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Ultrabooks vs regular laptops/notebooks in 2018: similarities and differences

By Andrei Girbea - @ andreigirbea , last updated on January 30, 2018

Ultrabooks are a fairly fresh breed of portable computers. They are slim, light, sleek and fast, that’s why many, including their creators at Intel, say that they will soon become more popular than ‘’regular’’ laptops.

The “old” classic laptops still have some aces down their sleeves though when facing the new kids in town. However, with a more and more diverse range of ultrabooks hitting the shelves, I’m sure many of you are at least wondering if you should pick one of these over a regular notebook or not.

That’s why, in the following lines I will tell you several of the important aspects you need to know about what ultrabooks and standard laptops have in common and more importantly, about what sets them apart.

So let’s get going, but before we start, don’t forget that if you have any questions or things to add to this article, I’ll be waiting for your comments at the end of the post and I’ll be around to reply as well.

Ultrabooks and Laptops – the definitions

Standard laptops, as probably most of you know already, are mobile personal computers and come in a wide range of forms and sizes. They can sport displays between 10 to 20 inches in diagonal, they can weigh anywhere from 2 to 18 pounds and bundle a multitude of hardware configurations and features.

Ultrabooks are laptops after all, but not all laptops are ultrabooks.

Ultrabooks are just a special kin of laptops

15.6 inch laptops are perhaps the most popular these days in their classes, as they are powerful enough to deal just fine with all your everyday activities (browsing, chatting, listening to music, watching movies, playing some games), but also light and portable enough to be carried around when needed.

Ultrabooks are a “special” breed of laptops. In many ways, they look and behave more or less like regular notebooks. But they do have to meet a set of criteria in order to get the “ultrabook” title, criteria set by Intel, who in fact established this class of computers a while ago.

Long story short, ultrabooks need to be slim (18 mm thick or less for machines with displays under 14 inches and 23 mm for those with larger screens), need to bundle Intel’s ULV hardware platforms and fast storage (SSDs or a mix of HDD and SSD storage), need to be able to run for at least 5 hours on a charge and support several Intel technologies, like their Anti-Theft or Identity Protection Technology.

Ultrabooks vs laptops – the similarities

An ultrabook is basically a select type of laptop and therefore there are many similarities between these new ultraportable computers and ‘’regular’’ notebooks.

Practically, with a few exceptions which will be detailed later on, ultrabooks and standard laptops share many common traits, like the shape and form-factor, the standard body elements (screen, keyboard, ports, hardware) and their overall functionality. Much like most laptops, ultrabooks run Windows and all the software compatible with Microsoft’s OS, from basic browsers or Office programs, to more complex applications or games.

Ultrabooks should not be considered laptop competitors, but rather laptop peers.

Ultrabooks should not be considered laptop competitors, but rather laptop peers

In other words, ultrabooks are thinner, more powerful and longer lasting versions of ultrabooks. But you can use them for more or less the same things as you would use a normal laptop.

Ultrabooks vs laptops – the differences

There are many tiny details that set these two sides apart though, and I’ll tell you more about those in the next section of this laptops vs ultrabooks comparison, that speaks about the differences between the two.

Design and looks

From starters, ultrabooks have one thing on their side when compared to the vast majority of laptops: they are thinner and at the same time, lighter. Let’s take the 13.3 inch segment for instance, where most ultrabooks weigh less than 3 pounds and are up to 18 mm thin, while regular portable laptops are thicker and tip the scale at 4 pounds or above, with only few exceptions among premium business notebooks.

The same thing goes for 14 and 15.6 inch ultrabooks, as you can see in the clip below.

Intel actually does not impose a weight limit for ultrabooks, but does impose one when it comes to their thickness, as mentioned before. Up to 14 inch ultrabooks have to measure 18 mm or less in their thickest point (0.7 inch), while larger 14 and 15.6 inch ultrabooks can go up to 21 mm (0.8 inch) in thickness. If there’s a touchscreen on a particular ultrabooks, the limit grows to 23 mm (0.9 inches).

There’s nothing imposed in terms of build quality or materials used for the cases either, but most ultrabooks impress with their looks and overall high-quality finishing. In fact, magnesium, aluminum, carbon fiber, glass and other premium materials are quite often found on ultrabooks, while that’s not as common on regular laptops, unless we’re talking about the higher-end options.


Lifting the lid covers, you’ll notice that most ultrabooks offer rather shallow keyboards, due to their thin silhouette, and here’s where classic laptops can step in front of their competitors, as there’s more space to accommodate a better keyboard on them.

But that’s not a common rule, as there are plenty of ultrabooks with good keyboard, and even more laptops with awful ones. That aside, it’s worth noting that you’ll get backlit keyboards on most ultrabooks, while on laptops, that’s a feature only reserved for the premium models.

Hardware and performances

And then there’s the hardware inside. While ultrabooks need to be built on Intel ULV platforms and since their are so slim, usually pack integrated graphics (although there are some to feature discrete chips as well), there are way more configurations available for the classic notebooks, that stretch from low-power entry level setups, all the way to the beefiest quad-core processors and dedicated graphics solutions  found in the latest gaming rigs.

Ultrabooks are fairly snappy as well, as those ULV platforms can push good performances, especially when coupled with a fair amount of RAM and fast storage options, which is usually a bottleneck in a standard modern computer (regular hard-drives are quite slow, as opposed to the SSDs or hybrid solutions found on ultrabooks). Even so, ULV platforms are meant to deliver a good balance between power and efficiency, that’s why you will find plenty of stronger configurations on laptops, created the deliver the best performances, with little concern to battery life.

Battery life

As a result, ultrabooks tend to last a lot more on a charge than the average laptops will. In fact, Intel’s regulations state that IvyBridge or older ultrabooks need to run for at least 5 hours on a charge, while newer Haswell ultrabooks need to meet more strict rules: 9 hours of idle, 6+ hours of video playing and at least 7 days of Standby time. That’s why Haswell ultrabooks deliver some impressive battery life results, as you’ll see from this post.

In order to save space, the batteries are in most cases encased and non-removable on ultrabooks and so are the main hardware components. That’s not the case with regular laptops, where the battery, memory or storage units are quite easily accessible and replaceable. But that should not really bother you as an average user, although you might not like that you can’t remove the battery from your machine when using it pluged in for a longer period of time. Except for that you should be fine, and if you really want to, you can access the hardware on most ultrabooks as well, it just takes a bit more effort and some proper screw-drivers.

Other details

With ultrabooks being so thin, it’s worth mentioning that they can get quite hot when pushed, especially those versions with dedicated graphics. The metallic bodies have a huge role in how we perceive this aspect, as they drive the heat towards us, the users.

Besides all these, you should know that ultrabooks have to boot quickly and resume from sleep in under 7 seconds, that’s why the fast storage options are a must here. And they also need to implement a bunch of Intel imposed security technologies, like I already mentioned in the beginning of this post, that will keep the content on your machine safe in case the ultrabooks gets stolen and will even help you locate and maybe retrieve the unit.

When speaking about ports and connectivity options, while you do get a basic set of options on ultrabooks, there’s usually not enough room for all the things you might be already used to from a standard laptop. And that’s because there’s less room on ultrabooks for these, so as a result, some features are either cut off or replaced with their miniaturized versions.

