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The rise of tablets has given the term "portability" a whole new meaning, challenging laptop developers everywhere to create devices that are sleeker, faster and lighter than ever. The ultrabook, which is smaller and lighter than most laptops, seems to be the closest competitor to the effortlessly carryable Apple iPad, but, until recently, it has come at an equally hefty price.

While most of the ultrabooks on the market fall somewhere near the $1,000 mark, PCWorld reports that big name developers like Toshiba, Samsung and Asus have announced new ultrabook models with slashed prices.

The Sony Vaio Ultrabook T series has a 13.3 inch model that only costs $769.99. And, its industrial specs, such as its 0.71 inch thickness and 3.54 pound weight, certainly qualify this device as portable. 

Meanwhile, the July 22 release of the 14-inch Toshiba Satellite U840 Ultrabook will give consumers a lighter and less expensive alternative to its other notebooks and laptops. With a $749 price tag, this powerful piece of hardware weighs 3.5 pounds and also has a minimal thickness of 0.79 inches.

Lenovo has also announced a few lightweight and low-cost options. Its new IdeaPad U310 is even lighter and more compact than the Sony and Toshiba models, and while the source doesn't rave about the design, it did note that this new series, at $749, is significantly cheaper than the original IdeaPad Ultrabook U300s, which costs over $1,500.

And finally, rumors are flying that Asus will also be joining the fray with a 14-inch ultrabook reportedly priced at $599 that will be on par with most custom Asus laptops.

These new releases will make the processes of choosing between Samsung, Sony and Toshiba laptops all the more difficult, so for more information on each brand's offerings, contact a retailer like PortableOne.

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