, all the mid-range and low end discrete laptop GPUs are s a huge waste of $ in my opinion.

        • Chrispy_
        • 8 years ago

        “Laptop gaming only makes sense if you blow $2K or if you play casual games.”

        Welcome to 95% of the market. Check out the steam survey results and sales publications.
        As for lots of other games, perhaps you should read the Techreport A8-3500 review. Llano takes modern, current games such as Civ5, BC2, Dirt3 and gives you playable framerates where the HD3000 is a slideshow.

        It doesn’t have to be super powerful, but I’ve said it before:
        Sandy bridge excels at some things (cpu-intensive) and fails at others (graphics drivers, CAD, gaming)
        LLano is acceptable for everything. Acceptable, not great.

        Given that I use CAD, play WoW and have a huge catalogue of steam games, Llano is perfect for me and Sandy bridge isn’t.

        You may find that your needs are different, but for you to ridicule me on my choice of Llano over IB or SB is to expose your ignorance of the market and intelorant attitude to others.

          • NeelyCam
          • 8 years ago

          95% of the market doesn’t play “casual” games that would require anything any of us would consider a “decent GPU”. Farmville runs fine even on G45 – note that “fine” here means what 95% of the market considers to be fine. Muggles are happy with <10FPS and don’t even know what AA is.

          Or, did you mean 95% of the gaming market?

            • Chrispy_
            • 8 years ago

            Gaming market ofc, otherwise you’re both right. Flash games run on an Atom for the most part, with next to no 3d hardware requirements whatsoever, and for every gamer who specifically buys titles, there are probably 10 who use facebook games / miniclip etc.

            My biggest gripe with intel graphics is actually not gaming, but CAD. Basic screen update and graphical corruption in Rhino, Microstation etc that you just don’t get on AMD or Nvidia solutions. Intel graphics drivers have come a long way, but they still have even further to go.

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            They make you do CAD with an Intel IGP..? Who do you work for? 🙂

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            Sad fanboi downthumbers have missed a few of my posts. C’mon, get to it!

            • dpaus
            • 8 years ago

            “Amish Furniture Design, Inc.”

            EDIT: Ooops, was intended as a reply to Neely’s question about what kind of firm would make someone do CAD work with an Intel IGP

            • Chrispy_
            • 8 years ago

            No, I said I have an i7 ProBook.

            I cannot use most ultraportables because they’re normally Intel IGP-powered, and Intel cannot yet make CAD-compatible graphics drivers.

            • dpaus
            • 8 years ago

            We recently got a 17″ laptop for a sales rep. Since he was to be doing demos with it, we got a fast SB i7. Our software isn’t graphics intensive, so we thought the HD3000 graphics would be fine. Imagine my surprise when we found it was gagging on – wait for it – [i<]Powerpoint slides!![/i<] Admittedly, these were slides with dozens of animated 3D objects, but still... [i<]Powerpoint?!?[/i<] My own laptop - a Dell XPS 15 with a SB i7 and Nvidia 425 (so much for everyone who thinks I'm an anti-Nvidia, AMD fanboi), ran the same slides at full speed without hesitation.

    • JLW777
    • 8 years ago

    Waiting for the IB ultra books. When Mac book air first hit the shelf, I was skeptical about the reliability, capacity and shelf life of the anarexic version of a normal laptop. Hopefully the IB gen of ultrabooks are matured on all aspect and can replace my Acer Travel mate…

    • Decelerate
    • 8 years ago

    One thing that puzzles me in this “ultrabook revolution” is the impending arrival of the (non-Apple) very large touchpads…

    Where the hell were they all this time and why didn’t it come sooner?!?!?!?!

    The only, only one I am willing to forgive for this is the thinkpad, since the trackpoint (which I like very much) served as a competing product of very high quality in the pre-multitouch era (yes, I have tried other nubs such as HP’s and Dell’s… they suck!) .

      • Joe Miller
      • 8 years ago

      I hate these large touchpads. Every few key clicks my fingers would touch the touchpad unintentionally, and the cursor goes in a completely random line of text.
      And I will only notice later, when I look at the screen – by that time I must start typing the whole text from the beginning.

