Ultrabooks: Ultra sleek. Ultra stylish. Ultra responsive.

As defined by Intel, Ultrabooks are higher-end type of subnotebooks. The name Ultrabook has been registered as a trademark by Intel. The main features of an ultrabook include reduced size, weight with extended battery life and responsiveness without any compromises of the performance. This has become possible due to the use of low-power Intel processors with integrated graphics and SSD (Solid State drive) for better responsiveness.

It is commonly said that 2012 is the year of the tablets but I say that Ultrabooks are the devices that will take over the year. With introduction of Acer Aspire S5, HP Envy Spectre, Lenovo T430u, LG Z330, LG Z430, Samsung Series 5 and Dell XPS 13 at the Consumer Electronics Show 2012 (CES 2012), the audience attention was fully drawn towards ultrabooks. In 2012 more that 75 new Ultrabooks will be introduced and 50% of which will feature 14 and 15 inch displays.

Ultrabooks are thin, light and they give great performance with security features, battery power, instant on and quick standby. All these features make ultrabooks laptops with mobility features.  This means that ultrabooks are Intel’s step to create a stronger platform in the mobile devices market such as Tablet computers. Tablets are mainly powered by ARM based processors. Intel has introduced Ultrabook concept with its mobile features to influence PC market against the competition from ARM based processors in the Tablet markets.

One of the biggest competitions of Ultrabooks is Apple’s Macbook Air which is also powered with Intel Processors but the Operating system is Mac OS X.

Solid-state drive –

One of the features of Ultrabooks that has increased their responsiveness and reduced their size is use of Solid State Drive (SSD). SSD also known as solid-state disk or electronic disk is basically a data storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data. Unlike traditional magnetic disks or Hard disk drives (HDDs), SSDs do not have any moving components or spinning disks. This means that they have a reduced size, they are silent and they have a lower access time and latency. The only disadvantage of SSDs is the fact that they are more expensive.

Integrated Graphics –

Integrated Graphics solutions or integrated graphics processors are a new type of Graphic cards that use a part of the RAM instead of having a separate dedicated graphics memory.

 First Generation Ultrabooks Processors – Intel Core i3, Intel Core i5, Intel Core i7

Since Ultrabooks are a concept by Intel, only Intel Core microprocessors are used in the devices. Only the three of best Intel processors, Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 power all the Ultrabooks. These are 3 of world’s fastest and most advance microprocessors so far.

Ultrabook Generations and their requirements –

There are three generations or platforms of Ultrabooks and we are currently in the first stage of Ultrabooks which is also called as Huron River. Each time Intel releases a new mobile platform of microprocessors the requirements of the devices change as well.  The second generation of Ultrabooks will be released in June of 2012 and the third generation is expected in 2013.

Price Range –

Ultrabooks generally are priced at around $ 999 but the price of each device can vary with change in configurations of that device. The price range of ultrabooks is from $899 to $1,500 depending on the required configuration by the buyer.

List of best Ultrabooks –

Ultrabooks are taking over the market in 2012 as they are also reasonably priced at $999 may be less or more. Here are some of the best ultrabooks that have been launched so far:-

Acer Aspire M3 – This 15.6 inch Ultrabook is one of the most recent ones and it got launched in March 2012. Acer Aspire M3 has been mainly designed for opening some gaming, video and CAD possibilities. With a weight of 2.3 kg it is considered as one of the heaviest Ultrabooks. Acer Aspire M3 Ultrabook also comes with Intel Core i5 and i7 versions. Here are the Acer Aspire M3 specifications: –

  • Intel Core i3 1400 Mhz
  • Nvidia GeForece 640M graphics
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (windows 8 capable)
  • Display: 15.6 inches of LED Backlit LCD with a resolution of 1366×768
  • No Touch
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 320 GB hybrid SSD/HDD
  • Weight: 2.3 kg
  • Overall battery life: 8 hours
  • Ethernet 10/100/1000
  • HDMI
  • USB ports: 2.0 (x2), 3.0
  • SD card slot
  • Webcam 1.3 mp

Samsung Series 9 – Samsung Series 9 has a 15 inch screen with a resolution of 1600×900. This ultrabook is powered with an Intel Core i5 processor and a 8GB RAM. Here are Samsung Series 9 NP900 specifications: –

