Are ultrabooks harder to upgrade (in terms of hardware)?

As titled.
Must those hardware of a ultrabook be specially designed for that ultrabook and there harder to work around for an upgrade?


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With a laptop (any laptop) it's best to buy what you need and not something you want to upgrade (soon or ever).
It's better to look at a laptop as a phone (did you ever upgrade your iPhone?) or tablet than as a desktop or electronic Lego.


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You can always upgrade a non-ultrabook laptop by replacing an older/outdated HDD whenever you want to, there are multiple manufacturers that produce all kinds of HDDs/SSDs for laptops nowadays. And just as for desktops, the motherboard seldom needs any upgrading/changing unless it's way too outdated to support other hardware parts. However ultrabooks are different because their motherboard and drives are made specifically for that brand and model, so the technical difficulty is higher.

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Agree for the hard disk.

But adding a Blu-ray reader or a video card or extra USB3 slots or an extra network card via PCI, forget it on the usual laptops.


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Ultrabooks and notebooks and laptops before them have always had limited upgrade capability compared to desktops.

Notebooks and laptops were typically limited to hard disk replacements, memory upgrades, optical drive upgrades, though this usually relied on the notebook manufacturer offering a suitably packaged drive. In some cases, the wireless NIC could be replaced and many had PCMCIA card slots. All these things take space and add bulk to the machine and make it less portable. I lugged a Compaq SLT386 around for some years (about the size of a J-Block!).

Ultrabooks were developed to address the need for better portability and so the bulk and weight had to go. No more PCMCIA, Memory soldered to the motherboard, instead of SODIMMs, NIC chips similarly soldered and no optical drives. Even notebooks are losing most of these things. So all you are really left with that could be regarded as user replaceable is the hard drive, assuming the manufacturer provides access to it.

Expansion or enhancement on ultrabooks relies on USB3 ports, which can address most things except memory.

That said, if you know what you are doing, you can obtain a hardware maintenance manual which will detail how to completely dismantle the machine - but I don't advise it!

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