Intel Ultrabook Review: Haswell for the win!

In a previous posting, I explained that Intel sent me a Haswell Ultrabook to review.  HaswellI’ve had it now for a few months, and, despite the problems I’ve had due to it being a pre-production module, it remains a superstar.

First the bad news: these are beta units, and so they can be a bit flaky.  One unit I had simply wouldn’t connect with my WiFi and so it was minimally useful to me.  Intel replaced it, however, and the new unit works like a charm.

This laptop weighs in just under 3-1/2 pounds and the electric wire and brick are amazingly and terrifically small and light.  It is easy to carry this one everywhere, and it is easy to use everywhere because the Haswell chip really extends the battery life.

<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. Just in case, 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>

The computer runs Windows 8.1 beautifully and is ridiculously fast.  Rebooting takes seconds.  Visual Studio loads very quickly.  Windows System rates it at 5.4 but the disk rates at a stunning 8.1 and the processor at 7.0.

The touch screen is a delight, and the image is clear and clean throughout.  It works well with projectors and with plugging into larger monitors.  The two USB 3 ports are great.  One of its best features is its wicked fast, if a bit small, SSD drive. 

Again and again, however, we come back to the Haswell processor and the extended battery life.  I’ve gone a full day on a single charge, and I do not like to keep my laptop dim and slow.  This makes the Intel Haswell Ultrabooka great computer to bring to conferences. I can leave the charger in the room, which is a huge plus.

My current work-horse laptop is a Lenovo Carbon X1 – give me that machine with 16 GB of RAM and a 512 SSD and a Haswell chip ( and the ability to run two 25” touch monitors), and that will be the only computer I’ll ever need.

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About Jesse Liberty

Jesse Liberty is an independent consultant and programmer with three decades of experience writing and delivering software projects. He is the author of 2 dozen books and multiple Pluralsight courses, and has been a Senior Technical Evangelist for Microsoft, a Distinguished Software Engineer for AT&T, a VP for Information Services for Citibank and a Software Architect for PBS. He is a Xamarin Certified Mobile Developer and a Xamarin MVP, Microsoft MVP and Telerik MVP.
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