Navigating the New Ultrabooks

Author: Curt Finch
Published: February 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm

The big hit at CES this year was ultrabooks.  Ultrabooks seek to bridge the gap between the functionality of a laptop and the convenience of a tablet.  They have a reduced size and weight, and an extended battery life without compromised performance. At CES, the prototypes included touch screens, a feature not currently available with ultrabooks.  So what makes a laptop an ultrabook?  What are the best ultrabook features?  And when should you consider buying an ultrabook?  Keep reading to find out. 

What’s an Ultrabook?

An ultrabook meets the following requirements:

Weighs less than four pounds

·         Weighs less than four pounds

·         Is no more than 0.8 inches thick

·         Has at least a five hour battery life 

Ultrabooks have these requirements to ensure that they are very portable devices, which is essential for the mobile worker.  Another feature is the fast start-up time, which was inspired by tablets.  This is accomplished by both flash drives and hybrid storage systems that pair flash memory with a traditional hard drive.  If you need more storage in your ultrabook, go with the hybrid.  But if you can live with less memory storage, then go with the really fast flash memory.  You’ll find ultrabooks screens range from 13 inches to 15 inches. 

Best Ultrabook Features

So what features are the best among the different ultrabooks available?  Most ultrabooks are designed with a touchpad, so make sure you test it out before you buy it.  The touchpad should be able to do gestures easily, such as pinch-to-zoom and two finger scrolling.  Look for a keyboard with a backlight to extend usability in low light environments.  High screen resolution is important — look for 1600 x 900 pixel resolution rather than 1366 x 768.  Your eyes will thank you.  Since ultrabooks are thinner, they won’t have all the ports and slots you might be used to in a laptop.  If you need to connect a camera to your ultrabook, make sure you get one with an SD card slot.  Most business professionals will need an Ethernet port and video graphics array (VGA), so look for those as well. 

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: Curt Finch

Curt Finch is the CEO of Journyx. Founded in 1996, Journyx automates payroll, billing and cost accounting while easing management of employee time and expenses, and provides confidence that all resources are utilized correctly and completely. …

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