Five Standout Features to Watch for in an Ultrabook | PCWorld Business Center

Five Standout Features to Watch for in an Ultrabook | PCWorld Business Center.  (No longer available online. Original text included below.)

Expect to hear the word Ultrabook often in 2012. With Apple proving that thin, light laptops are desirable, and Intel pushing the platform, Consumer Electronics Association research director Shawn DuBravac says “We expect to see 30 to 50 new Ultrabooks launched at CES”, which begins in Las Vegas next week. With so many new models to choose from, how should your business decide which is the best fit for you?

Ultrabook Defined

Ultrabook is an Intel trademarked term which refers to a platform that uses its technology to meet specific requirements. Among these, the device must boot quickly, offer more than 5 hours of general use on battery power, be less than .8 inches thick, weigh less than 3.1 pounds, use flash based storage, and cost around $1000. Intel competitor AMD is releasing a similar platform it calls Ultrathin, though it’s not expected to produce as many models.

Differentiating Features

With so many versions being released, all having similar base specifications, how can a manufacturer stand out, and how can your business decide which model to go with? Here are a few important features that could make a difference in your decision on which ultrabook to buy.

1. Battery Life

When you’re working on the road, battery life is important. Tablets are great for working all day, but are still improving in the area of content creation. Ultrabooks are perfect for creating content, and if a model offers battery life beyond 8 hours, it will be well worth considering.

2. Storage Capacity

Most current Ultrabooks have 128GB of flash memory, with some offering 256GB options. While this is plenty of space for some, many businesses work with more data, and will require more space. Instead of lugging around external hard drives, if a model is available with 500GB or even 1TB of storage, it will be desirable to many.

3. Display

Though most current Ultrabooks use a 13 inch screen, those that travel often will prefer smaller sizes, such as the 11 inch that Apple makes. For most business use though, a 14 or 15 inch screen will be more desirable. Many businesses would also be served well by “retina” displays with resolutions up to 1800 x 2880. Screen sizes and resolutions that stand out from the crowd may best serve your needs and make your decision easier.

4. Processing Speed

With quick boot up times, and a performance boost from the included flash memory, Ultrabooks compare favorably with laptops, but for many businesses, raw processing power makes all the difference. Intel is likely to introduce its new Ivy Bridge processor at CES, which promises to offer 20% increased performance over the current Sandy Bridge processor. If your business needs require serious number crunching, look for models with the latest processor.

5. Thin and Light

The main selling point of Ultrabooks is that they are thin and light. Though most will be similar in size, shape and weight, standing out as even more portable than the competition will gain interest from those that spend most of their time working outside the office. Unique design, materials and components could make a model may stand out from the pack and make your Ultrabook even more ultra.