It was 2011 and Intel saw a strong trend in mobile computing, admittedly inspired by Apple's Macbook Air. Notebooks were supposed to become thinner, batteries had to last longer, optical drives were lost, and performance didn't suffer too much. Additionally, manufacturers didn't seem to be doing much to meet this trend, which is why Intel invested $ 300 million of its own money to make it happen.
The first Ultrabook specification was based on the Huron River platform using the Sandy Bridge architecture. This specification required a minimum battery life of 5 hours, resume to sleep for 7 seconds, and the laptop body could not be more than 18 mm thick on 13.3-inch models and 21 mm on 14-inch models. The use of solid state drives and unibody chassis is also recommended (but is not part of the specification) to meet these criteria.
The more modern and up-to-date Chief River specification is based on Ivy Bridge. The battery life, recovery time, and dimensions remain the same, while a storage transfer rate of at least 80MB / s has been added along with mandatory USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt support.
There are currently more than two dozen & # 39; Chief River & # 39; ultrabooks available from manufacturers such as Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony and Gigabyte. Today we're looking at the latest model from Gigabyte. The U2442F is one of many U2442 variants, although as a flagship it is the most expensive and powerful.
Gigabyte U2442F first impressions
The 14-inch Ultrabook from Gigabyte is 339 mm wide at the widest point, 233 mm deep and only 21 mm thick and weighs with an SSD, a hard drive and the Li-Polymer battery (11.1 V, 47.73 Wh ) only 1.69 kg.
Gigabyte U2442F 14 "Ultrabook – $ 1,250
- 14 "1600×900 LED display
- Intel Core i7-3517U (1.9-3.0 GHz)
- Nvidia GeForce GT 650M 2 GB GDDR3
- Intel HD Graphics 4000
- 8 GB DDR3 RAM
- Crucial m4 128 GB mSATA SSD
- Toshiba 750 GB hard drive
- SD card reader
- 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, audio connection
- 802.11b / g / n, Bluetooth 4.0
- 1.3 megapixel webcam
- Chiclet keyboard
- 1-button trackpad
- 6-cell Li-polymer battery
- 339 x 233 x 21 mm, 3.7 pounds
The lid is only 5mm thick and has a thin aluminum back that gives the screen extra protection while looking great. The 14 "LED backlit screen has a resolution of 1600 x 900 and a matte finish. Personally, I'm happy that Gigabyte wasn't shiny here.
The screen has an embedded 1.3M HD webcam that blends seamlessly with the design. Next to it is a small LED that lights up when the camera is active. Next to the small camera lens there is also a small hole for the microphone.
Gigabyte has switched to the keyboard and has integrated a 6-line chiclet solution with 87 keys and background lighting. As with most modern notebooks, there are function key combinations that can be used to quickly enable or disable functions such as wireless network, webcam, Bluetooth, trackpad, etc.
The keyboard feels great and I would love to use it every day. We also found it easy to avoid the trackpad, which measures 95mm by 55mm. The palm rest is made of plastic, but it feels nice and is not easy to mark.
There are various small grills under the U2442F to let in cool air, as well as four small rubber feet that lift the laptop and prevent it from marking surfaces like a desk. It is not possible to remove the battery from the U2442F without disassembling the ultrabook. The only easily accessible component is the memory, as a cover can be removed to reveal two SO-DIMM slots.
In terms of connectivity, you'll find an SD card reader, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port and a DC input jack on the right. The left side contains a Gigabit Ethernet port, a D-Sub port (VGA), two USB 2.0 ports, a microphone jack, a headphone jack and a Kensington lock slot.