Forum Thread

what ultrabook would you recommend?

br1ckhouse 337 50 May 11, 2016 at 08:04 PM
I currently use a Dell inspiron 11 3147 as my travel laptop for work (self employed) and I'm interested in upgrading. It has a n3530 cpu and 4 gb. I replaced the hard drive with a ssd. Things were great until this year when all the updates and aging has caught up. The cpu simply can't keep up and even if it did, the ram just barely enough too (I open tons of tabs up).

I'm looking for a sub $1000 ultra book recommendation that has
- back lit keyboard
- lightweight (current laptop is 3 lbs, lower is ideal)
- 11 inch laptop is ideal, id consider 13 tho
- decent battery life (at least 5 hrs, i dont anticipate needing too much more)
- touch screen
- at least i5 or equiv, and at least 8 gb ram, i mainly do web browsing and minor spreadsheets but i hate lag
- ssd pre configured or at least easy to swap one in, 256gb is plenty

I was thinking of getting a surface for a while but decided against it as I need a machine that can stand up without a kick stand.

I've done some googling but it's been a bit tricky since I can't seem to find a way to search for the exact specs I listed above. Any recommendations is appreciated!

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#2
What OS is your current machine running?

If it used to be good and it's been a while consider formatting what you have. I do agree thats a weaker CPU but it's comparable to a i3 3110M.

I just picked up a 2016 version of the Dell XPS 13 with the QHD display. It's a 13" machine but sized like a 12 with the very little bezel, the 13" sleeve I have for it is too big. It meets all your requirements. I bought a dell refurbished machine from ebay and got it for about $850, with 4k touch screen, i5, 8gb ram, 256GB NVME SSD preinstalled.
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Last edited by LiquidRetro May 12, 2016 at 05:51 AM
Vague questions receive vague answers . . . . . .
#3
Yeah, XPS 13 with the high-res display, no question.
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#4
I would also take a look at the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon, or X260.
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#5
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
What OS is your current machine running?

If it used to be good and it's been a while consider formatting what you have. I do agree thats a weaker CPU but it's comparable to a i3 3110M.

I just picked up a 2016 version of the Dell XPS 13 with the QHD display. It's a 13" machine but sized like a 12 with the very little bezel, the 13" sleeve I have for it is too big. It meets all your requirements. I bought a dell refurbished machine from ebay and got it for about $850, with 4k touch screen, i5, 8gb ram, 256GB NVME SSD preinstalled.
I used windows 10 but I resintalled about half a year ago (I stupidly forgot my own admin pw).

Is it true that AV and windows updates will bog down a machine over time?

Thanks for the xps 13 rec, looks nice.
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#6
Quote from br1ckhouse View Post :
I used windows 10 but I resintalled about half a year ago (I stupidly forgot my own admin pw).

Is it true that AV and windows updates will bog down a machine over time?

Thanks for the xps 13 rec, looks nice.
It is and isn't true. It's not necessarily AV or Windows updates but just general use that slows the system down. Windows updates are vital so it's not like should turn them off to keep your machine fast.

Can't recommend the XPS 13 enough. If you do get one make sure you run the Dell Updater program and get all the new drivers, bios etc.
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Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
It is and isn't true. It's not necessarily AV or Windows updates but just general use that slows the system down. Windows updates are vital so it's not like should turn them off to keep your machine fast.

Can't recommend the XPS 13 enough. If you do get one make sure you run the Dell Updater program and get all the new drivers, bios etc.
is there anything like the xps 13 but is also 2-in-1 (e.g. tablet mode)? It's not a dealbreaker but if I could get something that be folded so the keyboard isn't out, it would be ideal. I find that air stewards don't bother me during takeoff/landing when the computer looks like a tablet.
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#8
Quote from br1ckhouse View Post :
is there anything like the xps 13 but is also 2-in-1 (e.g. tablet mode)? It's not a dealbreaker but if I could get something that be folded so the keyboard isn't out, it would be ideal. I find that air stewards don't bother me during takeoff/landing when the computer looks like a tablet.
The xps 12.
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Quote from br1ckhouse View Post :
is there anything like the xps 13 but is also 2-in-1 (e.g. tablet mode)? It's not a dealbreaker but if I could get something that be folded so the keyboard isn't out, it would be ideal. I find that air stewards don't bother me during takeoff/landing when the computer looks like a tablet.
Quote from fenderman View Post :
The xps 12.

