Ultrabook Buying Guide - Best Buy Canada

August 08, 2013

Ultrabook Buying Guide


When you’re always on the move, carrying around a bulky laptop can leave you feeling weighed down. An Ultrabook offers powerful performance that rivals most laptops, but features a design so thin and light you can toss it in your bag and almost forget that it’s there.

What is an Ultrabook?

An Ultrabook is essentially a laptop, but in a much thinner design. Originally defined by Intel, to be classified as an Ultrabook, these machines must be less than 2.1cm thick and weigh less than 1.5kg without compromising performance or battery life.

To achieve these requirements, most models:

  • Feature a low-voltage processor with integrated graphics so you have laptop-style power to multitask with your applications
  • Come equipped with a unibody chassis that houses a larger battery to give you hours and hours of computing on the go without stopping to recharge

The Perfect Companion

If you think you have to sacrifice size for power, think again. Ultrabooks come fully loaded with powerful specs so you get all the same power you might find in a standard laptop – minus the bulk and weight.

The Processor and RAM


Most Ultrabooks feature a dual-core or quad-core processor giving you multiple cores to compute large amounts of data. The processor works in conjunction with the RAM to help you browse the web, check email, bank online, edit photos or videos, listen to tunes and so much more.

Choose a processor with Intel Turbo Boost technology and you’ll enjoy even faster speeds that are optimized to give you power where you need it most. That means you’ll be able to easily run multiple intensive programs simultaneously with virtually no lag time.

The Hard Drive

Hard drive

To keep your data secure, Ultrabooks feature a flash-based solid state drive that contains no moving parts so they’re less susceptible to shocks and damage. And while they typically range in size from 128GB to 512GB, these drives offer ultra-fast startup times and can wake up your Ultrabook in an instant from sleep or hibernation. They also use very little power to operate, so your system and components stay cool.

Hard drive

Some models even come with a hybrid drive, so you get the large space of a traditional hard drive with the fast boot-up and resume times of a solid state drive.


The Display

With a variety of display sizes – from as little as 11 inches up to 15 inches – you won’t have to sacrifice screen real estate for portability. You can choose the size that’s most comfortable for viewing and still enjoy HD visuals with wide viewing angles.

The Connections

One of the drawbacks of having a design that’s so thin is that it’s difficult to build in the same number of ports you might see on a typical laptop. On an Ultrabook, you’ll find some ports positioned at the back or the side, but due to the limited space you’ll likely get fewer ports on these devices. Think about what devices you might want to connect and choose a model that has what you need.

USB port Connection
3.5mm port Memory Card Reader HDMI input VGA input Ethernet port Connection

However, when you need to go wireless you will still have many of the options you’d find in a regular laptop:


A wireless chipset that comes standard in all Ultrabooks, Wi-Fi lets you easily get connected to a wireless network at a café hotspot or at home. You’ll be able to browse the web and share devices without connecting additional cables.


A wireless chipset that comes standard in all Ultrabooks, Wi-Fi lets you easily get connected to a wireless network at a café hotspot or at home. You’ll be able to surf the web and share devices without connecting additional cables.

WiDi Wireless Display

Developed by Intel, Wireless Display (WiDi) allows you to wirelessly send whatever is displayed on your laptop's screen to your TV set for big screen viewing. A separate TV adapter typically needs to be purchased that will receive the wireless signal and pass it on to a video input on your TV.

Battery life

Battery Life

Thanks to a low-voltage, energy-efficient processor, large battery and solid state drive, most Ultrabooks have the power to run almost the entire work day. This means you’ll be able to run around town with a machine that’s always good to go, and you won’t need to carry the power adapter with you.

Other Features to Consider

Everyone has different needs and finding the right mobile device is key. Check out some of the below features that will help your Ultrabook stand out from the rest and give you a powerhouse that will suit you best.


Choosing a system with built-in speakers will allow you to enjoy and share your audio without headphones or carrying around external speakers. Plus, some models come equipped with advanced audio technologies such as Beats Audio, so you get concert-quality sound and range.


The Chassis

The chassis is the casing that makes up the exterior of your laptop, and there are typically two styles to choose from: a brushed aluminum design looks ultra-sleek and offers a durable construction that resists fingerprints and scratches, while a plastic chassis offers more colours or textured designs to give you a stylish look.

Must-Have Accessories

External Combo Drive

Since most Ultrabooks don’t already come equipped with DVD drives, you might want to pick an external combo drive to burn discs or watch movies.

Sleeve Bag

A sleeve will keep your device protected from nicks and scratches when you toss it into your bag.


A bag or case lets you carry your device around, as well as giving you pockets for other items such as a power cord, books, and more.

Wireless Mouse

A wireless mouse will give you more freedom to move than the trackpad can offer.

Security Lock

Keep your device safe from theft with a security lock. Most models will accommodate just about any lock, so you can be sure you’ve got the right protection.

Best Buy

Take the Next Step

Check out Best Buy’s huge selection of desktop computers and computer accessories for all your needs. Whether you’re searching for a device that the whole family can share or something to help you get work done, Best Buy has a computer that’s right for you.