As for the screens, well, there are several dozens ultrabooks available these days in stores, with displays ranging from 11.6 inch in diagonal, all the way to standard 15.6 inchers. Most premium options feature some high quality screens, with IPS panels, high-density matrices and even touchscreens on many of the latest units (in fact, touchscreens are more or less a given on Haswell ultrabooks).

Regular laptops stretch from tiny units, with 7 or 8 inch displays, all the way to multimedia behemoths with 20 inch screens and you get plenty of panels and screen types to choose from on all these devices.


You can get a laptop these days for anywhere from $100 to several thousand dollars.

The cheapest ultrabooks sell for more, around $400 or so, with the premium versions starting at $1000 and up. But there are quite a few good picks that sell for somewhere between $500 and $800.

Even so, an ultrabook will be more expensive than a fairly similar specced laptop, and that’s normal, given all the things they have to offer (the slim body, the fancy craftsmanship, the long battery life, the security features, etc).

Wrap-up – ultrabook or laptop – what will it be?

All those ultrabook imposed criteria apart, there is one thing that sets these two classes apart: variety.

Regular laptops have been around for many years and that’s why there are hundreds of them for us to choose from, with all sorts of shapes, configurations and features.

Ultrabooks are playing catch-up, and while several years ago we only had a handful of ultraportables available, they now cover a vaster range of sizes and expectations, with ultrabooks great for college and school, gaming ultrabooks or convertible hybrids with touchscreens. In fact, there are many good ultrabooks listed in stores these days, and if you want to know more about them, this curated list of my favorite models is the best place to start.

Laptops can come in a bunch of different sizes, being targeted towards a more varied audience.

Laptops come in a bunch of different sizes, being targeted towards a larger audience

Bottom point, ultrabooks are just a special type of laptops. They are designed with portability and looks in mind and they are fast enough to cope with the everyday tasks. However, a potential buyer can only choose between a limited number of such devices right now, while with laptops, there’s a wider pool to pick from. On top of that, ultrabooks are still fairly expensive.

Ultra-portable laptops are clearly the way to go though. With the hardware getting faster and more efficient, manufacturers will create even sleeker and lighter machines in the next years. And all of them will get more affordable and more accessible for the average Joe.

That might not yet be the case right now, but it’s surely going to happen sooner than later.

In the end, if you’re still undecided between classic laptops or an ultrabook, perhaps you should also take a look at these two other posts here on the site, one listing the best ultrabooks you can find in shops these days and the other listing the ultra-portable alternatives you could consider if you’re not yet ready to get in bed with ultrabook.

And if you have any comments, questions or things you want to add to this post, don’t hesitate to leave your replies below.

Andrei Girbea, Editor-in-Chief of Ultrabookreview.com. I've been covering mobile computers since the 2000s and you'll mostly find reviews and thorough guides written by me here on the site.


  1. ishita

    June 1, 2012 at 5:31 am

    i do not understand the bit about optical drives, does what you wrote means that the ultrabook will not be able to read any CDs? i am not a techie geek so that is what i think.

    thank you.

    • Mike

      June 1, 2012 at 11:16 am

      Ishita, the ultrabooks available right now do not have an optical unit, so no, they cannot read CDs/DVDs . That’s because producers tried to make these computers as compact as possible and as a result, there was no space left to actually fit in the optical unit. However, you can always get an external Optical unit that connects to these computers via USB

  2. rio

    June 9, 2012 at 5:37 am

    does linux and windows 7 work fine on the same ultrabook???? (i am asking this as ulltrabooks have less clocking speeds)

    • Mike

      June 11, 2012 at 11:15 am

      Yep, they should work just fine

  3. Prit

    June 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Which one of the two can run the latest games better????

    • Andrew

      July 19, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      The NoteBook will run the games better

  4. dipa ahuja

    June 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Hi.. m still confused what to buy. I have to work on laptop for more than 12-15 hrs so what should i buy.

    I have the work of website development. so to carry the heavy laptop is being very hard for me.

    also buy the heavy use of the laptops my bettery is running not even 1 hr. i have to work continuesly by plugging on to it.

    Can you suggest me any good laptop which give me best performance even if i work on it 24/7 ? Or should we go for ultrabook?

    • Mike

      June 28, 2012 at 10:54 am

      If you want performances, you’ll probably need a laptop, not an ultrabook. Also, in your field, you should get something with a proper keyboard and screen (high resolution will be a plus). So you should have these in mind. I can’t advise on any particular model, but Lenovo’s are usually quite good, or you can go for a Mac.

      Anyway, if you’re looking for 12+ hours of life on battery, you’ll have to pay for that and you’ll have to but a business laptop with an extended slice battery, like a Lenovo ThinkPad, Sony Vaio S or Z or an HP Elitebook.

  5. Fardenand

    June 28, 2012 at 5:15 am

    By the above post ima pretty much clear ,one may choose ultrabooks just becuz of its battery life .we gotta lots of well equipped laptops which can perform great .

  6. rahul

    July 1, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    please suggest me a good laptop or ultrabook, which should include performance and battery life?? confused between laptops and ultrabooks?? is HP ENVY better than HP laptop?? m looking at 15 or 17 3rd generation, 6gb ram and above 500 gb harddisk?? please help me

    • Mike

      July 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      Rahul, there are not 17 inch ultrabooks. So you will have to do your own research and then come back for fine tunning, It’s impossible for me to tell you which device you should get from the tens of laptops available in stores :P

      As for ultrabooks vs regular laptops, there’s an article here on the site on that subject, you should check it out

  7. Ajitesh

    July 19, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Suggest me a laptop or laptop which offer 5 to 6 hrs battery ,on which hi tech games and videos can be played ……..with good features and latest i5 technology.,with good looks.my budget is 35,000 to 40,000.

    • Mike

      July 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm

      I have no idea what 35000… means. Anyway, ultrabooks are not meant for games, so if you’re planing to get one for those, you should look at other laptops. Otherwise, if you want very light gaming from time to time, 13.3 inch ultrabooks should do fine. The HP Folio 13 does offer good battery life and is an overal solid machine, you should check it out

  8. Lenny

    July 27, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Kindly suggest me a laptop/ultrabook with good performance for technical use
    in software/telecom field.

  9. vinay

    July 29, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    i m confused between notebook & ultrabook…….i need good performance while using internet and my usage will b of seeing movies and for songs mainly…as well as i want to learn MS-Excell..
    my budget is around rs 17,000……………plz suggest..

  10. vinay

    July 29, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I wanna decide in next 3 days……so plz if possible mail me as i’ll b travelling in this coming week…

    • Mike

      July 31, 2012 at 11:46 am

      Vinay, i don’t know what that means in USD, but for your need, you’ll be OK with any laptop made in the last two years or so

      • Utkarsh Singh

        September 12, 2012 at 9:55 am

        Bro He Means 17000 Indian rupees…
        everyone is not american here in India who always deals in USD.

        and 35000 by ajitesh also means Rupees….
        indian currency….

        • Michelle

          September 19, 2012 at 9:40 pm

          Then state that next time. How was Mike supposed to know you guys meant rupees??? You never stated this. Also, he never said he thought everyone was American in India??? Very weird thing, for you to assume that was what he meant. What I find odd is that not one of you stated YOUR nationality. How many Mikes’ do you have in India, anyway? You’re a genius…not. Here’s an idea…do your OWN conversion & research; instead of slamming on Mike who was kind enough to respond to your questions.

