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Gigabyte U2442 Brings High-End Nvidia Graphics to the Ultrabook

Ultrabooks with Intel's 3rd Generation Core Series processors may be good enough for productivity tasks, but we wouldn't recommend playing "Batman: Arkham City" on them. Fortunately, you don't have to choose between a thin, lightweight notebook and one with strong graphics performance. While it's not marketed as a gaming rig, the new Gigabyte u2442 14-inch Ultrabook comes with an optional Nvidia GT640M graphics chip, but weighs a reasonable 3.5 pounds while measuring just 0.7 inches thick. 

The notebook comes in three main configurations: the entry-level U2442C that has a 1366 x 768 display, integrated graphics and a 2.5-GHz Intel Core i5 CPU; the U2442V that uses a 1.9-GHz low-voltage Core i7 CPU with a 1600 x 900 display and integrated graphics; and the U2442N, which has the 2.5-GHz Core i5 with a 1600 x 900 screen and the Nvidia GT640M chip. All versions have a wide selection of ports including full-size HDMI, Ethernet, SD card reader and USB 3.0 slots.

We got a first glance at the U2442 at Cebit in March, but today in Taipei we had a chance to take a somewhat more detailed look at the U2442V, which looks identical to the U2442N but doesn't have the same discrete graphics/CPU under the hood. We really like the Tron-esque blue keyboard backlight, the silver-colored chassis and the bright, colorful screen. We also love the back area behind the hinge which houses two different vents, one each for the CPU and the GPU. A Gigabyte rep says the vents help the notebook stay cool even under load.

We're really looking forward to testing a U2442N in real-world scenarios where we can see how it plays HD video and games, but for now, it looks promising. Check out the video and gallery below for a closer look at the U2442.