What Is an Ultrabook?

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Intel's Ultrabook campaign is generating lots of buzz, but it isn't all for the right reasons. The idea behind these laptops ultra portability and responsiveness is commendable in theory. In practice, some of the manufacturers are taking liberties with the concept. Unfortunately, it's Intel's own requirements that are allowing this to happen.
Intel's Ultrabook campaign is generating lots of buzz, but it isn't all for the right reasons. The idea behind these laptops ultra portability and responsiveness is commendable in theory. In practice, some of the manufacturers are taking liberties with the concept. Unfortunately, it's Intel's own requirements that are allowing this to happen.

The chipmaker's effort to inspire PC-makers to better compete with Apple's MacBook Air is bringing mixed results. The laptops are supposed to follow certain guidelines to qualify as An Ultrabook:

- no more than 18 millimeters thick, or 21 millimeters for a 14-inch or larger screen.
- minimum of five hours of battery life.
- able to awaken from hibernation within seven seconds.
- priced at $1,000 or less.

There is no maximum weight requirement; some models are pushing the four-pound mark. Intel was touting solid-state drives as the means for the ultra fast response after hibernation, but some Ultrabooks include hybrid drives with moving parts instead. Laptops loaded with memory and other features are priced well above $1,000.

For a true Ultrabook experience, start with the models that carry Intel's branding. Narrow the choices to those that really are lightweight, about 2.5 to three pounds, and then select the computer that fits your budget. Focus on your needs and not on the hype.

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