Information Technology

Gartner Glossary


Ultramobiles are a category of midsize lightweight computing devices, which includes tablets, thin and lightweight PCs and convertibles. These devices typically have a display size between 7 inches and 13.9 inches, and with weight typically under 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg). Gartner identifies three types of ultramobiles: premium ultramobile, basic ultramobile and utility ultramobile:

  • Premium ultramobiles are user-interface-optimized for media consumption, while retaining capabilities for full-scale data processing. Examples of ultramobile premium devices include Microsoft’s Surface Pro, Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro and Apple’s MacBook Air.
  • Basic ultramobiles differ from premium ultramobiles in having a more limited range of capabilities and a lack of extensive content creation functionality. Consumption activities are the main driver for these devices. They are dependent on the use of specific software linked to the OS and are intended primarily for content consumption, social interaction and data processing input. They may be extended with the use of wireless keyboards and other peripherals, such as docking stations, but the standard and most popular usage mode is in a tablet form factor — an open slate unit with touch input. Clamshell form factors included in this basic category are devices such as Chromebooks, because their functionality is considerably limited when not connected to the Internet. Examples of devices included in this category are: smaller Windows devices with a display of up to 10 inches, Apple’s iPad and iPad Mini, all Android-based tablets such as Google’s Nexus 9 (white-box devices excluded) and Chromebooks.
  • Utility ultramobiles offer the lowest cost by compromising on processor speed, screen size/resolution and camera capability. Utility tablets may well be a first data-centric device for new users. This category includes mainly white-box vendor products.

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