Can Kupa's Windows 8 UltraNote Tablet Beat Microsoft Surface Pro?
12/24/2012 by: Theo Valich
Couple of weeks ago, we've had the opportunity to play with the prototype of UltraNote tablet from Kupa, a rising tablet manufacturer with offices in California, Germany and China. With Intel releasing more details on its tablet platform, codenamed Clover Trail - we decided to take a look at a product whose performance will demolish Clover Trail and by itself, Microsoft Surface Pro and related designs.
Kupa's UltraNote Tablet is ultra-fast and responsive, which is not what we've experienced with the first batch of Windows 8 tablets...
As you can see of the picture above, the Kupa UltraNote isn't all that different compared to contemporary tablets. It is true that the design is thicker than an Apple iPad 3/4, but it is on the same level as Microsoft Surface RT and Surface Pro. The thicker design was a necessity to fit the cooling subsystem needed to cool down the Core i3, i5 and i7 processors. These are the same 17 Watt processors (Mobile ULV) Intel uses on Ultrabooks but Kupa used a lot of software tricks to get the power consumption down as much as possible. All Core processors are based on the 22nm Ivy Bridge die, paired with 4 or 8GB of DDR3 memory and 64 or 128GB of SSD storage.
The design is impressively thin for a tablet utilizing Ultrabook components
While the performance offered leaves little to be desired, Kupa did not fail with the screen quality as well - 10.1" IPS panel comes with a compelling 16:10 aspect ratio. As you might have guessed, native resolution is 1920x1200 pixels (with 60Hz refresh), all with 10 point multi-touch. Furthermore, the UltraNote will come with a pen as well for those users that want to draw on the panel. We spoke with Mark Peng, VP of Marketing in Kupa, LLC and he told us that they offer higher levels of sensitivity than professional tablets for content creators. Mark also insinuated that this tablet will offer better precision than a professional multi-touch displays which a certain Japanese company sells for thousands of dollars. However, until we're able to compare apples-to-apples, we will refrain from giving our comment of that statement.
SD Card Reader, Headphone and Mic inputs, HDMI and two USB 3.0 ports - more connectivity than on some Ultrabooks
We liked the fact that there's two USB 3.0 ports, instead of customary 1xUSB 3.0, 1xUSB 2.0 combination on majority of Ultrabooks and Tablets (plus, most of tablets don't feature USB 3.0 at all).
The dock itself is larger than the tablet, and offers additional battery capacity and a standard keyboard
The impressive part is the battery life - as you could see in our images, UltraNote comes with a replaceable battery and a docking station which almost doubles the battery life. This Windows 8 Pro tablet should offer 7 hours of autonomy on its own, and up to 12 with the docking station (which also features a full sized keyboard).
Now, only one question remains - Can Kupa deliver what the prototype offered in volume?
Kupa, Kupa World, Windows 8, Win8, W8, Windows 8 Pro, W8Pro, Intel, Ivy Bridge, Core i7, 1920x1200, 16:10, 16:10 Display, Multi-touch, Multitouch, Removable Battery, Docking, Docking System, Modular, Modularity, USB 3.0, USB 3.0 Tablet
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