Ultrabook for Near College Student

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Sacyro, Sep 6, 2012.

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  1. Sacyro

    Sacyro Newbie

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    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?

    $2000, but if the purchase is worth it, I am willing to go beyond this.
    2) What size notebook would you prefer?

    11 inches more or less. I am not super picky, something near this number.
    b. Ultraportable; 11" - 12” screen

    3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.

    USA

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like:
    b. Dislike: I really do not want a Mac.
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?

    Sure

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?

    Note Taking (MS Word, Powerpoint), lots and lots of Photoshop, occasional video editing, watching videos on Netflix/youtube.

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?

    I will be on the go very often. However, I will sometimes be at the desk.

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?

    Nah, built a rig last year for gaming, I need this for my school work.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?

    PLEASE NOTE: This is my most important factor. I want the maximum amount of battery life possible. Hopefully 6-7.

    10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?

    I am okay either way

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista or Windows 7), Mac OS, Linux, etc.

    Windows 7, although very rarely I'll load up some Ubuntu.

    Screen Specifics

    12) From the choices below, what screen resolution(s) would you prefer? Keep in mind screen size in conjunction with resolution will play a large role in overall viewing comfort level. Everyone is different. Some like really small text, while others like their text big and easy to read. Click here for Screen resolution information.

    1600x900ish
    13) Do you want a Glossy/reflective screen or a Matte/non-glossy screen?

    This is a real tough question for me, I will have to leave this up to you all. I have a passion for photography, and find myself photoshopping quite often. What kind of screen will show be most vibrant, but won't wash out from sunlight. (Preference is vibrance, if I have to choose)

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    Bit Point for me. I was originally looking at the Samsung Series 9, 13 inch 2012 model. I love it's style.

    15) When are you buying this laptop?

    I do not really mind waiting for 6 months

    16) How long do you want this laptop to last?

    3-4 years

    Notebook Components

    17) How much hard drive space do you need; 80GB to 640GB? Do you want a SSD drive?

    128 GB SSD, or if possible 256. I have a real Cloud Storage fetish through my usage of BitCasa. So storage has not been an issue for me lately. I would like the SSD to be as fast as the Samsung 830.

    18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?

    Nah
    ==========
    Extra Notes: I do not need this computer with too much graphical power, my gaming rig takes care of my gaming needs. I need this for editing photos on photoshop, and taking this with me to classes on the College campus to take notes throughout the day. One laptop I have taken a personal interest in is the Samsung Series 9 2012 model 13.3 inch laptop.

    Thank You very much.

    P.S. I am fairly good with computers, so don't be afraid to use nerd vernacular :D
     
  2. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    Being very thin and light is all well and good, but ultrabooks have some considerable drawbacks as well. Being that they're so thin, there's just not enough space left over for battery large enough to get to 6-7 hours of battery life. The two best I've seen are the ThinkPad X1 and the MacBook Air, both of which were just short of six hours with the screen at half brightness and WiFi on. Also because of the thinness, none of them offer a great keyboard. There's no upgrades either, though you certainly have the budget to max one out. If you like the Samsung 9, that's a top ultrabook. The Asus UX31A is another top choice. If you don't mind HD resolution, the ThinkPad X230 might be worth a look. It's light and durable. It's got a gorgeous IPS screen option and a top-flight keyboard. It can have a SSD and a hard drive. It can legitimately get 9-10 hours of battery life with the nine-cell battery. There's also a slice battery if you need more time. It's, in my opinion, the best ultraportable right now. Its weak point is the touch pad and if that's important to you, then it's worth considering. Like all ThinkPads, the X230 has the stick, which works great, but not everyone rolls that way. Good luck and welcome to NBR.
     
  3. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

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    13" Sony SVZ13 or one gen older Z2. Your healthy budget allows getting one. It has ultrabook-like thinness and weight but packs in a 35W i7-quad (SVZ13). There's a sheet battery available to extend the ~7hrs of battery life to ~14hrs. Some Z2 models exist with a 900P LCD if you prefer less DPI.

    $1530 13" Sony VPC-Z2 i7-2620M 2.7 8GB 128GB-RAID0 W7P 1080P HD6650M-PMD BD-PMD
    $1970 13" Sony SVZ13 i7-3612QM 2.1 8GB 256GB-RAID0 W7P 1080P

    If interested in the Lenovo X1 Carbon that it has zero upgradability potential: 45Wh non-extendable battery, slower ULV CPU, non-upgradable RAM or SSD and no expresscard/Thunderbolt port. Suggest looking at a more flexible but thicker/heavier 900P 13" Sony SVS13, 14" Toshiba R940 or 14" Lenovo T430s instead.
     
  4. Sacyro

    Sacyro Newbie

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    What do you all think of the Sony Vaio Z? Seems like a solid fit to me, and with the sheet battery, you can double the normal usage.
     
  5. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    That is true of every ultrabook, not just the X1. Since the OP specifically said they weren't gaming, I don't see the ExpressCard/Thunderbolt being an issue.

    I think the Z is fine for what it is. It won't offer the durability of the ThinkPads nor the excellent screen on the X230. The sheet battery will add weight, which lessens portability. If you go that way, I'd shy away from the FHD option. Text will be very small.

    If you like the Samsung, that's the way I'd go. It's got a very nice screen and you seem to be doing more light usage so the ULV CPU won't be a big deal.
     
  6. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

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  7. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    Most people don't know what the gamut is, but the better viewing angles on the X230 are readily apparent.

    Plus, the better durability and battery life is important for a notebook that travels frequently.
     
  8. Sacyro

    Sacyro Newbie

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  9. Sacyro

    Sacyro Newbie

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    I didnt say I do not want performance, I said I do not need GPU power.
     
  10. pianowizard

    pianowizard Notebook Evangelist

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    The OP will be doing "lots and lots of Photoshop", which benefits from good colors as well as good viewing angles. S/he also indicated a preference for 1600x900, which is also better than 1366x768 for Photoshop.

    There's your favorite phrase again, "most people...". For a heavy Photoshop user, color gamut is important, regardless of what "most people" know or need or want. ZaZ, I don't mean to go after you, but recommending your favorite baby to everyone regardless of their needs is just not right.
     
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