      And why would we need such giant touchpads anyway?

        • mikehodges2
        • 8 years ago

        Don’t know about others, but osx has an ‘Ignore accidental trackpad input’, which used to appear in settings, and is now gone and simply enabled by default. I guess it works, as I don’t think I’ve ever been typing and had the cursor jump to another point.

        On the size front, it’s nice to have a bigger pad, so you have more room for scrolling, and moving the mouse..after a little use, it doesn’t feel giant, just sorta useable. Plus, it gives me more room for 4 finger gestures with my massive sausage fingers 🙂

    • calvindog717
    • 8 years ago

    Am I the only one really interested in the one from Toshiba? The keyboard looks nicer than the others (at least to me), and there are extra connections ( like 2 more usb ports and graphics/network connections) on the back. It seems more usable than the others at the keynote.

      • BestJinjo
      • 8 years ago

      Toshiba’s keyboard looks the worst to me. The keys are the thinnest in profile and have no curvature for the finger unlike Lenovo’s. The laptop construction also looks the cheapest (unlike the solid aluminum look that the Asus has for instance). Based on that viewing angle, the screen in the Toshiba is also underhwelming, lacking good contrast and brightness. Also, the chrome like plastic around the touchpad looks cheap. The way the lid is designed (and worse yet the huge amount of plastic space between the bottom part of the screen and the lid) reminds me of old toshiba laptops from 5+ years ago.

      [url<]http://wirelesslaptopcomputersnow.com/laptop4.jpg[/url<] Overall, least impressive of all of these to me.

        • Chrispy_
        • 8 years ago

        Toshiba have been chunkier, plastickier and at the trailing edge of the design curve since forever.

        I’ve always asses them when buying for myself or recommending products to others but they never seem to be anything better than mediocre at any point. A bit like Dell for the most part, but at least Dell have a few interesting models, and they sometimes have crazy-good deals too.

    • oldog
    • 8 years ago

    I wonder if these notebooks have a really flexible flimsy screen like the Sony VIAO I looked at the other day.

    • Lianna
    • 8 years ago

    I’m not happy thinning the frame has to not include necessary ports. I mean: only 2 (two) USB ports? Really? Toshiba is apparently the only one with 3 USB ports, another score for them [negative for the _glossy_touchpad_keys_, again]. I often use three USB ports at the same time for external storage [and would like to have one more], so with speed not available through hubs; though, to be fair, this will hopefully be somewhat mitigated with proliferation of USB 3.0 devices and hubs. For business users, not including VGA for compatibility (with most projectors) is going to hurt. No wired ethernet in some models? Just on the (optional) docking station? How far they can go?

    I want my notebook thin and light. For years. Ultrabooks deliver that in spades and they look pretty, too. But thin and light, not dumbed down to the point I have to lug another notebook with better usability. Some ultrabook designs’ usability sound worse than netbooks’.

    • Sunburn74
    • 8 years ago

    I seriously would buy every one of those laptops without even having to look at the specs. I’m loving this ultrabook craze.

    • adisor19
    • 8 years ago

    So when Apple did it, everyone laughed and now the entire PC industry with Intel on top are playing catch up. Food for thought.

    Adi

      • BiffStroganoffsky
      • 8 years ago

      Perhaps the laughter was not about the form (as it had been done before) but the price and the people willing to pay those prices (which was why the PC version really didn’t take hold). Now that Intel has the manufacturing and volume to bring that form to market in a sub $1000 price range, the PC (Pretty Cheap) people might stop laughing.

        • adisor19
        • 8 years ago

        Not sure about the whole sum 1k price range. The whole issue right now is that all the big and small PC OEMs are having a great deal of difficulty making those Ultrabooks as they lack the integrating skills to match Apple. In other words, they will have to cut all kinds of corners on their models in order to meet the cheaper than Apple part. Battery life is one thing that comes to mind and that will be very tough sell.

        Adi

          • adisor19
          • 8 years ago

          Wait, why is this comment dug down ? Any of the haters care to comment ?

          Adi

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            There are plenty of comments – are your eyes closed? Try opening them.

