The Ultrabook - where laptop meets tablet and provides the best of both worlds
There can be no doubt that the emergence of the tablet changed the face of computing dramatically, offering unprecedented levels of portability, intuitive touch screen technology and the ability to complete certain tasks on the move with ease.
However, the tablet, like its predecessor the netbook, is subject to some limitations, particularly the lack of processing power, which make these devices unsuitable as a complete replacement for the laptop.
Enter the new generation of Ultrabooks, featuring all of the processing power of a notebook with touch capability and innovative screen technologies that converge two separate devices into one powerful, portable machine that does the job of both.
While tablets have gained popularity because of their size, portability, instant start-up and ability to work on the move, the physical size of the tablet is in itself a limitation.
With such a small chassis, there is only so much processing power that can be included, and there is no room for a keyboard, which limits the functions that can be performed.
For example, tablets are unable to handle large and complex spreadsheets, and the touch screen with no keyboard makes word processing challenging.
As these two functions are common in daily office work, many mobile workers find it necessary to use multiple devices – a tablet and a notebook or laptop, in order to deliver the required functionality.
With the entrance of Windows 8, which is optimised for touch screen, the demand for this capability is on the increase.
New generations of Ultrabooks effectively solve all of these challenges, with more processing power, Solid State Drives (SSD) to ensure fast boot-up, large storage capacity, touch screens, and the opportunity to add extra monitors and wireless keyboards and mouses in the office.
This allows business users to purchase a single device that looks like a notebook, but that can easily transform into a tablet, giving users the option to use one device that meets all of their needs.
What has truly enabled this convergence is innovation in design and screen technologies. New generations of Ultrabooks have the ability to convert into tablet devices with touch screens on both devices.
One method being used to achieve this is a flip hinge design on the lid, which enables users to flip the screen and fold it back over the keyboard to transition from notebook mode to tablet mode.
Another innovation is the emergence of very powerful tablet devices that incorporate a removable docking keyboard, which effectively means that simply by plugging the tablet in to the keyboard dock, which incorporates a touch pad and extends battery life, users gain the advantages of a notebook. The tablet can then easily be removed for meetings and working on the move.
This new generation of Ultrabook combines the ability to access software suites such as Microsoft Office, which are critical to working productivity, with the ability to access a wide range of applications available for Windows 8.
Like tablets, they start up almost instantly, but like a notebook, they offer enhanced storage capabilities, either through integrated Hard Disk Drives (HDD) or via the Cloud.
The combination of a touch screen and a keyboard means that any task can be completed in the most efficient way possible, and improved processing power not only enables greater functionality, but enhanced ability to effectively multitask as well.
In a world where mobility is becoming key to productivity and competitive edge, both tablets and notebooks have a role to play.
With the new generation of Ultrabooks however, the need to carry two separate devices is no more. Users can now get the best of both worlds and work effectively from anywhere, no matter what the task at hand.
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”