  11. Art

    August 2, 2012 at 12:06 am

    I’m indecisive about what Ultrabook/Laptop I should get. I will be starting college this fall and i would like to choose a good Ultrabook. I like the Ultrabooks because of the sleek design, lightweight and portability. But i don’t know if they will be good for college due to their low Hard Drive and Memory.Mostly used for writing papers , watching movies online and surfing the web. I like the Samsung Series 9 15″ ultrabook is that enough? And is an iCore 5 good enough?

    • Mike

      August 3, 2012 at 11:49 am

      The Samsung Series 9 is one of my fav ultrabooks, it’s definitely good, although perhaps a bit overpriced. Anyway, a Core I5 Ivy Bridge processor will be just fine.

      As for the storage, with a 128 GB SSD you’re only left with about 70-80 to use after installing Windows. That leaves you with a couple of options: you could store your movies, music on an external USB HDD and connect it to the laptop when needing them, you can get a big Flash drive for that or even a big SD card-reader (a 64 GB or even a 128 GB one). The last option is slower when writing stuff on it, but it’s a lot more portable…

  12. Hunter

    August 4, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I have a HP dv6 laptop with ATI mobility Radeon Graphics 5650.It is quite good for gaming (played Max Payne 3,COD MW3 and other’s without any lag).What I am interested in now is to buy a gaming laptop.So I wanted to know ->Is there any current ultrabook which can support all the latest games? Should I go for a Gaming Laptop or some Ultrabook (i heard one of the HP ultra book has ATI 5650 Radeon)?

    • Mike

      August 4, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      Hunter, if you’re satisfied with the Ati 5650, you should have a look at the HP Envy 6t, I reviewed it here on the site: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/1422-hp-envy-6-review/ . It packs a slightly faster Ati Radeon 7670 graphics and I’ve played some games on it myself.

      But, you should know that neither of these are actually meant for gaming. They will work with older titles, like the ones listed there, as long as you trim down the details. But if you want a computer for hardcore gaming, you must go for something more powerful.

  13. akta

    August 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    What is the actual difference between a notebook and an ultrabook..????
    Actully my father was aiming to buy an ultrabook with good features and specifications in it.
    But the computer dealer made a fool of him & gave him a notebook of Samsung instead of an ultrabook, model code-np350u2b-a0ain.
    Will u pls help me out… what should i do now..????

    • Mike

      August 10, 2012 at 9:54 am

      Akta, this post should answer your question…

      On that Samsung, that’s not really an ultrabook but it’s close to one. It’s not an ultrabook because it’s slightly bulkier and heavier, so it doesn’t meet the standards, plus lacks some of the imposed Intel technologies. But for the money it’s a very good compact laptop and I believe your father should be fine with it (not sure what he needs from a laptop, but if he plans to use it for daily tasks, that will do)

  14. saurabh

    August 9, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    i am a software developer an develope software and full graphic website, some time play latest games but not casual, so i am confused should i go for ultrabook or notebook as i had heard hp envy 4 has 2gb graphic card should i buy it or wait little bit.

    • Mike

      August 11, 2012 at 9:25 am

      It depends. There are some ultrabooks sporting dedicated graphics, but only capable of par and sub-par performances. The amount of dedicated vide0 memory it’s not really important here, but rather the number of processing units and the clock speeds.

      Anyway, if you want the latest games, I’d say go with a regular laptop. But if you still need an ultrabook, check out the Acer Aspire M5 or the 2012 Dell XPS 15 (basically, something with at least an Nvidia 640M graphics chip)

  15. Utkarsh

    August 10, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I’m confused among Samsung NP550P5C S02IN ; HP Pavilion dv6-7040tx and sony vaio SVE15118FN…….which one’s better….or can you please suggest me any other notebook from Dell with i7(3rd generation) and 15inch……which comes around $1050….????

    I also want to tell you that i want to go with samsung cause of its better specs…….!!!
    Also i’m not going with ultrabooks because of its less hard disk space and also its has no cd/dvd drive…!!!
    also i’m some what intersested in gaming..too!!!

    so,plz suggest me which one to buy….!!!

    • Mike

      August 11, 2012 at 9:17 am

      I’m sry mate, regular laptops are a bit out of my league so i don’t feel confident enough to offer you any advices in this case.

  16. raaj

    August 11, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    i am choose an ultrabook hp-envy4-1037tx price 51000.00 and a laptop dell 5520 about 46000.00 15.6 inch i5 core 3rd gen 4gb ram and lenovo ultrabook ideapad u410 so i am confuse. what is buy ?? I am use only study and some time movie and hd video play .and maximum support software and good battery life and performance high so plzzz help me . I am a engineering student of branch electronics and communication. So plz suggest who one is best???.

  17. ashish

    August 14, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    i am a computer engineering student and learning all sort of computer coding system and softwares as well as various languages such as c/c++,java,linux,oracle,SQl so should i opt for a normal laptop or an ultrabook ?? no issues of money cant afford expensives one too .
    also for multimedia usage and gaming purpose
    so according to you should i go for an ultrabook or a laptop
    it will be better if u suggest me with sum links of various laptops and ultrabooks according to my usga purpose

    • Mike

      August 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      I would probably go for a regular laptop, with a full-load processor on your case. I studies in the same field and I remember needing lots of resources for those programming apps and virtual machines

  18. ashish

    August 14, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    i meant i can afford expensive laptops and ultrabooks too .
    dont wana regret buying useless shit
    need your advice

  19. Jaaaaaaye

    August 14, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    So which would be better for typing up papers?

    • Mike

      August 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      It depends. While most ultrabooks don’t have good keyboard, there are some that do (the lenovos, the HP folio 13). The same goes for regular laptops, some offer good ones, some not.

  20. a guy

    August 15, 2012 at 5:00 am

    does normal laptops load faster than normal ultrabooks?

    • Mike

      August 16, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      Not sure what you mean by load, but if you’re asking whether they load programs and act overall faster, than it depends. Some do, some don’t. that’s really a comparison you should do between specific units, not categories.

  21. hamed

    August 16, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    I am a college student in the field of computer science, I want to buy a new laptop but I m confused which laptop and from which company to get. Plz suggest a good laptop with high performance. Maximum budget around 900-1000$.
    And how is dell core i7?…tanx

    • person

      September 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm

      If you are a computer science major in college you should know enough about computers that you are capable of buying one that fits your needs. That being said, i suggest systems 76.

      • primate

        October 11, 2012 at 7:38 pm

        Maybe the reason he is majoring in computer science is because he doesn’t know enough and wants to know more. Weird thought, I know, just figured I’d throw that out there.

      • Justin Tadlock

        November 17, 2012 at 7:51 pm

        I went into software engineering without ever having even owned a computer myself. I couldn’t tell you a thing about the type of computer I owned other than it was a Gateway laptop when I first started.

        The purpose of college is to actually learn. Not everyone going into this type of field has the same amount of knowledge or advantages before coming into it.

        You obviously have an Internet connection. How about you search the Web and find out about the other people in this world that are different from yourself? Yes, there is life outside your parents’ basement.

  22. sourabh singh purohit

    August 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    I need to by a notebook
    Screen size = 15 inch approx
    Hard disk space = 320 GB to 500 GB
    Battery life = 6 to 7 hrs
    RAM = 4 GB
    processor = intel core i3 or i5 or better (suggest me if AMD are better or Intel in performance)
    USB port = 3.0 would be awesome,
    Should support optical drive,
    Screen Resolution should be good as i have works regarding web design and development and graphics design.
    Comfortable trackpad with comfortable keyboard would be awesome.

