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  1. #1
    Member Volumetrik's Avatar
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    Choosing betwen ultrabooks

    Hey guys,

    So today, I've decided its time to get a new laptop because my crappy Toshiba NB200 is just... garbage. (1GB of ram and 1.2Ghz atom singlecore)

    I am in my 1st year of cegep, (12th grade in the us I think ?) and I am looking for a lightweight, compact, and with decent specs. Here are the requirements I am looking for in a laptop :

    - 13 inch or less screen
    - 4 GB of ram, (don't really need more)
    - i5 or i7
    - 6h+ battery life-time.
    - HD3000 atleast (if it can play 1080p yt vids, im happy)
    - NOT a mac

    Oh and my budget is around 1k and I am not going over 1.1k.

    So i've done a bit of research and found the asus B23e.

    i7, 4gb of ram, 13 inch and looks decent.


    http://www.asus.com/Commercial_Noteb...3_Series/B23E/

    But after reading reviews, the battery seems to suck the big one.

    So off searching more... Yesterday, I stumbled on a new category of notebooks, ULTRABOOKS which offer powerful, lightweight and small packages with sleek looks.

    In this category, I found the Asus Zenbook :


    http://www.asus.com/Notebooks/Superi...ZENBOOK_UX31E/

    Its 13.3 inch, has a 1600x900 resolution (), i5, 4gb of ram and a 128gb SSD for 1050 bucks. AND, looks freaking awesome.

    I checked out the acer s3, and the chronos 7 from samsung, but they are not up to the zenbook's level.

    What do you guys think about the zenbook ? Is there a better alternative out there ?

    Thanks,
    Max
    Last edited by Volumetrik; 03-11-12 at 03:05 PM.
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  2. #2
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    dfonda's Avatar
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    The one thing the reviews say they are really failing at our the trackpads. If you can do a hands on thats what your testing. Everything else seems to hold up as compared to the Mac Air. Backlit keys are really great to if it has them.

    I listened to podcasts for my take on them. Here is and example of the critique's...http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/revie...g-trackpad.ars
    Last edited by dfonda; 03-11-12 at 04:06 PM.
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  3. #3
    Member Volumetrik's Avatar
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    Yeah, I saw that too. I have a logitech wireless mouse, so I won't be using the trackpad that often.

    I also read that the new drivers are much less finicky and better in general. (you have to manually install them from asus's website)
    Thx for the response. Its basically a MacBook Air, with same specs, better resolution, and 200$ less.
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  4. #4
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    Go to BestBuy|Microcenter|Frys and play around with available models. I had my sites set on 1 unit and ended up leaving with another.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volumetrik View Post
    Yeah, I saw that too. I have a logitech wireless mouse, so I won't be using the trackpad that often.

    I also read that the new drivers are much less finicky and better in general. (you have to manually install them from asus's website)
    Thx for the response. Its basically a MacBook Air, with same specs, better resolution, and 200$ less.
    Thats good then If you don't mind the track pad,the Asus is tops... I just find using a mouse in bed or on the couch a Pita. Give us a review of the one you choose!
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    The first 4 months you cover your phone and baby it...
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    The last 4 months you treat it like a rented mule, because lets face it its time for a new phone...

  6. #6
    Member Rich'[ard]'s Avatar
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    i'm in the market for ultrabooks atm as well. i have my eyes on the HP Folio though. I'm a uni student so i have pretty similar requirements to you

    i've read the Asus suffers from heat problems...and after reading about the dodgey keyboard and touchpad, i went into a store and had a feel on the Asus UX31, as well as the other ultrabooks. the keys don't have much feel at all. it feels like pressing a $20 scientific calculator. and the keyboard is quite flimsy. you can make all the keys 'sink in' just by putting some pressure around the middle of the keyboard. the touch is good on the smaller UX21, but really hard to use on the UX31 i found.
    it sure looks good, but if you want better battery life, a backlit keyboard, cheaper price, sacrifice a bit of the Asus' good looks and go for the HP Folio =)

    there's many more as well. there's the Dell XPS 13", the Toshiba Z830...there's also some Ivy Bridge ultrabooks planned to come out with the launch of Windows 8.
    but go check out the HP Folio! see what you think
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  7. #7
    Member Tokae's Avatar
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    The ultra books are great! It would be cooler if they could play games, but that would greatly affect too many of their selling features For my next portable development machine, I think I am getting the Asus Zenbook or its replacement.
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  8. #8
    Member Volumetrik's Avatar
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    I finally went with the zenbook. From which I am writing this post as we speak.

