From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Asus x21 ultrabook.jpg
Asus Zenbook UX21
DeveloperIntel Corporation (2011–present)
TypeLaptop platform
Release date2011
PredecessorIntel Centrino (2003-2010)
Intel Common Building Block
SuccessorIntel Evo platform (code name Project Athena)

Ultrabook is a marketing term, originated and trademarked by Intel, for a category of high-end laptop computers.

They were originally marketed as featuring ultra thin form factor and light weight design without compromising battery life or performance, and when the term was originated they were generally small enough than average laptop models to qualify as subnotebooks.

As ultrabook features became more mainstream in the mid-late 2010s, explicitly branding laptop models as ultrabooks became much less frequent. As of 2021, while Intel maintains the Ultrabook trademark,[1] it is rarely used for new models and has been superseded in Intel's own marketing by the Intel Evo branding.[2]


In 2011, Intel Capital press officer Jordan Balk Schaer announced a new fund to support startups working on technologies in line with the company's concept for next generation notebooks.[3] The company set aside a $300 million fund to be spent over the next three to four years in areas related to Ultrabooks.[3] Intel announced the Ultrabook concept at Computex in 2011. The Ultrabook would be a thin (less than 0.8 inches thick[4]) notebook that utilized Intel processors, and would emphasize portability and a longer battery life than other laptops[3][4] By this marketing initiative and the associated $300 million fund, Intel hoped to influence the slumping PC market against rising competition from smartphones[5] and tablet computers,[6] which are typically powered by competing ARM-based processors.[7]

Lenovo ThinkPad X260 with Ultrabook branding

Ultrabooks competed against other subnotebooks, including Apple’s MacBook Air, which has similar form specifications and was powered until 2020 by Intel CPUs, but was not advertised under the Ultrabook brand.[8][9][10]

At the Intel Developer Forum in 2011, four Taiwan ODMs showed prototype Ultrabooks that used Intel's Ivy Bridge chips.[11] Intel plans to reduce power consumption of its chips for Ultrabooks, like Ivy Bridge processors, which will feature 17 W default thermal design power.[12]

At a presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show, an Intel manager stated that market analysis revealed that screen size motivated some of the reluctance to switch to 13" Ultrabooks. As a result, Intel planned to ensure, through cooperation with manufacturers, a 14 or 15-inch screen on 50% of the 75 Ultrabook models that would likely come to market in 2012.[13][14]

IHS iSuppli had originally forecast that 22 million Ultrabooks would be shipped by the end of 2012, and 61 million would be shipped in 2013. By October 2012, IHS had revised its projections down significantly, to 10 million units sold in 2012 and 44 million for 2013.[15] Most Ultrabooks were too expensive for wide adoption.[16][17] In addition Intel's constant changing of Ultrabook specifications caused confusion among consumers; and this was compounded by OEMs that released slim/"sleek" or "Sleekbook" laptops (e.g. Hewlett-Packard Pavilion TouchSmart 15z-b000 Sleekbook, Samsung Ativ Book 9 Lite) that are cheaper AMD-powered variants of their more expensive Intel-equipped Ultrabooks.[18][19] Overall there was a shift in the market away from PCs as a whole (including Ultrabooks) and towards smartphones and tablet computers as the personal computing devices of choice.[5][20]

Intel banked on the release of Windows 8 as well as new form factors, such as "convertible" laptops with touchscreens and tablets with keyboard docks ("detachable"),[21][22] and features (accelerometers and gyroscopes for touchscreens, hand-gesture recognition) to build demand for Ultrabooks.[20] With the third generation Ultrabook specification, introduced in June 2013 alongside its new Haswell processor architecture, Intel also added the requirement for all future Ultrabooks to include touchscreens. The requirement, grounded in user experience research,[23] was intended to prevent "game-playing" and market confusion from OEMs, who had offered low-end products with touchscreens but not Ultrabooks.[24]


Intel required that manufacturers meet certain specifications to market a laptop as an Ultrabook.[25] These requirements changed with each release of Intel's Centrino mobile platform.

Ultrabook specifications
Platform Huron River Chief River Shark Bay
Release date October 2011 June 2012 June 2013
Processor Sandy Bridge microarchitecture
Intel Core models
Ivy Bridge microarchitecture
Intel Core models
Haswell microarchitecture
SiP (11.5 or 15 W TDP)[26]
Height (maximum) 18 mm for 13.3" and smaller displays
21 mm for 14.0" and larger displays[27]
18 mm for 13.3" and smaller displays
21 mm for 14.0" and larger displays[27]
23 mm for convertible tablets
20 mm for 13.3" and smaller displays
23 mm for 14.0" and larger displays[28]
Battery life (minimum) 5 hours[29] 5 hours[citation needed] 6 hours HD video playback
9 hours Windows 8 idle[30]
Resume from hibernation (maximum) 7 seconds[29] 7 seconds[citation needed] 3 seconds [30]
Storage no requirements 80 MB/s transfer rate (minimum) 80 MB/s transfer rate (minimum)[31]
I/O no requirements USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt Intel Wireless Display[30]
voice command[31]
sensors/context aware (convertibles only)
Software and firmware Intel Management Engine 7.1 (or higher)
Intel Anti-Theft Technology[29]
Intel Identity Protection Technology[29]
Intel Management Engine 8.0 (or higher)
Intel Anti-Theft Technology
Intel Identity Protection Technology
Anti-virus, anti-malware
Intel Anti-Theft Technology
Intel Identity Protection Technology[30]

