Ultrabooks with Dedicated Graphics, what are your Options?

NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M

In this article, we have done some virtual shopping and pulled some of the best 2012 Ultrabooks with dedicated graphics.

If you are on the market for an Ultrabook, it is likely that you have been pretty impressed at some of the options available, namely ones which are either due for release very soon (the Lenovo Carbon X1) and the already available Asus Zenbook Prime, which rocks one of the best ever laptop displays.

Now whilst build quality and the display on an Ultrabook are important factors which complete an overall package, for some people the need for dedicated graphics is high. For example, if you work within a company where you run specific software applications on laptops which are graphics heavy then Intel’s integrated graphics aren’t going to cut it. Likewise, if you plan on gaming, a dedicated graphics card is pretty essential in an Ultrabook even though Intel HD graphics have been improved in the latest generation Ivy Bridge processors, allowing for fairly seamless multiple tab operation and light gaming online.

Ultrabooks with dedicated graphics

Today, we are going to walk you guys through the current Ultrabooks on the market which feature dedicated graphics. Now some of these laptops allow you to upgrade to dedicated graphics upon checkout direct from the manufacturer, so we have also included these. Hopefully, you’ll be able to discover a few Ultrabooks which you may have never heard of. Read on!

Acer TimelineUltra M3

TimeLine Ultra M3

The TimeUltra M3 laptop is one of the latest Ultrabooks from Acer to be released, and this laptop features dedicated graphics in the form of a modern NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M 1 GB card. The 640M is a Kepler GPU and a firm step up from the older 620M, which was a 28nm Fermi chip.

Of note is the fact that whilst this is essentially a full-fat card with NVIDIA GeForce 600M series architecture, it is actually a lot less power hungry than its desktop counterpart, something essential for any Ultrabook.

For £649.99, you get a TimelineUltra M3-581TG-52464G52Mnkk with a Intel Core i5 (i5 – 2467M, 1.60 GHz, 3 MB) processor and 15.6″ display. 4GB of RAM as standard keeps things ticking. This laptop is also available in 14″ form.

To find out more about this Ultrabook and the one referenced, here is the official page.

Acer TimelineUltra M5

TimeLine Ultra M5

We can’t mention the TimelineUltra M3 above without giving a shout out for the M5, which is what Acer calls “the world’s first Ultrabook™ to pack dedicated graphics”. Specs for this Ultrabook include a 1.7GHz Core i5, 4GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GT 640M LE  graphics card, and a 500GB hybrid hard drive backed up with 20GB of SSD storage.

The 14-inch screen offers the usual 1366 x 768 pixels of resolution. Ports include dual USB 3.0 connectors, Ethernet, HDMI, and an SD card slot. One key selling point to this particular Ultrabook however is the fact it has an optical drive.

The TimeUltra M5 is priced at around £847 inc VAT in the UK for the specifications listed above, however if you shop around (M5′s are actually pretty hard to come by), you could get one for a bit of a steal.

To find out more about this Ultrabook, here is the official page.

Asus Zenbook UX32VD

Asus Zenbook UX32VD

Asus has a knack for creating gorgeous machines, and the UX32VD is no different. Beauty isn’t just skin deep either, because much to the delight of power users, this Ultrabook rocks dedicated graphics. Inside you will find a NVIDIA GeForce GT 620M card which is a 28nm Fermi chip that packs 96 CUDA cores and works at “up to 625MHz” with up to 1GB of GDDR3 memory paired up with a 128-bit memory interface.

Essentially, this laptop features graphics performance way ahead of Intel integrated graphics, however this GPU is not as good as the one as found in the M3 and M5 Ultrabooks listed above. The UX32VD is however solid for casual gaming and working multiple applications at the same time.

For under £900 and with prices as low as £860, you get a laptop rocking an Intel Core i7 CPU, a full HD 1,920×1,080-pixel-resolution display, and a discrete Nvida 620M GPU.

To find out more about this Ultrabook, here is the official page.