  • Intel Core i5 processor
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • Operating system: windows 7, windows 8 capable
  • Display: 15 inches of LED backlit LCD with a resolution of 1600×900
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 128 GB SSD
  • Weight: 1.5 kg
  • USB ports: 2.0 (x2), 3.0
  • SDHC card slot
  • Webcam 1.3 mp

Toshiba Satellite U840 – Toshiba Satellite U840 is powered with Intel Core i5 with a speed of 2467 M and a RAM of 8 GB. This 14 inch screen ultrabook comes with a 6 cell battery and it is 19.9 mm thick at its thickest point. Here are the Toshiba Satellite U840 specifications: –

  • Intel Core i5
  • Operating system: Windows 7 (windows 8 capable)
  • Display: 14 inches of LED backlit LCD screen with a resolution of 1366×768
  • 8 GB RAM
  • Flash: 16 GB
  • 320 GB SSD
  • USB ports: 2.0 (x2), 3.0

LG Xnote Z330 and LG Z430 Ultrabooks – LG Z330 comes with a 13.3 inch screen and it is 14.4 mm at its thickest point. LG Z430 comes with a 14 inch screen. Both LG Z330 and 430 run Windows 7 and they are Windows 8 Capable as well. The features and options of LG Z330 include 1366×768 LED backlit display, Intel Core i7 (options: i3, i5) processor,  4 GB of DDR3 memory and HD 3000 graphics,256 GB SSD (options: 120 GB SSD), 10/100 Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 + HS.LG Z430 has the same features except that it comes with a 14 inch. Here are LG Z430 specifications: –

  • Intel Core i7
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Professional
  • Display: 14 inches of LED backlit LCD screen
  • Screen resolution: 1366×768
  • 8 GB RAM
  • Flash: 128 GB
  • 500 GB SSD
  • Weight: 1.5 kg
  • USB 2.0 (x2), 3.0
  • Webcam 1.3 mp

Asus Zenbook UX31 – Zenbook UX31 is a stylish and chic looking ultrabook. This 13 inch ultrabook is at 3 mm at its thinnest and 9 mm its thickest point. Asus Zenbook UX31 is featured with power input, USB 3.0, Mini VGA, Micro HDMI, USB 2.0, Audio Jack, SD card reader, High resolution display and bang and Olufsen sound.

Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook – Samsung Series 5 is powered with an Intel Core i5 processor and it comes in both 14 and 13 inch models. Here are the features of Samsung Series 5; 128GB/256GB SSD, LED SuperBright screen. The only disadvantage of this ultrabook is its low battery life. Here are Samsung Series 5 specifications: –

  • Intel Core i5
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • Operating System: Windows 7
  • Display: 14 inches of LED backlit LCD with resolution of 1366×768
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Flash 128
  • 1 TB SSD
  • USB Ports: 2.0 (x2), 3.0
  • Webcam 1.3 mp

Lenovo IdeaPad U410 – Lenovo IdeaPad has brought Ultrabooks to a new mainstream with its attractive and competitive price. Here are the Lenovo IdeaPad U410 specifications: –

  • Intel Core processor
  • Operating system: Windows7 (window8 capable)
  • 13.3 inches with a resolution of 1366×768
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Flash: 64 GB
  • Hard Disk: 500 GB
  • SDHC card slot
  • USB ports: 2.0, 3.0 (x2)

Dell XPS 13 – Dell XPS 13 has 13.3 inches of frameless screen made of gorilla glass. This ultrabook has two options of processors which are Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7. Here are dell XPS specifications: –

  • Processor: Intel Core i5, Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics
  • Storage: 128 GB or 256 GB SSD
  • WiFi 802.1
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • Webcam: 1.3 megapixel
  • Dual Array digital webcam
  • HD audio and waves Maxxaudio 4
  • Display resolution: 1366×768
  • 13.3 inches screen
  • Gorilla glass
  • USB 3.0, 2.0
  • PowerShare
  • 1.36 kg weight
  • Backlit chiclet keyboard
  • Overall battery life: 8 hours

HP Envy 14 Spectre – With a 14 inch display and a screen resolution of 1600×900, HP Envy 14 Spectre has quite a few unique features which make it very desirable. Here are HP Envy 14 Spectre specifications: –

  • Intel Core i5 processor
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • Operating System: Windows 7 (windows 8 capable)
  • Display: 14 inches of LED Backlit LCD
  • Screen resolution: 1600×900
  • No touch
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Flash 128 GB
  • Weight: 1.7 kg
  • USB ports: 2.0, 3.0

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