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The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

Old 10-28-11, 12:44 PM
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The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

It doesn't seem like there's a whole lot of interest in this forum, but I figured it was still worth its own thread. I'm excited. Netbooks suck. Normal laptops are too bulky. Tablets, in general, aren't functional enough for what I want. The Win7 tablets aren't "good enough" and a hardware keyboard is crucial (for me).

From webopedia:
Ultrabooks are a new category of notebook computers that seeks to fill the gap between lightweight laptops and tablets. Intel dubbed the ultrabook category when it announced it would be directing its mobile computing efforts towards a new class of laptops that would offer an extremely thin (less than 20 millimeters, or 0.8 inches) and lightweight profile to go along with high-powered, low voltage processors in the Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge families, long battery life, near instant-on and instant-resume capabilities, and fast storage, typically via solid state disk drives (SSDs), all in a sub $1,000 package.
Ultrabooks are distinguished from netbooks by offering more power in the form of faster processors and additional RAM, as well as better storage and larger screen sizes, features that also make these laptops significantly more expensive than most netbooks. Ultrabook prices are expected to come down, though, as Intel transitions to its "Hawell" system-on-a-chip (SoC) processors, at which point Intel predicts ultrabook prices will reach the sub $600 price range.
In other words, a Mac Book Air for Windows users. Yes, MBAs can run Windows, but as tested by some enthusiasts, apparently there are limitations imposed by the hardware. I think I read that, although the MBA has a 64bit version of OSX, it can only run a 32bit version of Windows 7.

But let's not make this a "Mac Book Air vs the world" thread, please.

Here's just a few that are coming out soon:
Spoiler:

Asus Zenbook:


Toshiba Portege Z830:


Acer S3:


Lenovo U300s:




It'll be great to see these below $600 in a year or so, but I can see myself buying one in the $1000 range if I get a chance to play with one.
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Old 10-28-11, 12:59 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

Why do netbooks "suck"? I have one with an 11.4" screen, under 3 lbs, SSD (I added that), decent keyboard and it was very cheap. You can get them with i3 and i5 processors as well.
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Old 10-28-11, 01:11 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

Originally Posted by X View Post
Why do netbooks "suck"? I have one with an 11.4" screen, under 3 lbs, SSD (I added that), decent keyboard and it was very cheap. You can get them with i3 and i5 processors as well.
Yep, I love my Asus netbook. I increased the RAM and put an SSD in it and it runs perfectly. It does everything I need it to.
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Old 10-28-11, 01:17 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

Fair enough. My general statement and conclusion on netbooks was based on the ones I played with at my local Best Buy. They were all running Win 7 Starter, minimal RAM, no SSDs, and had Atom processors. They were "small" but not "thin." None of them had very good screen resolution, either (600 vertical lines). Now, I know I can throw Win 7 Home Premium on one(which I did for a relative, in addition to extra RAM) and a SSD, but I'm not sure the cost, time, and/or effort would be worth it. In contrast, the ultrabooks have everything I want right out of the box, in addition to a much more desirable form factor.
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Old 10-28-11, 01:28 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

The Asus netbook has an AMD C-50 or C-60 dual-core processor (much better than the Atom), 64-bit Win 7 Home Premium, 2GB (I increased to 4GB but it wasn't really needed), a 320GB drive, 802.11n, HDMI-out, 5-6 hour battery life, and 11.6" 1366x768 screen. $200.
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Old 10-28-11, 01:44 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

Why do you need an ultrabook?

You can get a lightweight notebook that's really powerful, i5 or i7 processor. Something like the Sony S series looks about right, for under $1000.

For works I have a Dell Lattitude, core i5, windows 7(32 bits), 13.3'' screen, etc. I can take it anywhere, pretty lightweight. And of course powerful enough to run anything work related.
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Old 10-28-11, 01:48 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

The same reason people buy the 11" MacBook Air - they have the money and want something cool.

I personally hate netbooks, the keyboards and mouse pads are simply too small for me. I similarly don't like the 11" Air.

A 13" - 14" laptop though is about the ideal size to me, the thinner and lighter the better.

