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Yoga 2 Pro vs. Dell Venue 11 Pro vs. XPS 15

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by kabutar, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. kabutar

    kabutar Notebook Consultant

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    Hey all,

    I'm having a bit of decision paralysis and could use some opinions. I don't need a gaming machine but portability, power, battery life, and a screen at the top end of current resolutions are my priorities. I'd also like some tablet functionality so I don't always have to have the thing set up.

    I'm leaning towards the Dell Venue 11 Pro (shortly to be released) over the Surface 2 Pro because of longer battery life, micro-HDMI port, etc. Other than that they're basically the same thing I think. So my three options are:

    1. Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro (13", 3200x1800, 3 lbs)
    2. XPS 15 only (15", 3200x1800, 4.4 lbs)
    3. combination of an with an XPS 15 with a 'minimal tablet' (e.g. Venue 11 with the lowest core i5 & 64 GB SSD
    4. Maxed-out Venue 11 only

    My concerns:
    - for the Yoga, will things look miniscule at that resolution on a 13" screen? Also, is it a jack of all trades, master of none computer? (will it do tablet mode effectively, for example?)
    - The only thing holding me back from the Yoga is that I really wanted the extra real estate on the 15" screen... I think the XPS 15 is light enough that I could throw it into a tote or large handbag but I imagine it's not super convenient. I'd also obviously have to live without tablet functionality if I went with XPS 15 only (I know it's a touch screen, but still)
    - I'm not sure the minimal tablet + XPS 15 is cost-effective, lol - that's a lot of money to sink into two laptops.
    - I'm not sure the Venue 11 can really form a laptop replacement.

    Any thoughts on these? Or any other suggested combinations? Ideally I'd have the 15" real estate with some sort of easy portability but still full functionality (no more Atom processors for me!)

    Thanks :)
     
  2. requiem86

    requiem86 Notebook Evangelist

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    Of what you listed..imho..

    XPS15 = too big/heavy for fun portability...i'd personally cross it off...maybe check out XPS13/14?
    Yoga 2 = more utlrabook than tablet..the flexability is nice to turn it into a mini TV for netflix/hulu...but as a tablet...not so much...exposed keyboards and normally a bit too big for "tablet" usage (though possible)..worse battery life than tablet (like 6 hours) but a more "productive" machine..ie: better for Office. Also crazy screen rez on this one...
    Dell Venue 11 Pro = opposite of Yoga 2..more of a tablet and less of an ultrabook..more portable but def. weaker hardware (also less storage)..better battery life though (9 or 10 hours?)...

    Thats my 2 cents..im kinda in the same boat as you...checking out tablets and ultrabooks...too many options now..and they all can run windows...arg....I currently like the Yoga 2 (for my purposes)..though I wish it had better tablet form and was made of top grade material (Thinkpad Yoga might be really nice when released).

    Here are my 2 threads about this kind of topic..might want to google the ultrabooks/tablets I've listed in them:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/wha...oks-cant-decide-help-me-pick-best-fit-me.html
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/wha...736036-tablets-keyboard-full-windows-8-a.html
     
  3. Link4

    Link4 Notebook Evangelist

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    Yoga 2 pro is probably the best of those laptops if Intel 4400 Graphics don't bother you.
    I would go with he ASUS Zenbook Infinity though, just because it has HD5100 graphics.
     
  4. requiem86

    requiem86 Notebook Evangelist

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  5. kabutar

    kabutar Notebook Consultant

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    thanks for the thoughts. the XPS 11 isn't tablet-like enough for that size I feel like - the Venue and Surface both have detachable keyboards. Also I wouldn't want an 11" to be my main computer. if I paired the XPS 11 with the XPS 15, then sure, but in that case might as well get the Venue 11 Pro.

    also, by tablet I don't mean one-handed use or anything... more just sitting on the couch and reading.

    My key for portability is to be able to work (Office, etc.) with whatever tablet I have (i.e. it's not a useless toy like the iPad)

    What's the difference between the Intel4400 vs. the HD5100 graphics? I'm not a gamer anymore, so that shouldn't matter...
     
  6. raptir

    raptir Notebook Deity

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    Unless you're doing something that's reasonably GPU intensive (gaming, video encoding, CAD, etc...) you would be fine with the Intel HD 4400. The Iris 5100 is a little more powerful, but both will be fine for playing movies and etc...

    I'm not sure about your usage scenario for the larger laptop, but have you considered going with something cheaper like the Inspiron 15 7000 and then spending a bit more on a premium tablet? You'd then have a 15" (1080p, which isn't quite the XPS level but still respectable) device for when you wanted the larger screen plus a smaller 10-11" tablet for on the go. Not sure if that would meet your needs, just wanted to throw in another option.

