Under the Hood: A Look Inside the Ultrabook
Mobile devices have been transforming the world of computing. Smartphones, tablets, e-readers and netbooks have revolutionized the way people communicate and interact with each other, buy things, shoot video, make music and play games. Perhaps most important, mobile devices are changing the way people work.
Consumers' expectations have risen with this proliferation of mobile technologies. Fast, reliable access to the Internet and location-aware services on smartphones and tablets has upped the ante: People expect instant gratification without barriers. Who wants to wait for their mobile device to turn on, or spend a lot of time learning a complex user interface? Smooth computing experiences in 2012 require always-on connectivity and application responsiveness.
Combining Mobility and Power
Recognizing this sea of change, a new line of mobile devices -- Ultrabooks -- was unveiled last year at Computex in Taiwan. According to the announcement, Ultrabooks "would operate more like smartphones -- wake up in a flash, combine responsiveness with performance, offer a seamless and compelling experience and be sleek and less than an inch thick."
Ultrabook devices extend and enhance the practical applications of smartphones and tablets by combining portability with the technology that's typically associated with high-performance laptops -- second-generation processors and a 64-bit OS. Toss in accelerometers, a gyroscope and other sensor technologies and wrap it all in a sleek, thin, lightweight case with an equally attractive price tag, and you've got a recipe for what manufacturers hope is the next big thing in mobile computing.
"Developers that were strictly building PC applications will now have a platform that's more mobile than a typical laptop and have technologies and sensors they previously could not access," says Tom Deckowski, a developer marketing manager for Intel [disclosure: Intel is the sponsor of this content]. "On the flip side, mobile app developers who were focused on creating apps for small-footprint devices that didn't take a lot of CPU performance will now have access to CPU and graphics performance they never had before, without losing access to the sensors. There's something new in the Ultrabook device for both PC and mobile app developers alike."
Ultrabook devices have three primary technologies that help them perform responsively:
Ensures that it will take less than seven seconds to get the system up and fully functioning from hibernation, saving time and battery charge. In some Ultrabook devices, a portion of the system's hard drive is reserved for caching information about the operating system and application state, providing users with a mobile experience that's highly responsive.
Using a solid-state drive (SSD) or SSD-hybrid as a cache between a hard drive and its memory without the use of an additional drive partition, makes application launch times faster.
Allow applications on some models to continue receiving data updates even while the system is in hibernate or sleep mode. This can be used for all kinds of things; for game developers, they can push game updates to MMORPG players while they're away from their Ultrabook, instead of spending time downloading updates before they can continue playing the game.
Device security is provided via new identity protection tools that are embedded in the BIOS/firmware of the devices. While no system is immune to theft or loss, these identity protection measures can detect theft or loss and disable the system. When the Ultrabook is recovered, the software can reactivate it with no loss of data.
Another crucial feature is extended battery life. Ultrabook devices are based on low-voltage processors that offer a minimum battery life of five hours, and up to eight hours or more on some systems.
The first Utrabook devices, including the Acer Aspire S3, the ASUS ZENBOOK, HP Folio, Lenovo IdeaPad U300 and Toshiba Portege Z830 Series, are hitting shelves now. They all weigh in at 3 pounds or less, are paper thin and feature air-cooled keyboards, HDMI connectors for hooking up to a TV set and USB 3.0 connectors. Storage options include SSDs and hard drives of various sizes.
Photo: Getty Images
- Price-Fixing Suit Could be a Spot on Apple
- Avoiding Fragmented Infrastructure in the Data Center
- Internet Service Providers Close to Implementing System to Punish Piracy
- Inside the Silicon Valley Gender Gap
- Why the FCC Fined Google Just 68 Seconds in Profits
- Is There an Internet Off Switch?
- Power of the iMob
- Widespread Android Virus Could Hide in Popular App Updates
- Under the Hood: A Look Inside the Ultrabook
- That's Entertainment: 3D Leaps From Theater to Home
- Are You a Tech Geek?
- Is Your Office Preparing For an iPad Insurgency?
- How to Find Happiness on Social Networks
- The Pirate Bay to Fly 'Server Drones' to Avoid Law Enforcement
- DevOps: Indispensable Approach or Costly Distraction?
- New Programming Languages to Watch
- How to Conquer Tech Buyer's Remorse
- Trade in Your Old Gadgets for Cash or Credit
- Why the New iPad Features Don't Really Matter
- Chinese Computer Games
- Why Do We Need Intelligent Desktop Virtualization?
- Lawsuit Says Facebook Tracks Users After Logging Out
- Facebook and Twitter Cause Insider Trading Headaches for the SEC
- Avoid Social Media MBAs, Some Students Say
- 5 iPhone Apps I Cannot Live Without
- The New Mobile Landscape
- Is Free Public Wi-Fi Safe?
- Keep Your Data Safe When Telecommuting
- Security Issues for Multicore Processors
- How to Reduce Smartphone Security Risks
- Are You Too Snarky Online?
- Who's Gawking at Your Photos?
- Is Social Media a Waste of Time?
- 5 New Ways to Feed Your Online Addiction
- Investors Increasingly Tap Social Media for Stock Tips
- McAfee's Edward Metcalf Shares Hybrid Rootkit-thwarting Strategy
- A Game Plan for Protecting Stored Data
- Think Big When It Comes to Data Breaches
- Information Security MBA's Teach Business Side of Cybersecurity
- Apple Predicts 'Death of the Big Backpack' with New iPad Textbooks
- FBI Wants to Monitor Social Media for 'Emerging Threats'
- Youth on the Web: Reason? Who Needs a Reason
- Google Unveils 'Find My Face' Recognition Tool
- Why Investors Should Keep Their Eyes on the Cloud
- 10 Ways to Stay Safe While Shopping Online
- Take Advantage of Free Shipping Deals This Holiday Season
- Online Shopping Deals Hurt State Budgets
- Tips for Shopping With Your Smartphone
- Seven Rules of Successful Bloggers
- Twitter Redesigns Site, Aims for Simplicity
- 3 Ways to Use Foursquare to Connect With Your College
- United States Reacts to Indian Government's Efforts to Censure Online Content
- Will Apple Be the Same Without Steve Jobs?
- Steve Jobs: 6 Secrets of Success
- Open Clouds
- The Cloud: A Security Solution for Small Business
- 4 Twitter Tips for Business Success
- Twitter: How to Tweet to Get Results
- 3 Sneaky New Online Scams to Avoid
Copyright © 2012 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.