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Light as air

  • Three great Ultrabooks you can buy in Nepal
- Anuj Bhandari

May 16, 2017-

Ultrabooks—high end laptops that are sleek in design and uncompromising in performance—are trending these days. The portability and functionality that these laptops provide are second to none. Of late, distributors and sellers have been scrambling to introduce the top of the line laptops in Nepal. 

Here are three laptops available in the Nepali market that meets the demand for top-notch features. 

ASUS Zenbook 3

Lightest of the bunch, the ASUS Zenbook 3 weighs just 910 grams. It has some top of the line specifications and the fact that it weighs so little is not just a gimmick. The ultrathin ultrabook has a 12.5-inch full HD IPS display which wears a Corning Gorilla Glass 4 outside for that extra protection against drops and scratches. The viewing angle of the device is great at 178° and the display has the contrast ratio of 1,000:1.

Unlike other two devices in this list, the ASUS Zenbook 3 is only available in the Intel core i7 version in Nepal. The dual core Kaby Lake processor has a clock speed of 3.5 GHz with turbo boost. This processor is paired with 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM and Intel HD Graphics 620. So, the ultrabook isn’t much of a gaming laptop. It can, however, breeze through your other day-to-day activities like a champ.

As far as the storage is concerned, the ASUS Zenbook 3 available in Nepal comes with 512GB of SSD memory. Because of its smaller body, the device only features a couple of ports. One of its sides includes a headphone jack and the other side is engraved with USB Type-C connector. An adapter does come with the laptop but you’ll have to buy a lot of dongles just to connect a mere flash drive to the ultrabook if you were to lose it.

The Zenbook 3 has teamed up with Harman Kardon for the ASUS SonicMaster audio technology which when paired with four speakers, produces a great sound. Talking about its connectivity, the device has Wi-Fi AC allowing top notch wireless performance. Unfortunately, one of the worst features of the ultrabook has to be its webcam which is only of VGA quality. 

Under the hood, there is a six-cell 40 Wh Polymer battery on the Zenbook 3. This battery, according to ASUS, can run the laptop for nine hours. I really liked the fact that ASUS opted for a fast battery charging capability. Customers will be able to go from zero to 60 percent in just 49 minutes. 

As for the pricing, Nagmani International is currently offering a discount on the pricing of the ASUS Zenbook 3 and it is available at Rs 198,500.

ASUS Zenbook 3

• 12.5-inch IPS full HD display

• Intel core i7-7500U Kaby Lake processor

• Up to 3.5 GHz Turbo boost

• Intel HD Graphics 620

• 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD ROM

• Fingerprint reader

• 40 Wh battery

• Price: Rs 198,500 (available at nagmani.com)

 

Dell XPS 13 9360

The Dell XPS 13 9360 stands out with an Infinity Edge display. The 13.3-inch screen is fit into an 11-inch frame making the device look smaller for its size. The almost bezel-less design is attractive and will catch a few eyes in public. The display comes in full HD quality and the matte panel helps even in an awkward viewing angle. 

While it is not as thin and light as its competitors, the Dell XPS 13 is by no means a compromise. The non-touch version weighs just around 2.7 pounds (1.2 kg) and is 15.24 mm thick. And unlike typical ultrabooks, the lid feels sturdy and the keyboard doesn’t flex much. 

Among the underrated features of the Dell XPS 13 is its audio. The ultrabook has two stereo speakers on either side which when paired with MaxxAudioPro, produces great audio. 

Powering the Dell XPS 13 is the 7th-generation Intel Core i5-7200U Kaby Lake processor with dual cores. This is aided by 8GB of RAM and Intel HD Graphics 620. Safe to say, the XPS 13 isn’t made for gaming purposes. 

In terms of storage, ITTI Nepal only sells the 256GB SSD version of the Core i5 Kaby Lake processor. Since it features an SD card slot, you don’t have to worry about running out of storage. The Dell XPS 13 also has dual USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, Thunderbolt 3 port and a slot for security lock. 

The ultrabook runs on a 60 Wh battery, arguably one of the best in its price range. It will last for around 10 hours or more if you use it just for internet browsing and writing documents. However, the absence of fast battery charging option is a pain and it takes me two hours and 30 minutes to three hours just to juice up the battery.

Even though the Dell XPS 13 9360 is an amazing ultrabook, it still has some flaws. The webcam in the device is placed in the bottom left corner because of the thin bezel above the display. This odd placement results in an awkward ‘chin-angled’ videos. The key travel of the device is a bit less than its competitors but the inclusion of the back-lit keyboard definitely helps in a dark environment. 

ITTI Nepal is currently selling the Intel Core i5-7200U variant of the Dell XPS 13 9360 at Rs 139,999.

Dell XPS 13 9360 

•    13.3-inch full HD display

•    Intel core i5-7200U Kaby Lake processor

•    Intel HD Graphics 620

•    8GB RAM, 256GB SSD ROM

•    60 Wh battery

•    Price: Rs 140,000 

(available at itti.com.np)

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

The MacBook Pro was launched in October last year and made headlines for giving up all other ports and keeping just two Thunderbolt 3 ports on each side. While Thunderbolt 3 may be the future of technology, the lack of USB ports is a turn off for a lot of people including me. It would have been a lot easier if Apple had included an adapter like ASUS did in the Zenbook 3.

The MacBook pro has a 13-inch Retina display with the resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels that Apple claims is 67 percent brighter than before. It is powered by 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Sky Lake processor along with Intel Iris Graphics 550 and 8GB RAM. Buyers will get 256GB of SSD storage in this variant. 

One of the major features of the MacBook Pro, according to Apple, is the inclusion of a Touch Bar—an OLED Retina display located above the keyboard. The Touch Bar replaces typical function keys with a touch-enabled display panel. The Touch Bar lets users use different commands and actions according to the app they are navigating. 

The butterfly keyboard offers 0.5 mm of key travel and is tactile. The speakers of the MacBook Pro have also garnered praises. The 13-inch variant of the device houses a 49.2 Wh polymer battery, which according to Apple can offer up to 10 hours of battery life. Oliz Store is currently selling this device at Rs 231,000.

MacBook Pro with touchbar 

•    13-inch display (2560 x 1600 pixels)

•    Intel core i5 processor

•    Up to 3.3 GHz Turbo boost

•    Intel Iris Graphics 550

•    8GB RAM, 256GB SSD ROM

•    Touch ID, Touch Bar

•    49.2 Wh battery

•    Price: Rs. 231,000 (available at olizstore.com)

Published: 16-05-2017 13:40

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