LG takes on Ultrabooks with the Xnote P330

LG has declared its independence from Intel's Ultrabook effort with the launch of the Xnote P330 13.3in slim-and-light laptop in its native Korea.

The Korean company's take on the current trend for razor-thin portable computing devices measures a scant 32mm at its thickest point and, the company claims, takes up the same footprint as a 12-inch laptop, thanks to an ultra-slim bezel surrounding the 13.3-inch 1366x768 LED-backlit display.

Under the island-style keyboard lurks the buyer's choice of second-generation Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor, 4GB or 8GB of RAM, a mechanical hard drive with a small SSD for caching, an Nvidia GeForce GT 555M dedicated graphics card, and a six-cell battery that should be good for between six and eight hours.

Connectivity-wise, there's an embarrassment of riches on offer: LG's P330 includes 802.11g/b/n Wi-Fi - missing only the 802.11a standard - a wired gigabit Ethernet port, USB 3.0, and an HDMI output for connection to a big screen.

The dual-storage capability - which uses a traditional mechanical hard drive for mass storage, combined with a smaller drive for caching frequently-accessed files, an increasingly common technique that helps to boost both performance and battery life - will be available in a 40GB/640GB or 64GB/750GB configuration, LG has confirmed.

But while LG's Xnote P330 is certainly impressive, it's a long way from being an Ultrabook. According to Intel's official specs, an Ultrabook needs to squeeze its components into an overall thickness of no greater than 20mm, a target LG's offering misses by a country mile.

By not ceding to Intel's demands on what an Ultrabook must be, LG has the opportunity to cut costs considerably - but, sadly, appears to have failed to do so. While international pricing has not yet been announced, the company's Korean pricing sits at £831 for the entry-level product, rising to £1,228 at the higher-end model.

With pricing pretty much equal to that of significantly slimmer rivals like the Asus UX series, it remains to be seen what sort of reception LG's latest Xnote will get when - or if - it gets a UK release.

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