Cramming 10 hours of battery life into such a small laptop is no easy task. A smaller chassis leaves less room for batteries, which in turn means less life. Apple’s MacBook Air 11 is the perfect example – it loses battery life compared to its 13" sibling.
You might think Atom would be the proposed solution, but it’s not. You see, Intel has never much liked Atom’s popularity. It’s an inexpensive part, which means there isn’t much profit to be made off it. In addition to this, it’s slow. Intel doesn’t want consumers to buy Intel powered products and feel as if the performance is lackluster.
These new laptops will instead be powered by the company’s Ivy Bridge processors, which are the next revision of the Sandy Bridge architecture, die-shrunk to 22mm. Slated for release in late 2011, these new processors are not only a die-shrink but also will be taking advantage of Intel’s new 3D transistor technology, which in theory will drastically reduce power consumption.
What this means is that ultrabooks, despite their small size, won’t be giving up a great deal of performance. Make no mistake – compared to their Ivy Bridge relatives, the low-voltage versions that will end up in laptops like the UX21 are going to be substantially slower. However, Intel’s mainstream microarchitectures have become so quick that they’ll still blow away older Intel products and, most likely, anything AMD can offer by the end of the year.