    Price Budget = some where around USD 750 TO USD 800



    • Mike

      August 29, 2012 at 5:52 am

      see the 15 inchers in this post, they are towards the second part of the post: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/251-ultrabooks-reviews-buying-advices-top-ultrabook-laptops/ . You don’t have many options in your budget, I’d consider the Hp Envy 6, the new Asus S56 and the Dell XPS 15z/14z.

      AMD laptops are less powerful than Intel ones, also eat more battery, but they are significantly cheaper. Have a look at the HP Envy 6z Sleekbook.

      Not sure why you have HP out of your list though…

  23. Subbu

    September 6, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Can you suggest very lite weight ultrabook?

  24. saurabh

    September 10, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    want to buy a new laptop but confused should i go for ultrabook or regular laptop, or wait one more month till windows 8 launch..
    I am a database developer as well use high multimedia apps like autocad , visual studio to develope games, and apps. need more power, good graphic, and long battery life.. And also play some of latest games like crysis,….

  25. Kiran

    September 17, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Iam hunting for a good laptop/ultrabook.
    i7,6-8GB RAM,500 GB HDD,DVD R/W,2.5GHZ,OPTICLE DRIVE,BLUE RAY,LIGHT WEIGHT,MOST IMPORTANT IS 8Hrs or more battery life..for office work n gaming both useful..Iam in a bit hurry so please suggest me with one…My budget is 500-600£.Thanks.

    • Mike

      September 17, 2012 at 12:28 pm

      Kiran, you should be realistic. There is not device that could meet your requirements right now. Maybe the Vaio Z with the docking station that included dedicated graphics and blu-ray…

      Anyway, for your demands, you should probably start at at least 1000 pounds

  26. Li

    September 18, 2012 at 1:47 am

    Dear Mike,

    I can not decide between MBAir-13 and Acer Aspire S3. It seems like their technical characteristics are pretty much the same, whereas Apple charges twice as much for Acer.
    I am travelling a lot (that’s why I need an extra light ultrabook), taking dozens of pictures and therefore using AdobePh C4-5. I’ve heard that Mac’s are excellent for that, but I would prefer to stay cheap if Acer S3 offers the same.

    I would really appreciate if you can help me to decide between these two.
    Greetings from Russia,

    • Mike

      September 18, 2012 at 7:16 pm

      Oh well, the MBA and the Aspire S3 might seem close on paper, but in reality they are nothing alike.

      For your needs, an S3 with a core i5 processor and the hybrid storage will do and you’ll probably find one for less than 700 euros these days.

      But, the screen is going to be quite bad, the keyboard and trackpad as well and the overall build quality is not that good either. Also, you should expect under 4 hours of life on daily use and probably like 2.5 with Photoshop, maybe less.

      All in all, I think the S3 is one of the worst ultrabooks on the market. For the money though and when you’ll compare it to a regular laptop, it might not be that bad though if you’re willing to cope with those quirks. My advice: try to see it in some stores before buying it or get it from some place that allows returns.

      For your needs, you should look at the HP Folio 13, it’s not very expensive and it is overall a great improvement over the Acer.


    September 23, 2012 at 9:07 am

    This is veery expansive & good….

  28. ankit

    October 5, 2012 at 10:09 am

    hey mike,
    i want to buy a laptop from hp n m confused between the sleekboks and the regular notebooks. whats the basic difference betweem intel and amd processors?? n i’ve read the reviews of 15.6 hp sleekbook that the resolution is very poor! could u plz help???

    • Mike

      October 6, 2012 at 8:28 am

      Ankit, sleekbooks are thin and light laptops with AMD Inside. That makes them cheaper than ultrabooks, but also slower and less efficient (battery life is going to be shorter). the 15.6 inch HP sleekbook has 1366 x 768 px resolution, which is indeed poor, but that’s what you can find on all budget 15 inchers these days, regardless of the hardware platform inside

  29. Rita

    October 11, 2012 at 6:28 am

    i want to buy a slim laptop which would be use for games, music, video storage, internet surfing, with long battery life, etc with the price range from 25000 to 35000 INR. Please suggest me a good one that suit for me.

    • Mike

      October 11, 2012 at 7:49 am

      Rita, please post your budget in US dollars, I cannot know all the currencies in the world. Thanks

  30. Danish

    October 11, 2012 at 9:20 am

    i want to know the main difference between ultrabook and laptop , and i want the best one , my budget is under 2000$ , please suggest me the best including Mcbook Air.


    • Mike

      October 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Did you actually read the post? did you read my lists of top ultrabooks? Please do that and get back afterwards if you still have questions :P

  31. Ron

    November 6, 2012 at 3:06 am

    Can you suggest the best brand and laptop for the following purposes:

    1. Live steaming
    2. Vedio editing
    3. Gaming


  32. JOSE

    November 13, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Hey, I need a laptop that it no more than $900.

    I need it for video editing and it needs to have windows 8. I am also a college student and i need it for papers and what not. I also use the internet a lot, and i mean A LOT. What would be the best option? Is there a touch screen that fits my needs?

    • Mike

      November 15, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      The Vaio T13 with a touchscreen should fit your needs, just make sure to get the Core I5 option

  33. Danish

    November 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Hello I would like to know that which laptop would be better for me.I want enough RAM,enough processor speed & so on.But my budget is US 500$

  34. Dee

    November 23, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Our daughter is leaving for college in the fall. We would like to buy her either a laptop or notebook. It must serve all her needs for Nursing courses and personal needs like gaming, videos, pictures, etc… I don’t know what budget to set but would like it to be reasonable. Any suggestions? Thank you

  35. Joy Hughley

    November 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    We are looking to purchase a laptop for our 11yr old. It will be for basic school work and programming. Currently, he is learning Scratch programming and working on an HP mini notebook. He has not had any problems. We would like to upgrade him in anticipation of more programming classes, and middle school requirements. I appreciate any feedback you could offer.


    • Mike

      November 24, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Hey Joy.

      Not sure what your budget is, but for a kid that young, you’re probably not going to need an ultrabook, unless you really don’t look at budget..

      Anyway, I’d go with something small (11.6 or 12 inch screen), sturdy and decently fast. I’d look at the Asus Vivobook S200, the Asus EEE PC 1225B, the HP dm1, the Lenovo ThinkPad x131 (an older device), lenovo thinkpad edge e120, maybe the Acer Aspire One 756.

  36. khanvict

    November 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Hey Mike right now I am planning to go to college and I am looking for a cheap but still fast laptop for all my college needs. My price would be at most 500 us dollars. I just want one that would handle all my internet and word processing needs for college.

    • Mike

      November 25, 2012 at 10:37 am

      You’re probably not going to get an ultrabook for that kind of money, unless you buy something refurbished or user. So you should maybe look at mini laptops, like the Asus 1225B or the HP dm1

  37. Busy Highschooler

    November 25, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    hey Mr. Mike, long story short my dell laptop went up and died on me, didn’t even last very long in my opinion (just four years old), but I am a highschool student who refuses study halls, maintains a high GPA and I work at a Cafe and Bakery. So I need a strong and sturdy laptop to survive my long weeks in which I can use at home, school, and work without it freaking out on me. I am a gamer but I’m going to resist the urge to play them on this lap top but I don’t know much about what the best laptop, ultrabook or whatever that can survive being shuffled around like crazy. So any suggestions? Right now I’m open to many prices as long as the don’t surpass 1500$.
    Please and Thank you

    (by the by I do have some programs such as decently large photography programs that need to be on my future computer and it needs to handle it w/o crashing.)

