What do you think of these as a secondary machine in the Ultrabook/hybrid class?

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Bill Loguidice
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At some point soon I may be getting an ultraportable writing computer with solid battery life that can run the real version of Microsoft Office. Based on my analysis of the best mix of battery life and performance/features (including decent keyboards of course), it looks like it's a toss up between the Microsoft Surface Pro, Lenovo IdeaPad 13 Yoga, and Dell XPS 12 Convertible (marked in blue). Of course I could go for something completely different and just get a MacBook Air, which wouldn't matter for running Office on the subscription model. In any case, that's the one we'd get Christina (marked in red), whose total computing needs would be met, though I'm certainly not ruling it out for me as well since it would just be a secondary system for me. Some of the Asus Zenbook Touch systems are quite nice, but I'll be darned if they make shopping for one almost impossible--it's like they don't want you to own the thing. Thoughts anyone?

Here's the link to the full view: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AnvbkyTLHXZLdHpiR2cwZnMwWmV...

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ruthan
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I think Zenbook good choice,

I think Zenbook good choice, i only missed here express card slot for my 3g modems - so i bought lenovo 15 thinkpad around 1700$ + 150$ mSata SSD. Performance is good, gpu is slow - Quadro 5400V + display is very bad for normal non games work it was good choice, but still very big compromise.. Dell M4600 or M4700 is better but very expensive here, in USA is pricing quite good.

I have 11,6 Lenovo X120 or something like that with SIM card slot..and is too small, good for actions like GDS or something like that, but on for cottage writting etc. Apple 13 with mate display is good choice in view of hardware, but is bad because you are supporing Apple - they are more clever than user, so lots of things are disabled, unsupported and their margin is 40-50%.. was is theft for me.

Who: Brujah Zealot, the pimp of babylons bitch. / Location: Scorched heart of Europe. // Sorry for my moldavian sort of english, i have 2 possibilities, to be silent or try to say something +look like idiot..

Bill Loguidice
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I'm really liking this

I'm really liking this machine. I'm still in the process of syncing my Evernote and Dropbox stuff (the latter, selectively, of course, since SSD space is precious), but I'm almost there. It definitely lives up to its promises.

I also installed the Office 2013 subscription. I actually had issues on my main Windows 7 desktop with Word and Excel crashing, but that's due to a known incompatibility with Abby FineReader, so I uninstalled that and also disabled a few of the older Word add-ons, and I was good to go. Otherwise on the virgin Windows 8 ultrabook, no issues.

This Asus Zenbook Prime is definitely not a primary machine, particularly due to the paltry available drive space (only about 90GB to start), but for my needs, it will do just fine. The battery has already proven itself super long lasting.

Also, while I've used Widows 8 a bit on my daughters' computer, I've definitely had to crash course myself in its idiosyncrasies. I've overcome most of the issues, I think, but it's definitely a different way of working and not necessarily intuitive right away.

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Bill Loguidice
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My new Asus Zenbook Prime

My new Asus Zenbook Prime Ultrabook. It will be my portable writing workstation. Love the thinness, battery life, backlit keyboard, and 1080p touchscreen.

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Bill Loguidice
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Asus Zenbook Prime Ultrabook UX31A-BHI5T11

Well, it turns out that my ultrabook tale took another twist. After there was a delay on my ThinkPad Yoga from Amazon as well, I ended up cancelling that and getting an Asus Zenbook Prime Ultrabook (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+Ultrabook+13.3%26%2334%3B+Touch-Scree...) from Best Buy, which had a whole bunch of deals and offers to go with it ($100 off, accessories thrown in, etc., as well as an additional $20 off the $99 Office 365 subscription). This has the backlit keyboard I was after as well. Crazy, I know, but this is in my possession now. Pics soon...

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Bill Loguidice
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Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 for Windows 8

Well, Lenovo had a good deal today (around $1000) on the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13, which has modest i3/8GB/128GB SSD specs, but meets many of my similarly modest requirements more or less (no backlit keyboard, though), so that's what I went with. A vague "possibly some time in April" and a starting price of $1499.99 scared me off to the Helix, plus this has a larger screen (though no active pen support, of course).

