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Old 12-02-2012, 09:45 PM   #1
swanysto
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Default Help with Ultrabook/Laptop

Haven't bought a laptop in a while, but my old Acer laptop is on its last leg. I have been to fry's, bestbuy, costco, hhgregg, and officemax. Each time I find a laptop/ultrabook I like, I read the reviews and there is something wrong with it.

First was the Lenova U410 and U310. Love the weight, specs, etc, but every review site says not to buy it cause they put horrible wireless adapters in them. I can't even find reviews on the U510, but maybe it hasn't been out long enough.

Some of the laptops are nice, but underpowered. The acers seem to be a good overall blend, but I hate the screens as they seem faded out, even the one I own now is that way. I guess that is how they save money. And most of the laptops at costco I can't find reviews for, but there may also be a reason for that as well.

I was trying to stay ~$700. I thought this would be possible since I don't need to game. I just want something portable to work on raw camera files in photoshop and lightroom. I would prefer something in store, but do you guys know of anything online that might be better than what I can get in store. I am prepared to pay the tax above $700, so a $699 laptop would be acceptable.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:11 AM   #2
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Lenovo is normally a solid brand to go with.
You might try looking at Asus.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:41 AM   #3
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Well, you can check out the following to see if there's something that might interest you. I take it that the i3-3217U and other ultra low voltage i3s just don't have enough oomph for your computing needs since I would fathom many of the ultrabooks you test had that processor.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834230599

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...CE&PageSize=20
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http://www.heatware.com/eval.php?id=93090
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blain View Post
Lenovo is normally a solid brand to go with.
You might try looking at Asus.
Yeah, that what my thought. But I read reviews of the ultrabooks on amazon, and many other sites and EVERY one of them had quite a few people mention wifi card issues. I wish that wasn't the case, cause out side of that, they met every spec I needed.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:38 AM   #5
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Well, you can check out the following to see if there's something that might interest you. I take it that the i3-3217U and other ultra low voltage i3s just don't have enough oomph for your computing needs since I would fathom many of the ultrabooks you test had that processor.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834230599

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...CE&PageSize=20


To be honest, I played with them, but it is hard to test how powerful the processor is in the store, cause they don't have the software on the computer. I really don't have much experience with the i series processors either(my laptop predates them, and my last pc build was a Q9550). My iMac has an i3 in it, but it is a 3.2ghz from 2010, so I wouldn't think it would compare to the newer versions.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:37 AM   #6
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Lets get the major thing out of the way first. Do you care about the screen?

You are looking at around $1000 minimum to get out of shitty 720p screens. And it's going to be tough finding one in a retail store.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:46 AM   #7
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Lets get the major thing out of the way first. Do you care about the screen?

You are looking at around $1000 minimum to get out of shitty 720p screens. And it's going to be tough finding one in a retail store.
Obviously I get what I pay for as far as screen, but I will say that the quality of the 720 on an HP from what I saw was much better than the Acer machines I saw. 720 will not bother me as long as it doesn't have the faded look the acers have(by faded, I mean brightness of colors). Going to $1000 is not happening, so I will have to deal with 720.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by swanysto View Post
To be honest, I played with them, but it is hard to test how powerful the processor is in the store, cause they don't have the software on the computer. I really don't have much experience with the i series processors either(my laptop predates them, and my last pc build was a Q9550). My iMac has an i3 in it, but it is a 3.2ghz from 2010, so I wouldn't think it would compare to the newer versions.
Yeah, Sandy Bridge was first released in 2011. i3s before then used a different microachitecture.

I think it would be good if you list out the specs of your current system--CPU-Z and Windows System Information can get you that info--, then we can gauge better what you will gain by buying a Ultrabook.

Ultrabooks have the ultra low voltage processors, which means it is clocked lower than most of the i3s in standard laptops. You can tell by the "U" suffix on these processors.

Laptop i5s are fairly similar to desktop i3s, but at much lower clockspeeds. You get Turbo Boost with a laptop i5 though. Ivy Bridge's instructions per cycle is much superior to older architectures, however, so don't be fooled by the 1.6 or 1.8 GHz you see. Processor-wise, you should be hunting for an i5 in an Ultrabook so you have some buffer against the CPU being too slow for your needs.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Torn Mind View Post
Yeah, Sandy Bridge was first released in 2011. i3s before then used a different microachitecture.

I think it would be good if you list out the specs of your current system--CPU-Z and Windows System Information can get you that info--, then we can gauge better what you will gain by buying a Ultrabook.

Ultrabooks have the ultra low voltage processors, which means it is clocked lower than most of the i3s in standard laptops. You can tell by the "U" suffix on these processors.

Laptop i5s are fairly similar to desktop i3s, but at much lower clockspeeds. You get Turbo Boost with a laptop i5 though. Ivy Bridge's instructions per cycle is much superior to older architectures, however, so don't be fooled by the 1.6 or 1.8 GHz you see. Processor-wise, you should be hunting for an i5 in an Ultrabook so you have some buffer against the CPU being too slow for your needs.


My current laptop is about to poop out. It is an old acer timeline. Pretty much anything that works will be a gain for me lol.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:23 PM   #10
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I found this laptop in my adventures today. I was wondering if it is a pretty decent deal. It is used but has some nice specs:

http://www.gigabyte.com/products/pro...px?pid=4048#sp

It is within my budget. It is a little less mobile (15.6" and nearly 6 lbs), but it has a dedicated graphics card(gt550m), an i7, and 8gb of ram. And it is full 1080p. I would be willing to give up the size if it is a good laptop.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:50 PM   #11
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How much is it being sold at? If you can get that for ~$700, that's a really good deal. Power-wise, it destroys most of the Ultrabooks due to higher clock speeds and two extra physical cores, even if it is a Sandy Bridge.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:07 PM   #12
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How much is it being sold at? If you can get that for ~$700, that's a really good deal. Power-wise, it destroys most of the Ultrabooks due to higher clock speeds and two extra physical cores, even if it is a Sandy Bridge.
Listed for $650. I think I will go check it out.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:03 AM   #13
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Thanks for the help guys, I went and checked out the Gigabyte laptop, and I have to say I was thoroughly impressed with it. It was a little heavier than what I was looking for, but the 1080 screen is far and away superior to any of the screens I saw, and the thing is so fast with the i7, seperate video card, and 8gb ram.

I was a little skeptical, cause there are not a lot of reviews out there on gigabyte laptops, so I was going on my experience with their motherboards. It looks nice. The only thing quality wise I question is the door on the bottom that allows you access to the ram and HD. It is a thin plastic that kinda bends, makes it feel like it will break when you pick up the laptop. Overall I am happy so far though.
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