Sound doesn't often figure prominently in our Ultrabook reviews because 13" Ultrabooks almost uniformly have unimpressive speakers with low volume and tinny audio via the built-in speakers. The stereo JBL speakers (2 watts each) are a wonderful exception, and they sound noticeably louder and fuller. Sound isn't harsh or thin and we could more easily make out softly or quickly spoken words in movies. They won't beat out the even bigger and louder JBL speakers in the latest Samsung Series 7 Chronos or the Lenovo IdeaPad Y500, but unlike most Ultrabook speakers, they're actually enjoyable and sufficiently loud. They certainly sound much better than the speakers in the Asus Zenbook Prime models and the .
Desires for premium displays are counterbalanced by concerns for battery life. While all of the ultrabooks we reviewed have long battery life, those with premium displays – those with higher than 1080p resolution and brighter backlighting – usually take a hit in the battery department. Higher resolutions mean many thousand more glowing pixels packed into a similar screen size, and vivid colors are often the result of brighter backlighting. It’s a balancing act between the two concerns, but most of the systems we looked at still manage to offer at least 8 hours of battery life, while others stretched battery life significantly further due in part to a less luxe display. We rated display quality separate from battery considerations, but it's worth considering which is more important to you when deciding on a system.
Ultrabook Reviews | Best Ultrabooks | Best Ultraportables
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