          • KoolAidMan
          • 8 years ago

          That’s a big issue. The Envy and Adamo were never price or spec competitive with the Macbook Air up until right before they were discontinued. We’ll see how the new ultrabooks will be priced now.

          • BestJinjo
          • 8 years ago

          MacBook Air starts at $1,299 for a 13 inch version. Your argument makes no sense since most of these laptops are targeting around $1000 mark. So Apple has $300 of extra room to work with. Also, while these manufacturers are just entering this space, perhaps hoping to sell 200,000 units per month or even quarter, Apple pretty much only sells the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro in the millions. The amount of parts Apple buys is simply much greater for this ultrabook segment (their Air). Therefore, Apple gets much greater discounts on the larger volume. They also omit key features such as USB 3.0, trying to save costs along the way. Previous Generation MacBook Pros had issues with SATAII not providing enough throughput past 150 MB/sec too. At this price I expect full working SATA 3 capability, USB 3.0, not ancient USB 2.0 ports.

          Think about it, the Air is 1 of 2 major lines for laptops for Apple. So they can go ahead and spend MILLIONS of dollars doing mSATA style motherboard, customizing internals etc. While for all these other firms, the Ultrabook space is a tiny segment of everything they sell. You think they will try as hard? It’s not as if Ultrabooks are half of their notebook revenues…

          Finally, Apple is the 2nd largest company by market cap by size with more cash than the US Treasury. So how realistic is it for these smaller manufacturers to try to compete?

      • CasbahBoy
      • 8 years ago

      Food for thought isn’t going to make me want me try and shoehorn OS X into a bunch of situations in my workplace and personal use where it simply would not work due to requiring solid Windows compatibility. Boot Camp’ing and dealing with being second class citizen status in terms of driver support for very specialized hardware is too much of a risk.

      As I have felt about Apple for the past half decade: love the hardware, would rather have more flexibility on the software side. I would have bought the hell out of the first aluminum unibody Mac if I didn’t have to use OS X.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        You don’t HAVE to use OS X but if you’re not going to, why would you buy it? To look cool in a coffee shop?

          • indeego
          • 8 years ago

          The coolest guy in a coffee shop is the guy without any logos on his laptop and you have no idea what OS he’s using. He is also just hovering just above it in a lotus position and controlling the GUI INTERFACE with his hipster mind like a badass.

          • CasbahBoy
          • 8 years ago

          These are my feelings exactly. I’m unwilling to buy an Apple machine based purely on thin, sleek hardware design. The people that are happy about this Ultrabook effort are people like me who have been waiting for similar hardware design at a low price point without the “baggage” of OS X.

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            Yep.

            Didn’t I predict that Ultrabooks are going to be magical?

            • dpaus
            • 8 years ago

            No, you said they’d be DOA, so you’re actually pulling a 180-degree….

            Oh, I get it – they’re also revolutionary!

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            I said the 1st gen (i.e., SB-based) Ultrabooks are DOA. But this IB-based stuff looks pretty good… although I’ll probably wait for Haswell myself.

            EDIT: I might be doing a 180-deg on that later… my first reaction was based on that Samsung with crap battery life and poor performance. But shortly after that I saw a review on a SB-based Sony Vaio that was similarly thin/small, but with better performance and hugely better battery life (in fact beating everything, including Atom, Core2Duo CULV and E-350 in batterylife/WHr).

            So, I’ll change my mind if it turns out that Samsung ultrabook was bad because samsung screwed up – not because SB is incapable of supporting ultrabook-like form factors with decent performance and battery life.

            Still, I’ll probably wait until 22nm before getting one..

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            Did I get downthumbed because I claimed SB beats E-350 in battery life [u<]without a link[/u<]? Sorry - here's the link: [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/4748/sony-vaio-sb-all-day-consumer-computing/5[/url<]

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            I guess truth hurts, eh AMD fanbois?

            • dpaus
            • 8 years ago

            Ah, the aliens that abducted NeelyCam the other day have now returned him 🙂

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            I don’t remember anything from yesterday.. I think somebody drugged me for sh*ts and giggles.