    The keyboard takes a little getting used to, the layout is standard, but you need to tap the keys in, not softly brush on the keyboard. You absolutely need they new touchpad driver, it makes a world of difference (its great after the driver install). Its very sensitive while typing, and if your arm or your hand goes on it by accident, you click where the mouse is.

    The overall feel of this laptop is incredible, you really feel like holding a solid piece of machinery. The top hatch catches fingerprints if you have moist hands (like me).

    The lid closes with a smooth "tap". When I was looking at reviews on youtube, I noticed that people had trouble opening the lid, I was a bit worried about that. When it came in, there was a little edge coming from the top lid, about 2cm x 2mm, just enough so its easy to open, but not too big to cause inconvenience.

    Bundled software is crap, as with any laptop. I reformatted it with Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on my usb key.

    Sound is decent, pretty loud and crisp. No bass, obviously, but plays music fine.

    The screen is fantastic, the resolution of 1600x900 really makes a difference. The screen goes pretty bright and pretty dim, so thats a plus when in sunlight or in a dark place.

    Its pretty light. The fan, at max speed is much, much more quieter than on my friends macbook air (i could not hear what he was saying on skype because of his fan !).

    i5 and HD3000 are good together, 1080p yt movies play without lag. Everything is smooth operation with the zenbook.

    Overall, I would rate this at 8.7 / 10.

    Pros
    Sleek and sexy look.
    Feels amazing in hands.
    Great screen.
    Decent speakers
    powerfull i5 and 4gbs of ram
    128gb ssd
    "Real 2 second wake from sleep"
    Small footprint
    8h30 battery time (from 100% battery to 5% on power saving mode with minimum brightness typing in notepad without being connected to wi-fi)

    Cons
    Keyboard needs getting used too
    touhpad need driver update to work correctly
    could have better webcam
    on the expensive side


    Yeah, :P
    Last edited by Volumetrik; 03-19-12 at 10:02 AM.
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  9. #9
    Member Rich'[ard]'s Avatar
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    8 hours 30? i've never read a review that said it went passed 7 hours, so that is pretty surprising.
    i bought the HP Folio yesterday myself.
    one really annoying thing so far is, i charged the laptop as soon as i got home in the afternoon to this morning, then found out you need the charger in to boot up the machine for the first time. my HP netbook didn't have to do that i'm pretty sure =S.
    the HP Folio doesn't look like a true ultrabook, since it doesn't look as sleek as the Zenbook, but i better get my 9 hrs promised battery life lol
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  10. #10
    Member Volumetrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich'[ard] View Post
    8 hours 30? i've never read a review that said it went passed 7 hours, so that is pretty surprising.
    i bought the HP Folio yesterday myself.
    one really annoying thing so far is, i charged the laptop as soon as i got home in the afternoon to this morning, then found out you need the charger in to boot up the machine for the first time. my HP netbook didn't have to do that i'm pretty sure =S.
    the HP Folio doesn't look like a true ultrabook, since it doesn't look as sleek as the Zenbook, but i better get my 9 hrs promised battery life lol
    8h30 from 100% battery to 5% on power saving mode with minimum brightness typing in notepad without being connected to wi-fi, so its not really representative, maybe 6h30 normal use ? I have not tested fully yet.

    Yes, I also tried to open it for the first time without the power adapter on, and nothing. I also needed the power adapter for first boot.

    Touchpad is REALLY sensitive, brush you hand on it while typing makes it click, kinda annoying.
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  11. #11
    Member Rich'[ard]'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volumetrik View Post
    8h30 from 100% battery to 5% on power saving mode with minimum brightness typing in notepad without being connected to wi-fi, so its not really representative, maybe 6h30 normal use ? I have not tested fully yet.

    Yes, I also tried to open it for the first time without the power adapter on, and nothing. I also needed the power adapter for first boot.

    Touchpad is REALLY sensitive, brush you hand on it while typing makes it click, kinda annoying.
    i'm running mine through a full day of Uni today haha.
    system says 9 hrs from 90% charge left, but that was just having a pdf open on-screen, on minimum brightness as well.
    i started class at about 11, then staying in the Uni library until about 9-10pm tonight and i'm putting the Folio to sleep a few times during the day. let's see if it lasts!

    yeah...strange first-time boot up procedure...but
    hope you're enjoying your new ultrabook as much as i am!
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  12. #12
    Member Volumetrik's Avatar
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    Yeah, I absolutely love it
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