What is an Ultrabook
Ultrabook laptops are relatively new devices that have entered the market quite recently. This gadget is an off-shoot of a conventional laptop. The very name 'ultrabook' was created by Intel and it denotes a compact, very thin, and lightweight laptop with a stunning battery life. And there's another requirement for ultrabook laptops - performance. These devices can cope with any tasks. Ultrabooks are totally new mobile computers - ideal for busy people who always need to have a laptop at hand, who travel a lot, and so on. That's why ultrabook laptops are very popular with businessmen and entrepreneurs.
However, if portability is less important than the top performance - you are welcome to choose one of 5 best gaming laptops from our shortlist.
What Features to Compare
The first thing you need to consider is the performance - a key issue for any computer, and an ultrabook is no exception. The performance depends on hardware a device has (CPU, RAM capacity, GPU, etc.). No need to remind you that a CPU is a true heart of any computer. The overall laptop operation depends on it - the more powerful the CPU is, the faster your ultrabook runs. As usual, ultrabook laptops have Intel Core CPUs that have multiple cores (usually 2) and low energy consumption. The responsiveness of your ultrabook's software depends on RAM capacity. The higher it is, the more apps you can run simultaneously without slowing the OS down. If you need to create graphics or, for example, play PC games, make sure to find out what GPU an ultrabook laptop has. In general, they are either dedicated or integrated (also called embedded). An integrated GPU is a part of CPU responsible for processing a video signal. Of course, it's less powerful than a dedicated GPU. An integrated GPU consumes little energy and shows sufficient performance for rendering HD videos, etc. By contrast, a dedicated GPU is the best pick for gaming and graphic editing. No need to say, an ultrabook with a dedicated GPU is more expensive than those having embedded graphic cards. Moreover, keep in mind that any modern ultrabook with a dedicated GPU also has an embedded one and it switches between them in order to reduce the energy consumption. Finally, check out what kind of storage device an ultrabook has. Either hard disk drives (HDDs) or solid-state drives (SSDs) are used in computers. SSDs are far superior in terms of data transfer rate.
Next, you should make a reasonable choice of the screen. No need to say, anyone wants to see the best picture possible and there are several criteria determining it. For example, different ultrabook manufacturers use different panels. There are several major panel types and you should know what they differ in:
- TN (Twisted Nematic) - that's an affordable and rather old technology boasting a good response time, but colour rendering is rather mediocre, the contrast ratio is low, the viewing angles aren't wide.
- MVA (Multi-Domain Vertical Alignment) - this panel technology boasts a great brightness and contrast ratio, nice colour rendering, but the viewing angles are below 160 degrees (so, colours get distorted) and the response time is only 25ms.
- IPS (In-Panel Switching) - this panel type boasts the best colour rendering, perfect viewing angles (170-180 degrees), the high contrast ratio, but this technology is more expensive and, moreover, the responsiveness isn't record-high.
Also, more and more devices today have touchscreens that make using an operating system a lot easier. Thus, decide for yourself if you need it and choose an appropriate ultrabook laptop.
Portability and Convenience
Finally, don't forget to check the portability and convenience of every ultrabook by which we mean thickness and battery life. Any ultrabook should be as thin as possible in order to be lightweight and truly portable. Conventional laptops are rather big and weigh more than 2kg but ultrabooks are much lighter. Therefore, it's a lot easier to carry them around. And battery life is also a key point - if you are always on the go, you should get an ultrabook capable of working autonomously for around 10 hours. If you prefer using an ultrabook laptop at home, then battery life isn't that much important. In the end, make sure to check the sound quality of every device because sometimes it really matters (for conference calls, for entertainment, etc.). Most ultrabooks have built-in cameras of more or less similar capabilities, but we still recommend you to check what the maximum resolution of every webcam is.
