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What do you get with an ultrabook?

Agam Shah | March 13, 2012
A new category of thin and light Windows 7 laptops called ultrabooks has emerged in the past few months, but questions remain about whether the time is ripe to buy or to wait for Windows 8 models with features like touchscreens.

The chiclet keyboard made typing easy, and the ultrabook ran cooler than the X220. The U300S had standard laptop features such as USB 3.0 and HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) ports, though the display was not as sharp as IPS screens found on some X220 models.

Overall, if you immediately need a lightweight laptop and can shell out more than $800, ultrabooks could be worth looking at. But for those willing to wait, the next phase of ultrabooks coming out later this year could either be cheaper or have features like touchscreens.

The first phase of ultrabooks highlights the thin and light design and "ultraresponsiveness," said Becky Emmett, an Intel spokeswoman. It also provides a foundation on which the company can engineer its second wave of ultrabooks, which will be faster and more user-friendly, Emmett said.

The next phase of ultrabooks will have new Core processors based on the upcoming Ivy Bridge microarchitecture, which will speed up programs and graphics. The chips will have 3D transistors, which will make the processors faster and power-efficient.

A third phase of ultrabooks will follow in 2013, with Intel chips code-named Haswell, Emmett said. The laptop battery life should improve significantly with Haswell, Emmett said.

 

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