Whilst Ultrabook’s as a genre of consumer focused product are fairly new having been introduced towards the back end of May 2011, Tablets have been around for some time now. The focus on this article is to compare the relative attributes of touch-screen enabled Ultrabook’s to the upcoming Microsoft Surface Tablet – as well as the yet unreleased Windows 8 OS for PCs. While this might appear as an “Apples to Oranges” comparison, fret not – there is more to this debacle than meets the eye! Without further ado, lets begin.
Ultrabook VS. Tablet: What’s The Practical Difference?
Ultrabook’s are true Notebooks – just slimmed down. Ultrabooks range in size on average from 11- 13 inches. At their thinnest point, they are usually around 8mm thin and 20mm thick. They weigh between 2.8 – 3.5 pounds. Most offer full sized keyboards and touch-pads. Internally they offer super fast Solid State Drives (SSD) with some occasionally offering a hybrid involving super-thin Hard Disk Drives along side an SSD. Processing power is handled by a typical mobile CPU from either Intel or AMD. Some higher-end Ultrabooks even offer discreet graphics cards for those times when users need true graphics processing prowess. In a nutshell: An Ultrabook is well-rounded ultra-thin PC that is capable of handling 99% of the tasks most consumers will use it for.
Now Tablets on the other hand. Tablets are first and foremost aimed at media consumption. Why is this so? Lets break it down. Tablets usually range in screen size from 7- 10 inches. Average width is usually around 10mm. Weight is anywhere from 0.2 – 0.5KG, making them easy to hold. Internally they offer SSD storage that is traditionally complemented by an SD card slot to expand storage. Processing power is handled by ARM CPUs for most tablets running Android. Defining characteristics – lack of keyboard. In a nutshell: A Tablet is a media consumption device. However recent advancements in software and hardware have enabled Tablets to play catch-up with the big boys.
Getting back to the point. Ultrabooks VS. Microsoft Surface
Despite its addition of (removable) keyboard/cover the Microsoft Surface Tablet running Windows for ARM – wait did I blow your mind there? Microsoft is releasing two versions of the Surface tablet – and consumers should be aware of the difference.
Version 1 of the Microsoft Surface tablet is slightly chunkier and substantially more expensive than version 2 because it features the innards of your standard Ultrabook. It also runs the full desktop version of Windows 8. Version 2 is thinner and comparably inexpensive. Why? Because it uses the Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU. Sound familiar? Most major Android tablet manufacturers are incorporating this CPU into their newest Tablets. Microsoft created a version of Windows 8 specifically to run on this Arm-based CPU (As well as a number of other ARM CPU). This version of Windows 8 is not as full-fledged as the one that will be making its way to PCs in a few months. The specific differences have yet too be noted, as the Tablet has not been released yet.
In Other Words:
Microsoft Surface Tablet ARM version is not an Ultrabook replacement. Neither is the version running the standard Windows 8 OS. This has a lot to do with form over function. At the end of the day Ultrabook’s currently offer more bang-for-buck then the Surface tablets offer, and what’s more an Ultrabook will not look dated within a few years depending on which you choose, where as the Surface tablet is likely to look a little bit fat if the current evolution of tablet design is anything to go by.