    • Mike

      November 28, 2012 at 11:35 pm

      Hmmm, I’d probably look at the Lenovo ThinkPads for your needs, they fit the budget. Like the Lenovo X230 or the 430. I for one have an older version, the x220, and I’m perfectly happy with it: it’s sturdy, fairly light, powerful, compact. And there’s another thing that pushed my towards thinkpads: they have excellent customer service and service offers over here.

      besides these, you should also look at the HP and Dell business laptops, these tends to be solid and reliable. But my money are still with the lenovo, I might be biased, but I use my x220 daily and I just can’t say many things wrong about it

  38. Md. imraj hossain

    December 1, 2012 at 5:24 am

    i need a ultrabook having the following capacity
    display 15 (inch)
    hard disc 500 gb
    ram 4 gb
    processor intel core i5
    graphics (medium)
    can anyone describe me with total information of that kind of ultrabook having the current rate.

    • Mike

      December 3, 2012 at 10:59 am

      look at the HP Envy 6T and the Asus S56.

  39. Shruti

    December 3, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Hello Mike,
    I want to buy a laptop,Can you please suggest me which one is better.
    1.HP 4430s
    2.Lenovo Z470
    or something else.
    My basic requirement are
    Hard disk space = 500 GB
    Battery life = 5hr
    RAM = 4 GB
    processor = intel core i3 or i5 (2nd Gen)
    Operating System = Windows 7 professional
    I would really thankful if you can help me to decide.
    my budget is US 500$ to 700$

    • Mike

      December 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      Sry, regular sized laptops are not really my area of expertise, so i can’t really offer a proper advice in those two

  40. sariska

    December 5, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Hi Mike, how are you?
    I want to buy an ultrabook within 1000$, Can you tell me which one is best now a days?
    My basic requirements are
    Hard disk space = 500 GB
    Battery life = 6 or 7 hr
    RAM = 4GB
    processor = intel core i5

    • Mike

      December 8, 2012 at 10:18 am

      you’re not going to reach that battery life in everyday use with pretty much none of the existing ultrabooks. I’d take a look at the older HP Folio 13, that might be the closest you can get with that battery life. Also the Toshiba Z930 might do.

      The thing is, if you want battery life, you’ll have to go with something that used an SSD, and in your budget only a 128 GB SSD would fit. You can always bun an external HDD and keep most of your files there. IF you want the 500 GB storage, you’ll have to get a hybrid storage option and that’s what you can find on the cheaper laptops, but also makes the laptop noisier and eats battery life faster.

  41. Hugo

    December 8, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Hi Mike
    I am currently studying mecatronic engineering and own a netbook (LG X140), but now I need to switch to a note/ultra that can handle programs like protheus isis/ares, solid edge, matlab and all that stuff as my netbook just can’t work with these with a comfortable performance, and yet I still need the mobility it offers as I use to carry it a lot between my university, lab and home. I also like to play some games, but nothing serious like MW3 on the higher resolutions or other heavy games. My question is, witch one is the best for my needs? Can an ultrabook handle the programs I mentioned with no problem or will I be wasting money? I can spend something like 700 – 1200 U$, so, wich one you think is the most suitable?

    Thanks and greetings from Brazil,

    • Mike

      December 8, 2012 at 10:25 am

      Hugo, I’m not sure if Proteus and Solid Edge use the graphic accelerators inside laptops as well… But for what you need, I would probably go with the Acer Aspire M5 (the one with an Intel Core I5 processor and Nvidia 640M graphics). It sells for around $800. The downsides: average screen, pretty poor keyboard and trackpad… but it really depends on what’s you compare them with.

      Now, be aware that this is built on an ULV hardware platform, like most others ultrabooks, so the software should work way better than it does on your netbook, but when compared to bigger laptops, it won’t fly. I think it will be alright though.

      Anyway, you might want to have a look at the older Asus U36SD/SG or the Asus U32VD if you can find it anywhere, those come with full power CPUs and slower graphics. Also, the Gigabyte U2442 might fit withing your budget, also with an ULV platform and dedicated graphics, which is like the Acer M5 in terms of hardware, but better overall.

      • Hugo

        December 9, 2012 at 2:04 am

        Hi Mike
        I checked the ultras you told me to look, and the one that I tought was the best was the gigabyte U2442N, even tough there was the i7 model. Thing is, I also found the samsung series 5 NP550P5C-T01US to be almost the same thing as the giga, as both of them have dedicated grafic cards, 8GB ram and 750 GB hd, but almost 200U$ cheaper. The i7 giga is ~1280U$ and the i5 one is 1145U$, while the samsung is U$899.
        The only noticeable difference between them is that the giga has a better gpu (640M 2GB vs 630M 1GB) while the samsung has a better processor (2.3 ghz i7 vs 1.9 ghz i7 or 3.1ghz i5). All of this got me really confused, and now I don’t know which one to go for. So, which one you think is the best deal? Is the giga worth the extra money or the difference between the grafic cards is not that significant?


  42. susan weis

    December 12, 2012 at 11:33 am

    My 7th grade son wants a laptop or ultrabook for Xmas. He wants to use it for homework, to access the internet, and for basic games. He will be taking it on trips, to friends’ houses, and possibly to school once in high school. He is most interested in speed and how long it takes to download or change screens. I would like to find something that he won’t “outgrow” or that won’t become “too old or slow” in the next 5 years, if possible. I would really appreciate any suggestions you may have. Would you email me some ideas please?

  43. Eeshaan

    December 20, 2012 at 3:46 am

    Hi mike
    im looking at either dell’s inspiron 15z ultrabook or the inspiron 14/15R turbo. I require them for gaming with titles like Battlefield3, Crysis2, GTA5 etc. What advantage graphic wise and also SSD vs HDD does the ultrabook confer? What should i go for?

    • Brandon

      January 9, 2013 at 9:08 pm

      If gaming is the primary purpose, I would stay away from ultrabooks and get a powerhouse laptop. Don’t get the model unltrabook you mentioned. It has Intel graphics. You will want to get an Nvidia or ATI dedicated graphics chip.

  44. Terry

    February 10, 2013 at 1:55 am

    Horrible Review. Need to get to the point of what your saying instead of listening to the sound of your own voice.

    • Steve-O

      January 23, 2014 at 1:01 am

      The point: Terry, you’re a little bit of a dickhead. If you’re going to criticize somebody then you need to provide constructive feedback. eg: “Terry, I’m happy you posted something and I’m even more pleased you can actually read in spite of your obvious misuse of the word “your”. On the other hand, when you post something critical it’s usually best received when you provide alternatives and/or solutions rather than simply stating your negative conclusion to something. Thanks again, Terry. You’re wonderful.”

      See what I mean? Thanks Terry, you’re wonderful.

  45. Prashant

    February 11, 2013 at 9:54 am

    i want to buy laptop & little bit confused, ultra books are also in market, plz suggest where to go laptop or ultrabook..

