Ultrabook Review

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Why Use an Ultrabook?

The ultrabook has become much more than the perfect mobile computer. These ultrathin laptops are as elegant and beautiful as the prom queen. Upgrades to Intel technology and the ability to make smaller storage devices have made these thin laptops a great way to do anything from video editing to intensive gaming. Technology has allowed manufactures to not rely on integrated graphics cards and insert dedicated GPUs for more suitable graphics. And even with more power, these devices haven't forgotten their roots when it comes to size.

With all the upgrades to technology, ultrabooks still have to maintain certain aspects such as resuming from hibernation in three seconds or less, be less than .9 inches thick at its thinnest spot and have at least five hours of battery life. Ultrabooks like the Asus Zenbook Prime, Gigabyte Ultrabook and Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga are so portable that when you weigh the difference between your old laptop and a new ultrabook, the sheer physical difference is evident. A few of the portable laptops we looked at even had dedicated video cards, which are great for gaming. Screen sizes range between 13 to 15 inches, making them big enough to enjoy your media. And for more information regarding ultrabooks and how they will improve your lives, read our articles on ultrabooks.

Ultrabooks: What to Look For

Because if Intel's minimum requirements for these laptops, there are a few things you can expect in any ultrabook. Things like the size of the display, whether or not it is a touchscreen and the possibility of upgrading the hard drive or memory. There are plenty of things to consider, which will cost you, but may be necessary depending on your needs.

Performance
You want an ultrabook that performs simple tasks without lag, but we found ones that let you multitask without experiencing any issues. The best ultrabooks feature Intel's Haswell 4th generation processors that use less power and produces superb graphics without the cost of a separate graphics card. These processors have base speeds of 1.8GHz with speed bursts of up to 3.2GHz.

But if you do want a dedicated graphics card, there are several ultrabooks that feature a card with its own memory. You should also find ultrabooks that let you upgrade to 8GB of memory, making your computer smooth and efficient. And since these are ultrabooks by name, they have a battery life of at least five hours.

Design
The whole premise of ultrabooks lies in their slim, light, minimalist design. The chic designs we've seen could fit in at a Paris fashion show as easily as they fit in your backpack. The design also includes screen resolution. With new updates to the ultrabooks, many have Full HD touchscreens and have at least 128 pixels per inch, great for playing games and watching movies.

Features
Like all mobile computers, standard features include Wi-Fi capabilities, a webcam, mic and a memory card reader. You should look for ultrabooks that have USB 3.0 ports that are 10 times faster at transferring data than the USB 2.0 ports. Thunderbolt ports allow you to connect up to six peripherals from the one port. And if you want to fork out the extra money – usually around $70 – you can add an external optical drive along with your slim laptop.

Help & Support
Laptop technology is ever changing, so you want to find a manufacturer that makes it easy to find BIOS and driver updates and downloads. All the ultrabooks we looked at have at least a one-year warranty, the best ones giving you up to three years. And we know that you don't have time to waste if you should need help from the manufacturer, so we look at companies that quickly respond to questions and concerns.

In just a few years, ultrabooks have become a powerful that is comparable to many gaming machines. These thin laptops are packed with enough CPU power, storage space and memory to let you edit photos and videos or play video games like Borderlands 2 or Battlefield 3. Ultrabooks are a perfect combination of performance and design, which makes them easy to take with you.

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Electronics » Computers » Ultrabook Review
2014
BEST
Ultrabook Review
Product Comparisons
Side-By-Side Comparisons
Showing 1-10 of 26
Ratings
Compare our ratings for Ultrabook Review

Overall Rating

Performance

Design

Features

Help & Support

9.60
8.95
8.95
8.77
8.73
8.65
8.58
8.53
8.50
8.35
10.00
9.38
9.38
9.38
9.38
9.38
8.75
9.38
7.50
9.38
9.38
8.75
8.75
8.75
7.50
8.75
8.75
8.75
10.00
8.75
9.38
8.13
8.13
7.50
8.75
7.50
7.50
7.50
7.50
6.25
9.38
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
8.75
10.00
7.50
10.00
8.75
Compare Product Features
We do the research so you don't have to.
Performance
Processor
i7-3632QM
i5-3210B
i7-3537U
i5-4200U
i5-4200U
i5-4200U
i7-3667U
i7-4500U
i5-3337U
i5-3317U
Processor Speed (GHz)
3.1
2.5
1.9
1.6
1.6
1.6
2
1.8
1.8
1.7
Video Card
NVIDIA GT650M
GeForce GT640M
Intel HD 4000
Intel HD 4400
Intel HD 4400
Intel HD 4400
Intel HD 4000
Intel HD 4000
Intel HD 4000
Intel HD 4000
Memory (RAM)
4GB
4GB
4GB
4GB
8GB
4GB
4GB
4GB
8GB
8GB
Memory Upgradeable To
16GB
16GB
8GB
8GB
8GB
8GB
Primary Hard Drive Capacity
500GB
128GB SSD
256GB SSD
128GB SSD
128 SSD
128GB SSD
128GB SSD
128GB SSD
256GB SSD
128GB SSD
Upgradeable Storage
512GB SSD
256GB SSD
256GB SSD
256GB SSD
512GB SSD
256GB SSD
256GB SSD
512GB SSD
256GB SSD
Battery Life (Hours)
7.5
7
8
7.5
9
6.5
10
7
6.2
7.8
Audio
ICEpower
Hi-Fi Audio
Dolby Home Theater
JBL Audio
Dolby Home Theatre
ClearAudio+
Dolby Home Theater
Dolby Home Theater
DTS Studio Sound
Waves MaxxAudio
Design
Design Rating
100
75
90
95
85
85
90
95
90
90
Screen Resolution (Pixels)
1920 x 1080
1600 x 900
1600 x 900
3200 x 1800
1366 x 768
1920 x 1080
1920 x 1080
1920 x 1080
2560 x 1440
1600 x 900
Pixels Per Inch
141
138
138
276
112
166
166
166
221
138
Screen Size (Inches)
15.6
14
13.1
13.6
14
13.3
11.6
13.3
13.3
15
Width (Inches)
14.9
13.34
13.1
12.58
13.25
12.95
11.3
12.7
12.44
14
Depth (Inches)
10.01
9.17
8.9
8.76
9.5
8.5
7.37
8.8
8.15
9.3
Thickness (Inches)
.77
.82
.67
.54
0.85
.68
.44
.47
.7
.58
Weight (Lbs)
4.54
3.5
3.3
2.56
4.4
2.34
3.68
2.87
2.66
3.48
Backlit Keyboard
Touchscreen
Features
USB 3.0
2
3
1
2
1
1
2
2
2
1
USB 2.0
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
Webcam (Megapixels)
.9
1.3
1
1.3
1.3
1.9
2
1.3
1
.9
Built-in Mic
Wi-Fi
Bluetooth
Memory Card Reader
HDMI Port
Optical Drive
Fold Design
Help & Support
Warranty (Years)
1
2
3
1
1
1
3
1
2
3
Driver & Software Downloads
User Forums
Phone Support
Email Support
Live Support
Operating System
Windows 8
Windows 7