List of models[edit]


  1. ^ "Trademark Usage Guidelines for Ultrabook™". Intel. Archived from the original on 2021-04-23. Retrieved 2021-04-23.
  2. ^ "Intel® Evo™ Platform Brand". Intel. Archived from the original on 2021-04-23. Retrieved 2021-04-23.
  3. ^ a b c Merritt, Rick (August 10, 2011), "Intel Capital launches $300M ultrabook fund", EE Times, archived from the original on September 30, 2011, retrieved August 11, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Burt, Jeffrey (September 20, 2011), "Intel Ultrabook Partners Look for Cut in Chip Prices", eWeek (report), retrieved September 28, 2011.
  5. ^ a b "The 8 biggest product flops of 2012", MarketWatch (slide show), archived from the original on 2013-07-30.
  6. ^ "Intel Ultrabooks offer more choice, better value than MacBook Air or iPad", PC World, archived from the original on 2012-10-24.
  7. ^ Bright, Peter (2011-09-06), "Ultrabook: Intel's $300 million plan to beat Apple at its own game", Ars Technica, archived from the original on 2011-09-23, retrieved 2011-09-07.
  8. ^ "Ultrabooks threaten MacBook Air", Gulf News, archived from the original on 2012-10-12.
  9. ^ "MacBook Air with MS Windows 7: the Ultrabook to rule them all" (review), The Verge, 2012-02-10, archived from the original on 2012-08-06.
  10. ^ PC Mag, archived from the original on 2017-07-04
  11. ^ Merritt, Rick (September 14, 2011), "Intel shows progress on ultrabook vision", EE Times, archived from the original on September 23, 2011, retrieved September 14, 2011.
  12. ^ Hugosson, Jacob (September 12, 2011), Intel Ivy Bridge variable TDP detailed, NordicHardware, retrieved July 16, 2012.
  13. ^ Intel: 75-plus Ultrabooks coming in 2012, 50 percent of them will have 14- and 15-inch screens, Engadget, 2012-01-09, archived from the original on 2016-05-31.
  14. ^ "CES: Intel's New Ultrabooks Line-Up" (video), Forbes, YouTube, archived from the original on 2016-05-27.
  15. ^ "Ultrabook Sales Underwhelm Initially", Information week, archived from the original on 2012-11-06.
  16. ^ "Why Ultrabook Sales Have Flopped So Far". PCWorld. 12 July 2012. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014.
  17. ^ Ashraf Eassa (28 October 2013). "Intel's Ultrabook: Right Idea, Wrong Price". fool.com. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013.
  18. ^ "The top ultrabook alternatives you should consider". ultrabookreview.com. Archived from the original on 2013-12-02.
  19. ^ Scott Stein (26 September 2013). "Samsung Ativ Book 9 Lite review - CNET". CNET. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013.
  20. ^ a b Remember ultrabooks? Yeah, no one else does either, CNet News, archived from the original on 2013-02-08.
  21. ^ Jaroslovsky, Rich (2013-01-06), MS Windows 8's mutant spawn invade laptop market[dead link]
  22. ^ "Windows 8 spawns new mutant laptop hybrids". Archived from the original on 2022-08-20. Retrieved 2022-08-20.
  23. ^ "Intel Conducts Study to See if Touchscreen Laptops are wanted". Archived from the original on 2022-02-24. Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  24. ^ a b Cooper, Daniel (8 January 2013). "Kirk Skaugen reveals why Intel made touch mandatory for Haswell Ultrabooks". AOL. Archived from the original on 12 January 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  25. ^ Ultrabook Reviews, Ultrabook Reviews. "Ultrabook Reviews". Ultrabook Branding Requirements. Ultrabook Reviews. Archived from the original on 2013-10-07. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  26. ^ Anton Shilov (10 November 2011). "Intel Readies Single-Chip Haswell Platform for Ultrabooks". X-bit labs. Archived from the original on 16 January 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  27. ^ a b Monica Chen; Steve Shen (5 August 2011). "Intel reportedly releasing reference BOM for ultrabooks". Digitimes. Archived from the original on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  28. ^ "Ultrabook™ Vision Realized with New 2-in-1s Based on 4th Generation Intel® Core™ Processor Family" (PDF). Intel Corporation. 4 June 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 September 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  29. ^ a b c d Cross, Jason (26 December 2011). "Ultrabooks: Laptops as Light as Air". PCWorld. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  30. ^ a b c d Cunningham, Andrew (3 June 2013). "The U is for Ultrabook: Intel's low-power, dual-core Haswell CPUs unveiled". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Archived from the original on 10 July 2013. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  31. ^ a b Mujtaba, Hassan (11 September 2012). "Intel's 4th Generation Haswell Ultrabook Details Revealed". WCCF. Archived from the original on 15 September 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2012.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Ultrabook
Succeeded by
Intel Evo