In a previous posting I described the IvyBridge Ultrabook I was given to review. This is the third and final review.
In short, this is a great machine, and it has been my primary laptop since I got it. It has a terrific screen, it is fast and responsive and it weighs just 3.5 pounds. Since I obtained it, Windows 8 was released, and a host of competitive products are now on the market. My only comparative complaint about the Ultrabook is that it doesn’t fold over (like the Lenova Yoga) to lie flat like a slate. That is fine, though; this isn’t a slate alternative, it is a laptop alternative and as such it performs beautifully.
As noted in my earlier reviews, I would like a lighter charger (the brick is pretty big) and I did need to purchase a Cable Matters Gold Plated Premium Mini HDMI to VGA M/F Active Adapter for $20 from Amazon, but that has worked flawlessly in presentations from local user groups to DevReach where I was in an auditorium that seated 250.
<disclaimer>I received the Intel Ultrabook (pre-release) for free in the hope that I would write about it in this blog. I only recommend things I personally endorse and would otherwise recommend without further consideration. I’m disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Just in case, I also cleared it with my employer and I made sure the agreement said that my review would be my honest opinion. This review reflects my opinion alone, and doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of my employer or anyone else.</disclaimer>
The computer continues to be very fast, the hard drive has proven to be very reliable and I’m able to do significant development work on this computer even though it came with only 4GB of memory. It looks and feels as if it were designed for Win8.
I’ve had occasion to compare it with two other potential competitors: a Samsung slate and a Surface. In both cases, the Intel laptop works out to be far superior for any kind of serious work, and certainly for software development. The Samsung slate is great, but it isn’t a full laptop and by the time you add an external keyboard and monitor and mouse it is cumbersome and heavy compared to the Ultrabook. The Surface doesn’t really even pretend to compete as it runs on an ARM processor and cannot run Windows Classic applications.
I continue to find myself using the touch screen more than I expected to. There are some things that are just much easier to reach out and tap than to manipulate with keyboard or mouse. The multi-touch keyboard on the Ultrabook has never had a problem and responds extremely well both to single and multi-finger touch gestures.
All in all, this computer would be on my very short list.