Intel Ultrabook–First Impressions


One of the cool things about being in technology is that fact that you sometimes get to try stuff before it is on the market. It was cool a few years back when I was able to carry around a pre-release Windows Phone. Sometimes it doesn’t fit into exactly what I do for a living but this time it does.  I received an IvyBridge Ultrbook from Intel to review.  The reason I was excited was because it runs Windows 8, has a touch screen, and has a ton of sensors.  Although it is a prototype, it is a very slick device.


As you can see, it is very slimline and weighs about 3.5 pounds.  For me it hits that perfect size.  Light enough that is is not a bother to carry around but big enough that it is nice to actually develop on in short stretches.


It has a 13.3 multi-touch display that is just enough for my Starbucks programming sessions and the fact that it has 5 points of touch makes it great for working on and testing my Windows RT applications.  I have what I term generically other “Slim-line” laptops and for some reason most of them have a trackpad that is so sensitive that it makes it impossible to type using the keyboard.  The Intel Ultrabook’s keyboard worked great, the keys are light but have a nice tactile feel and I have not once inadvertently moved the mouse while typing, a big plus.


For specs, it has an Intel Core i7 , 4GB of DDR RAM and a 180 GB SSD hard drive. Two USB3 Slots, a mini-HDMI connector, a 1.5 MP WebCam,    It came preloaded with Windows 8 Release candidate but instead of wiping out the system, I decided to create a 90GB VHD and do a Boot To VHD.  I had to turn on virtualization in the Bios, but after that, it worked great.  I am sure I will reformat soon, but since I have been using the Boot To VHD in my Windows 8 Unleashed sessions, it was the fastest way to get me up and running and playing with the machine.  In addition, since this is a prototype machine, I am not really worried about running it through any benchmarks. As other reviewers have pointed out, the fan is a bit loud which can be a bit annoying but again, it’s a prototype.   What really gets me excited about working with it is the sensors that are available to me.

  • NFC
  • Accelerometer
  • Magnetometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Ambient Light Sensor
  • GPS

This will be a great machine for me to test out working with Sensors in my Windows 8 Development and I will do other posts to talk about my experiences working with them while I create Windows 8 RT applications that take advantage of them. I have already begun using VS2012 and another SDK which we will not speak of on this machine and have been very happy with performance.

Happy Programming

Daniel Egan – The Sociable Geek

<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. 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>