Dell Inspiron 14Z

Dell Inspiron 14Z

Although Dell may not have the best brand awareness when it comes to Ultrabooks, its Inspiron 14Z isn’t all that bad. It features an AMD Radeon HD7570M graphics chip which outperforms any latest generation Intel integrated graphics, and it’s switchable too should you seek battery life over power or the opposite.

The 14Z comes in two flavours. Flavour one will get you an Intel Core i5-3317U 1.7GHz processor with 1GB AMD Radeon HD7570M graphics chip, and flavour two will get you a Intel Core i7-3517U 1.9GHz processor with 1GB AMD Radeon HD7570M graphics chip. Both of these models rock an optical drive and 14″ display.

The models above retail for £679 and £879 respectively.

To find out more about this Ultrabook, here is the official page.

A word on the latest NVIDIA GeForce 600M series

As you will have probably already noted, three out of 4 of the above Ultrabooks sport NVIDIA GeForce 600M series graphics. Now whilst this particular chip is way ahead of anything that Intel integrated graphics are capable of, there are a few things as a gaming enthusiast (if you are one) that you should know.

Namely, the latest 640M chips (Keplar) which are seen in both TimelineUltra laptops above do not feature dedicated GDDR5 memory, which can be found within the higher specification NVIDIA GT 650M card, as seen in a few Alienware laptops. 640M chips rock 1 GB of DDR3 memory, which ultimately limits one key feature of a dedicated graphics card; bandwidth.

In this very interesting blog post from Eurogamer, the gaming website pits the Acer TimelineUltra M3 against the Alienware M14X laptop. That may be worth a read to find out just how good the majority of the above Ultrabooks are for real-world gaming.

Overall

Ultrabooks are designed to be fast, light and portable. In doing so, many have opted to sacrifice performance to achieve their goal, however a few stand out from the crowd by pleasing most dedicated GPU fans needs. The TimelineUltra options above are stand out Ultrabooks within this post, because not only are they powerful-ish rocking the latest NVIDIA chips, they are also really well designed machines.

If we have missed any Ultrabooks with dedicated graphics which you think should be in this post, let us know; after all, we regularly update posts as per user input. Enjoy!

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About Jakk

Consumer technology nut with a rather keen love for good writing. 22, owner of multiple consumer technology news and reviews websites, you can rely on me to offer all of you lovely UK consumers up to date information on Ultrabooks. Find me on . Follow me on Twitter.
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13 Responses to Ultrabooks with Dedicated Graphics, what are your Options?

  1. Sam says:

    I like the look of the M3, well priced too, although not the thinnest Ultra book.

  2. Sarah says:

    I love Ultrabooks, however as a woman am probably not Intel’s target market; however, I have a TimelineUltra M3 with dedicated graphics and it ploughs through any form of task with ease. I tested out a number of software apps on my machine, and my daughter played a few SIM’s games, and the M3 performed great :) .

  3. Pingback: A Look at the Lenovo Carbon X1 Ultrabook

  4. Jamie says:

    The M3 looks good

  5. Anoriginaltecher says:

    I’ve been reading numerous articles on Ultrabooks over the past 3 weeks and in terms of discrete / dedicated graphics, there is a massive hatred towards Ultrabooks from gamers. They all seem to think that Intel is trying to lure gamers in to buying one of these machines. Are they totally misinformed or something? No Ultrabook is for gaming, dedicated graphics are merely a) to showcase it can be done in such a slim profile and b) to offer business / professional / power users extra oomph when they need it. Besides, is a game knows what they are on about, they should know that NO laptop is a replacement for a desktop. Love gaming, get a desktop. Need a decent enough ultra-portable? Get an Ultrabook with dedicated graphics.

    • Jakk says:

      Couldn’t agree more, laptops are fine for Gaming if you are spending a night in a hotel but for everything else a desktop is better.

  6. Goran says:

    Where can I buy the Asus Zenbook UX32VD, I cant find it anywhere and I want dedicated graphics, not even their own site has them or links to where to get them?

  7. Chris says:

    Asus UX32VD is the best

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