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What Is An Ultrabook And Do You Need One?

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Ultrabook is a term coined by Intel to describe a new type of personal computing device. Ultrabooks fall somewhere between tablets and laptops, and they’re set to gain in popularity as the year goes on. Many popular manufacturers are coming out with their own versions of ultrabooks, including Acer, Dell, HP, Toshiba, Samsung, and Lenovo. But what exactly is an ultrabook? And with the wide variety of devices that are currently on the market, do you need one?

Specs
Ultrabooks are a new class of laptops that are similar to netbooks or tablets. They are defined by certain specifications. Ultrabooks are smaller than traditional laptops. They weigh approximately three to four pounds, and they’re less than one inch thick. The small size and light weight of ultrabooks make them extremely portable and easy to carry. They also have a longer battery life than laptops. However, they’re able to do more than tablets. They use powerful processors that are good for graphics and speed. They usually use just 4 to 8GB of RAM. Their small size means they don’t have room for lots of ports like laptops do.

Function
Ultrabooks run Windows OS, and in a way they’re kind of similar to Macbook Airs, because they’re extremely thin and light. However, they don’t have quite the capabilities of laptops when it comes to things like heavy video editing, saving large amounts of files, and gaming. They’re excellent for things like using the Internet, creating and editing documents, and performing other simple functions like laptops do. They’re like a pared down version of a laptop and supped up version of a tablet.

Cost
If you want to purchase a personal computing device, ultrabooks are priced in the near $1000 range. Ultrabooks are between $800 and $1500, with most of them falling somewhere in the middle. They are more expensive than tablets and cheaper than laptops. If you’re looking for a simple, portable, fast laptop, an ultrabook may be a good buy for you.

Is it for You?
Do you really need an ultrabook? If you already have a laptop or a tablet, there is probably no need to buy an additional device. But if you’re in the market for a new laptop or tablet, you may want to consider an ultrabook. If you need something to use on the go for work or research, for example, an ultrabook will give you the function you need and will work extremely well. If you’d rather run apps and only need a way to connect to the Internet, a tablet may make more sense for you.

The Future
The thing with ultrabooks is that they are a relatively new class of laptops. If you purchase one now, you’re going to get a device that’s essentially in the beginning stages of design and growth. Ultrabooks will only improve and evolve, especially throughout 2012. You may want to consider waiting for newer model. In the near future, you can expect to see ultrabooks with larger screen sizes and lower costs, and that’s certainly worth waiting for.

Tech Guru Terry Ford helps entrepreneurs navigate computing in the cloud. As a writer, she polishes her prose with the help of the world’s best grammar checker.

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