Ultrabook Showdown : New Lenovo ThinkPad vs. HP Folio + Dell XPS

The Lenovo ThinkPad T431 is the redesigned version of the ThinkPad T430.  It’s lighter and thinner, and has a redesigned touchpad and a slimmer LCD bezel.  The touchpad is now bigger but the buttons for clicking or selecting are now gone. Not to worry though, users just have to click on certain areas of the touchpad to achieve the same tasks, plus the red tracker button is still present for precision navigation.

The larger touchpad is also beneficial for people who want to transition from Windows 7 to Windows 8, which is better optimized for touch gestures.

The Lenovo ThinkPad T431 is coming to the US in April and will cost $949.

Lenovo has been taking the spotlight away from Hewlett-Packard and Dell for some time now, and reinventing its products might do further damage for its two global rivals.  But what has Lenovo products have that others don’t?  Let’s compare (after the jump).

 

Dimensions

Lenovo ThinkPad T431:Height 331 x Width 226 x Thickness 20mm, Weight 1.63 kilograms

HP EliteBook Folio: 231 x 338 x 18.9 mm, 1.61 kg

Dell XPS 14: 233 x 335.8 x 20.7mm, 2.1kg

Display

ThinkPad: 14-inch display, 1,600 x 900 resolution, anti-glar, and a screen hinge that bends back 180º

Folio: 14” LED-backlit display with anti-glare, 1366 x 768 resolution,

XPS: 14.0″ HD+ (900p) Truelife Infinity Display

Camera

ThinkPad: 720p HD Camera with Face Tracking

Folio: Optional 720p HD webcam

XPS: Skype-Certified Hi-Def Webcam, 1.3MP webcam with dual array digital microphones

OS

ThinkPad: Windows 7 or Windows 8

Folio: Windows 7 or Windows 8

XPS: Windows 7 or Windows 8

Processor

ThinkPad: Will come with Intel Core i5 or i7 processor based on the Ivy Bridge microarchitecture.

Folio: Available with Intel Core i5-3427U with Intel HD Graphics 4000 (1.8 GHz, 3 MB cache, 2 cores), Intel Core i5-3437U with Intel HD Graphics 4000 (1.9 GHz, 3 MB cache, 2 cores), Intel Core i5-3317U (1.70 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache, 2 cores), Intel Core i5-3427U (2.80/1.80 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache, 2 cores), Intel Core i5-3317U (1.70 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache, 2 cores), Intel Core i7-3687U with Intel HD Graphics 4000 (2.1 GHz, 4 MB cache, 2 cores), Intel Core i5-3427U (2.80/1.80 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache, 2 cores), or Intel Core i7-3667U (3.20/2.0 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache, 2 cores)

XPS: Available with 3rd Generation Intel Core i5-3317U processor (3M Cache, up to 2.6 GHz) or 3rd Generation Intel Core i7-3517U processor (4M Cache, up to 3.0 GHz)

RAM

ThinkPad: 12GB DDR3 1600 MHz

Folio: Two slots for DDR3 SDRAM which can support up to a total of 16GB

XPS: Available in 4GB DDR3 1600MHz Memory or 8GB DDR3 1600MHz Memory

Graphics

ThinkPad: Intel HD Graphics 4000, NVIDIA GeForce GT 620M (1GB)

Folio: Intel HD Graphics 4000

XPS: Intel HD Graphics 4000, NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M with 1GB GDDR5 VRAM

Hard drive

ThinkPad: 1TB (5400rpm) 256GB SSD, 24GB  Micro SSD with ExpressCache and DiskKeeper Utility

Folio: 180 GB SATA SSD or  256 GB mSATA SSD, 500 GB 7200 rpm SATA,

XPS: Up to 500GB SATA hard drive (5400RPM)

Audio

ThinkPad: Dolby Home Theater v4

Folio: SRS PRO Audio; Integrated stereo speakers; Integrated dual-microphone array; Button for volume mute; function keys for volume up and down; Headphone/Microphone combo port

XPS: High Definition Audio + Waves MaxxAudio 4

Wireless

ThinkPad: Gobi 3K 14.4Mbps/HSPA, Ericsson HSPA + WWAN Minicard (H5321gw), Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230

Folio: Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 Combo, optional HP un2430 EV-DO/HSPA Mobile Broadband

XPS: Killer Wireless-N, 1202 for Video 7 Voice + BT 4.0

Keyboard

ThinkPad: Standard full size, backlit keyboard, bigger touchpad sans buttons

Folio: Standard full size keyboard

XPS: Standard full size, backlit chiclet keyboard; spill-resistant; Glass integrated button touchpad with gesture support

Ports and slots

ThinkPad: MiniDisplayPort with audio (1), 1 3.5mm Combo Jack Headphone/MIC, USB 3.0 HDMI (2), 4-in-1 SD Card Reader (2) (SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC slot)

Folio: USB 3.0 (2), Ethernet, VGA, Displayport 1.1a, docking connector, media card reader, headphone/mic jack, power connector, smart card reader, USB 3.0 charging port.

XPS: USB 3.0 (2) 1 w/PowerShare,mini DisplayPort (1), HDMI (1), RJ-45 (1), 3-in-1 card reader, headset jack (1), mini Kensington lock

Price

ThinkPad: Starts at $949

Folio: Ranges from $1,049 to $1758

XPS: Ranges from $999.99 to $1499.99

*The specifications of the ThinkPad T431 is not yet available and most of the specifications used in this article came from the ThinkPad T430u since the T431 is an upgraded version of the Ultrabook.

Which is the best Ultrabook?

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To be honest, the three Ultrabooks have very similar specifications but each has its own higlights.  The T431 has a better resolution and bigger storage while XPS has a better webcam and Folio has a bigger RAM.  As for the best Ultrabook, it’s hard to tell.  It would depend on what you’re looking for in an Ultrabook, its price and of course the design.  The ThinkPad is more on the boxy side, and will allegedly come in various colors but the Folio and XPS looks more sleek in their metallic finish.

About Mellisa Tolentino

Mellisa is a staff writer for SiliconAngle, covering social and mobile news. She is fascinated by technology and loves imparting what she learns through her journey as a writer. Got a news story or tip? Send it to mellisa@siliconangle.com