If you have you been shopping around for a laptop lately then you will have almost certainly noticed the name “Ultrabook”, a name which numerous computer manufacturers seem to be applying to their laptops lately.
Now although the name Ultrabook may not be truly imaginative or catch consumer attention for the right reasons (marketing folk’ tend to overuse terms to draw consumer eyes), there is a genuine reason that the Ultrabook name is cropping up everywhere currently.
If you are confused about what an Ultrabook actually is, I aim to try to explain this, the best I can in this article. If you are shopping around online for an Ultrabook and already know what one is, then this handy Ultrabook buyers guide should help you out a lot. Read on to find out what makes a laptop an Ultrabook.
The ‘Ultrabook’ name
Intel have been the world’s number one computing processor manufacturer for as long as many consumers can remember, and with all of that experience, the company has seen the rise of the tablet and smartphone, both of which have threatened portable computer sales ever since Apple introduced the iPad in 2010 and the iPhone in 2007.
To combat this and to push for an industry-wide advancement in Ultra-portable laptops, the main segment to which tablets threaten, Intel trademarked the name ‘Ultrabook’ towards the middle of 2011 and set out to create minimum hardware requirements for all laptops within the Ultra-thin market. On top of aiming to appeal to tablet buyers, the Ultrabook term has the broader aim to create a stand-out range of products within what many people consider a highly fragmented market.
Essentially, Ultrabooks are the most modern and up to date laptops on the market, or at least that’s what Intel has set out to print in to the minds of consumers.
Ultrabook hardware requirements
Laptops and computers are a dime a dozen, and when shopping for one you will have a hard job finding one with the exact specification you would like. With Ultrabooks, however, there are minimum requirements for a laptop to be able to carry the ‘Ultra’ term. In 2012, the minimum hardware requirements are:
- Laptops must feature Intel Core processors with Ivy Bridge architecture, and up to date Intel HD graphics
- Laptops must measure a minimum 18 mm or less in height for 13.3? and smaller displays, measure 21 mm or less in height for 14.0? and larger displays
- Laptops must include SSD storage, or a hybrid of SSD and HDD
- Laptops must feature a minimum 5 hours of battery life
- Laptops must resume from hibernation mode in 7 seconds flat or below
- Laptops must feature a minimum of one USB 3.0 port
- Laptops must include a number of Intel based software programs, such as Intel Identity Protection Technology
As you can see from the above, all Ultrabooks feature technology which is up to date. USB 3.0, SSD storage and the portable nature of Ultrabooks help them stand out way above normal laptops, however the above are just minimum requirements, with many new Ultrabooks packing other awesome features as well such as dedicated graphics (the 13.3-inch ASUS UX32VD features a dedicated Nvidia 620M chip for gaming) and open source operating systems like Linux which the ZaReason Ultralap 430 offers.
In the future, Intel have set out guidelines for next-generation Ultrabooks to include sensors as seen in tablets, and what’s more a lot of newer models of laptop will start to surface with a touch screen, in order to make full use of Windows 8′s tile based user interface.