It's fairly difficult to describe Dell XPS 13 better than the manufacturer did it on its official website. Honestly, it's a great ultrabook laptop with a state-of-the-art 13'' InfinityEdge display known for being the world's first screen of this size supporting the QHD+ resolution (3200x1800 pixels). The screen has very thin bezels, making the ultrabook really portable and compact. Needless to mention, such stunning resolution allows you to use a huge screen space for watching films, editing graphic images, playing games, and so on. The secret to the perfect image quality is an IGZO IPS panel featuring wide viewing angles. Moreover, Dell ultrabook is equipped with Corning Gorilla Glass NBT that protects its screen from scratches. Of course, an amazing display isn't the only advantage of this ultrabook - the hardware has an edge over most competing devices. No doubt, Dell XPS ultrabook laptop can easily cope with the most resource-intensive tasks. The model in our review has the 6th generation Intel Core i7 CPU which is 30% more performing and consumes less power compared with the previous generation. As a result, Dell ultrabook can work up to 11 hours in a row, i.e. you will be able to use this laptop during your whole working day. Therefore, you can use this ultrabook during business trips and long flights. In all, this is one of the best devices of its kind that has a durable aluminum chassis, powerful hardware, and a fantastic IPS touchscreen display.
Apart from the above-mentioned advantages, this Dell XPS ultrabook laptop makes typing utterly comfortable thanks to the backlit keyboard. You will no longer need to strain your eyes in darkness! Therefore, Dell XPS is very convenient for users who like browsing the web and chatting with friends in the evening and at night. Also, the unit has a cutting-edge high-resolution touchpad that allows you to quickly zoom in and out, click on links, etc. The touchpad is very accurate and prevents jumping and floating of a cursor. Moreover, it has the Accidental Activation Prevention function that makes unintentional clicks (for example, with your palm) impossible. Dell XPS ultrabook offers you the maximum convenience!
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You certainly need to use a reliable ultrabook laptop protective bag that will come in handy during your journeys and trips.
The Most Compact
Today, laptops are everywhere and the thinnest ones - called ultrabooks - are manufactured by any large high-tech company. Samsung is not an exception - we've selected the NP900X5L model for our shortlist. First of all, we would like to highlight a stunning design of this ultrabook. It has a thin chassis (1.4cm) made of magnesium alloy and, therefore, is very lightweight. The device has a fairly large screen - 15.6'' - but weighs just 1.29 kg! This model is truly the most compact among other 15.6'' laptops on the market. But a thin chassis doesn't mean low performance - the ultrabook boasts the newest 6th generation Intel Core i7-6500U CPU. This Samsung ultrabook will become a useful assistant allowing you to work anywhere and anytime you need. Excellent solution for home and office as well as for trips! And a large 15.6'' touchscreen display will make working with documents or watching videos really convenient!
Apart from up-to-date design, Samsung has always paid particular attention to functionality and convenience of its products. Samsung NP900X5L ultrabook laptop has an ultra-thin metal chassis encompassing state-of-the-art hardware and high-capacity battery. The battery life reaches as many as 12 hours or, in other words, enough to use the ultrabook on a flight from London to Singapore. And you won't need to wait several hours to recharge the battery - the charging time is just 90 minutes! So, you can fully recharge it while dining in a restaurant!
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The touchscreen display of Samsung ultrabook requires regular cleaning, so make sure to use this screen cleaner.
ASUS ZenBook UX305CA
Ultrabooks are usually considered to be the top-tier devices among all types of laptops so no wonder they are usually rather expensive. Yet, you can still select a wallet-friendly ultrabook and ASUS ZenBook UX305CA is one of them. It's a great choice for people who travel a lot and for businessmen. The model has a 13.3'' display the size of a common A4 sheet of paper. The unit is very portable and easily fits into any bag or backpack. As for weight, this ASUS ultrabook laptop weighs slightly more than 1 kg, which means it isn't difficult to carry the device all day long. The chassis of the ultrabook is made of thin aluminum and is matte, so it's really pleasant to touch. ASUS ZenBook UX305CA is very quiet! The secret of low noise is simple - the ultrabook laptop has no active cooling. Instead of conventional built-in cooling fans - the hot air is removed with the help of copper and chrome tubes inside the chassis. As for the hardware, this ultrabook from ASUS offers quite an impressive performance. The device has the latest-generation Intel Core M3-6Y30 dual-core CPU running at a frequency of 900MHz but the Turbo Boost mode clocks the CPU up to 2.2GHz for coping with heavy loads. Finally, we would like to draw your attention to a high-speed 256GB solid-state drive that adds to the overall performance of the ultrabook.
Useful to Know
Any laptop is a portable device and most people take their devices wherever they go. It's extremely convenient but there is a drawback - a laptop is prone to be stained and even soaked. Needless to mention, a laptop must be clean in order to serve you well for years. Thus, let's find out what you should do in case you spill some liquid on your ultrabook.
