These are exciting times to be buying a laptop, and not just because of the performance benefits of Intel’s new Ivy Bridge processor architecture.
Ultrabooks have had a major impact on the laptop sector, guaranteeing a level of build quality, design and portability that previously was only available on a select few machines. The one area where most Ultrabooks have failed is their screens, which were generally standard resolution, poor quality TN panels with the poor viewing angles that entails.
The Samsung Series 9 900X3B was the first to change this, with a 13.3in PLS panel sporting a lovely 1,600 x 900 resolution. Now Asus are about to one-up that, as its Zenbooks will have 1080p IPS displays going forward.
And that’s not just for the 13.3in UX31A successor to the Asus Zenbook UX31 we reviewed; even the 11.6in UX21A will have that lovely resolution, giving it incredible pixel density. The good news continues with Asus’ decision to use a matt finish, avoiding the annoying reflections that plague glossy displays. Yet despite this goodness, pricing should be similar to the current models.
Image credit: Engadget
Finally, we’ll be seeing the kind of screen quality previously reserved for tablets like the 1,920 x 1,200 IPS Plus Transformer Prime in laptops, and we couldn’t be happier than for this to become the norm. After all, with better viewing angles and colour accuracy, IPS is the superior choice.
Since performance outside of 3D gaming is already good enough, Ultrabooks should at last live up to their premium moniker completely when 1,366 x 768 TN screens are replaced with 1,600 x 900 or Full HD IPS (or equivalent) panels. With the battery-life improvements Ivy Bridge should bring and the external graphics card possibilities of Thunderbolt (as seen with the Sony VAIO Z), design is the only remaining potential obstacle in the way of laptop heaven.