Ultrabooks are the future of the PC industry because they offer an affordable, lightweight, and quality computing experience. New technologies are enabling companies like ASUS, Acer, Apple, Samsung, Dell, and HP to produce relatively inexpensive ultrabooks with exceptional battery life and performance. This article will examine some of these new innovations that unlock the potential of ultrabooks.
Acer S7 Aspire
This year Intel released its 4th generation of i-series processors code named Haswell. This generation of processors does not yield a large increase in performance over the previous generation of processors, Ivy Bridge; however the appeal of the new Haswell generation processors is the extended battery life that comes with them as well as better integrated graphics. With the new Haswell processors the Newest version of the Macbook Air that was released late this summer has an expected battery life of 12 hours for the 13 inch version and 9 hours for the 12 inch version. This is a 2-3 hour increase from previous models largely due to Intel’s new processors. An additional advantage of this new chipset is less heat will be generated because less power is needed.
Another feature of the Haswell Processors is the integrated graphics which are far superior to previous generations. Integrated graphics means that the graphics are built directly into the processor eliminating the need for a dedicated graphics processing unit, such as an Nvidia or ATI graphics card. The name for the new integrated graphics is called Iris and boasts viewing capabilities for HD and 4K video viewing as well as the ability to play games such as Starcraft 2. Iris integrated graphics in the new Haswell Chipset allows for an elevated level of graphics performance while allowing ultrabooks to keep their slim profiles.
Intel cannot be given all the credit for the extended battery life on these computers. Solid State Drives(SSDs) help to reduce the amount of power is being used in laptops as opposed to the traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs). Hard Drive Disks work but having a needle spin on a disk that “writes” the information on the disk, while SSDs are completely digital. SSD’s have reduced the amount of power consumption from 6 watts to 2 watts. Also SSD’s greatly reduce the launch time of applications like photoshop. On an SSD photoshop can launch in less than 5 seconds as opposed to 15 on a traditional HDD. In addition SSDs are virtually silent and are more shock resistant than HDDs because there are no moving parts. Lastly and most importantly SSDs vastly improve the overall performance of a computer.
As a result of using SSDs and the new generation of Intel processors, ultrabooks are now quieter, cooler, faster, slimmer, and more reliable and as these technologies continue to be available the prices of ultrabooks will drop.