Ya I have one in front of me this morning, They don't make the model any more. It's not flimsy but I would not call it robust though with it's tilt screen. The amount of times my executive has converted this is less than 10 in the 3 years he has had it.

I personally think while the convertible feature sounds really nice to people they don't use it nearly as much as they think. Windows just isn't a great touch interface and most people under utilize the convertible feature. I think it makes sense for some things but for most I see they use it as a laptop. I don't think it's worth limiting your choices to convertibles because that vastly reduces the numbers of machines.
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Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
Ya I have one in front of me this morning, They don't make the model any more. It's not flimsy but I would not call it robust though with it's tilt screen. The amount of times my executive has converted this is less than 10 in the 3 years he has had it.

I personally think while the convertible feature sounds really nice to people they don't use it nearly as much as they think. Windows just isn't a great touch interface and most people under utilize the convertible feature. I think it makes sense for some things but for most I see they use it as a laptop. I don't think it's worth limiting your choices to convertibles because that vastly reduces the numbers of machines.
I was referring to the new one...http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-12-9250/pd
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#11
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
Ya I have one in front of me this morning, They don't make the model any more. It's not flimsy but I would not call it robust though with it's tilt screen. The amount of times my executive has converted this is less than 10 in the 3 years he has had it.

I personally think while the convertible feature sounds really nice to people they don't use it nearly as much as they think. Windows just isn't a great touch interface and most people under utilize the convertible feature. I think it makes sense for some things but for most I see they use it as a laptop. I don't think it's worth limiting your choices to convertibles because that vastly reduces the numbers of machines.
I totally agree that the flip down feature has limited use. That being said, it's a lifesaver when the guy in the seat in front of you decides to lean back all the way...

Quote from fenderman View Post :
I was referring to the new one...http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-12-9250/pd
pretty lousy reviews... Sounds like xps 13 hit it out of the park but the xps 12 leaves a lot to be desired...

Quote from fenderman View Post :
I was referring to the new one...http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-12-9250/pd
pretty lousy reviews... Sounds like xps 13 hit it out of the park but the xps 12 leaves a lot to be desired...
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Last edited by br1ckhouse May 17, 2016 at 11:17 AM
#12
Quote from br1ckhouse View Post :
I totally agree that the flip down feature has limited use. That being said, it's a lifesaver when the guy in the seat in front of you decides to lean back all the way...


pretty lousy reviews... Sounds like xps 13 hit it out of the park but the xps 12 leaves a lot to be desired...


pretty lousy reviews... Sounds like xps 13 hit it out of the park but the xps 12 leaves a lot to be desired...
I would go with the 13..just pointing out that the 12 is available if you must have the tablet form. Personally I have the new xps 15 and its fantastic.
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#13
Personally I would recommend the new Samsung netbook 9, 13" has a back-lit keyboard and is subject 1k.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=1219380&gclid=CjwKEAjw1Iq6BRDY_tK-9OjdmBESJABlzoY7eMjro6YNeZmymNEOLriOCjKhQgvo-WfH98OuD89N-hoClVnw_wcB&is=REG&ap=y&m=Y&c3api=1876%2C92051678882%2C&A=details&Q=

There is also a 15" model that is $1.1k, and does not have the backlit keyboard. They both weigh less than 3lbs and are gorgeous, I will be getting a 15" for myself... once I can justify it haha, I have also played around with the xps and it just didn't do anything for me..
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#14
I would look at a tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard in a case
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Quote from komondor View Post :
I would look at a tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard in a case
Maybe something like a Surface Pro 3/4 but little else fits the bill. Most tablets aren't going to have the power OP seems to want, and he said he looked at the Surface and it wasn't for him anyway. Working spreadsheets on the road for a business isn't fun on any tablet though, nor is extensive typing on a most bluetooth cover keyboards. I think this a "lightweight laptop with a wireless mouse" territory here, not tablets, since it's a primary work machine.
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