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Definition: Ultrabook

Intel's branding for a thin notebook computer that uses Intel CPUs, the Windows operating system and typically solid state disks (SSDs), especially in the lightest-weight models. Introduced in 2011, Ultrabooks are widely available with 11", 13" and 14" screens and weigh from two to four pounds. They are the Windows equivalent to Apple's MacBook Air and new MacBook, launched in 2008 and 2015 respectively.

Ultrabooks eliminate the optical drive to reduce thickness and travel weight; however, a shared CD/DVD drive in another computer on the network can be used to read a disc when necessary. Vendors do take license: a larger notebook may have an optical drive and still be sold under the Ultrabook banner. See solid state drive, subnotebook, hybrid laptop, convertible laptop and MacBook.

The Sony Z Series (2013)
The Z series is Sony's high-end Ultrabook line with solid state drives up to 512GB. With 13" screens, these models weigh 2.6 pounds. (Image courtesy of Sony Corporation.)

The Sony 505G (1998)
At three pounds and less than an inch thick, the 505G set a trend for ultra-light notebook computers. This model came with external floppy and CD-ROM drives to reduce travel weight. (Image courtesy of Sony Corporation.)