Archive for 2012年12月

What is Ultrabook?

An Ultrabook is a higher-end type of subnotebook defined by Intel. Intel has applied to register the name as a trademark. Ultrabooks are designed to feature reduced bulk without compromising performance and battery life. They use low-power Intel Core processors, solid-state drives, and unibody chassis to help meet these criteria. Due to their limited size, they typically omit common laptop features such as disc drives and ethernet ports.

In 2011, Intel Capital announced a new fund to support startups working on technologies in line with the company’s concept for next generation notebooks. The company set aside a $300 million fund to be spent over the next three to four years in areas related to Ultrabooks. Intel announced the Ultrabook concept at Computex in 2011. The Ultrabook would be a thin (less than 0.8 inches thick) notebook that utilized Intel processorsand could also incorporate tablet features such as a touch screen and long battery life.

By this marketing initiative and an associated $300 million fund, Intel hoped to influence the slumping PC market against rising competition from tablet computers such as the iPad, which are typically powered by competing ARM-based processors. The Ultrabook directly competes against Apple’s MacBook Air, which has similar form specifications and is powered by Intel CPUs, but runs Mac OS X (and is capable of running Microsoft Windows like the Ultrabooks).

At the Intel Developer Forum in 2011, four Taiwan ODMs showed prototype Ultrabooks that used Intel’s Ivy Bridge chips. Intel plans to improve power consumption of its chips for Ultrabooks, like Ivy Bridge processors, which will feature 17W default thermal design power.

At a presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show, an Intel manager stated that market analysis revealed that screen size motivated some of the reluctance to switch to 13″ Ultrabooks. As a result, Intel planned to ensure, through cooperation with manufacturers, a 14 or 15-inch screen on 50% of the 75 Ultrabook models that would likely come to market in 2012.

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What Is Netbook?

Netbooks are a category of small, lightweight, legacy-free, and inexpensive laptop computers.

At their inception in late 2007 as smaller notebooks optimized for low weight and low cost — netbooks omitted certain features (e.g., the optical drive), featured smaller screens and keyboards, and offered reduced computing power when compared to a full-sized laptop. Over the course of their evolution, netbooks have ranged in size from below 5″ screen diagonal to 12″. A typical weight is 1 kg (2.2 pounds). Often significantly less expensive than other laptops, by mid-2009, some wireless data carriers began to offer netbooks to users “free of charge”, with an extended service contract purchase.

In the short period since their appearance, netbooks grew in size and features, and converged with smaller, lighter netbooks and subnotebooks. By August 2009, when comparing a Dell netbook to a Dell notebook, CNET called netbooks “nothing more than smaller, cheaper notebooks,” noting, “the specs are so similar that the average shopper would likely be confused as to why one is better than the other,” and “the only conclusion is that there really is no distinction between the devices.”

By 2011, the increasing popularity of tablet computers (particularly the iPad)—a different form factor, but with similar computing capabilities and price range—had led to a decline in netbook sales. At the high end of the performance spectrum, ultra-light portables with a traditional keyboard and display have been revolutionized[citation needed] by the 11.6″ MacBook Air, which due to its significantly higher cost, made fewer performance sacrifices. Capitalizing on the success of the MacBook Air, Intel promoted ultrabooks as a new high-mobility standard, which has been hailed by some analysts as succeeding where netbooks failed. As a result of these two developments, netbooks of 2011 have kept price as their only strong point, losing in the design, ease-of-use and portability department to tablets and to ultrabooks in the features and performance field.

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