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Ultrabook with a nice screen, SSD, and runtime

By hellokitty[hk] ยท 17 replies
Oct 27, 2012
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  1. Hi everyone and thanks for reading.
    I'm looking for thin/light (hence ultrabook, but it doesn't necessarily have to be an "ultrabook") laptop between 14 - 15.6 inches. There are only a few requirements.

    First is that it has an SSD, because I want it to have quick resume from standby and/or hibernate. I've heard impressive comments on Samsung's quickresume or whatever it's called. SSD/HDD combos would be considered but not preferable.

    A good screen with high resolution and nice colors. Something more than the standard 1366x768 LCD.

    An efficient running system and ultimately good runtimes. No discreet GPU is preferred for price and runtime reasons. Integrated graphics are fine for me. Probably the best choice for this would be an ivy bridge dual core with HD4000.

    Also, I'd like the least possible crapware, so I think I will not like an HP.
    Price will be secondary but I think the cheapest 15 inch Samsung 9 series fulfills all these requirements fairly well, but is quite expensive, so that will be my maximum budget. Cheaper is better of course :)

    Thanks for your help.
  2. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,703   +171

    The Series 9 is a great choice for the price, it has a much better screen (1600x900 PLS matte) than those crappy 1366x768 ones on a lot of other ultrabooks.

    Lenovo's new Thinkpad X1 Carbon is also an awesome machine but might be a bit more expensive.
  3. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Topic Starter Posts: 3,415   +145

    Wow you think all that is worth $1300? I think that's a lot to pay for any laptop!
    I'm sure part of the cost is the slim and light factor, while that's important to me it doesn't necessarily have to be nearly that slick for me, so I was hoping I could save some money there.

    I did also see the carbon series, and yeah it's a lot of money but looks nice :)
  4. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,887   +627

    I'm not entirely sure how easily swappable RAM sticks are on Ultrabooks, but this is what I'd do if I was currently looking at buying one:

    Focus on the screen, weight, thickness, CPU (perhaps RAM). Get the cheapest one that fits this description - doesn't matter about HDD. The price to upgrade to SSD is probably twice what you'd pay for a higher-capacity drive yourself.

    This way, you can save money, and have a bloat-free Windows install.
  5. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Topic Starter Posts: 3,415   +145

    Many times RAM is directly soldered in. I see what your'e saying about the SSD I'll take another look around with this in mind.
    Sometimes some of the software installed is drivers for their custom laptop hardware and is actually quite important though...
  6. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,887   +627

    This is true. But if they don't have all of these drivers on their support website, then they're doing it wrong. :)
  7. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Topic Starter Posts: 3,415   +145

    This is true!
    I guess I'll check first just in case though, it'd be really annoying if things stop working.
  8. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Topic Starter Posts: 3,415   +145

    I heard there would be a wave of ultrabooks sometime after the Windows 8 release...
  9. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    Even though the push is on for Tablet the Ultra Laptop might not be so popular if they don't add the additional Touchscreen features. If you want the Ultra ones you might consider the touchscreen or the ones that turn that Ultra into a tablet hybrid. That 1366x768 LED/LCD was standard on a lot of LCD for laptops. Some had 1440x900 those are better but hard to find. I only had one laptop that had that screen size.

    Bloatware in HP are also in ACER/Gateway and ACER laptop because this is how they make additional profits on their hardware with Norton (Symatec). There is software to remove all this bloatware. I had purchased additional Slim Laptop about 2 months ago it had all the Norton bloatware. But using two free software remove all of it. Some minor tweaks and additional RAM I did have the choice of using SATA III or SSD, but stuck it out with what it came with and get 5.9 Exp under Windows 7 64-bit. Windows 8 Pro Upgrade offer has come in but everything I have here from media streaming works with Windows 7. Windows 8 still new and software and hardware makers need to come out with firmware updates for it.

    So if your in the market for the newest and fastest Ultra Notebook make sure it can flip into tablet with touchscreen.
  10. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Topic Starter Posts: 3,415   +145

    I'm not exactly looking for the newest and fastest... Just a quick ssd and power efficiency is what I'm looking for, and also a nice quality screen with good blacks and colors the standard ones bother me a bit especially with the blacks.
    I'm not really into the kind that can flip into a tablet and I don't really want a touchscreen at all... Actually I'm not even necessarily looking for an "ultrabook" but I think that most laptops with the dimensions and weight that I'd like would count as an ultrabook.

