I was fortunate enough to have the Intel people sent me a 3rd generation Intel Ivy Bridge Ultrabook. It’s not a pre-production model or a model that will ever make its way to production. It’s meant only for reference for the hardware vendors when they produce their Ultrabooks in the future, kind of like a developers preview of Windows that Microsoft releases. They asked me to review it and how I thought it measured up in a developer’s environment.
The model they sent me included:
- High Definition Web Cam
- Intel Core i7 CPU @ 2.0 Ghz
- 180 GB Solid State Hard Drive
- Mini HDMI port
- 2 USB 3.0 ports
- 4gb RAM
- Touch Screen / Acceleromter / Gryro
Right off the bat you can tell the CPU is very fast, and able to handle what I do. Typically I have 2 instances of Visual Studio 2010 opened, SQL Management Studio, Chrome (with 10+ tabs opened) and I saw absolutely no lag running in Windows 8. I’ve only been using it for a week now but my first impressions are the CPU is a major upgrade from what I’m running now. Windows 8 boot time is under 5 seconds and of course the SSD rocks. The only bad sign is the RAM amount. Now, remind yourself that this isn’t production level hardware and I’m 100% positive when this hits the street you’ll be able to get it with 8+ gigs of RAM, but 4gb of RAM didn’t cut it 3 years ago and it doesn’t cut it today, 4GB is inadequate for serious development but should be OK for other uses.
I’ve been rocking a DELL E6410 for the past year+. It’s an absolute work horse, the best laptop I’ve ever used bar none. Of course, it’s not thin by any stretch. The Ultrabook Intel sent me is incredibly thin & light weight. I took it on vacation with me & it was great to just put it under by arm on my trek to the coffee shop in the mornings, no need to tout a bag, it’s ipad weightish.
Touch screen on a laptop that doesn’t pivot, WTF? Those were my initial thoughts. I was very surprised by the 3rd day I was using the touch screen more & more for tedious task like closing windows, dragging items, etc… We’ll see how the touch screen plays out but for now I’m actually liking it. It doesn’t replace the mouse or keyboard but when it’s on your lap, it’s sometimes just faster just to click the screen.