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1168 posts

Uber Geek

#112544 12-Dec-2012 09:59
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So I'm looking a new laptop finally. 

I've looked at the other threads and my requirements are a bit different. 

I want to spend as close to $1000 as possible but I don't need a lot of power. 

I'll be running Outlook, Ms Word and Excel along with Chrome; and that is about it. But they will be running at the same time. I wont be using Media Center or Photoshop or gaming. 

I want it to be as light and portable as possible with as long a battery life as possible. 

As it is going to be running Win 8 a touch screen is probably going to a good idea.

Sounds like I'm describing a low end Ultrabook, right? 

Maybe this? 

Has anybody got any experience with Ultrabooks in this area? I know as a class they aren't selling but I think it might be right for me. 

Any thoughts? 

Didn't anybody tell you I was a hacker?

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278 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #731304 12-Dec-2012 12:27
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I just got an Acer Timeline from Harvey Norman, for $1300, you might get it for less with some haggling.

I love it, especially the Hybrid as it has a 20gig ssd built into the motherboard. battery life seems to be about 5-8 hours and its considered an ultrabook.

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Uber Geek


  #731309 12-Dec-2012 12:34
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Check out the specials they have at present.

Compared to other brand they are very good value for money at present.

That Asus you linked to only has a 3cell battery so won't last as long.

I would say your best option (if you want a ultra book below $1000) is the Inspiron 15z Ultrabook? (Non-Touch)
as compared to the Asus it has a bigger screen, 15.6" vs 14" a bigger battery 6cell vs 3cell as bigger M-Sata SSD 24gb Vs 32GB also slightly cheaper :)


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Uber Geek

  #731312 12-Dec-2012 12:36
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Thanks all, good advice as usual. 

Didn't anybody tell you I was a hacker?


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Uber Geek

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  #731358 12-Dec-2012 13:16
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crackrdbycracku: I'll be running Outlook, Ms Word and Excel along with Chrome; and that is about it. But they will be running at the same time.

You are describing a machine with absolute minimum 4GB memory and my feeling is you will get kind of ok performance with that but far from ideal performance and it will be noticeable from day one. Especially so if you use multiple tabs in your browser. Get 8GB.

If you think you will try 4GB and upgrade later be 100% sure that your chosen machine will support 8GB, but better to get 8GB or more on day one and forget it.

Maybe you or someone here can open all those applications with typical documents, complete a few common operations and then check physical memory use. My guess is way too close to 4GB for comfort.

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Uber Geek

  #731366 12-Dec-2012 13:23
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A lot of Ultra Books have low clock speeds, under 2 GHzs but also have SSDs along with conventional HDs. What kind of impact does that have? Does it that effect the amount of RAM you need? 

I'm a bit new to the Ultra Book. 

Didn't anybody tell you I was a hacker?

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Uber Geek


  #731370 12-Dec-2012 13:28
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SSD makes things load faster, but RAM is more about how many / what kind of tasks you have going at once.

IMO 4Gb is "enough" for most tasks on win 7.  Can't really speak for win 8. But you would want to make sure you could at least upgrade to 8Gb.


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Uber Geek

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  #734494 18-Dec-2012 18:20
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When you are running multiple applications at the same time you want to keep everything in RAM.

Sure, it will still work if your load exceeds the available RAM. Windows will use HDD swap space and will swap memory to disk to try and give you enough RAM to work with. In extreme cases you get HDD thrashing where Windows is spending all it's time attempting to save/free enough memory and no time is available for the user.

A hybrid disk will be smart enough to keep the frequently needed files on the SSD portion. In theory if you do get into a serious thrash Windows will be able to get you out of it many times faster. IME circa 1K laptops and notebooks have all kinds of less than optimal hardware which contributes to low disk throughput making the situation far worse.

The use pattern and the kind of files you access with your applications have a lot to do with it. Some operations consume more memory than others.

4GB will be ok, but my feeling is you will soon feel the need for 6GB but probably 8GB is the comfortable minimum for your requirements.



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  #734497 18-Dec-2012 18:29
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On the second part of the question which processors are you considering?

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Uber Geek

  #734795 19-Dec-2012 10:23
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gzt: On the second part of the question which processors are you considering?

Intel Core i3 seems the obvious choice, but that probably demonstrates the extent [limit] of my knowledge. 

One of the things I am curious about is that a basic laptop around the $1000 mark will quote speeds of 2.5 to 2.8GHz, but Ultrabooks at that price quote speeds around 1.5 to 1.8GHz. Does this mean an ultra book is seriously limited in what it can do by comparison? 

Didn't anybody tell you I was a hacker?

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