To note, Asus in no way was inspired by the Macbook Air for their first Ultrabook http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817...id=XdTSz3DEy2r

If I'm going to spend $1000 on a laptop, it better have one hell of a videocard in it.

Last edited by RichC2; 10-28-11 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 10-28-11, 01:50 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

i was going to buy my wife a MacBook Air this holiday season but looking at the 13" MBP now after the minor bump

only way i would buy a non-apple ultrabook is if it's significantly cheaper with the same feature set
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Old 10-28-11, 01:56 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

I have never tried an 11'' Mac Air, but the resolution seems fine, same as my 13.3'' Dell laptop. And of course the tech specs are fine. If you want to go the Mac route, there are a lot of reasons why people would go that route, besides trying to be cool, the 11'' Mac Air is not a bad deal right now.

In the Windows side it's not the same, we have a lot of options, too many options. That's why I don't see the need to add a new level. We don't need to add something new to compete with the Mac Air, we already have laptops that can be compared to it, and some may say that are a better value. I already mentioned two models, but there are lot more.
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Old 10-28-11, 02:00 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

i was looking at the 13" one. best buy has the 13" Asus for $1049 but it's a slower CPU, no backlit keyboard, no icloud and no software included.

The MBA comes with iphoto and imovie which is like $100 for the adobe versions. but since my wife and i have iphones with icloud any photos we take will import into iphoto automatically via wifi/icloud.

but they bumped the 13" MBP to 500GB hard drive and i'm looking at that one now. it's $150 cheaper as well
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Old 10-28-11, 02:00 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

Originally Posted by SomethingMore View Post
In other words, a Mac Book Air for Windows users. Yes, MBAs can run Windows, but as tested by some enthusiasts, apparently there are limitations imposed by the hardware. I think I read that, although the MBA has a 64bit version of OSX, it can only run a 32bit version of Windows 7.
This isn't true. MacBook Air models from late 2010 and onward support both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7. In fact, they only support Windows 7, with driver support for Vista and XP dropped on these models.

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1846
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4410

A few months ago my BIL needed a new laptop and wanted a MacBook Air, but didn't have the funds. I found this list of MBA alternatives:
http://www.pcworldme.net/2011/05/13/...o-macbook-air/

He ultimately got the MSI X-Slim from that list, which was the cheapest, but also the lightest:
http://www.amazon.com/MSI-X370-001US.../dp/B004V3PLII

At 0.9" thin, it just barely misses out on being an "ultrabook."
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Old 10-28-11, 02:06 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
i was looking at the 13" one. best buy has the 13" Asus for $1049 but it's a slower CPU, no backlit keyboard, no icloud and no software included.

The MBA comes with iphoto and imovie which is like $100 for the adobe versions. but since my wife and i have iphones with icloud any photos we take will import into iphoto automatically via wifi/icloud.

but they bumped the 13" MBP to 500GB hard drive and i'm looking at that one now. it's $150 cheaper as well
iPhoto and iMovie have simplified Windows equals, they aren't quite as powerful but none are great for serious use, imho. The Adobe versions are much more than $100. There are alternatives to iCloud that are also free (Amazon comes to mind) for storage and song moving purposes, but obviously iTunes only supports iCloud.

The 13" Macbook Air and the 13" Asus Zenbook both have the same CPUs. You can't really compare a MBP to an Ultrabook or Air for that matter. The big advantage to me is the MBP comes with a better screen than most cheaper laptops. I'm not a fan of OS X, but I know people have their own preferences. I also feel like a douche lugging around Apple products, but I'm obviously in the minority when it comes to that.
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Old 10-28-11, 02:08 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

Originally Posted by X View Post
The Asus netbook has an AMD C-50 or C-60 dual-core processor (much better than the Atom), 64-bit Win 7 Home Premium, 2GB (I increased to 4GB but it wasn't really needed), a 320GB drive, 802.11n, HDMI-out, 5-6 hour battery life, and 11.6" 1366x768 screen. $200.
What model is this and where did you get it? That price is awesome and I have been looking for one for my wife for xmas.
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Old 10-28-11, 02:12 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

Originally Posted by Raul3 View Post
Why do you need an ultrabook?

