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Old January 31, 2014, 05:04 AM
limitedaccess limitedaccess is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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Forum went kaput when I tried to post this, had to retype from memory :P -

I use Notebookcheck for information as well as they do have quite a bit for a lot of different laptops. In general however my opinion for reviews is to use the reasoning and information presented to draw your own conclusions as opposed to looking at the rating system. It's more about the best fit device then the the best device. In regards to the actual test numbers make sure you also get an understanding of what they actually mean.

You can look at ultrabookreview.com for some more content as well (and get some more Ultrabooks to look into).

If you don't require the pen support for example you may want to look into the Sony Vaio Pro 13 instead as it is cheaper (was on sale at Bestbuy for $1000 for example).

My experience with back light bleed with IPS displays is really a panel lottery situation, you can get lucky or unlucky (and it depends on your tolerance level), similar to dead pixels. You still should want an IPS display however for the overall better quality. I actually feel the contrast stability partially contributes to lighting unevenness being more noticeable.

You're right, I believe Linux is known to have issues with hybrid graphics and switching.

Laptop pricing is a bit tricky as they are sold as all in one devices and actual component costs and total device costs are not as correlated. For instance the Acer I mentioned is rather cheap but other Ultrabooks might be more expensive without a GPU due to different build materials (eg. aluminum, carbon fiber, etc.) and brand value.

A lot of the higher priced laptops differentiate themselves also based upon build material, build quality (by this I mean more luxury feeling), and brand name.

The HD4400 is actually capable for gaming depending on your usage and expectations. It can provide quite a good experience if you plays games like League of Legends or Civilization V. If you want to play something like BF4 at 1080p with high settings however you will need a discrete card and even then only the rather high end laptop ones can do so.

There are some gaming capable Ultrabooks (like the Acer v7 I mentioned) but I think only the Gigabyte p34g is what you would consider a gaming laptop comparable while still being similar to an Ultrabook (thin/light, GTX 760m, IPS 1080p displays unlike the Razerblade but suffers in battery life to the full mobile quad core CPU).

Some other devices you can look into -
Asus Vivobook/Zenbook lines
Dell Inspiron 14 7000
Dell XPS 13
Lenovo Thinkpad T440s
Sony Vaio Pro 13

Some that are not quite your criteria but might be of interest interesting -
Acer V7
Dell XPS 12
Gigabyte p34g
Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga
Microsoft Surface 2 Pro
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