In my last article i discussed the emerging ARM base RISC style laptops equipped with the snapdragon 850 processor. In this article i’d like to highlight some of the more interesting aspects of emerging light and ultra light solution companies are PC manufacturers are coming up with to address the different segments of PC users.
In my option the PC market has segmented into several main user groups with some overlap, but mostly spending distinct amount of money on PCs. On the mainstream part of the spectrum we have light powered users i believe these make up the bulk of PC users. People who use their computers mainly for consuming video, surfing web pages, or doing office workloads on their PC. Light users options range greatly they usually anywhere form $300 – $1000 on a PC, and may even opt for a tablet. Then there are gamers these user often spend a good amount of money on a computer with most of it going towards a good graphics card. Gamers main use of their computers are of course gaming. You can read more about gaming builds here. Gamers can spend anywhere from $700 – $2000. Then there are heavy computing productivity users, these users usually work on video rendering and 3D effects and/or modeling.
In mid 2018 the light PC user segment has a wide range of form factors to choose from. The tablet style PC is very good option for weight vs power ratio. The microsoft surface line of tablet style PCs which released in 2013 had reach a good spot in portability vs power. They can playback all types of 1080p media, surf the web with no problem, come with all the latest communication connectivity hardware 802.11 AC, Bluetooth, and incertian models cellular LTE advanced. But one of the issue for some users is the keyboard they use case style flat keyboard, that may not work for some heavy typist. This can be mitigated with a bluetooth or USB keyboard but this would compromise the portability of it. You can Go to any microsoft store near you and see if you like their case cover/keyboard. Microsoft also offer laptop style tablet that dock with a extra battery and keyboard/trackpad. Also Microsoft has released a pen that users can use to draw/write on the touchscreen. The battery on the surface pro they claim can last upto 13 hours but most reviewer pegged it closer to 6-7 hours.
Light PC users also have the Ultra-portable laptops available to them. While Intel has trademark Ultrabook and specified that they use intel low power processors. I usually see these offering as any laptop usually weighing in as less than 3 lbs. Most of the intel ultrabooks do come with thunderbolt 3 with PCIe lanes that can be used with External Graphics Cards. Because of the weight limit imposed this ultrabooks are usually limited to 13”-14” screens. There are some i7 ultrabooks out there but mostly i5 intel processors. Also like i noted before in my computex 2018 highlights there are some new ryzen based laptops coming. Include some ultrabooks while they most likely won’t have thunderbolt 3 Intel owns the trademark and specification.Intel has said they would open source the specification but so far there hasn’t been any action. I doubt it will happen before any ryzen laptop come out.
In the next article i’ll go into portable options for gamers and maybe power users.