Which Is The Real Best-Seller Ultrabook? (Part 1) - Asus Zenbook Prime, Acer Aspire S5, HP Folio 13-2000

12/6/2012 9:18:13 AM

Small, sleek and powerful... that’s what Ultrabooks are all about. But which is the real best-seller?

Sleek and sexy is the key idea behind the looks of Ultrabooks, but what really matters to the user is what lies under the hood. With Intel backing the Ultrabook “movement”, there are numerous manufacturers bringing these light, easily-portable notebooks to the market. That can make things tricky if you’re looking at buying one. So here’s a quick guide to six options in the Ultrabook market, which should help to make those often difficult purchasing decisions just a little easier. Oh, and they’re arranged in order of physical size, from smallest to largest…

Prepare to compare

Asus Zenbook Prime

Produced by industry experts Asus, the Zenbook Prime is the smallest of the Ultrabooks we have in this round-up. It is also one of the most striking. The brushed metal exterior and stylish chicklet style backlit keyboard, along with a rather nice track pad, make it really good looking. When closed, it is very slim indeed, with the edges coming together in an almost blade-like fashion. The small size and light weight make it extremely portable.

Description: Asus Zenbook Prime

Asus Zenbook Prime

The i5 CPU is supported by 4GB of RAM, and the overall performance of the unit is rather good. On the downside, the hard drive space provided by the Zenbook is a little light.

It provides the user with two USB 3.0 ports, as well as a headphone ports and mini HDMI output.

The Zenbook Prime is a great example of how a small Ultrabook can still be very impressive.

Its good looks really carry this unit, which is impressive not despite its size, but rather because of it. Asus have long understood that looks are very important in the marketplace, and the Zenbook Prime shows that understanding.

Score: 88

Acer Aspire S5

Acer, another long standing PC manufacturer, have entered the small and light market with the Acer S5, a very sleek looking unit indeed. The S5 eschews the metallic tones that are so common these days, opting for a very stylish all-black look that is really impressive.

Description: Acer Aspire S5

Acer Aspire S5

From the black brushed metal top through to the keyboard and track pad, everything here is black. The keyboard has no backlight, but is a rather nicely spaced affair none the less.

An odd looking key, when depressed, results in a panel sliding open at the back of the device with a funky robotic whine. This reveals two USB 3.0 ports, as well as a full sized HDMI port. The nice thing about this is that these ports are protected when the ‘hatch’ is closed. Other ports include a headphone output and multi card reader.

It’s a good looking machine, and the inner working are not too shabby, either, based on an i5 CPU and 4GB of RAM. The hard drive space, though, leaves a bit to be desired, as much of it is inaccessible.

The S5 revels in its unique, stylish look. It is extremely portable, and has some rather nice features built in. But the user may need to consider an external hard drive.

Score: 82

HP Folio 13-2000

Being one of the first Ultrabooks to hit the market – at least from the HP stable – the Folio seems a little less powerful than others. The i5 CPU puts out a little less power than others in the round-up, for example, and the hard drive space is a bit on the small side. It sports 4GB of RAM, though, and offers a very long battery life, which is always a plus.

Description: HP Folio 13-2000

HP Folio 13-2000

Two USB 2.0 ports are available for use, as well as a multi card reader, HDMI output, headphone jack and LAN port. Once again, the USB ports aren’t quite what one would want, what with 3.0 ports on most other models, showing the age of the Folio… and these days, it only takes a few months for hardware to start feeling dated.

Still, the Folio is wonderfully light and small, making it a decent option in terms of portability. It’s brushed metal finish looks good, while the black keyboard and track pad complement the overall look rather nicely. That said, it is not the most stylish Ultrabook around… but if looks aren’t something that bother you too much, and you’re willing to get a slightly older piece of hardware, it may end up being a great option for you.

Score: 80


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