  46. Diego

    February 25, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Hi! I hope some one answer. I’m really interested in one of those UltraBook because they are really light and I cold carry them everywhere. But I just have a Question. Are they easy to repair?. I mean, I’m afraid that in the future a part gets damage and i can’t fix it and I have to buy other one. that’s the only thing that I’m afraid of. Thanks.

    • Mike

      March 2, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      i’d say no, since it’s complicated to access the internals and some parts are soldered to the motherboard, especially on the premium and slimmer units. but you can just go ahead and buy extended warranty (3 yeras or more) and you should be just fine

  47. Jayant

    April 16, 2013 at 5:41 am

    If weight does'nt matter to u & If you are an extreme gamer and want high graphics then go for laptops .. because most of the ultra books come with dual core or core 2 duo i5,i7 chips .. for gaming purpose laptops will be the best choice as it has quad mobile chips and better graphics .. laptops and notebooks also give battery backup of 5-9 hrs just upgrade your battery from 6 cell to 9 or 12 cell ..

  48. Nanda

    April 27, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Plz someone tell me..what should i buy?my range is within 55000 Rs. I jst nid it for browing,chatting,music,movies etc. Also sm work on thesis..
    Plz advise!!!


    May 27, 2013 at 9:39 am

    hai i am civil engineer i am in confusion to buy laptop or computer or ultrabook so please suggest me
    my requirements are for AUTOCAD DRAWINGS
    and for my office works
    and for internet browsing
    games for my brother
    and other multimedia purposes
    and for multiutility for me please suggest me

  50. Charlotte

    May 30, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    I’m not sure if I should go for a Ultrabook or regular laptop. I’m not a gaming person, but I do like to do several things at the same time. Like surf the internet, while working in Photoshop CS6 and downloading/streaming a movie and maybe converting a video or editing something. I also sometimes rip DVDs to edit them and make musicvideos.
    So what do I need to look for in a computer? And what would be better for all of that, a regular laptop or Ultrabook?

  51. James

    July 26, 2013 at 2:04 am

    Hi. I’m getting ready to go off to college and am prepared to buy a new laptop/ultrabook to bring with me. I’m looking for something that has a decent amount of memory and computing power, but I’m not looking to really break the bank (nothing much above $1000). I will need something that is portable, since I’ll be lugging it around campus quite a bit, but I don’t want to sacrifice a lot of power, which it sounds like I could risk doing should I go with an ultrabook. I’m not looking to do a ton of gaming or run a lot of heavy-duty programs, but I don’t want to get stuck with a behemoth of a processor. Do you guys have any recommendations on makes or models that I should look into?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 28, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      James, pretty much any ultrabooks with an i5 processor should do for you. If you can squeeze in something with an SSD, even better.

  52. Vladislav Bezhenar

    July 26, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Hello there,

    I am looking for a good music making laptop. Specifically for making beats,recording,mastering, etc…

    Would an Ultrabook, or a regular laptop be a better choice?

    Which computer would be good for that?

  53. Poida

    August 1, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Mixed metaphors, mangled English, pointless drivel. Make your point, move on.

  54. Bob

    September 2, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Thanks for writing this article. I now better understand the differences. I’ve decided to go for a regular laptop and install an 250GB SSD . Running with Ubuntu it will be as fast as an ultrabook (I think) plus it will allow me to upgrade in the future (i.e. if I need more RAM or bigger hardrive). Some of these ultrabooks don’t allow you to upgrade everything, or repair parts. This is a shame as I’d like a computer for the next 6-7 years. As far as I can see the only major advantage of an ultrabook is weight. I’m big and heavy, so I think I’ll survive :-) Otherwise when I move about for work I’ll use my e-reader (or if I get one a tablet). These ultrabooks might look cool, but I think I’d rather go with the flexibility and save my money for future upgrades. Thanks again for an informative article that allowed me to think through my decisions.

  55. chandan kumar

    September 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Which is best for buy ultrabook or laptop.i am doing btech from computer science engineering….plz suggest me immediately….

  56. mahesh

    September 18, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    laptop with 3rd gen ci5/750gbHDD/8gb ram/2gb gr card vs ultrabook 3rd Gen Ci5/ 4GB/ 750GB 24GB SSD

    which one will be faster in terms of boot time, launching heavy programs and shut down? will the ultrabook ssd be able to make up for less ram and no graphic memory?

  57. yaw hon

    December 1, 2013 at 7:38 am

    I want to know the pros amd cons of both

  58. P Joshi

    December 9, 2013 at 7:51 am

    I want to buy lightweight, high-performance & reliable laptops for top management with docking arrangement & VGA port for projection. It should be capable for long continuous working of 9-10 hours with minimum heat & sound. I want to know whether Ultrabook is a better option or I should look for traditional business laptops, which are sturdy and not very good looking. Please advise.

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 13, 2013 at 7:01 pm

      P, look at the Lenovo ThinkPad X240 with the extended battery. It should do the trick.

  59. rodel

    December 11, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    I want gaming laptop or ultrabook but my money is 600usd$. Pls. Help me what the best model I buy?thank u so much.

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 13, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Look for an Ivy Bridge Acer Aspire M5. You might find one with a Core i5 and the 640MLE (14 incher) or 640M (15 incher) chip in that budget

  60. Harjot

    January 16, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Requirments for the laptop of my choice :

    15.6″ inches screen (about 1366 x 768res)
    Able to handle some minor HD games.
    might be fit for multimedia.
    Must have a good backlit Keyboard.

    -I don’t carry my laptop with me most of the time-
    but I’ll consider having a portable laptop.

    The problem is, my budget is only about $500 USD.
    Is there a laptop that fits the description I gave for only about $500?

  61. sunny mittal

    February 12, 2014 at 6:17 am

    m little bit confused as i want to buy a laptop rs under 40,000 which should i buy…can.u suggest me and its good if u tell me in dell

    • amit

      March 18, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      Please can u suggest me the best one ultra-book with company name and model name for the same.

    • Anty_idiot

      August 23, 2014 at 5:51 pm

      I would like to buy something, please advice me. Sunny, Amit and other morons. If you do not provide more details it is impossible to give you any hint.
      Just go to mediamarkt, or any other electronics shop, take the first laptop from the shelf and buy it.

  62. Manoj jangra

    March 19, 2014 at 7:07 am

    Which is best to buy notebook or an ultrabook plz tell me

  63. Nagu

    April 14, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    I want to buy one gadget..which one u can suggest to me???laptop or ultra book??plz rpl to my email….
    thank you sir..

  64. kenneth mwagomba

    April 21, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    I need a laptop with the following specifications:
    1. screen size horizontal: 14Inches by Vertical:15Inches
    2. horizontal 12.6 inches and vertical 14 inches

  65. Ginny Wilkerson

    May 1, 2014 at 2:55 am

    I wish there was a website where I could put in my specs and then several choices and price ranges will come up.
    I know that I use my lap top for ministry, which means I need to be able to display song lyrics for people to read so they can sing along which means i need either Power point or some kind of software that will display songs for people to sing.
    It needs to have a good sound system for home use.
    It needs to have also good resolution for when I do my home group Hebrew study for when we watch videos.
    it must be versatile in that way.
    I carry around a very heavy laptop with a logitech laptop pad with speakers and cooling fan on it.
    Any suggestions? I want to go lighter but not sacrifice quality.