You can get a lightweight notebook that's really powerful, i5 or i7 processor. Something like the Sony S series looks about right, for under $1000.
It's just semantics, similar to the term netbook. There are laptops and netbooks in a wide range of sizes and configurations, but it becomes one or the other when it crosses a certain line.

The Sony S could certainly qualify as an ultrabook, if it was just a tiny bit thinner:
http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/sto...specifications


Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
i was looking at the 13" one. best buy has the 13" Asus for $1049 but it's a slower CPU, no backlit keyboard, no icloud and no software included.
There's a free iCould manager for Windows that you can download to manager PhotoStream on a Windows laptop:
http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1455
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Old 10-28-11, 02:26 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

Originally Posted by Cusm View Post
What model is this and where did you get it? That price is awesome and I have been looking for one for my wife for xmas.
From a quick google, it looks like he may be referring to the ASUS Eee PC 1215B

The 1215B can be found for under $300, although $200 may have been a sale price or refurb:
http://www.geeks3d.com/20110609/asus...adeon-hd-6250/
http://www.asus.com/Eee/Eee_PC/Eee_PC_1215B/
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Old 10-28-11, 02:37 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

Originally Posted by Cusm View Post
What model is this and where did you get it? That price is awesome and I have been looking for one for my wife for xmas.
It was actually the Acer One A0722-BZ454. http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/model/LU.SFT02.002

Target had it on sale a couple times, once for $200, once for $220. http://www.target.com/p/Acer-AO722-B...k/-/A-13472603

If I see it again, I'll post here.
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Old 10-28-11, 02:42 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

the latest version of Lion, iPhoto and iOS 5 you can import photos directly into iPhoto via iCloud. not just download the files to your laptop.

and there is the cost as well. Zenbook is $1049. add in the cost of Adobe and you are at $1200. don't know the feature comparison but i'm going to guess they are about the same. but with a mac and an iphone i can take a picture of one of my kids, walk by a starbucks and the photo will be on the Mac automatically.

My wife has wanted to do some lite editing for a few years now so the cost of the photo software is a concern for me. and from what i've read the Mac app store has some good software now at cheaper than retail prices

and support. Asus you are at the mercy of geek squad or some other company. Apple i can just take it to the genius bar

funny thing is that i was an alpha tester for Microsoft some years back for a similar product they were working on, forgot the name. it was pretty cool and other testers said the same thing. but i guess it's enough that MS runs the back end of icloud

Last edited by al_bundy; 10-28-11 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 10-28-11, 02:51 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

Originally Posted by SomethingMore View Post
But let's not make this a "Mac Book Air vs the world" thread, please.
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
i was going to buy my wife a MacBook Air this holiday season but looking at the 13" MBP now after the minor bump

only way i would buy a non-apple ultrabook is if it's significantly cheaper with the same feature set
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
i was looking at the 13" one. best buy has the 13" Asus for $1049 but it's a slower CPU, no backlit keyboard, no icloud and no software included.

The MBA comes with iphoto and imovie which is like $100 for the adobe versions. but since my wife and i have iphones with icloud any photos we take will import into iphoto automatically via wifi/icloud.

but they bumped the 13" MBP to 500GB hard drive and i'm looking at that one now. it's $150 cheaper as well
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
the latest version of Lion, iPhoto and iOS 5 you can import photos directly into iPhoto via iCloud. not just download the files to your laptop.

and there is the cost as well. Zenbook is $1049. add in the cost of Adobe and you are at $1200. don't know the feature comparison but i'm going to guess they are about the same. but with a mac and an iphone i can take a picture of one of my kids, walk by a starbucks and the photo will be on the Mac automatically. My wife has wanted to do some lite editing for a few years now.

and support. Asus you are at the mercy of geek squad or some other company. Apple i can just take it to the genius bar

funny thing is that i was an alpha tester for Microsoft some years back for a similar product they were working on, forgot the name. it was pretty cool and other testers said the same thing. but i guess it's enough that MS runs the back end of icloud
So much for that, then.
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Old 10-28-11, 02:55 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

what's wrong with comparing feature sets? even in the anandtech review he said the screen quality was better on the MBA. the Asus had some crazy white and brightness numbers but on the overall screen quality he said the MBA was better

apple knows who they are marketing their products to and not just building to meet a price point or paper specs
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Old 10-28-11, 03:00 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

*shrug*, I load up Picasa and all the photos I just took on my phone are already there.

