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Introducing the ultrabook

By strict definition, an ultrabook has specific criteria to be met before they can be classified as such. If you look at at the requirements closely, an ultrabook is a step up from a regular laptop, but is thinner in size and lighter in weight. It performs like a laptop powered by fast Intel processor chips.

Scrutinising the ultrabook

Intel has made specific requirements before a device can be called an ultrabook, as follows:

Weight

The weight of an ultrabook has to be less than 1.5 kgs. or 3.3 lbs. In terms of portability, it doesn’t get any better apart from carrying tablets or smartphones.

Dimensions or thickness

In addition to being lighter than laptops, an ultrabook should be no thicker than 21 mm or 0.83 inches.

Battery life

The minimum guaranteed life of the battery without using electricity should be 5 hours.

Fast booting/restart

Users should be able to start an ultrabook lightning fast (5 seconds or less) without waiting long.

Prices

Intel has set an ideal price bar for these gadgets, with an ultrabook costing $1,000 or £1000 per unit. For a time, there were complaints from manufacturers claiming that this figure is not feasible unless Intel lowered the price of the processors.

Touchscreens

Like tablets and smart phones, touch screens are enabled in an ultrabook.

Fast processor

Intel is to supply the low-voltage core processors for faster performance and enhanced graphics, longer battery life, and slimmer frames.

Models in the market

Here is a list of what we think qualifies as an ultrabook

Aspire S7 is not yet released but will be available in both 11.6 and 13.3 inches. Windows 8 is the targetted OS, so it may be a while before we see it hitting the market.

Sony Vaio T13, priced under £1000, is a suitable device for day to day computing needs.

Samsung Series 9, a 13.9-inch ultrabook, is even sleeker and slimmer than the original versions sold in the market. Its dimension is just 12.9 mm. It’s packed with a 1.7GHz Core i7 chip and has 8GB memory and SSD storage.

Samsung Series Ultra 5 is enabled with an Intel Core i5 processor and sold in 13-inch or 14-inch models. Choose between 128 or 256 GB memory.

The Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A costs more than £1,000, but is worth mentioning because of its blazing speed, 1080 pixel-screen, large memory and storage.

Limitations

We have outlined all that’s needed for you to know the driving force behind an ultrabook. Critics say that once the touch screen is integrated, it's no better than a smartphone or a tablet. Others comment that an ultrabook's limitations such as the absence of a DVD drive and battery life (5 hours is not good enough) do not make it an enticing buy. What do you think?

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