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 6, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      Creating such a tool is a bit tricky.

      Now, for what you need, most ultrabooks will due. I suggest looking at the Lenovo Yoga line, which is quite versatile. You could use the laptop in Stand/Tent modes for your groups, that should come in handy. You get either the older Yoga 13 ultrabooks, or the newer Yoga 2 Pro.

      Speakers are somewhat problematic on these devices. As they are thin, there’s not enough room for proper chambers, so I’d suggest going for a mini Boom Speaker you could connect to the laptop via USB. You’ll find those on Amazon and Ebay for 20 to 50 bucks.

  66. ydesai

    May 20, 2014 at 8:16 am

    I’d like to know what would you prefer laptop or ultra book if you were a Bachelors in Computer Application Student.. Whose major requirement is to work with eclipse,. Net Framework, Photoshop etc !!

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 21, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      Probably a laptop, if you don’t want something very portable. Otherwise, an ultrabooks, but get an as fast as processor possible and as much RAM.

  67. Satish

    May 27, 2014 at 9:05 am

    It seems the major difference between an ultra book and a laptop is the processor. Can you highlight the major differences between the two types of processors. It would be helpful if you can compare them with desktp processors and tablet processor like the one used in Surface 3.

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 27, 2014 at 11:31 am

      The Surface 3 Pro uses the same kind of processors you’ll also find in laptops.

      It’s impossible for me to compare all the existing processors. You should look for reviews of the exact models you’re interested in and have the numbers side by side. Roughly, things go like this:

      Atom processors (low power, high efficiency)
      Core Y Series
      Core U Series
      full voltage Mobile CPUs

      But that’s just to make a general idea.

      • marlyn

        July 25, 2014 at 11:04 pm

        Sir , Can you give me an idea which brand of laptops best for processing of geotagging applications?.

  68. sakiya

    May 29, 2014 at 12:29 am

    “there’s less room on ultrabooks for these, so as a result, some features are either cut off or replaced with their miniaturized versions.”
    – what features exactly are cut from ultrabooks? Which are miniaturized? How?

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 29, 2014 at 11:13 am

      Ports, that paragraph is about ports and connectors

  69. Deborah

    August 19, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    The hinges on most laptops are pathetic. Are they better on the Ultrabooks since they are lighter? Which brand has the best hinges in your opinion. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 20, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      Ahhh, that’s a tough question. I’d say most of the premium laptops have sturdy hinges, mainly because they are made from metal and so are the bodies/lid cover. Going for a device with a long single hinge (like the Macbooks, Asus Zenbooks, Dell XPS line, etc) is also going to narrow the chance of it breaking down. And one final thing to consider: go with something that has a strong bezel around the screen. With most laptops, hinges are fixed behind this plastic strip around the screen and I’ve seen cases where it broke, but not on higher end devices.

    • iorr61

      April 28, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      Deb, I hope you found a good one. I had an HP Ultrabook, a hinge broke very shortly after 1-year. After finding that broken hinges are a popular topic, and HP not standing up to it (at least in my case), I bought a Lenovo Ultrabook. Lo and behold, very shortly after 1-year, a hinge broke. Neither break was from abuse. I, too, would like to find an Ultra with reliable hinges, or a manufacturer who will stand behind theirs w/ out buying an extended warranty.

  70. Anand m

    February 5, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    hi im little bit confused as i want to buy a laptop rs under 25,000 which should ibuy…can.u suggest me and its good if u tell me in lenovo

  71. Anthony

    April 18, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Could you advise me on what laptop/ultrabook I should get my son .He is starting high school next year and needs to bring a laptop. I have a daughter who has an acer with a 12 inch screen which is small but heavy. They have to carry this to and from school,can you advise something better alternative.

  72. Mrs. Williams

    June 18, 2015 at 5:50 am

    Hello my name is Kay and currently I attend college online my major is in the Medical industry.I was wondering what would be the best ultrbook or laptop for me? My main focus is school so I want it to be able to handle all my work and in my free time be able to watch movies listen to music. Which ultrabook or laptop do you prefer? Weight is not an issue.

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 18, 2015 at 10:05 am

      Hi Kay. You have to pick based on what you prefer (scree-size, battery life, design, keyboard-quality, performance, etc) and budget. Try to narrow down your options with the help of all the posts on this site and I can then help with the final decision.

      • Mrs. Williams

        June 22, 2015 at 9:06 pm

        I want it to at least last me 4 years and be good able to handle a lot of multitasking so faster the better. I need at least 2gb memory 250 for my hard drive.Screen size can be between 11 and 14 inches.I want to stay between $500 and $600.Once again weight is not an issue for me and the keyboard I would like backlight but that would be just a perk. Thank you ahead of time for your response.

      • Debashis Hira

        July 21, 2015 at 5:57 am

        For such minimalistic usage profile, what would you say about the HP sstream 11/13 running on Intel Celeron Dual Core processor and even is good for portability.
        All I want to know is, will it able to withstand with such nominal usage profile for 2-3 years down the line? The best thing is its so affordable and runs on full Windows OS. Let me know what are your views on it

        • Andrei Girbea

          July 21, 2015 at 9:59 am

          The HP Streams are decent for what they are: inexpensive Windows laptops made for the most basic of tasks. The Asus X205TA is another option to consider and I’ve reviewed that one here on the site a while ago.

  73. Dhiraj Chamariya

    June 21, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    I am confused about what to buy for me
    whether to buy regular laptop or ultrabook or ipad

  74. Gary goh

    July 8, 2015 at 1:01 pm


    I’m interested to get a Lenovo U31-70 ultra book laptop, I was wondering do you have a review of this ultrabook. My old laptop keyboard aand mouse pad will hang after using the laptop for a while, will ultra book have this same problem of keyboard and mousepad hang after a while ?

  75. Shivam

    July 8, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Hi. I m going to join my college soon and i want new laptop/ultrabook which can perform heavy task and which should good in typing becoz i have some Programming related subjects.. I m not interested in playing games etc. but the it must be powerful and looks good .! Budget is $1000. Do you guys can recommend me a model or type in which i should look into ! !?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 10, 2015 at 9:15 am

      Hi Shivam? What screen size are you interested in?

      • Shivam

        July 10, 2015 at 9:30 am

        14-15 ..!

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 10, 2015 at 9:46 am

      Hmmm, I’d get something with a good CPU and as much RAM and possible (at least 8 GB, preferably 16 GB). I have a long list of Broadwell U models in here, try to narrow it down to a few options that you like: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/5165-broadwell-ultrabooks/#a2 and include the Core I7-5500U CPU as you option.

      You could also wait a few weeks for the Broadwell HQ models to pop-out (with HQ series processors), especially since you’re mostly interested in processing power. Those will probably not fit within your budget, but who knows, someone like Acer, Asus or HP might actually have an affordable model.

      • shivam

        July 21, 2015 at 4:01 pm

        hello.. thx for reply… how is dell 15 insprion 7000(i7 with 8gb ram ) series ??

  76. Apurv Adarsh

    July 13, 2015 at 6:38 am

    I am looking to buy a new laptop that can support Virtualization. Since ultrabooks don’t have much hard drive space, can they run two virtual machine simultaneously. My budget is around $1000.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 13, 2015 at 5:48 pm

      WEll, yes, you can find ultrabooks with 256 GB SSDs within your budget, so space shouldn’t be a problem.