    Edit: From the tablet front, you could also look at something like the Asus Transformer Book T100. It's only $400 and includes a keyboard dock.
     
  7. kabutar

    kabutar Notebook Consultant

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    Hmm... possible, but part of having the larger screen is to have more real estate to work with. I do a lot of research (writing, reports, etc.) and the wonderful thing about when I was in school was being able to clip a PDF to one side of the screen and Word to the other and still have them both be full size or more. Plus, I tend to stick to the premium units because they just have better quality and last longer - I'm currently on an XPS m1330 that's 5 years old and still running fairly well (knock on wood!)

    Thanks for the tips though, and for the info on the graphics cards. I may just need to play around with one, but no idea where I'll be able to do that in Canada.
     
  8. Link4

    Link4 Notebook Evangelist

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    There is also the HP Spectre X2 which is a 13.3'' hybrid with 1080P screen and Haswell.
    The issue with the Venue 11 Pro though is that it is too small for productivity. It says an 11'' tablet yet it is smaller than the standard 11.6''. Actually its only 10.8'', too small for doing any serious work on it.
     
  9. kabutar

    kabutar Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks for the link! If I was going to get a 13.3" hybrid though I'd go for the Yoga 2 Pro...

    That's good to know re the Venue 11. I've worked on an iPad, and it's been ok but obviously there would be no split-screening etc. Do you have any idea how big the Surface 2 Pro is then? Or does that have the same problem?
     
  10. raptir

    raptir Notebook Deity

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    Well, the big advantage of something like the Spectre is that it can be fully detached from the keyboard. The Spectre is only 2.2lbs when undocked compared to 3.1lbs for the Yoga, so it's much more usable as a tablet.
     
  11. kabutar

    kabutar Notebook Consultant

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    oh didn't realize that. good to know... though not sold on the 1080p resolution...
     
  12. tonttula

    tonttula Newbie

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    Resolution is naturally something personal, but I really don't think these 13" Windows 8 machines do much with above 1080p. Windows 8 example doesn't seem to scale all that great with the screen what I have been testing it and then you have that high reso screen just sucking battery life.

    Btw I'm in a quite of a same position as you. I'm a university student and looking at around ~1100 euro hybrid or very light max 13 ultrabook. My stop gap that was Vivo Tab with keyboard for what it was was great. Loved the form factor. Not seeing anything all that good for that form factor at the moment, so I'm looking at Yoga 2 and Vaio Pro 13 (i5, touch screen version here in Europe, 8GB of RAM)
     
  13. kabutar

    kabutar Notebook Consultant

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    hmmm. I guess having a 13" now I was hoping to finally have a really nice big screen. I could probably swing carting the XPS 15 around places too... I have a lot of friends that do. but there's something to be said for having a 2 lb computer. I'd have to match the XPS 15 with a tablet to be really useful I think...

    bah, this is annoying.
     
  14. Link4

    Link4 Notebook Evangelist

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    I am also a college student and and carry my 15.6'' laptop around every day. As far as ultrabooks go though I am not very interested. First of all I need a good GPU, so all those integrated Intel GPUs suck. Second is great driver support. Intel's GPU drivers also suck. If you get a system with discrete GPU, well, the question of laptop manufacturer comes into play. I have heard that HP is really good at this, and i know that Sony especially sucks. Toshiba and a few others aren't any better. Not sure about Dell but ASUS is also good. So I have to drag around my 6 lb laptop everywhere, but I love my ASUS N56DP, and have no interest in getting anything to replace it. I find that 1080P at this resolution is probably as high as it should go. It is already hard enough to read things on a 1080P 15.6'' screen, and since my desktop is old and I haven't replaced it yet I use it as my main machine. Anything more and legibility becomes an issue and you have to start zooming in before you can see anything, and that just makes the text ugly. Zoom on my Chrome is at 125% right now, and I find going above it makes images pixelated and ugly. Right now everything doesn't scale well for resolutions higher than 1080P. This was a big issue when the first Nexus 10 came out, and Windows isn't much better at scaling either. Plus Videos look better on 1080P than any other resolution, since most of them are natively shoot at 1080P, and upscaled video looks like crap.
    I don't thing I will get an ultrabook anytime soon, but I might get a convertible as a secondary device. But then that's me though, as I have a carrying case for my laptop and carrying a 2.7Kg laptop doesn't bother me.
     
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