Intel claims that more than 110 ultrabooks are in the pipeline or have been launched and consequently, the quest for an ideal ultrabook (as it was a few years ago with the netbook) is likely to become even more treacherous such a bewildering array of features and models. I will certainly be looking forward to acquiring one and I've listed five things I will consider before making up my mind.
Moving from a megapixel resolution (1,366 x 768 pixels) to a 1,920 x 1,080 pixels display means that you get twice the amount of content onscreen. On a small 11.6in display (the size of the new Asus Zenbook Prime UX21A or the Macbook Air), such a high resolution could strain the user's eyes which is why we'd probably opt for a 13.3in, 14in or 15in screen. Oh and with a tiny bezel & matte display please.
Intel states that the maximum thickness of a 13.3in ultrabook should be 18mm thick but some, like the MacBook Air or the Toshiba Z830, managed to go much further. The latter is a mere 16mm thick and weighs a jaw dropping 1.12Kg. An ultrabook with roughly the same physical specification would certainly fit the bill.
Power consumption is gradually decreasing on new ultrabooks and ultraportable thanks to a concerted drive across the tech industry to improve power efficiency. On the other hand, we've noted that most ultrabooks on the market do not have a removable battery. Being able to swap batteries not only allows you to increase uptime (two batteries are always better than one) but also cuts down on downtime should you have to ship the ultrabook to get its battery replaced.
Because I intend to use the laptop with two USB full HD monitors, the ultrabook will need to have at least three USB ports, with preferably one USB 3.0. Other connectivity options ought to include GbE (because Wi-Fi doesn't always work), Bluetooth 4.0, the ability to power devices off USB even when in sleep mode, a card reader plus an optional fingerprint reader.
Bloatware is probably the most common reason why the initial experience encountered by Windows users is poor. It is also probably why Microsoft introduced the Signature service. Given how expensive ultrabooks are, one should expect them to be devoid of any bloatware. Toshiba for example lists more than twenty applications ranging from Nero BackItUp to Skype and WildTangent Games Console for the Satellite Z830.