LAS VEGAS--It's a rare CES for which most of the digital ink spilled is about computers and hardware, rather than giant televisions. But 2012 was just such a year, thanks to the never-ending drumbeat of Intel's ultrabook platform.
Yes, ultrabooks again It seems like you couldn't walk more than a hundred steps across the velvety carpet of the CES show floor without running into a giant ULTRABOOK or WINDOWS 8 sign. The first official ultrabook-designated laptops (it's an Intel marketing term) arrived during the 2011 holiday season, but CES 2012 was a coming-out party for a host of new designs from nearly all manufacturers.
The laptops ranged from the diminutive (the Acer Aspire S5) to the large and bold (the HP Envy 14 Spectre), and to the copycat (the MacBook-Air-alike Dell XPS 13). And 14- and 15-inch models, some with optical drives, dedicated graphics, and hybrid solid-state/hard drives, have begun to blur a category only in its nascency, leading us to ask if the category will suffer from unnecessary mission creep.
Will that mean that consumers will have a hard time identifying what an ultrabook is, or even feel the category has become overhyped and overexposed by the end of this year? Ultrabooks may be the industry's next great hope, judging by Intel's ultrabook-obsessed keynote presentation, but that doesn't mean consumers are never going to want anything different.
But not just ultrabooks Only a handful of other, non-ultrabook laptops really stood out.… Read more