Ultra in name, looks, and price, the ZaReason UltraLap 430 is the worlds first user-orientated Linux Ultrabook.
Ultrabooks are a relatively new segment of the computing market. Defined (primarily) by Intel, Ultrabooks are thiner, lighter, and use less power than traditional notebooks.
They also carry a premium price tag.
So can the worlds first consumer-ready Linux Ultrabook find a foothold in a market dominated by cheap yet powerful devices?
I will leave the semantics of whether or not the Ultralap 430 can truly be classed as an Ultrabook to the pedants (for example I believe it’s 1mm thicker than Intel’s Ultrabook specs).
But that’s academic. For most of us a super-slim design with a low power-draw CPU and long battery life are the only requisites needed to be defined as ‘ultra’.
Alongside a 14.1″ LED backlit HD screen are the following internals:
- Intel i3-3217U @1.8ghz
- Intel HD 4000 Graphics
- 4GB DDR3 RAM
- 32GB SSD
- 1.3 Megapixel webcam
- 2xUSB 3.0, 1xUSB 2.0
- HDMI port
- Wifi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, card reader, etc
- “Multi-gesture trackpad”
When it comes to operating system ZaReason provide a choice of Ubuntu 12.04, Linux Mint, Kubuntu 12.04, Debian, Fedora, and more. Looking for Windows? You’re out of luck. It’s one OS they don’t offer – or provide drivers for.
Now the bit you’ll have been waiting for – the price.
The base price for the Ultralap 430 is $899.00. Is this steep?
It depends where you place value.
You can get better specc’d Ultrabooks on Amazon.com for less than $750. And this is with the so-called ‘Windows tax’ included.
But you won’t get an Ultrabook that has been specifically tailored to Linux. Nor will your money go to supporting a small-time hardware company with smaller margins whose support for the open-source ecosystem is just as vital as that of a developer or sponsor.
As ZaReason didn’t offer us a unit to review we can’t relay to you anything other than what they have said about it. Whether or not it is actually worth every dollar of its $899 price tag will be up to you to decide.
But if you’re in the market for a Linux powered Ultrabook do keep your eyes peeled – we have a hands on with the Dell Sputnik laptop coming up later this month.
thanks to Oussama EL-Rawas