Ultrabooks vs MacBook Air: What Should You Buy?

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What started as a trickle has become a flood. Every PC maker now has at least one Ultrabook on the market, and many have two or more. By the time back-to-school season rolls around, you'll see many of these super-sleek laptops hitting shelves with much more aggressive prices. How aggressive? Try $600 less than the $1,299 MacBook Air. But what exactly is an Ultrabook and how does these notebooks stack up to Apple's first-class ultraportables?

What is an Ultrabook?

For the uninitiated, Ultrabook is a term Intel coined to describe ultraportable laptops that meet a certain set of guidelines. These machines are less than .8 inches thick and use either a solid state drive (or a cache of flash memory) to boot Windows fast and wake from sleep almost instantly. You should also expect at least 5 hours of battery life. The goal: to make notebooks as responsive as tablets--not to mention attempt to beat the Air at its own game.

Where Ultrabooks Beat the MacBook Air