Expectations high for next-generation 'ultrabook' computers
News On Japan via Mainichi -- Apr 04
Major electronics makers are working to put out thin, light, next-generation laptop computers called "ultrabooks," which are being seen as a new product category following the spread of tablets.
On March 13, Dell began selling its first ultrabook, the "XPS13," which is six to 18 millimeters thick and weighs around 1.4 kilograms, for a direct-to-consumer price of 89,980 to 129,980 yen.
It carries a high-performance Intel CPU and boots up in eight seconds. Yoji Harada of Dell's marketing headquarters says, "It's a product that holds the fate of the company. It can satisfy on all fronts."
Taiwan's Asus, America's Hewlett Packard and other companies have entered into the ultrabook market. By the end of March, Lenovo Japan had put two models on the market. A slim design and ability to charge the battery halfway in 30 minutes are offered as sales points.
Amongst Japanese makers, Toshiba was the first to enter the market in November last year. A new model in February carries a 13.3 inch monitor and is the lightest available model on the market at around 1.1 kilograms. The keyboard glows, allowing the device to be used in the dark.
From late March, Onkyo began selling an ultrabook with its music-playing software installed for a direct-to-consumer price of 89,800 to 114,800 yen. Panasonic, Fujitsu, and Sony are also moving forward with development of ultrabooks.
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