On Tuesday, I received a package I have been anticipating for several weeks. I had been asked to use and review a new generation of Ultrabook from Intel with a shiny new Haswell processor inside. This is the first of three articles about the unit. I have had a few days to unbox and take it for a spin.
The unboxing process is always a great time. Here are a few shots of the Ultrabook being removed of it’s musical box. Yes, like a Hallmark card, the box plays a little jingle when you open it. In this case, the Intel jingle of course.
Inside the box, I found:
- The Ultrabook
- The power cord, with a pleasingly small brick
- A 16gb thumb drive containing drivers and software
- A quick start guide
- A spec sheet
- A USB to Ethernet adapter
- A micro-HDMI to HDMI adapter
- A micro-HDMI to VGA adapter
The specs on the machine are pretty impressive. I may have added more RAM if I were building it myself, but beggars can’t be choosers.
- CPU: Intel Haswell i5
- 180GB SSD Hard Drive
- 4GB RAM
- Accelerometer/Magnetometer/Gyro meter/Ambient Light Sensor
- GPS Sensor
- 1.3MP WebCam
- MultiTouch Pad
- (2) USB 3.0 Ports
- Micro HDMI
- SIM and SD Card Readers
- MultiTouch Screen (1920×1080 resolution)
I quickly got Visual Studio 2012, Xamarin Studio, and a host of other development software installed. Visual Studio runs great. In fact, I presented at the First State .NET user group meeting on Thursday night and decided to use the Ultrabook to do the presentation. It worked great and became a part of the Q&A at the end of the session. Everyone there noticed it and wanted to know all about it.
The only thing I am still adjusting to is the clickable multitouch pad. I have gotten into the bad habit of resting my left index finger on the left button when using touchpads on my other laptops. When I do that with this Ultrabook, my finger is resting on the corner of the touchpad. I ended up doing a bit more pinching and zooming than I intended over the last few day. I think I will be able to break that habit pretty quickly.
All in all, I am loving this machine so far and plan to use it as my primary machine outside of work. Stay tuned for review part two in a few weeks. I will have a little more time with the Haswell unit at that time and will spend more time talking about the development experience on the machine.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe my readers will enjoy. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Alvin has over 24 years of programming experience in the health care, financial and manufacturing industries. He is currently a Principal Software Engineer at Allscripts in the Philadelphia area. He has been recognized as a Microsoft Windows Dev MVP (current - formerly MVP in C#/Visual Studio), OzCode Magician, Friend of Redgate and Xamarin Certified Professional. Alvin has tech reviewed several books, including titles on ASP.NET Core, Entity Framework Core, and WPF. He is also one of the founding organizers of the TechBash developer conference held each fall in Pocono Manor, PA.