    About the preinstalled software stuff, it's mostly the drivers and their own utilities that are somewhat necessary that bother me. For example the last few new HPs that I've had a look at had about 95 processes after startup by default, most of them being some sort of HP driver. That's really too much IMO my friend has an Asus and they have some drivers that run by default but far less than HP. I also think that Samsung does not have that many either. I'm wondering if anyone has experiences with Vizo, and especially how they do in this category.
  11. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    I've purchased ACER/GATEWAY here in the USA for less than $300. Those use the Intel i3 dual core. 8GB DDR3 Here for less than $150 I could have got SSD with laptop kit for it but the unit I have the latest SATA III WD Blue 2.5 in there 320GB the laptop slim design can handle TB. Which I really don't need anything larger. Since I run my network here with NAS 6TB. All downloads, doc, pictures are saved there. With a neat Reg trick you can switch from NAS on to NAS off making the system store to the NAS or to your laptop if your traveling. . Anyway it has 32GB SDHC Card Reader/Writer, HDMI out, 3x USB2 15.6 LED/LCD for what it can do not by for NE series I also have NV that has Blue-Ray the LED/LCD 1080p but has DC/Deep Darker Contrast. That you need for gaming and watching B-ray. NV uses AMD Dual Core, Red LED Soft Touch panels controls, HDMI out 4x USB2.

    Tablets are okay I have way to many to tell about but that's what I do is tablets but laptop gives you bit more configuration and I really don't like laptop/tablet hybrids. Just not the same as stand alone tablet.
  12. Razer

    Razer TS Booster Posts: 126   +14

    Hi, hellokitty
    Actually I want to suggest HP products, but since it's the least option, so I recommend asus vivobook s400 that I think the specs are very suits with your needs
    14inch touchscreen (1366x768), win8, intel i3 up to i7 3517U, memory 4GB 1600Mhz (onboard) with 1 slot so-dimm socket for expansion up to 8GB SDRAM, 500 GB HDD with 24GB SSD cache, integrated intel HD.
    IMO the only backwards are 21mm thick and 1.8kg weight.

    check this link
  13. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Topic Starter Posts: 3,415   +145

    Actually the size and weight are fine for me.
    I'm more unimpressed with the screen and hdd...

    I saw the Vizio ct14 which is very similar to the Samsung 9 series in terms of both size and hardware but costs a lot less.
    The most impressive thing to me is that it comes with a clean install of windows so there is nothing they put on.

    The only problem is that I've heard in many places that they keyboard and touchpad are not very good and that would definitely bother me a lot.
  14. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    Wow Vizio selling laptops. I would stick with well known companies making them for many years. ACER, HP an etc. I am sticking with ACER. I've had a few HP, Compaq, Toshiba, CTX, IBM and ASUS. VIS Visual Image Size of the screen can vary. My old HP/Compaq had 14" widescreen with VIS of 1440x900 on it. Today most are 1366x768 and that's what your trying to get away from.
  15. gordts

    gordts TS Rookie

    How about the Sony Vaio S-Series: 4.42lbs, 15.6in 1920x1080 IPS customizable for under $1K: http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/st...52921666452158&categoryId=8198552921644870001

    I would agree that it's cheaper to buy some of the components after-market. There is one free RAM slot in this laptop in which you can put in up to 8GB extra and you can switch out the harddrive with an SSD. Both I found cheaply at Crucial: http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.aspx?model=VAIO SVS151190X&Cat=RAM

    The above is the clearance version of the S-Series that has Windows 7. You can upgrade the OS for something like $40. There is even a coupon code for the clearance version: use SONYS1511XD150 (must be in all-caps) during the "checkout" stage (good until 10 Nov 2012).
  16. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Topic Starter Posts: 3,415   +145

    Well like I said everything looks good except the problem with the touchpad and keyboard. I'm not too worried about it simply because it is made by Vizio. But because of the touchpad and keyboard it's going toward the bottom of my list for now.

    This does look pretty impressive and at a good even after tossing out the HDD and adding in an SSD (especially given the coupon :))
    I would prefer something a bit lighter in the <4 lbs range but I will definitely consider this thanks.
  17. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,887   +627

    The above Sony has x2 HDD bays, so you can keep both.
  18. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Topic Starter Posts: 3,415   +145

    Ahh but it is a power usage/weight issue.
    Even on my desktop I think I am not even using over 100GB, so a single SSD will be more than sufficient and any more would even be detrimental (it would be empty and useless).

    It'd do better as backup storage or given to a friend I think.

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