A Guide to Ultrabooks

What is an Ultrabook?

“Ultrabook” is actually a term trademarked by chip maker Intel , who has set a list of standards that manufacturers must adhere to in order to officially be deemed an “Ultrabook.” Just like the stickers that read “Intel Inside,” these computers receive Intel’s special badge on the bezel of the unit, letting you know it is a certified Ultrabook. The requirements include a thickness of 23mm or smaller depending on display size and a minimum of 5 hour battery life, among other things. Of course, it also requires that the hardware inside the notebook be mostly Intel products, making it as much of marketing tool as it is a push for technological innovation.

The term “Ultrabook,” has entered the lexicon of tech buzzwords and is commonly used to refer to any notebook computer that is made to be thinner, lighter and more portable than the current standard of notebooks, whether they adhere to Intel standards or not. This class of mobile computing has been around for more than a decade and used to be called “ultra-portable.”

In recent years, the emergence of netbooks and tablets seemed to be the death knell of these devices, but ultrabooks have given portable laptops a shot in the arm in 2012. While many argue that Apple began the ultra-portable revival with the Macbook Air, companies like Microsoft are also pushing ultrabooks in a big way. In fact, with the introduction of Windows 8, Microsoft seeks to blur the line between tablets and ultrabooks, if not erase it altogether.

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November 7, 2012
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