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

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Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Joined: 12/31/1969
Those are good tips, Greg,

Those are good tips, Greg, thanks. There's actually a Staples by my work and I may as well see some of these in person.

Yes, battery life is a big one for me and I can certainly never trust the ratings. A little while ago I added the Dell XPS 14 in there just for kicks mostly, but that's supposed to get about 11 hours of battery life. It's not as thin as most of the other systems, nor does it have a touchscreen, making Windows 8 more of a pain, but that is one expensive ($1999, not counting the $200 Dell Gift Card they give you afterwards) possibility. At the same time, though, I could save a little money and just get the MacBook Pro Retina if I were going that fancy, even though it doesn't have the same parts (but it is of course optimized for a non-touch OS). Of course if I was going to eliminate touch, then I could just get the ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A-DH71 for around $1399.99 and save some money, or even the lower spec ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A-DH51 for around $999.99, but then I'm back in the 5 hour+ battery life range... Maybe in that case I should look at the Samsung Series 9 again, which should give better battery life than the Asus, though I did really want Windows 8 and touch... I may have a problem that may not be solvable until after the new Intel chips hit in June. I'm just not sure.

Greg Johnson
Joined: 12/01/2010

I bought a Lenovo Twist (I5 @1.7GHz) a couple of months ago. http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/tech-specs/laptop/thinkpad/thinkpad-tw...

Staples has them on sale for $699 every few weeks. I really like it, but I do have a few issues:

It's rated ~6hrs battery life, but I only get about 4.
It's a little bulky compared to a regular tablet. If your holding it with one hand in landscape mode, it gets a little tiring - to be expected with any convertible, though.
The screen doesn't always recognize what position your holding it and doesn't auto-orient correctly. Lenovo has had a couple BIOS and software downloads to correct this. It's much, much better now but still an occasional issue. I can't confirm, but I heard that all the Win8 convertibles have this issue to some degree.

As far as your choices:
I don't know about the I7 systems. Seems like a little overkill for a laptop.
Screen size and keyboard are imortant for your needs. I don't know if I could spend a large amount of time typing on the Surface keyboard. It would be best for you to try them out before buying. I haven't seen any convertibles at Best Buy, but Staples has the Surface, the Twist and the Yoga - you might want to check them out in person before deciding.

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