Though not a particularly popular brand in the US, Gigabyte has earned some loyal fans (one of them being our very own Chippy!) thanks to their ability to make quality computing products. Now Gigabyte has entered the Ultrabook segment with the U2442 “extreme Ultrabook”, as they’re calling it. There are two variants of the U2442: the U2442N and U2442V (which is the one that we’ve got); the only differences is the processor (Core i5 vs. i7). There’s also talk of a non-Ultrabook version which is likely to be referred to as the U2440 — be sure not to mix them up! Does Gigabyte’s first entry into the Ultrabook realm stand up to their prior products? Step inside to our full U2442V review to find out.
Gigabyte’s U2442V positioning within the Ultrabook space is clear; while the unit meets the guidelines for Ultrabook size and weight, portable performance is the prime objective. Gigabyte has certainly packed the U2442V full of potent components to achieve that goal:
Specs, Size, and Weight
- Intel Core i7-3517U processor, 1.9GHz with Turbo-boost up to 2.4GHz
- 8GB of RAM
- 14? display @ 1600×900 (matte)
- 128GB SSD
- Nvidia GeForce GT 640M discrete graphics + HD4000 integrated graphics)
- 21mm (tapers to 18mm)
Along with the performance components, the U2442V has one of the best port sets I’ve seen on an Ultrabook:
- 2x USB 2.0
- 2x USB 3.0
- full VGA
- full HDMI
- full SD
- separate 3.5mm headphone output and mic input
- LAN/ethernet (RJ45)
The 4x USB ports and multiple full-sized outputs are especially delightful. Many Ultrabooks are lucky to have more than 2x USB ports and a single full-sized output option. The U2442 goes above and beyond next to most other Ultrabooks, though it can be expected from a 14″ Ultrabook.
The Gigabyte U2442 shares much styling in common with the Lenovo U310 and U410 Ultrabooks. The top of the lid and bottom of the computer are brushed aluminum (the U2442’s is a dark champagne color), while the inside (keyboard deck area) is silver plastic. On the top of the lid there is an accent piece which is colored the same as the lid but it is actually plastic and likely houses the dual WiFi antennae. Though the designs are similar, the Gigabyte unit has a noticeable foot up in the quality department next to the Lenovo U310 thanks to better assembly. The plastic deck on the U2442V feels solid all the way around and there is no noticeable keyboard flex during normal typing. The hinge strength is just right, allowing you to lift the screen up with one finger while the rest of the U2442V stays flat on the desk.