So, if you accidentally spill tea or coffee on your device, the first thing you need to do is plug it out. Then, put your laptop upside down in order to let all liquid leave the chassis. Use a dry towel and a hair dryer but very carefully and not for too long. Next, we recommend you to carry your laptop to a service centre where it will be diagnosed and restored. You might be unable to repair your laptop on your own. If the weather outside is sub-zero, your ultrabook will cool down so wait till becomes warm again before turning the device on. Also, all ultrabook laptops are prone to overheating caused by dust. To prevent overheating, you should clean your laptop from time to time in order to remove dust. Moreover, place your laptop on an even surface only and avoid placing it on a blanket (it blocks the cooling vents). Finally, make sure to carry your laptop in a special bag or backpack for the maximum protection.
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Even if you have done your best to protect your ultrabook, it's still in danger the source of which is a lot of malware on the Internet. That's why it's essential to use a reliable web security software.
Lenovo Yoga 710 Convertible Touchscreen
One of Lenovo's bestselling product lines has recently seen a new device - Yoga 710. Like earlier Yoga devices, it's a convertible ultrabook laptop designed to be multifunctional and user-friendly. The unit is compact and adaptive - you can use Yoga 710 as a tablet, laptop, stand or tent. It's up to you to choose how exactly you are going to use this Lenovo ultrabook! The secret of functionality is simple - the screen rotates 360 degrees, transforming a top-notch ultrabook into a large tablet in no time. You might have a question whether such design is durable but we can vouch for this ultrabook. The chassis of Yoga 710 was developed with the reliability in mind so the ultrabook boasts the perfect quality. Use Yoga 710 as a laptop while working or as a tablet while browsing the web and enjoy this handy device!
At present, ultrabooks are used by people of all trades - entrepreneurs, writers, journalists, factory workers, etc. People can't literally do without an ultrabook so they carry it wherever they go. That's why a convenient ultrabook laptop needs to have a handy and ergonomic keyboard so that typing is easy and effortless. Lenovo Yoga 710 boasts the company's patented AccuType keyboard known for the utmost convenience. The keys are backlit and slightly rounded, so it's easy to use the keyboard not only at daytime but at night, too. Of course, such fantastic ergonomics means you make fewer mistakes when typing and your hands don't get tired. Therefore, Yoga 710 is a great ultrabook for people who type a lot, such as students.
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If you wish to stream a film or video from your Yoga 700 convertible ultrabook, use this micro HDMI to HDMI cable.
If you still aren't sure which ultrabook to choose, we recommend considering ASUS ZenBook UX303U - the latest model in ZenBook range. In terms of performance, this device can easily compete with larger laptops. The unit has a 13.3'' display and a really elegant chassis weighing just 1.45 kg. Since it's a top-tier ASUS ultrabook, it has a backlit keyboard and a large touchpad. The matte display delivers the maximum resolution of 1920x1080 pixels or Full HD, making the screen perfect for watching films. Of course, image quality deserves the highest praise possible thanks to a state-of-the-art IPS panel delivering dense and vivid colours as well as extra-wide viewing angles. The availability of the Splendid Video Enhancement technology optimises colour rendering and improves colour saturation, contrast, and other parameters. Having analyzed this ultrabook from ASUS, we can say that it's a golden mean - decent performance, eye-catching design, and amazing image quality.
It's difficult to find a person who's never heard the very word 'ultrabook'. The term was initially used by Intel Corporation to denote high-end and lightweight notebooks. These devices are a totally new class of computers: they are compact, performing, and boast a long battery life.
The first company to cope up with an idea of a thin laptop was Toshiba that introduced a Libretto series back in 1996. Those devices were called subnotebooks. Different manufacturers did their best to improve and upgrade subnotebooks. Apple was one of them - it launched sales of MacBook Air in 2008; that ultrabook had an ultra-thin aluminum chassis and, thus, was very lightweight. Apple MacBook Air became a bestseller and different manufacturers decided to keep up with Apple by developing their analogues. Today, lots of ultrabook laptops are available on the market so you have a chance to select the one you like the most.
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As usual, ultrabooks don't have an optical disc recorder. But what if you have a lot of discs with your favourite music, films, and photos? There is a way out - you can use this external USB DVD writer.
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