The Macalope Daily: Off-topic

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The big topics of the day are Apple’s quarterly earnings report (a record-shattering blowout so, you know, BOR-ING) and the iBooks Author license agreement and file format argument (just how evil is Apple?).

But while these discussions are interesting and people have a lot to say about them (boy, do they ever) let us not miss a story that might otherwise have flown under our collective radar, one that gives us an opportunity to point and laugh at the poodle circus that is the Windows PC OEM business, because to do so would be irresponsible.

Ars Technica’s Casey Johnston puts the lie to the current crop of “Ultrabooks.”

"Ultra" in name only: the failures of Intel’s Ultrabook rules (tip o’ the antlers to Ben Brooks)

Ultrabooks were the fashionable product to launch at CES this year. But the new Ultrabooks, meant to be PC competitors to the MacBook Air, seemed suspiciously fat. And heavy. And lacking in solid-state drives.

Nailed it, PC OEMs!

Intel’s official requirements for Ultrabooks are as follows...

“See the MacBook Air? Do that.”

An obvious flaw with these guidelines: there are no weight requirements, in spite of the importance of light weight to portability. Unsurprisingly, weight is a problem for several models.

Oh, yeah? Well, you make a lightweight laptop with a modem, IRDA, VGA out and a SCSI port! Go on! See, it’s not easy, is it, Mr. Smartypants!

Intel specifies a wake from hibernation time of no more than 7 seconds but PC OEMs are too mired in the past to cut disk space and they can’t get big drives cheap because Apple done stole all the flash memory. So what do they do? They use both SSDs and hard drives.

Savory salt licks, you dimwits. If you can’t start making some smart but difficult choices to get the size down, your only option is going to be inventing TARDIS technology.

And with that, a PC OEM rushed off to make an Ultrabook with a TARDIS casemod, not really getting the point.

Despite the lack of clarity, vision and, in many instances, even the basic skills to copy, the fine folks at Juniper Research believe Ultrabooks are hot, hot, hot, according to our pal, Don Reisinger (and not just in temperature, which they are also).

Over the next five years, ultrabook shipments will grow three times faster than those of tablets, Juniper Research revealed in a new study today.

“Opined” would probably have been a better choice of words.

Tablets, of course, have a significant head start, thanks to solid sales over the last couple of years.

Oh, where Don says “tablets,” you can just read “iPads.” Don’t let that trip you up. That’s just standard technology industry jargon. When discussing how well iPads have done over the last couple of years, substitute “tablets” so as not to show bias or accuracy or something.

Well, good luck with your Ultrabooks, PC OEMs. You seem to be off to great start.

[Editor’s Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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