Leader releases big-screen Ultrabook

Leader releases big-screen Ultrabook

IT manufacturer and distributor has added a 14-inch Ultrabook to its product line-up

Leader Companion 400 series. Specifications and price.

Leader Companion 400 series. Specifications and price.

IT manufacturer and distributor, Leader Computers, has released its own branded 14-inch Ultrabook.

With a strong background in notebook distribution, Leader wanted to expand into the much-hyped Ultrabook market.

“We’re a close partner of Intel and we have been talking for a while about the vendor’s new Ultrabook platform,” Leader managing director, Theo Kristoris, said. “We decided to work closely with Intel to develop an Ultrabook we believe our would fit into the Australian market.”

Intel has invested a vast amount of money and effort in the Ultrabook category it created to rival Apple’s thin and light notebook, the MacBook Air.

The Leader Companion 400 series was released earlier this month. It comes in three models that use either an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 chip.

A number of vendors, including Acer, Asus, HP, Samsung and Toshiba have already released their own Ultrabooks but they their sizes usually range from 11-13.3 inches.

But according to Kristoris, Australians have an affinity for notebooks with bigger screens which, in turn, makes a large display Ultrabook more attractive. This sentiment is shared by Acer product manager, Nigel Gore, who said 15-inch notebooks are the most popular category in the Australian market.

“We noticed Australians like a larger format so that is one key differentiator with our Ultrabook is that it does have a large 14-inch screen,” Kristoris said. “It is also very thin and light in design.”

The Leader Companion 400 weighs in at 1.6kg and despite having a larger screen battery life is adequate at eght hours depending on usage.

Another demand Kristoris saw in the Australian market is for portable computing devices to be sturdy in design. That is why the Leader Ultrabook is made with an aluminium top and a magnesium bottom. The hinges can open and close 10,000 times according to a reliability test commissioned by Leader.

Robustness of the Ultrabook is vital for sale into verticals like education.

The Leader Companion 400 series is shipping now and so far 50 resellers have signed on to sell the product.

Leader Computers is looking to release follow-up Ultrabooks once Intel launches its upcoming IvyBridge processor platform later in the year. IvyBridge provides improved processor and graphics performance as well as lower power consumption, which is a perfect fit for Ultrabooks.

Leader is working on a 15.6-inch Ultrabook as well as a tablet model with a slideout keyboard.

Price for the Leader Companion 400 series start from $999 for an Intel Core i5 500GB SATA hard drive model.

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