ASUS support is shit compared to Apple's, which is the one place where they actually do shine in my eyes.
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Old 10-28-11, 03:09 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

is it automatic? with an iphone all i have to do is walk in range of wifi and it syncs the photo stream

reading the anand review the screen benchmarks are better on the Asus but in real world use the MBA screen is better due to the coating on it. i have a lenovo from work and have to adjust the screen or else it looks blurry. if i go to starbucks and see people with a MBA you can see the screen very clearly from wide viewing angles. I know someone with a found/stolen white Macbook from 2007 and i think that screen is a lot better than the one on my Core i5 lenovo G560

MBA has MIMO wifi from what i remember, Asus does not. anand's review said that Asus's wifi performance isn't as fast as the MBA


there is a reason why it's cheaper. few months back there was an article that Asus and others were trying to pressure Intel to lower prices for them so they could hit the $999 price point. I guess Intel said no so they found other ways that you won't read on the spec sheets. If you do a feature for feature comparison the MBA is the first Mac to be cheaper than a Wintel equivalent

Last edited by al_bundy; 10-28-11 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 10-28-11, 03:10 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

It's built into the G+ application, which prompts you for your permission -- "Enable Automatic Upload of Images?" -- it's one and done. You don't have to walk in range of Wifi though.

Unfortunately most laptop manus still use TN screens, I believe all Macbooks use IPS screens. My sisters Lenovo has a brilliant IPS screen, my cheap ass Asus (it was $700 a year ago, has a core i5 and toggle-able dedicated graphics card) has a TN screen and the difference is night and day at different angles. It's most noticeable when playing video.

Anyway, I love the idea of Ultrabooks and Macbook Air devices. The Macbook Air was a device that was truly ahead of it's time, as it it was too soon as optical media wasn't quite on its way out yet at that time. The market is now good for devices like it and so other manufacturers will try to cash in. However, until one of them makes a true premium model while keeping the price in check it's silly. The MBA is silly too for that matter - sure it has a nice form factor but it's severely under-powered for what you pay, all of these should be starting at $600, not $900+, however the SSD accounts for a good bit.

IE - Asus U30 Laptop, 13.3", Core i5-2410QM @ 2.3GHz, GeForce GT 520M, 4GB DDR3, 500GB Hdd, 9 hr battery life @ $699

That seems price appropriate.

13.3", 1.7GHz Core i5, 128gb hdd, 4gb RAM, integrated graphics, 7 hour battery @ $1234.99
13.3", 1.7GHz Core i5-2557M, 128gb hdd, 4gb ram, integrated graphics, 5.5 hour battery life @ $1099

Do not.

Last edited by RichC2; 10-28-11 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 10-28-11, 03:17 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

does it appear in G+ though? and i only want it on wifi since i'm on 2GB data. I only want it to sync the photos to my laptop for my wife to get rid of red eye and other simple things.

Macbooks are still on TN's. apparently there are different screen coatings that can affect image quality

and how does Asus do recovery? is half the drive taken up by a recovery partition?

Last edited by al_bundy; 10-28-11 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 10-28-11, 03:25 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

I have the same Acer netbook that X is talking about, and I think its great. It chugs a bit with multitasking, but for $200 its been the best value device I own.

I like the ASUS Zenbook, but the netbook already does everything I need it to for my portable needs.
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Old 10-28-11, 03:35 PM
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Re: The one and only Ultrabook thread: Is there anybody out there?

Originally Posted by fumanstan View Post
I have the same Acer netbook that X is talking about, and I think its great. It chugs a bit with multitasking, but for $200 its been the best value device I own.
Have you tried the Brazos tweaker on it? It really cuts down on the heat and extends battery life.
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