It's been said that when Intel innovates, the world takes notice. And when in May 2011 Intel Corporation revealed its 'Ultrabook' vision with 21 devices launched in the Ultrabook inaugural year, the world also quickly realised something special was taking place.
Based on the then 2nd generation Intel Core processors, the Ultrabook systems were not only truly innovative, they were also revolutionary. And as the 2012 festive season is getting underway, the Ultrabook story, now based on 3rd generation Intel Core processors, continues as developers raise the bar even higher on performance, features, and essentials such as battery life and built-in security.
Minimum standards have already been established before a device can call itself an Ultrabook. It must for example, be 18mm or less in thickness for systems with displays less than 14 inches and 21mm or less for systems with displays 14 inches or more. And like a Navy Seal, an Ultrabook must wake up in seconds. All such devices powered by 3rd generation Intel Core processors in fact go from a deep sleep state to being fully awake in less than 7 seconds and demonstrate maximum response times. Battery life must be at least five hours, and an Ultrabook must offer hardware-based anti-theft technology. To enable super fast data transfer, an Ultrabook must also have either USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt technology.
Something special certainly did take place in May 2011 when the ever innovative Intel introduced the Ultrabook concept to a computer world that was already seeing new touch-sensitive technologies and convertible form factors. Intel began by showing the way, and the result is the best of consumption and creation computing. At present, some 30 touch-enabled Ultrabook devices are being designed by leading manufacturers - 10 of those devices are based on convertible designs that range from Flip, Fold, Swivel, Slider and Detachable models.
Buzz words by their nature come and go, but for this season of gift-wrapped goodies galore, the new touch-enabled convertible Ultrabook is definitely top of the holiday wish list. 'Unwrapping an Ultrabook' in fact, is said to be the streetwise call that dominates many family 'what to get for whom' discussions. Front teeth are out. Ultrabooks, in their many stylish and occasionally, ingenious designs, are very much in.
It's easy to see why. The season's new generation of Ultrabook convertibles offer laptop functionality when you need it and a touch-enabled tablet experience when you want it.
When you do get to unwrap your Ultrabook you will quickly realise that this innovative mobile device blends the entertainment possibilities of a tablet with the productivity and look and feel of a laptop. You will love what you see, and be thrilled by what you touch.
Today especially, Intel-inspired Ultrabook devices and Windows 8 work together to seamlessly deliver a full range of new amazing experiences with favourite apps and files at your hovering fingertips.
So what should the seasonal shopper look for before this most delightful of devices is placed under gift wraps to await the excitement of the Great Reveal?
The first bit of good news is that batteries are included. Ultrabook devices offer a battery life of at least 5 hours with many models offering up to 8 hours or more. Some models include a 'Sleep-and-Charge USB' feature that allows connected smart phones or portable electronics to be charged even when the Ultrabook is switched off. Ultrabook systems will never be a drag - they are 18mm (0.7") or less in thickness and often weigh less than 3 lbs.
Intel AppUpTM apps are pre-screened for greater security and categorized so they are easy to find and can be used on up to 5 PC devices. Intel Smart Connect Technology will seamlessly synchronize email and social networks even when the device is in sleep mode.
If your Ultrabook is lost or stolen, built-in Intel Anti-Theft technology allows your device to be remotely locked down. If recovered, it can be quickly reactivated to full functionality.
Of the many Ultrabook models currently available, Intel is pleased to recommend three that promise to deliver a full Intel envisioned experience - the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga, Dell XPS Duo 12 and the Toshiba Satellite U920T/U925T.
Just 16.9mm thick and weighing 3.4 pounds, the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga Ultrabook (42,900 Baht) features a 360 degree flip-and-fold design and can be used as a notebook, tablet, stand or tent. The Dell XPS Duo 12 Ultrabook (49,990 Baht) converts with an innovative flip hinge design from Ultrabook to tablet mode, while the Toshiba Satellite U925T Ultrabook with 12.5" touch screen transforms from laptop to tablet mode and comes with a five-finger touch input.
Intel's confidence in the future of the Ultrabook device is seen in its ongoing investment of funds and resources with the express purpose of accelerating its continued development. Included in this initiative is the $300 million Ultrabook Fund from Intel Capital that is investing in companies around the globe that are innovating in hardware, software, battery technology and design.
Next year sees phase 3 of the Ultrabook rollout when Intel expects the majority of the market to have undertaken the Ultrabook transition based on the next-generation Intel processor that is expected, among other feats, to enable 10 plus days of battery life. It's also when Intel expects the number of available Ultrabook designs to have reached as many as 140.
Meanwhile, if you are fortunate enough to get to unwrap an Ultrabook convertible this holiday season, you will be excused if you mark the moment with an unbridled, "Wow."
About the author
- Writer: Kelvin Rugg