Intel asked me to use their prototype IvyBridge Ultrabook for a few months and let them know what I thought about it as a dev machine. You can read about my initial thoughts in my “First Look at the Intel IvyBridge Ultrabook” and my thoughts after a using it for a couple of weeks in my “A deeper look at the Intel IvyBridge Ultrabook” post. I have been using it off and on since then, so I thought I’d share a couple more comments and let you decide if you should buy an Ultrabook as a dev machine.
The biggest advantages to using this Ultrabook has been its portability, battery life and touch screen. Ultrabooks are so much lighter and smaller than typical laptops that it makes it easy to throw in your bag or carry around the office. With my current laptop setup I have to bring my laptop and a massive power adapter (total about 7 lbs) whenever I leave my desk. The Ultrabook is so light that I don’t even realize it is in my bag and the extended battery life means I don’t have to carry my power adapter everywhere I go. I mainly used the Ultrabook when on the road and I could go days without charging it. I never measured it the exact length, but it is definitely a lot longer than a typical laptop.
As for the touch screen, this is where the machine shines. I find myself now trying to touch and swipe any laptop screen because I’m so used to it with the Ultrabook. Every machine I purchase from now on will have a touch screen.
Like I mentioned in my second review, the biggest drawback to this prototype is the lack of docking station support. And that is honestly why I didn’t use the machine as much as I would have liked to. If it would have had docking station support I would have taken it with me to the office more. Because it doesn’t have a docking station I would have to take both my Lenovo W510 and the Ultrabook with me. Yes, it is light, but I couldn’t justify carrying two of everything back and forth.
The answer to the question “Does an Ultrabook Make a Good Dev Machine?” is yes, it does…but make sure you get one with docking station support. Otherwise you will be manually connecting and reconnecting all your monitors and devices everything you move locations. No big deal if you work from one location all the time, but I assume most of us go from home to the office and need very fast dock and undock capabilities.