With the release of Windows 8 coming in fast at the end of October, Ultrabooks are changing, adding touch connectivity thanks to a new operating system design from Microsoft that involves lots of finger friendly fun.
It’s not enough to just have a thin computer with plenty of speed and lots of battery life. No, now you need one with a touchscreen so you can do more.
Running on Windows 8, these touchscreen machines should be able to handle more than your basic tablet-specific functions, with regular Windows apps – such as Photoshop, video and sound editing, tax and money apps, and full PC games – being able to run.
These new machines go by a few names, but you’ll probably hear “Ultrabook Touch,” “touch-enabled Ultrabook”, and “hybrid Ultrabook” being mentioned among the names of these new machines. They will still be a Windows computers, though, just with the inclusion of a touchscreen, and often still with a keyboard.
With that in mind, Sony sat us down this week to take a look at its first Ultrabook Touch, the VAIO Duo 11.
This machine features an 11 inch screen with Full HD’s 1920×1080 resolution, third-generation Intel Core technology (Ivy Bridge), up to 8GB RAM, a 128GB or 256GB solid-state drive, and a new take on the laptop called a “surf slider” design, which allows you to easily pull up on the screen from behind to reveal a full island style keyboard underneath.
In our hands, the Duo 11 was well weighted, not feeling much heavier than a current 11 or 13 inch Ultrabook, and the screen seems to be throwing out a fair amount of light to boot.
The touchscreen was quite responsive, as you’d want it to be, but just in case it’s not enough, a small mouse can be found in the middle of the keyboard to let you do things your touchscreen may not accommodate for.
Still, with quite a few other Ultrabook manufacturers adopting and offering their take on the familiar Transformer design, Sony’s decision to try something different may pay off for customers after something a little different.
Certainly, time will tell, but we can’t wait until we’re playing with the Duo 11 again.