Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.

mdf



1799 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 514

Trusted
Subscriber

Topic # 146625 23-May-2014 22:20
Send private message

Another which-ultrabook-buy-post, sorry. Seems to be a fast moving area, so the previous posts seemed too dated to address my questions.

I am looking for a primarily business focussed ultrabook. My ideal specs include a Haswell chip (i5 probably), 13-inch (ish) screen, FHD (1920x1080) minimum resolution, SSD (ideally 256 but would accept 128), and I would never say no to extra RAM. It *must* have a nice keyboard (backlit). I have strong feelings about keyboards. Very strong feelings.

I don't need a touch screen (and have used Windows 8 in a non-touch world and have made my peace with it), but have realised I might need to accept one to get what I want.

Business work will be mostly be Office suite, plus some low-level photoshop/GIMP. So I know I am probably overspeccing, but I will be using this every day and am therefore trying to focus on the things that will make a difference to me. i.e. screen, keyboard and storage. I'd rather spend a little more and be happy with it, than regret every day that I didn't pay just an extra few hundred for feature X (as I do on the current notebook).

Finally, ideally I'd like it from a more reputable supplier. Given the business focus, I don't want to be without it for weeks arguing with someone over who will fix it.

Budget is around $2,000.

I didn't think this would be as hard as it has been. I've looked at Lenovos (x240, T440 and X1 ranges), but the price racks up by the time I manage to get all the specs I want. The Yoga Pro 2 looks awesome, but isn't here yet (if it ever will arrive). Dell has burnt me before so I'm not that keen, and again I can't really get everything I want at my price point. I've read good reviews about the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus, but you can't seem to get the plus model here, just the lite one (and the dopey name doesn't do it any favours. I assumed it was 9 inches for ages). HP EliteBooks are really nice, but seem hugely expensive for what you get.

I thought the Sony Vaio Pro was looking good, even though it only has 128GB and 4GB RAM. It is super light and portable, but I am not taken with the keyboard (flex and lack of key travel), though still very much an option. I'm also a little leery that Sony has sold Vaio and won't be making any new ones, so ongoing support is a query.

I was quite taken by the new Surface Pro 3 specs. The midrange i5/256GB model has almost everything I want around my price point. The downsides are I am not sure I can wait until August, and I am not sure that the keyboard cover will be quite everything I want it to be (I've only tried a type cover on the 10 inch model, and the difference between that and a full-size keyboard on a 13 inch notebook is enough that I notice it). Incidentally, most of the reviews I have read so far on the Surface Pro 3 go on about how expensive it is for what you get, but in NZD at least it struck me as being good value - or am I nuts?

So I am thinking that maybe I have to adjust my budget to get everything I want/lower my expectations. But then I looked at Macs. DSE and JBHifi have a 10% special this weekend, so I can get a MacBook Pro Retina Display with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, plus everything else I want for a tick under $1900. It seems ridiculous to buy a Mac that I will in all likelihood install Windows on (we have another Mac at home, and the muscle memory windows shortcuts are just too much to overcome). What happened to Apple tax? Why aren't there Windows notebooks with similar specs?

Any other suggestions for what I should be looking at?

Create new topic
Mad Scientist
18436 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 2336

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  Reply # 1051983 23-May-2014 22:26
Send private message

Asus ux30x parallel import

Mad Scientist
18436 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 2336

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  Reply # 1051985 23-May-2014 22:27
Send private message

Dir Photoshop you don't want uhd or qhd. Full hd max

1168 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 69


  Reply # 1054331 27-May-2014 14:07
Send private message

Hey, 

Bottom line, get a Mac. 

Having just started using my first Mac, MacBook Air 13", in a new job I'd say go with that unless you are a developer, admin type or there is specific Windows only software you need. As far as an end user laptop goes they are great, Office 365 works fine and email and all are great. I'm not taken with the Mac software, but with Office 365 it doesn't matter and the hardware is amazing. 

Yes, the Surface 3 is good and good for the price. But, and for me it's actually a killer but, it doesn't have a hinge that supports the screen so for me unless you are sitting at a desk it's just too awkward. I might be alone in this but the more Microsoft tries to make Surface a laptop replacement the less it makes sense to me. 

I personally think the most interesting thing about the Surface 3 is that it shows how poor the Ultrabook options for Windows actually are. Imagine if someone actually just copied the hardware specs of the Air and put Windows on it. 




