What are the essential parameters to consider before buying an ultra-book?
Form Factor: What defines an ultra-book at the outset is the slim form factor but that can go against it if the slimness is not well protected. Light weight metals like magnesium and aluminium and sometimes carbon fibres are commonly used to make ultra-books robust and durable.
Screen Size: The initial ultra-book models were mostly 13 inch. When Ivy bridge came, we saw 14 inch ultra-books and with the Haswell we can see 15 inch ultra-books very soon. The size of the display along with screen resolution is essential. A resolution of 1920x1080 is available but most of the 13 inch ultra-books have 1366 x 768 resolution. Wide viewing angles, of upto 180-degrees are elements that will be missed at some point of time.
Connectivity: Ultra-books are a major departure from notebooks when it comes to connectivity. Life without VGA ports or Ethernet ports is unimaginable but in reality most of the ultra-books, due to thin edges, just cannot support them and so the makers just got rid of them. Ethernet-based connectivity is still desired by a vast group of professionals and so is VGA. So if you need this functionality, you’ll find it in only a few select ultrabooks, such as Toshiba’s Protege Z835 Ultra-books should have USB 3.0 or thunderbolt ports to support high speed data transfer.
Hybrid storage: Most ultra-books use SSD with HDD. SSD helps in fast boot-up, reducing time lag in wake-up time to single digit in seconds, and helps in faster data transfer or in opening apps, if the ultra-book (like the Macbook Air) has just SSD for storage. Most of the Intel ultra-books are however hybrids with the best of the both form of storage20GB of SSD and 320 or 500GB of HDD. With ultra-books your storage capacity does get reduced but external storage drives can compensate for it.
Battery Life: With closed batteries that cannot be upgraded buying an ultra-book can be a dilemma, especially when your work involves plenty of travelling. Ultra-books use low voltage processors that consume less power and last longer than your notebooks. 5-6 hours is the minimum back-up that any ultra-book has to deliver, but in good high-end models 8-10 hours of back up is expected.
Security: Make sure, your ultra-book has Intel’s latest Anti-Theft technology, which locks down an Ultra-book if it’s lost and helps in keeping sensitive information from falling into wrong hands. If recovered, it can be reactivated like before. Also, the Identify Protection technology from Intel, makes online shopping and activities more secure.