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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RE: Comment by galvanash
by StephenBeDoper on Sat 21st Apr 2012 22:50 UTC 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[3]: Comment by galvanash
by AdamW on Mon 23rd Apr 2012 16:22 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by galvanash"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

"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)."

The 2010 model year Vaio Z is under 3lbs (just barely, admittedly) and has all those things. And dual RAIDed SSDs (that was a pretty off-the-wall idea, but mine have amazingly not ided yet). And a 1600x900 (or 1920x1080, optionally!) 13" screen.

I'm typing this on one. And I still don't think anyone's made a better laptop, period, even in the last two years. Including the 2011 model year Vaio Z.

The new Samsungs are probably just about as good, though.

Reply Parent Score: 2