CES 2012 Ultrabook counter: the score so far ... 9

Last year it was all about tablets, but the theme of CES 2012 is very much Ultrabooks. Whether you think it's just an excuse to give laptops some kind of sexy appeal or you're mad for these high powered, slimline style machines is irrelevant. That fact is that these things are here and they're here to stay (for a while, anyway).

The rules of the game are that Ultrabooks have to be packing one of the Intel Core family of processors, have solid state storage, come with a long life battery, be super skinny and super light. Keep your eyes on this page because it will be updated throughout the show.

LG Z330

Kicking off proceedings even before anyone in the tech industry had touched down in Vegas, naughty old LG stole the pre-show by sneaking out not one but two Ultrabooks. The first was the LG Z330. With a waistline of just 14.7mm, it weighs in at just 1.21kg - over 100g less than the 13.3-inch MacBook Air.

Like the MacBook model, it also packs a 13.3-inch HD display and a quick boot-up time of 10 seconds from dead or 2 seconds from sleep. Its engine room is packing an Intel i7 chip and there's a SATA3 SSD on board too. All very nice. Tick. Read more

LG Z430

The LG Z430 takes its little brother up to 14 inches, throws in a HDD option (to sit alongside a SSD - up to 500GB) but does add a second or two to the boot time, around 5mm to the waistline and almost 300g to the weight. Still Ultra? Just about, according to LG.

Sure, it might not be as exciting as the LG Z330, but it's still an Ultrabook and that's what counts. Both of these LG Ultrabooks should be shipping world wide in the second quarter of 2012. Read more

Lenovo T430u

Lenovo has been throwing out all sorts of technology at CES this year. A highlight was most definitely the T430u which is due to arrive at the relatively affordable £543, cheap for an Ultrabook. It might not be the thinnest Ultrabook sized in at 20.3mm and weighing 1.8kg, it does however boast a bit more customisation than most. Choices of Intel processors and Nvidia graphics are all possible, as is using an SSD.

The T430u is due out in Q3 this year and is aimed at businesses who need portability. The classic matte design also looks particularly swish in Ultrabook form. Read more

Lenovo Yoga

This laptop definitely sits at the more unusual end of the Ultrabook scale. It incorporates a conventional laptop experience with that of a tablet. A bit like a Transformer, it has four different usage modes and slightly different forms, including one referred to as a tent. 

Weighing in at 1.47kg and being just 16.9mm thick, it is one of the smaller Ultrabooks announced at CES. The tablet and laptop combo is due to start at £1199, a rather hefty price for an Ultrabook or laptop. Read More

Acer Aspire S5

The exciting thing about the S5, other than its extremely slimline 15mm thick form factor, is that it is the first Ultrabook to incorporate Thunderbolt. The usual SSD storage and of course Intel processors are present, there is however an HDD/SSD option as well. 

MagicFlip I/O is the S5's other trump card in its hand. Essentially a clever flip down cover for the laptop's ports, it gives the appearance that it is one single sealed shape. Read More

Samsung Series 5

The Samsung Series 5 is to come in two sizes, either a 13 or 14-inch option. SSD storage options keep the weight down at 1.38kg and a 13.3-inch display with anti glare makes using the laptop on the go relatively good. 

The bigger 14-inch model uses a HD7550M 1GB GPU which is quite a significant size of graphical processor for an Ultrabook. Read More

HP Envy 14 Spectre

HP's rather frighteningly named Envy 14 Spectre, which sounds more like a piece of weaponry than a laptop, is also entering into the Ultrabook battle. There are two models, a 14- and 13-inch offering, both with Intel processors and SSD. 

The exciting bit is the Beats Audio and HP Radiance tech in the screen that makes the thing sound and look much better. Read More

Dell XPS 13

The XPS 13 is all about premium top quality materials squashed down into Ultrabook form. That means an aluminium lid and Gorilla Glass protected 13.3-inch display. Underneath is a carbon fibre base which will no doubt give a tasty weight-saving hit.

The laptop is, however, slightly on the thicker side of things on the Ultrabook front, being 18mm at its chunkiest point. This is still absurdly thin however so we wouldn't worry too much should you be concerned about stuffing it into a briefcase or rucksack. Read more

Asus UX 21 Pink

Ultrabooks don't have to be entirely MacBook Air clones. No, instead they can throw a lot of the beautiful brushed aluminium design quality copied from Apple and instead go pink, as Asus have discovered with the UX 21. 

Just like the recently released UX 21 and 31, you get identical hardware to the Zenbooks, as well as the same internals. The only difference is instead of aluminium concentric circles, you get a hot pink top. Read more

What Ultrabook are you after? Let us know in the comments below... 



>