With the firstfrom Intel's third generation of Core i-series parts showing up (and being benchmarked), it may be time for a refresher course on what it means to be an ultrabook.
This trademarked Intel marketing term is generally taken to mean "a Windows laptop kind of like a MacBook Air." But, it's actually much broader than that, and we've seen ultrabooks that have 14-inch displays, non-SSD hard drives, and even discrete graphics.
The precise definition can be a bit slippery, and different standards apply to different screen sizes. With the launch of the new Technology@Intel company blog.ultrabooks (which I'd call the third wave of ultrabooks), here's how Intel breaks down the required and recommended specs, as noted on the
- Ultrabook devices must 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; some current systems are much thinner.
- All third-generation Intel Core ultrabook devices wake in a flash, going from a very deep sleep state (S4) to full use (keyboard interaction) in less than 7 seconds and wake from sleep mode even faster. Additionally, they must be responsive while active, meaning they will load and run favorite applications quickly.
Extended battery life
- Ultrabook devices must offer at least 5 hours of battery life, with many meeting the recommended level of 8 hours plus in even the sleekest form factors.
- Anti-Theft technology is a hardware-based technology that makes it possible to lock down an ultrabook system if it is lost or stolen, and helps secure sensitive information stored on the device's hard drive.
- Ultrabook systems come enabled with Intel Identity Protection technology to provide a more secure online experience for activities like shopping, banking or gaming online. It uses chip-level authentication similar to hardware tokens and is widely regarded by security experts as a more secure approach than software-only authentication.
- Ultrabook devices based on third-generation Intel Core must have either USB 3 or Thunderbolt technology to enable incredibly fast transfer capabilities.
- Powered by the Intel Core processor family for ultrabook.
Notable changes in the above from the previous ultrabook specs include the requirement that Intel's Anti-Theft and Identify Protection be built in, and a fast data port, either USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt.
We've tested one of Intel's new ultrabook-friendly Core i5 CPUs, and you can see our.