      • Apurv Adarsh

        July 14, 2015 at 4:23 am

        Ultrabooks are light and thin.
        But are they durable?
        Is it early to buy an ultrabook, since there are not much of a variety as compared to notebook?

        • Andrei Girbea

          July 14, 2015 at 7:23 am

          Ultrabooks have been around for a few years and are now mature products, so you shouldn’t worry about that.

  77. SD

    August 2, 2015 at 5:50 am

    Hi! I’m looking for a ultrabook/laptop I can use for school as well as work. I need it to be highly portable as well as powerful for programs such as SPSS and R. I was thinking about the Lenovo Yoga 3 14″. I was just wondering if you could recommend any models for me? Thanks so much!

  78. tina

    November 9, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Hi Andrei

    i currently have the new macbook but with the 12″ screen i am finding it really it difficult to use with large spreadsheets and also view Cad documents.
    I have been looking at the surface pro 4 but realised that the screen is virtually the same size .. hence the surface book looked like a good option but comes with a hefty price tag.

    I dont need something really fancy as i am not into gaming or designing. However i would like something that is light weight as i work out of 3 different locations on a weekly basis and dont have the capacity for a large screen at each location.

    What would you recommend in this instance.

    thanks in advance.


    • Andrei Girbea

      November 9, 2015 at 11:03 pm

      Perhaps something like the Lenovo Yoga 900 would be a good pick, with a 13-inch screen. It’s a convertible, so can be used as a tablet as well. Lacks a digitizer though, something to consider

      • tina

        November 10, 2015 at 4:32 pm

        Thank you .. would the lenovo think pad 460 be better ? or another lenovo model that has a digitizer?

        • Andrei Girbea

          November 10, 2015 at 4:41 pm

          The 460 looks like a great device from the specs, but it’s not yet out and there aren’t any reviews. It’s on the heavy side for a tablet, so not very comfortable to use.

          • tina

            November 10, 2015 at 5:00 pm

            thanks for your help :)

  79. Maxime

    November 23, 2015 at 5:01 am

    Super helpful post and reviews. If it isn’t too much of your time I would like to ask for help.
    I am looking for a laptop with a very quick response, minimum 8G of RAM and decent processor. I will be multitasking a lot. I would really like a SSD. I will not be gaming, just watch videos, movies and future plans to work on a website. Lots of disk space is optional. 13-15in FHD IPS screen. 1 or 2 USB 3.0 ports. Weight does not matter. My budget is about 600 ideally, 800 max.
    I am looking at the Asus ZenBook UX305, is it a good choice? Any other suggestions?
    Backlit keyboard, HDMI output, battery life and good speakers are optional extras for me.

  80. Peter

    April 1, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    Thanks for clarifying the differences for me. I had to read the following sentence a couple of times, I think there is a typo: “ultrabooks are thinner, more powerful and longer lasting versions of ultrabooks.” I believe the second “ultrabooks” should be “laptops.”

  81. Maria

    April 15, 2016 at 1:50 am

    Please help me out as i dont know much about laptops.. I’m looking for one within $700. Is 13 inch too small for making presentations?
    I prefer a dell laptop/ultrabook because i have a good support for Dell machines here in my home country. Corei5, not heavier than 3 pounds, a good durable machine!
    Please suggest :)

  82. Gina Guzman

    November 22, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    I'm thinking about getting a notebook or laptop. I used to be very tech-savvy but I really haven't used a computer or laptop for probably 8 years now. We don't have a working computer or laptop in my house and haven't for a couple years. I have no idea what to look for. There are so many options I don't know where to begin. I doubt want to spend a lot of money. I only need it to browse, send emails, pictures, social media. I don't game or need to create/store any large documents. I just don't want it to be slow. I need space for pictures and now that I am getting older I need a bigger screen so I can see. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 22, 2016 at 4:46 pm

      I'd suggest going through these two posts, especially the second:


      I'd suggest aiming for a 15-inch computer with a Core i3 or i5 processor and 8 GB of RAM, you'll find a few suggestions around $500 in those posts. One other thing to consider is the type of screen: TN or IPS panel. Most affordable laptops come with TN panels, but IPS panels have better contrast, colors and viewing angles, so if the budget allows, you should go this route.

      • Gina Guzman

        November 22, 2016 at 4:48 pm

        Thank you. I didn't think anyone would respond.

        • Andrei Girbea

          November 22, 2016 at 4:56 pm

          You're welcome. We reply to most comments and that's one of the reasons this website is different than most others :) . Let me know if I can help more once you narrow down your options.

  83. Leslie

    January 10, 2017 at 2:07 am

    Hi, thanks for your great comparison of ultra books vs. laptops. I have been using the Samsung ATIV Book9 Plus which I have been very happy with except that a couple of months ago my memory went bad. And since the memory is integral to the motherboard (not a separate memory stick that could be easily replaced)it's not cost effective for me to repair it and I now need to purchase a new ultra book. Needless to say, I'm not happy about this because it was an expensive laptop and I only owned it for 2-1/2 years – long enough to be out of warranty but still quite new in my world. So with that long winded introduction I have a couple of questions. 1. Have you seen this hardware problem much? It seems like it's reasonable to assume a higher end ultrabook would last more than a couple of years. 2. I'll take a look at your recommendations above. Is there any particular ultra book that comes to mind that might be comparable to Samsung Book 9. Thanks for the great article.

  84. Hamidreza

    August 28, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Thanks for the article.
    Im an architect and I have to work with several computer programs such az autoCAD,Revit,3DsMax etc.
    I need a laptop with effective hard ware.
    From what I got from this article I dont think Im gonna buy an ultrabook.
    Can you plz suggest a laptop with good hardware and not very high price?

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 28, 2017 at 9:17 am

      Hi, I'd need a budget and whether you want a small/portable computer or you'd rather get a full-size laptop. Since you're mentioning a lower price, I'd reckon the latter, but I'd still need a budget to make any suggestions.

  85. Dee

    January 1, 2018 at 10:47 pm


    Would you say the Hp Spectre is worth the moneyv

  86. Matthew

    June 3, 2018 at 5:10 am

    I was considering getting one of these ultrabooks until I read this. It was just as I had suspected. Ultrabooks are so compacted, they not only sacrifice hard drive space, but also space for a good cooling system to go with all the impressive speed and graphics stats.

    My main question was whether the slimness helped cool the ultrabook, or does the compactness of everything because of the slimness standards meant that if these little wonderful 'powerful on paper' machines were put under stress gaming and stuff for prolonged periods, would they generate much higher heat levels than a more regular laptop with healthy fan to help with that, especially in warmer environments?

    The answer is 'no' to the first question of my last paragraph, but 'yes' to the rest there. Excessive heat to the processor and other components is what wears out any computer faster, so if you're thinking of getting an ultrabook for using its speedy stats heavily (loading up the ram with programs and gaming) then a laptop with a standard cooling system is still better, or you might burn the ultrabook out quicker than a laptop, especially in a warmer environment… Maybe buy one with an extended warranty and aim for that and you'll get a replacement one when it claps out too soon ^^

    • Yam

      August 16, 2018 at 4:30 pm

      After reading these… i am now worried in my newly bought ultrabook..(bought last monday)….where i am using it almost 24/7… but only for encoding… is my way of working could damage my ultrabook and its performance? :( tnx in advance..

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