The Intel Ultrabook Platform – New Competition for MacBook Air

Apple has had tremendous success with their MacBook Air line of ultra-thin, ultra-light, “take-anywhere” laptops. Over the years, Apple’s competition has struggled to compete in this market segment. Many manufacturers released their own variants of slim, lightweight notebooks, only to see them fail to command any market share.

Well, Intel plans to change all that. Instead of leaving it up to each manufacturer to design an ultra-light notebook around their low-power chips, Intel has released an entire notebook platform, tightly integrated with features designed to attract customers to the new technology. It’s called the Intel Ultrabook Platform.

Rapid Start Technology

One of the nice features of the MacBook Air is it’s ability to start up quickly. Intel has built this technology into the platform to allow devices to start up in seconds. This also saves on battery life, since the system draws very little power when the notebook is in standby mode. Intel claims an average of 5-6 seconds from hibernate to power on. And it can stay in this new hibernation mode for about 30 days.

Smart Response Technology

While the MacBook Air relies solely on a solid-state drive for data storage, Intel has implemented a unique feature to use traditional hard drives for primary storage, and SSD storage for your most frequently accessed files. They call this Smart Response Technology. Everything you use most frequently will be stored on the SSD drive for ultra-fast performance, all seamlessly and transparent to you, the user.

Smart Connect

With Smart Connect Technology, your social networks, email and apps are automatically updated, even while the system is in sleep mode. When you open the notebook cover, your email and Facebook feed is already up to date and ready for you to see. The technology actually wakes the system up momentarily to update your apps, then puts it back to sleep, saving on battery life.

Anti-Theft Technology and Identity Protection Technology

More and more people are concerned about personal security and identity theft. As we embrace mobile technology, the risk of loss of private information grows considerable, since we store so much of this information on these devices, whether it’s a cell phone, a tablet, or a notebook. Intel’s data claims that a laptop is stolen every 53 seconds. With the new Intel Anti-Theft technology on your laptop, should it get lost or stolen, it can be remotely disabled so that it will no longer function until you reactivate it. The system becomes completely un-bootable since the technology is built into the processor and is active the moment power is turned on. It’s not a part of the operating system, so it can be bypassed by a hacker. It even detects suspicious behavior such as excessive login attempts and will activate itself automatically. And Intel’s new Identity Protection Technology works hand-in-hand with IPT-enabled websites and a unique key built into your Intel system that uniquely identifies you. When you access an IPT-enabled website such as online banking and shopping sites, the technology instantly recognizes your PC, in addition to requiring you to enter a standard username and password. This is an added defense against identity theft and monetary loss.

Time will tell if this new Intel platform will enable PC manufacturers to gain some market-share in this segment. Will end-users embrace this new technology and see it as a true alternative to the MacBook Air? We welcome your comments!

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