Didn't anybody tell you I was a hacker?

D.W

428 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 52


  Reply # 1054340 27-May-2014 14:17
Send private message

I'd go with (and did so recently) a Macbook Pro Retina 13" with 8GB and 256GB SSD.

I run Windows on it 90% of the time. I actually find Windows has a snappier UI than OSX, that may be due to transition effects OSX uses for everything which slows things down.

4955 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1318

Trusted
Microsoft

  Reply # 1054348 27-May-2014 14:46
Send private message

Surface Pro 3 works surprisingly well on your lap despite not having a hard-keyboard

Personally I find the screen res on MBA too low-tech for the price, but you could think of MBA/MBP as just another OEM device that runs Windows well :)

1168 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 69


  Reply # 1054360 27-May-2014 15:15
Send private message

nathan: Surface Pro 3 works surprisingly well on your lap despite not having a hard-keyboard

Personally I find the screen res on MBA too low-tech for the price, but you could think of MBA/MBP as just another OEM device that runs Windows well :)


Good point about the screen on the MBA. 

I'd run Windows on a MBA if I needed to, in a way I do by running Office 365 which is the bit of Windows I need. 




Didn't anybody tell you I was a hacker?

mdf



1799 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 514

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 1054377 27-May-2014 15:49
Send private message

crackrdbycracku: Hey, 

I personally think the most interesting thing about the Surface 3 is that it shows how poor the Ultrabook options for Windows actually are. Imagine if someone actually just copied the hardware specs of the Air and put Windows on it. 


I'd be first in line for this if it did exist. I was in JBHifi the other day discussing just this point. The (really helpful) sales guy showed me an HP Spectre which was basically a MBP clone in an MBA form factor (wedge shape). Other than the touch screen, it was almost 1:1 MBP specs. For $3,000. Compared to a sale price MBP of $1,900. He admitted it was a difficult sell.

How does Windows 8.1 run on a MBP? I was wondering whether this was a good option, but the online reviews are somewhat mixed - particularly about how well windows scales to a retina display. It was hard to tell how recent some of these were though.

mdf



1799 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 514

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 1058272 2-Jun-2014 22:12
Send private message

Just closing the loop on this one. I ended up going with the Sony Vaio Pro and very happy with it 24 hours in. I was all set to wait for the Surface (though waiting was like torture), but Sony came to the party with a 20%-off-Vaio Queen's Birthday Sale. So I ended up with the i7/256GB/8MB version for the i5/128/4 price. Very nice, though it is so light I feel like I am going to break it.

Create new topic

Twitter »

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





News »

N4L helping TAKA Trust bridge the digital divide for Lower Hutt students
Posted 18-Jun-2018 13:08


Winners Announced for 2018 CIO Awards
Posted 18-Jun-2018 13:03


Logitech Rally sets new standard for USB-connected video conference cameras
Posted 18-Jun-2018 09:27


Russell Stanners steps down as Vodafone NZ CEO
Posted 12-Jun-2018 09:13


Intergen recognised as 2018 Microsoft Country Partner of the Year for New Zealand
Posted 12-Jun-2018 08:00


Finalists Announced For Microsoft NZ Partner Awards
Posted 6-Jun-2018 15:12


Vocus Group and Vodafone announce joint venture to accelerate fibre innovation
Posted 5-Jun-2018 10:52


Kogan.com to launch Kogan Mobile in New Zealand
Posted 4-Jun-2018 14:34


Enable doubles fibre broadband speeds for its most popular wholesale service in Christchurch
Posted 2-Jun-2018 20:07


All or Nothing: New Zealand All Blacks arrives on Amazon Prime Video
Posted 2-Jun-2018 16:21


Innovation Grant, High Tech Awards and new USA office for Kiwi tech company SwipedOn
Posted 1-Jun-2018 20:54


Commerce Commission warns Apple for misleading consumers about their rights
Posted 30-May-2018 13:15


IBM leads Call for Code to use cloud, data, AI, blockchain for natural disaster relief
Posted 25-May-2018 14:12


New FUJIFILM X-T100 aims to do better job than smartphones
Posted 24-May-2018 20:17


Stuff takes 100% ownership of Stuff Fibre
Posted 24-May-2018 19:41



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.