            Evil jerks

            • Beomagi
            • 8 years ago

            From your link
            SB: 98Wh = 732 minutes = 7.47 minutes per Wh
            E-350: 55Wh = 422 minutes = 7.67 minutes per Wh

            Don’t really care about idle time.

            The WIN with SB is probably more overall room available for a bigger battery.

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            That was with the extended battery. Look at the light-green bars (the standard 49Wh battery).

            • Beomagi
            • 8 years ago

            Same thing really – i.e. close enough to par.

            E-350 users will benefit with longer battery life playing older games.
            Sb users with a proper video card probably wont get as long a battery life. with the card off, I doubt sb’s gpu capability matches the E-350.

            The answer is as it always is. “It depends”.

            • A_Pickle
            • 8 years ago

            However, in graphics performance…

          • albundy
          • 8 years ago

          yeah, i find those weirdo’s pretty lame. Maybe they’re really poor and cant afford internet at home, or maybe they think that people still socialize in coffee shops and someone will approach them, lol. freaks of nature, i tellz yah.

        • adisor19
        • 8 years ago

        I’ve seen worse driver and firmware support out of Dell than i’ve seen out of Apple. Nobody forces you to use OS X. Install windows on it and be on your way unless that is too much trouble for you.

        Adi

          • A_Pickle
          • 8 years ago

          I’d rather not subsidize the decline of consumer freedoms with information technology.

      • Voldenuit
      • 8 years ago

      When Apple did it (with the first gen MBA), it had 1 USB port and a slow PATA (!) hard drive. It was also missing an ethernet connector (you had to use up the sole USB port to plug in the ethernet adapter). By comparison, the thinkpad X300 which came out at the same time was a much more usable (though expensive) machine, being the same weight but with much better connectivity (3xUSB2, Gigabit Ethernet) and feature set (including an optional DVD-RW drive and standard SSD). People were laughing not at the form factor, but the uncalled-for sacrifices that Apple was making to accodmodate the MBA.

      Fast-forward to 2011, and the current-gen MBAs have 2xUSB and 1xThunderbolt, they also have SD card readers, and optical drives are now no longer as necessary as they were 3 years ago.

      There have been plenty of ultraportables before the MBA, in fact I have an old Sharp Pentium III 12″ notebook from circa 2001 that weighs around 3.5 lbs (but gets lousy battery life). Intel just wants to make them more mainstream, and that’s a good thing.

        • KoolAidMan
        • 8 years ago

        Yeah, the original MBAs were a little ahead of their time. The current configurations make much more sense given that internal hardware has caught up to the limitations that the chassis imposes (CPU + SSD), plus the ridiculous hinge that hid the ports have been replaced by a flat edge that exposes the USB and TB ports. Much better now.

      • sschaem
      • 8 years ago

      The entire PC industry laughed? what medication are you on again ?

      • aftermath
      • 8 years ago

      You must be starving if this is what you call food for thought.

      Apple didn’t innovate any of this. You seem to be under the impression that Apple is the original designer and manufacturer of its products, but that’s just not true. It’s a brand, and even though the company has an obvious and significant role in the development of its products, it’s just another OEM. The same ODMs who actually design (that’s what the “D” stands for) and manufacturer (that’s what the “M” stands for) Apple’s products are also behind these new ultrabooks. Moreover, you make it sound like the thinness of the Air was the result of all of this amazing Apple technology inside the chassis, but that’s not true either. There’s nothing Apple in there at all. It’s Intel inside there, and wouldn’t you know it but it’s Intel who created the reference design for the ultrabook and the hardware that goes into it.

      You might as well use the exact same “logic” about Thunderbolt because Apple brought it into laptops first and now all of these PC vendors are “following Apple’s lead”, except for the fact that this is Intel’s technology. I guess it never occurred to you that maybe Apple and Intel have a deal in which Apple pays Intel big sums of money to get something “first” that’s destined to be a standard commodity in the industry anyways. In fact, this has been happening ever since Apple switched over to Intel for its PC components. I wonder if it was part of the agreement. It’s a big “win-win” because Intel gets money and press and Apple gets to convince people who obviously don’t know a thing about technology or business that its an “innovator” while everybody else is a follower.

