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Two-thousand eleven may have been the year of the tablet, but 2012 is shaping up to be the year of the ultrathin laptop -- or the ultrabook, if you will. The sleek devices are slowly trickling into stores.
They're designed to be "thin, light, beautiful" -- and priced for the mainstream market. Manufactured by Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, LG and Toshiba, ultrabooks are intended to offer the mobility of a tablet and the functionality of a real laptop.
Should you purchase one?
It ultimately depends on your needs and limitations. If you own a tablet but miss the full keyboard, an ultrabook may be for you. An ultrabook would also be useful for those who need more functionality than a tablet can provide.
But if you're looking for the highest level of portability, a tablet may still be the best choice. Consider the following specs:
Tablets are thinner and weigh less than ultrabooks ever will. But they also have smaller hard drives, fewer ports and limited software capabilities. In fact, where tablets fail, ultrabooks excel. They have bigger screens, keyboards, more ports and run complete versions of Windows.
So if you're in the market for a new laptop, you should definitely consider ultrabooks. If you're disappointed with your tablet, you might also think about switching over.