Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 20th Apr 2012 21:14 UTC, submitted by ingraham
Linux Liuns Torvalds is a finalist for this year's Millenium Technology Prize, prompting Scott Merrill with TechCrunch to do an e-mail interview. Interesting how Torvalds ignores the existence of ultrabooks - the Air is the exact same Intel-designed machine. Curious.
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Comment by galvanash
by galvanash on Fri 20th Apr 2012 22:43 UTC
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

Interesting how Torvalds ignores the existence of ultrabooks - the Air is the exact same Intel-designed machine. Curious.


I hate to find myself defending Apple on a "who had it first" discussion, but Apple came out with the air in 2008 - Intel's Ultrabook initiative spec was released 3 years later in 2011. The ultrabook spec is essentially an Air, not the other way around...

I don't think it is at all a stretch to say that Intel's ultrabook specs are a direct result of looking at what Apple did and enhancing upon it. Give credit where credit is due and all that.

Granted, the original Air kinda sucked and was ssllooowwww, but it was essentially the first unibody netbook size device with a better-than-atom class processor that didn't look like a child's toy.

Back to Linus - he uses an 11" Air... How many 11" ultrabooks are actually on the market? The only one I even know of is the Asus Zenbook UX21E-DH52 - granted there may be more I just am not aware of, but if the Asus is used for comparison it fails badly imo. The 11" air is a MUCH better product, and it is the same price.

Full discolsure - I have an 11" Air so I am of course bias, but I did try out a friends Asus before buying it and I didn't like it at all. And I run Windows almost exclusively on my Air, so it is not an OSX bias - I don't even like OSX and only use it for development of iApps.

Are there any other 11" ultrabooks?

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by galvanash
by fran on Sat 21st Apr 2012 16:06 in reply to "Comment by galvanash"
fran Member since:
2010-08-06

It was always going to be so thin. Apple or not.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by galvanash
by StephenBeDoper on Sat 21st Apr 2012 22:50 in reply to "Comment by galvanash"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I hate to find myself defending Apple on a "who had it first" discussion, but Apple came out with the air in 2008 - Intel's Ultrabook initiative spec was released 3 years later in 2011. The ultrabook spec is essentially an Air, not the other way around...

I don't think it is at all a stretch to say that Intel's ultrabook specs are a direct result of looking at what Apple did and enhancing upon it. Give credit where credit is due and all that.


While that's true, it should also be pointed out that there's very little difference between "ultrabooks" and ultraportables/ultralight laptops. You can pretty much define ultrabooks as "ultraportables that are less-expensive & less-expandable than most 'business ultraportables' and use ULV processors." E.g. laptops like the ThinkPad T410s (my current laptop) are really only distinguished from ultrabooks by the CPU, the pricetag, and the lack of the "ultrabook" trademark.

And ultraportables certainly aren't anything new. I've personally owned a Toshiba Portege (forget the model #, but it weighed about 3lbs and was from around 1996-97), a Sharp Actius A120 (under 3lbs & circa 1998, though it would probably be classed as a netbook by today's standards), and three X-series Thinkpads. Depending on how much you're willing to stretch the definition, I also have an old Sharp laptop with a 286 (from '89 I believe) that weighs around 3.5lbs - and going back even further, there's the TRS Model 200/Tandy 200, which was also one of the earliest portable computers to use the modern "clamshell" form factor:

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?st=1&c=234
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TRS-80_Model_200_and_Vaio.jpg

If anything, Apple was one of the last major computer manufacturers to release something that could be considered an ultraportable. One thing I will give them credit for is that the MBA does seem to have started a trend of more affordably-priced ultraportables - but unfortunately ultrabooks also seem to be copying the Air's flaws compared to business ultraportables (fewer ports, no wired ethernet, batteries that aren't user-replaceable, RAM that isn't upgradeable, etc).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by galvanash
by galvanash on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 07:57 in reply to "RE: Comment by galvanash"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

You can pretty much define ultrabooks as "ultraportables that are less-expensive & less-expandable than most 'business ultraportables' and use ULV processors." E.g. laptops like the ThinkPad T410s (my current laptop) are really only distinguished from ultrabooks by the CPU, the pricetag, and the lack of the "ultrabook" trademark.


Well it just depends how picky you are with the definition... As things are now, 3 lbs is considered the absolute maximum weight allowed for an ultrabook. Personally I consider a 3 lbs to be too much to lug around comfortably, which is why I opted for the 11" Air (which is closer to 2 lb).

For business class "ultraportables", 3 lbs is pretty much the minimum weight you can find - most of them are in the 4-5 lb range. Your T410 weighs more than two 11" Airs... Nothing wrong with that, just saying you considering that distinction trivial doesn't mean other people do.

If anything, Apple was one of the last major computer manufacturers to release something that could be considered an ultraportable. One thing I will give them credit for is that the MBA does seem to have started a trend of more affordably-priced ultraportables - but unfortunately ultrabooks also seem to be copying the Air's flaws compared to business ultraportables (fewer ports, no wired ethernet, batteries that aren't user-replaceable, RAM that isn't upgradeable, etc).


Those are not flaws... To get under 3 lbs AND retain good battery life AND have a small form factor - well you have to give up some things (like a lot of ports, user replaceable batteries, upgradable ram, removeable media, etc. - although not necessarily all of these).

Its a trade off. This is essentially the main reason why I consider ultrabooks to be descendents of the orginal Air - they make almost exactly the same tradeoffs in almost exactly the same way. Business class ultraportables make tradeoffs too, but not the same ones and they are not aiming for the same targets.

Both types of machines have their audience - but one is not "better" than the other, it just depends on your priorities.

Edited 2012-04-22 07:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by galvanash
by AdamW on Mon 23rd Apr 2012 16:19 in reply to "Comment by galvanash"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

The 'better than Atom class processor' stipulation is a nicely arbitrary way to let out the Vaio X. I like how you slipped that in there.

Yeah, the Atom CPU in the X is why it was a pretty useless system for most real-world usage. But then, as you point out, so was the original MBA. And if the CPU used in the MBA had been available when Sony came up with the X, they'd probably have used it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by galvanash
by galvanash on Mon 23rd Apr 2012 16:44 in reply to "RE: Comment by galvanash"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

The 'better than Atom class processor' stipulation is a nicely arbitrary way to let out the Vaio X. I like how you slipped that in there.


I didn't know the Vaio X existed... I wasn't trying to exclude it - just saying that there were hundreds of netbooks with Atoms in them - but that was basically their Achilles Heal.

Having looked at it though I'll concede the Vaio X certainly did not look like a fisher price toy (compared to most netbooks).

Yeah, the Atom CPU in the X is why it was a pretty useless system for most real-world usage. But then, as you point out, so was the original MBA. And if the CPU used in the MBA had been available when Sony came up with the X, they'd probably have used it.


Yeah, that part is true... Apple did have a somewhat unfair advantage by getting a custom chip from Intel. It was way faster than an Atom - but that only got it to the bottom rung of usable for most people.

Reply Parent Score: 2