        • End User
        • 8 years ago

        [quote<]You seem to be under the impression that Apple is the original designer and manufacturer of its products, but that’s just not true.[/quote<] You sound as if someone just stole your lolly. Apple designs all of their products. That is a fact. Everybody knows they outsource their manufacturing. There is no doubt Apple works closely with Intel. Apple's inovation has had a direct impact on Intel: "I’d go as far as to say Apple helps shape our roadmap" "Apple — they push us hard" [url<]http://goo.gl/5bCug[/url<] Apple brought the Thunderbolt/Light Peak concept to Intel: [url<]http://goo.gl/JPIvU[/url<]

          • shank15217
          • 8 years ago

          You are getting ahead of yourself, Intel would have made CULV chips regardless of Apple. Apple was able to use those chips in their SFF laptops.

            • KoolAidMan
            • 8 years ago

            They actually worked on that custom package in collaboration with Intel. It’s why Apple were the only ones to have it exclusively for six months before they ended up in laptops like the Envy.

      • shank15217
      • 8 years ago

      Who laughed? Don’t create a a rift where there isn’t one. People always question new form factors and their place and rightfully so. Why should Apple’s choices not be criticized?

      • A_Pickle
      • 8 years ago

      It didn’t hurt that Apple was given exclusive access, by Intel, to that svelte “small die” Merom chip.

      OH, you forgot to mention that little tidbit. Convenient.

    • nagashi
    • 8 years ago

    oooh, nice small screen bevels on the LG and the pegatron. Now we just need to see some specs/prices.

    • CasbahBoy
    • 8 years ago

    Do we have any word on Lenovo’s first Ultrabook offering? I’m going to hold off on picking up an X1 until I see what they come up with on this (cheaper, just as thin and light) front.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 8 years ago

      [url<]http://www.engadget.com/2011/09/01/lenovo-announces-u300s-ultrabook-u300-and-u400-ideapads-we-go/[/url<]

    • dpaus
    • 8 years ago

    Sorry, but I’m unable to agree that chiclet-style keyboards are [i<]ever[/i<] a good thing. What's the point of keeping a physical keyboard if you're going to cripple it? Might just as well use an on-screen keyboard if you're only going to hunt-n-peck out a few words.

      • Farting Bob
      • 8 years ago

      Have you ever used one? Unless you are just bad at typing you wont be “hunting and pecking”, give it a small amount of time (as you would when moving from 1 keyboard style to another) to get used to it and then you’ll be typing at practically the same speed as you were before.

        • dpaus
        • 8 years ago

        I had one on a lightweight laptop of several years ago; an IBM, I think. Perhaps they’re improved dramatically. But to put it in perspective, for daily work, I bought myself a SteelSeries 6GV

          • shank15217
          • 8 years ago

          Yea well I don’t the guy next to me typing on a freaking typewriter, I would go insane.

        • Flatland_Spider
        • 8 years ago

        I have. They made me realize I have small hands.

      • mno
      • 8 years ago

      Flat keys are also terrible for typing, especially when combined with chiclet style keys. There’s a reason pretty much all desktop keyboards have contoured keys. As for laptops, the Thinkpad keyboards are still way better than pretty much all other laptop keyboards still.

        • NeelyCam
        • 8 years ago

        Have fun squeezing all that into something as thin as an ultrabook.

          • dpaus
          • 8 years ago

          Agreed; but I think that ‘form follows function’, so I’m willing to accept a little more thickness and even weight to have a truly useful device.

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            I agree with your philosophy. I just apply it to a slightly different design point: I don’t like tablets because their keyboards are unusable. I would probably be happy with these ultrabook keyboards.

            Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate good keyboards, and I have those for my desktops. but for something I’m hauling around, I’m willing to sacrifice the keyboard somewhat to get smaller size and weight.

        • Chrispy_
        • 8 years ago

        Lenovo has it right:
        somewhere between scrabble-tile layout and proper contoured keycaps.
        Looks good too!

        [url<]https://picasaweb.google.com/116037874989423187101/ThinkPadEdgeE420#5590095910634711762[/url<]

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