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Old January 30, 2014, 09:34 AM
fubar fubar is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 283

My System Specs


Originally Posted by limitedaccess View Post
You can get Ultrabooks actually with discrete GPUs. The Acer v7 482pg for example is a 14 inch (1080p) Ultrabook with a Nvidia GT 750m and is available for as low as $805 (if you do some clever price matching).

Modern discrete GPU laptops can shutoff the GPU and use the IGP (Nvidia's Opitimus currnetly works better) so there is no battery life penalty unless the discrete GPU is actually be leveraged for demanding tasks (eg. gaming).

Typically most will be using the HD 4400 however. The only HD 5000 series Ultrabook I am aware of is the Asus Zenbook UX301 this is higher than $1300 however). Otherwise you would need to get an Apple for that form factor and using an Intel Iris GPU.

The Clevo W370SU is similar to an Ultrabook and actually uses a full mobile processor (4 cores) and a Iris Pro GPU, but as it isn't using a Haswell ULV it isn't technically a Ultrabook and battery life suffers by comparison.

The Yoga 2 Pro is advertised and generally tested on the lower end in terms of battery life for Haswell Ultrabooks. But the only point you noted was wanting a high resolution and it is among the highest currently at the moment until the 15.6inch 4k laptops revealed at CES start becoming available. The Samsung Ativ Book 9 is also available with a 3200x1800 resolution but is pricier.

There are some 2560x1440 Ultrabooks as well but I believe they are priced above $1300. 1920x1080 Ultrabooks are however fairly common and even available well below $1000.

What other specs/features are you interested in? Are you interested in Pen support? Tablet functionality?

An interesting laptop if you are interested in the latter two is the Sony Vaio Duo 13 (currently on sale at Futureshop for $1300). Also the Thinkpad Yoga (although smaller than your 13 inch requirement at 12.5inches).
A good screen and high resolution (at least, 1080p) is desired. The Sony sounds like it has a wifi problem (with range).

Do you have any opinions on this site and how they evaluate notebooks?:
Top 10 Ultrabooks - Reviews

If price is no object, it looks like the Samsung is a potential winner. Other than that, maybe the Acer?

Originally Posted by dustin1706 View Post
I am in the same boat as OP looking for a nice portable ultrabook to take travelling instead of the 17" I normally use.

So, after looking around I ordered a Lenovo Yoga Pro 2. A few things I noticed right away:

It came with an ISO layout keyboard (short shifts tall return) which I can't stand.
It has brutal backlight bleed.
The high resolution is incredibly sharp, but can cause problems with some games. IE: SC2 wouldn't show the mouse pointer until I turned the res down, incredibly low frame rates when playing anything at full res.
I personally found windows 8 incredibly frustrating even with a touchscreen.
Battery life sub 4 hours with 30% brightness and wifi on.

I called up Lenovo to ask if they could replace the keyboard or even just sell me one to replace myself and they had no idea what I was talking about. Their forums are littered with people complaining about backlight bleed, some who have ahad multiple replacements with the same problems. To their credit, they let me return the unit with very little hassle. I will be looking for something else with better battery life and 1080p resolution.

TLDR: Bought a Yoga 2 Pro, didn't like it, returned it.
That's interesting. Thanks for reporting your experience. It seems every one of these laptops/ultrabooks has a flaw of some kind. That's my perception/impression, anyway.

Here it is, in a nutshell, the brand and model:
Sony Vaio Duo 13 - poor wifi reception/range - some returning their laptop based on bad wifi experience
Acer S7 - 392 - poor brightness level - not very high (might not be a flaw - just not as good a design as others?) - maybe not a deal breaker?
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro - apparently backlight bleed problem - this is probably very noticeable for most when you first use the laptop - it certainly doesn't help if you are aware that others have complained - now, potential owners will look for it?
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus - it looked to me, like the temps get pretty high on stressed load - so maybe for gamers?

The Samsung looks like the best out of this bunch to me, so far, but it's probably going to be out of my budget, sadly. I'll have to see if there's ever any discounts or what the situation is whenever I shop for a laptop.

Edit: One other thing - I mentioned integrated gpu thinking battery life might be higher. I'm not sure about being able to switch and it's a pain in Linux, I think. Although, what the design of the gpu is (integrated vs dedicated - most are hybrid now?) is not any kind of deal breaker. I just figure the ones that include a dedicated gpu will be more expensive?

Any comments?
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