Home : Hardware Terms : Ultrabook Definition


Ultrabook™ is an Intel trademark that describes a laptop specification. Notably, ultrabooks have an Intel CPU, SSD storage, and a thin unibody frame. They have a maximum height (when closed) and therefore do not have an optical drive, such as a DVD player.

The initial Ultrabook spec was announced in 2011, which included an Intel "Sandy Bridge" processor, a maximum height of 21mm, 5-hour battery life, a maximum 7-second resume-from-hiberation time, and Intel's Anti-Theft Technology. The 2012 update required a minimum "Ivy Bridge" Intel processor, USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt ports, and a minimum data transfer rate of 80 MBps. The 2013 Ultrabook update increased the minimum processor to a "Haswell" Intel processor and required 6 hours of high-definition video playback.

As with many trademarked terms, "Ultrabook" is often used generically. For example, many people refer to thin and lightweight laptops as ultrabooks. However, an Ultrabook only refers to laptops that meet Intel's specifications.

Since laptops have gotten thinner and most no longer have optical drives, Ultrabooks are not as exclusive as they once were. However, if you are shopping for a new laptop, it can still be helpful to check if the laptop meets the requirements of an Ultrabook.

Updated: August 17, 2018

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