Despite advances in tablet technology, the laptop still sits on the throne of portable productivity. Tablets still lag behind in terms of multi-tasking and processing power so we still need to look to the more powerful laptop for those more resource-hungry tasks. 2013 is the year where we see the tablet markets influencing the laptop in a positive way, with a swing towards thinner profiles, touchscreens and that might tip the scales back in their favour.
Ultrabooks were introduced by Intel last year but it has taken until 2013 for the market to see an increase in models and the ones that have been released have been much more expensive than your average laptop. This has a lot to do with the specifications: ultra-thin frames; extremely lightweight; low-voltage Intel Core processors for improved battery life; and Rapid Start technology for fast boot times. These features have seen prices hover around the £1000 mark (for comparison the nifty Toshiba C855 laptop is less than £450) but that’s changing as manufacturers are adopting cheaper standards, creating a uniform chassis design and the costs of solid-state drives are falling.
There has been much debate surrounding the tablet’s growing share in the computer world and the laptop’s losing battle against it. With most people already owning a tablet, this trend is certainly down to the novelty of the platform rather than the tablet’s supremacy over the laptop, which still excel at tasks like gaming and video/photo editing. Laptops are now adopting features of the tablet with an emphasis on touchscreens and detachable tablet monitors. There have been some impressive forays already from the likes of the Asus Transformer and the HP Envy X2.
With people moving away from a dependence on optical drives and flash storage because of the growth of apps and cloud storage, laptops are being trimmed down to get rid of the unnecessary elements. This is leading to cheaper, more lightweight models that outweigh tablets in terms of performance but retain that ease of portability. If you don’t have the money to spend on a Macbook Air then this should come as good news to you.
With the advent of Sharp’s IGZO screens it looks like laptop screens are going to get even more detail for amazing visuals. That’s if you can even tell the difference – Intel predicts 15” laptop screens with 8.3 million pixels (a good 3 million more than the Macbook’s retina display) which is far beyond the limits of what the human eye can detect. And they’ll cost you a pretty penny to boot.
Laptops that you can’t upgrade
While many a tech enthusiast will have upgraded parts of their PC before, it’s not a very common thing in the laptop world. As far as most people go is adding some new RAM. Manufacturers are cottoning on and making cheaper, lighter unibody models that can’t have their parts swapped out. After all, there’s no point in including removable hard drives when storage is so cheap that the average person is never likely to need to upgrade to a higher capacity one.