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.
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.
- CPU: Intel Haswell i5
- 180GB SSD Hard Drive
- 4GB RAM
- Accelerometer/Magnetometer/Gyro meter/Ambient Light Sensor
- GPS Sensor
- 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.