The Dew Review – Intel Haswell Ultrabook Review – Part 1, Initial Impressions

On Tuesday, I received a package I have been anticipating for several weeks. I had been asked to use and review a new generation of Ultrabook from Intel with a shiny new Haswell processor inside. This is the first of three articles about the unit. I have had a few days to unbox and take it for a spin.

The unboxing process is always a great time. Here are a few shots of the Ultrabook being removed of it’s musical box. Yes, like a Hallmark card, the box plays a little jingle when you open it. In this case, the Intel jingle of course.

The BoxFront of the BoxOpening the LidWhat Lies BeneathAccessoriesKeyboard and Touchpad

Inside the box, I found:

  • The Ultrabook
  • The power cord, with a pleasingly small brick
  • A 16gb thumb drive containing drivers and software
  • A quick start guide
  • A spec sheet
  • A USB to Ethernet adapter
  • A micro-HDMI to HDMI adapter
  • A micro-HDMI to VGA adapter

The specs on the machine are pretty impressive. I may have added more RAM if I were building it myself, but beggars can’t be choosers.  Smile

  • CPU: Intel Haswell i5
  • 180GB SSD Hard Drive
  • 4GB RAM
  • Accelerometer/Magnetometer/Gyro meter/Ambient Light Sensor
  • GPS Sensor
  • NFC
  • 1.3MP WebCam
  • MultiTouch Pad
  • (2) USB 3.0 Ports
  • Micro HDMI
  • SIM and SD Card Readers
  • MultiTouch Screen (1920×1080 resolution)

I quickly got Visual Studio 2012, Xamarin Studio, and a host of other development software installed. Visual Studio runs great. In fact, I presented at the First State .NET user group meeting on Thursday night and decided to use the Ultrabook to do the presentation. It worked great and became a part of the Q&A at the end of the session. Everyone there noticed it and wanted to know all about it.

The only thing I am still adjusting to is the clickable multitouch pad. I have gotten into the bad habit of resting my left index finger on the left button when using touchpads on my other laptops. When I do that with this Ultrabook, my finger is resting on the corner of the touchpad. I ended up doing a bit more pinching and zooming than I intended over the last few day. I think I will be able to break that habit pretty quickly.

All in all, I am loving this machine so far and plan to use it as my primary machine outside of work. Stay tuned for review part two in a few weeks. I will have a little more time with the Haswell unit at that time and will spend more time talking about the development experience on the machine.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe my readers will enjoy. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.