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The Snugg Looks at Coming Tech Trends From CES 2012: Ultrabooks vs Tablets

With many pre-show conferences having already passed, we can see that the theme for this year’s CES will be that of the Ultrabook vs the Tablet.


This week sees the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) come to life in Las Vegas. CES has always been a staging arena for the biggest brands in consumer electronics from all over the world; and as a result, it has a big impact on the tone set for the rest of the year.
With many pre-show conferences having already passed, we can see that the theme for this year’s CES will be that of the Ultrabook vs the Tablet.
The Ultrabook is essentially a laptop wherein the major components have been reduced in size and weight to create a device that is ‘ultra’ portable. These components are designed to retain standard performance whilst operating in conjunction with Intel’s low-power CULV processors.
Tablets on the other hand use mobile chips from processor rival ARM, to power their devices; chips which are thought to be in over 90% of all mobile smartphone and tablet devices.
The unveiling of these Ultrabooks is thought to be a move by Intel to prevent ARM from gaining complete mobile processor dominance.
The Snugg’s Managing Director, Richard Mercer stated:
“Ultrabooks are a little late. Back in 2010, the most talked about gadgets at CES were Smartbooks, yet you won’t find many of those for sale today. Later we had the netbook, which was only reasonably popular. The issue here is performance; tablets are well suited to the on-the-go, mobile and casual usage niche where media consumption is the top priority; for those who needed performance to get work done on-the-go however, laptops were still the better option, where netbooks lacked the performance required. Finally however, the Ultrabook looks set to bring the best of both together, but some may wonder why it has taken so long” 
In Apple’s absence at CES 2012, rumours are abound that we may see a dual launch this year of the next iPad and a smaller, low-cost model to rival the Kindle Fire.
“This is interesting news, many bloggers and columnists expected Apple TV to be a potential candidate for launch this year, but the release of a budget iPad certainly demonstrates the unpredictability of the tablet computing market at present. Many saw the Apple as untouchable in this segment, yet the introduction of the Kindle Fire appears to have changed all that as Apple risks diluting its ‘up-market’ brand by competing on Amazon’s level. Of course, this is just speculative guesswork based upon rumour at present” says Mr Mercer.
What will really dictate the success of the Ultrabook is Performance vs Price. As long as the purchase of a regular laptop offers greater performance for a lower price, the Ultrabook will take longer to catch on; with that said however, it will be quite some time before tablet devices are capable of the same feats, so Ultrabooks have some time.
“I can imagine Ultrabooks and Tablets evolving side by side for years to come. For people that are serious about mobile working, who use more advanced programs than just typical office applications, the tablet is not going to cater for their needs any time soon. Comparing the devices as direct competition then, as we’ve seen by some at CES, could be construed as a little bold. The closest we have seen to an overlap so far is the Asus Transformer Prime, with its optional keyboard, but as a serious work machine it pales in comparison to an entry level Ultrabook.
“As far as accessories go for these devices, we will continue to develop our tablet case lines, including our best-selling iPad 2 case and Kindle Fire cases; and when the dimensions for the iPad 3 and other new tablet releases become available, we will then look to develop new cases for these models as tablet demand is only set to grow over the coming year” adds Mr Mercer.
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About TheSnugg:
The Snugg has been offering its customers the opportunity to safeguard their technological assets with stylish, quality cases since their formation in 2010. Based in Bolton, the company operates internationally across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China and the US, becoming a best-seller in five territories.
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