This year seems to be all about the ultrabook and there are more and more manufacturers competing in the lighter and thinner laptop market. Today we have news about a new notebook from Gigabyte, the Gigabyte U2442 Ultrabook, which will be one of the first to have a screen larger than 13.3-inches and could be a possible game changer.
Up until now ultrabooks with larger screens have been rare although we recently heard rumors that the Apple MacBook Air, that all ultrabooks seem to compete against, could step up to a 14-inch display. We also told how the Fujitsu Lifebook Ultrabook will have a 14-inch frameless display and also be the first ultrabook offering LTE connectivity so we’ll be keeping a close eye on developments of that device, due in the summer. For now though we’ll focus on the Gigabyte U2442, which was announced today at CeBIT.
The U2442 series features a similar design to many other ultrabooks but where it differs, in a bid to control costs and keep it light, is that is has a metal lid but a plastic casing. That might sound odd but it actually looks pretty good and has kept the weight at only 1.49kg, very light indeed. It’s also only 18.5 to 20.5mm thick. There are two models, the U2442N and the U2442V. The N variant features a third-generation Core i5 or Core i7 standard voltage processor while the V option has a third-gen Core i5 or Core i7 ULV processor.
Both feature a 14-inch gloss display with resolution of 1600×900 and also have an NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M graphics processor and 2GB of dedicated graphics memory. The U2442 series also features a Thunderbolt interface, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI port, Ethernet port, D-sub connector, two audio jacks and memory card reader so it really has connectivity covered. As you would expect there’s also a webcam, Bluetooth 4.0 + HS and 802.11n Wi-Fi. However when many ultrabooks are coming with SSD’s as standard that is optional with the U2442 but there’s a standard hard drive.
There’s not much else to complain about though as the U2442 series also has a backlit keyboard and a large track pad. Pocket-Lint had a hands-on and has provided some images but the model handled was a pre-production model and not close enough to the finished article to comment on the build quality. The U2442 series will be released at some point after June when Intel’s third generation processors are due to arrive. We’ve embedded a look at the Gigabyte U2442 Ultrabook in a video below this story from CeBIT.
It will certainly be interesting to see news on the finished model and pricing and we’ll be keeping our eyes and ears open for more info when it comes. What are your initial thoughts on the Gigabyte U2442? Do you like the sound of a 14-inch Ultrabook? What about the plastic chassis to keep the weight down? Let us know with your comments. More info and video