Starting toward the end of 2011, a new style of laptop began hitting the market promising lightning speed boot times and super lightweight design. These Ultrabooks have grown in popularity as more models become available and the price goes down. With so many options on the market, however, many want to know how to buy an Ultrabook. Here are some of the factors you should keep in mind when preparing to purchase a new Ultrabook.
Know What You Are Buying
First, know that an Ultrabook usually consists of the following key features:
• Super Thin – Usually between a half inch and 0.8 inches in width at their thickest point. • Light Weight – Most Ultrabooks are less than 3 pounds and some even get close to 2 pounds. • Bootup Super Fast – All Ultrabooks have fast start technology that allows them to turn on quickly and recover from sleep mode in less than 10 seconds (sometimes as fast as 2 seconds).
At the same time, the Ultrabook line sacrifices some of the technologies you’ve come to know and love in your laptop to achieve those super fast boot times and ultra light weights. Be prepared to give up:
• Optical Drive – Only one official “Ultrabook” on the market today has an optical drive and at nearly 4 pounds, it is more of a hybrid than a true Ultrabook. • SSD – Using Flash storage, Ultrabooks can load incredibly fast – almost on par with tablets and phones. At the same time, those Flash hard drives are smaller, sometimes only offering 80GB of storage after system files are accounted for. Some Ultrabooks use a traditional SATA hard drive with a smaller 20GB SSD for the fast booting effect. • Pricing – Ultrabook pricing starts at $800 and ranges as high as $1600, and most machines have similar specifications.
Taking all of these details into consideration to purchase an Ultrabook that is right for you can be tough.
Making Your Decision
When deciding which Ultrabook is right for you, start with price and work your way backward. If you really feel you need the additional power of an i7 processor or a larger hard drive, ask yourself if the $1500+ price tag is worth the trade off for a super light machine. In contrast, a similar machine that weighs between 4-6 pounds will cost you about $300-$400 less.
Of course, if you have been eyeing a Macbook Air for the last two years and are excited by a Windows 7 alternative, then these prices shouldn’t phase you one bit as almost every single Ultrabook PC is less expensive than its Apple equivalent.
At the end of the day, the best Ultrabook may not be the most expensive one, but the one that fits your particular needs. As the label becomes more ubiquitous, expect a surge of new products to hit the market with faster processors, more powerful graphics chips and larger hard drives too – if you don’t need a new machine right now, it may be in your best interest to wait just a little longer.