Why You Probably Picked The Wrong Year To Buy An Ultrabook

For the record, I’m writing this from my new Ultrabook. An HP Envy 14 (intel i5), that I have very mixed feelings about; I’ll explain. By the “wrong year,” I mean late 2012 or anywhere from now until about June or July of 2013. Here’s why.

Intel. That’s all I would need to say, but those who aren’t completely tech savvy, require explanation. That’s fine because most have no idea what Intel even does. First of all, Intel is 1 of only 2 options of the processor you can choose for your Ultrabook. Any computer, actually. The other option is AMD, which is cheaper, and not the subject today.

In a nutshell, Intel is releasing a successor to the i5 (standard for mid-level Ultrabooks) later this year. It’s what the i5 should have been from the start, so if you purchased an Ultrabook in 2012, there’s a possibility you should have just waited, like me 🙂

Much more after the break:

What Is An Ultrabook?

“Ultrabook” is defined by Intel, and they’ve spent millions of dollars promoting this campaign.

“The Ultrabook would be a thin (less than 0.8 inches thick) notebook that utilized Intel processors and could also incorporate tablet features such as a touch screen and long battery life.” 

That’s your basic set requirements. These rules can be bent and such, so they basically have to be really thin. The MacBook Air and the HP Envy series are flagships in the market. All the major brands are breaking them in.

Back to the Intel side of things. A processor is pretty much the only thing you have to look at aside from the display size when deciding on your ideal Ultrabook. The rest are secondary to your needs, sometimes irrelevant for the average computer user. Chances are you’ll have a low-level discrete (separate, dedicated memory chip) graphics card or an integrated Intel HD 4000 (integrated w. the CPU) chip, and 4-8GB RAM. For people that are doing anything but gaming, this system is perfect, and won’t be out of date for a long time. On the flip-side, you’d be surprised the games that you can run on an i5 machine with the integrated graphics.

get to the point bro

Later this year, Intel is due to release their new chip line. The successor to the i5 (Ivy Bridge) will be named Haswell. Haswell, will benefit Ultrabooks extremely. The benefits hit exactly where the i5 falls short, and covers the gaps.

Right now the GPU (Intel HD 4000 Integrated Graphics) is pretty capable when it comes to gaming and 3D rendering when pushed by the i5. The Haswell line of processors are said you increase the GPU performance by 100%. It’s said to double, which would pretty much make it a mid-level GPU, comparable to low-level Radeons and NVIDIA chips.

Native support for DDR3 RAM, and partial support for DDR4 (which really hasn’t exploded yet due to compatibility) will also make it a beast. 10% increase in vector and overall performance, and even better everything, including power consumption. So later in 2013 when Haswell is released, Ultrabooks will be officially exploding. They’ve seemed big, but the sales say no.

Intel has been holding this bazooka in their pocket, and they’ve found the perfect time. The tablet wave hopefully will have died down a bit, and maybe Ultrabooks will boom.

Conclusion — So in conclusion, this seemingly small part of choosing an Ultrabook, just became bigger. Later this year, IF we begin to see them this early, will be a game-changer. Sure, their official release is this year, but manufacturers may not implement them until 2014 or so. Lets hope, for my sake, they wait a little bit so I can break in my mistake 😉


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