EDIT: I canceled that and got it through Amazon even cheaper, with half the RAM, but i5 processor. Even if I eventually double the RAM, I got it cheaper, plus it will come next day (tomorrow)! By the way, when I called to cancel, Lenovo offered me 5% off, which is both good and bad. Bad that I had to cancel to get more money off, good to know for anyone who wants to order direct from Lenovo... It still wasn't a savings over the Amazon price, which had no tax (I'll be sad when that goes away) and the same free shipping...

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Bill Loguidice
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Typed at the gym on my iPad using the virtual keyboard landscape
Greg Johnson wrote:

Looks good, but, yeah, $1499 is a little steep. I like Lenovo since I'm old-school and still like the "eraserhead" pointer.

I still recommend that you check out the current models just to see if you're comfortable with the smaller screens. I don't write professionally, but I still revert to my Win7 17.3" laptop or a desktop whenever I'm creating a document or report. To me, the smaller screens are great for viewing/reading or even an edit, but I prefer a larger screen when creating. However, a bigger screen eats battery life, so it's kind of a catch-22.

While the price is more than I wanted to pay, I think it would be foolish to save a few hundred dollars to compromise more, so I think I'd have to suck it up and spend the money for something I'd be living with for a number of years. Again, with the Helix, the only compromise I'd be making is the lack of a backlit keyboard. Every other option has bigger issues.

I have a wonderful 1080p gaming laptop with 17" screen (no backlit keyboard and 1.5 hr battery life). While that resolution works great at that size (in fact, I run two 27" monitors at 1080p on my desktop, which is also fantastic), I think based on my experience with the 10" iPad and Asus Transformer tablets, I should be OK writing/working on an 11.6 - 13" ultraportable. As long as I can have a Word document on one side and something else on the other (Web page, Evernote note, PowerPoint doc, etc.), I'll be in my comfort zone for working.

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Greg Johnson
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Nice

Looks good, but, yeah, $1499 is a little steep. I like Lenovo since I'm old-school and still like the "eraserhead" pointer.

I still recommend that you check out the current models just to see if you're comfortable with the smaller screens. I don't write professionally, but I still revert to my Win7 17.3" laptop or a desktop whenever I'm creating a document or report. To me, the smaller screens are great for viewing/reading or even an edit, but I prefer a larger screen when creating. However, a bigger screen eats battery life, so it's kind of a catch-22.

Bill Loguidice
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ThinkPad Helix

This ThinkPad Helix looks like it could be a winner: http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/tablet/thinkpad/thinkpad-helix/

Here's the video: http://www.lenovo.com//products/us/tablet/thinkpad/thinkpad-helix/?video...

It should come out soon now (delayed to March or April), though the starting price is supposed to be rather high at $1499 (but it's understandable for what it packs in). With that said, it appears to be near perfect, with the possible exception of a backlit keyboard, which is actually pretty important to me. Also, when it's not docked in the keyboard, the tablet portion only gets around 6 hours battery life, but since I'd be using it docked most of the time, that's a none-issue.

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Bill Loguidice
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Yes!
Greg Johnson wrote:

It's probably best if you can hold out for the new Intel chips, as the "Haswell" platform is being designed for mobile - so it should be much more efficient. Plus, the convertibles are just appearing, and each new model will have more features as other manufacturers enter the market. I'd be suprised if HP, ASUS and Samsung didn't have something on their drawing boards as we speak. I would imagine that even Apple is considering one. A beefed-up iPad with a full Mac-OS would be appealing to many.

However, once you start playing around with one of the current convertibles, you'll have a hard time telling your inner geek to wait. :)

Agreed about the waiting probably being best, but the downside to that of course is if Intel has the chips ready in June, it may not be until the latter part of the year that we start seeing product. It may not make sense to wait that long, plus I could always sell in 2014 and get something that really puts it all together in the ultimate package. We'll see. I'm still not ready financially to do this, but when I do (and as you say, that irrational inner geek can't wait!), I'll get both one for my needs and one for Christina as a primary (either the Air or Pro for her)...

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Greg Johnson
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It's probably best if you can

It's probably best if you can hold out for the new Intel chips, as the "Haswell" platform is being designed for mobile - so it should be much more efficient. Plus, the convertibles are just appearing, and each new model will have more features as other manufacturers enter the market. I'd be suprised if HP, ASUS and Samsung didn't have something on their drawing boards as we speak. I would imagine that even Apple is considering one. A beefed-up iPad with a full Mac-OS would be appealing to many.

However, once you start playing around with one of the current convertibles, you'll have a hard time telling your inner geek to wait. :)

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