When it is said about ultra-books that they are expensive, one cannot entirely call them wrong because most of the ultra-books start from 65k onwards. However, there have been attempts at keeping the price down to make it affordable. It would be foolish to miss out a large segment of potential buyer if the pricing continues to linger over 65k. Sony Viao T13 can be called the cheapest ultra-book at below 50k.
To say ultra-books are expensive is a myth after taking a look at the affordable ultra-book segment, which without compromising on the quality boasts of some really stunning ultra-books. Take the Samsung Series 5 ultra-book for instance. Not only it has the best configuration but also includes an optical drive, an exemption in most ultra-books. Even the Sony ultra-book has got an optical drive. So at a lower price, they are offering you features that high-end ultra-books do not have. Most of the budget ultra-books cost around 50k and are a great alternative to the budget conscious audience.
Samsung NP530U4B (Series 5)
Samsung's latest Series 5 ultra-book makes a practical impression with elements that we still can't manage without, such as an optical drive and storage size. As far as looks goes, it is not as slim as Zenbook or Macbook Air, but at 0.82 inches and 1.79kg, it is undoubtedly slim and light for a 14-inch ultra-book. Inside the slim form, it has plenty to offer, such as an optical drive, 1TB storage in your notebook with i5 processor, 6 GB RAM, a comfortable touchpad and keyboard, even if it lacks backlighting.
It also boasts of two USB 3.0 ports, 4-in-1 card reader, an optical drive, a VGA port and an excellent 14-inch display with Samsung's super-bright screen. Now, the lack of SSD will make sure that its boot-up time will not be as fast as other ultra-books, but, barring that it has everything else that we still crave for. In the benchmark tests, it did well, particularly in 3D Mark with a score of 4992. It also showed a promising battery standby of up to 5 hours in battery mark test. The PCMark score of 6908 makes it respectable performer. For 54k, you can't get a better deal.
Bottomline: It's a stunning notebook chiselled as an ultra-book with features that many ultra-books have said goodbye to, and at 54k, it is very much desirable.
Sony Vaio SVT11113 (T Series)
Sony has joined the budget-segment ultra-book league with its latest T Series ultra-book Vaio SVT11113FGS priced at Rs 49,000 and powered by Intel's 3rd gen processor. It features an 11.6-inch screen and a MacBook style keyboard with black chicklet keys. The display augmented by Intel 4000 HD graphics technology offers stunning visuals while the well-spaced keyboard provides an ideal typing experience that's further enhanced by a cohesive multi-touchpad. It is handsomely braced with several ports, and unlike many other ultra-books, has both VGA and HDMI ports. It also features 2 USB ports, one of which is a USB 3.0 port, besides having a multi 3-in-1 card reader and a LAN port.
It has light indicators placed right above the keyboard, followed by three short-cut buttons --Web button for one push Internet access; Vaio button for instant access to Sony's media gallery; and Assist button for help and support from Vaio care. It isn't as thin as Aspire S3 or the Samsung Series 5 ultra-books, but with a 17.88 mm width it's more like HP's Folio 13 (18 mm width). In the PC Mark benchmark, it scored an impressive 8276 points. In 3D Mark and Battery Mark tests, it came out an average performer with a score of 3755 and battery backup time of 2 hour 30 minutes respectively. However, the screen appears too small and could have been a little bigger.
Bottomline: A good performer but loses out on features to the Samsung Series 5 ultra-book.
Toshiba Satellite U840
Another ultra-book from Toshiba is a 14-inch stylish looking device with decent performance and an average battery back-up. It fits best in the price conscious segment as it comes for 53k and has all the features of an ultra-book. It weighs 1.5kg and is not the lightest but is better than a notebook. It has an Aluminium finish along with glass fibre that makes smart looking ultra-book. It has good connectivity options such as HDMI, USB3.0, Ethernet LAN port, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The 13.3 inch display supports HD at 1366x768p and is good enough for general purpose use. The keyboard has raised backlit keys that are very easy to type. In benchmarks tests, it registered a fairly decent performance with a score of 5796 in PCMark, while in 3D Mark it scored a 4444, which is good. The battery back-up is decent enough at 2 hours 52 min. In total, it is good ultra-book with a steady performance and comes at an attractive price of 53k.
Bottomline: A decent ultra-book for the budget conscious who can enjoy the ultra-book experience at a fair price.
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