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Bonus from work. Looking for a new toy.

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi all,
Just got a nice bonus from work. Now I'm looking to use some of it to reward myself with a new piece of hardware.
My current daily driver laptop is on it's last legs. I have a UL80VT-A1 now and am looking for something somewhat similar.

What is your maximum budget? $1250ish

What country are you in? Canada

What will be the uses of this laptop? Surfing, streaming HD video from NAS.

Do you have brand loyalty or care which brands we select for you? Nothing in particular. Rather not Acer or MSI.

What screen size do you require? Not more than 14".

What screen resolution do you require? 1366x768 or 1600x900.

Are you looking to buy NEW or would refurbished/recertified/used be okay? New.

How long should the battery last? (Under optimal conditions, no movies/games/heavy internet) This comes most everywhere with me and needs to be 7 or more hours at mid brightness or so.

What games would you like to play with your laptop? And on what settings? None really. If I can play any specific games on it that is just a bonus.

What operating system do you need? (if any) Doesn't matter. Ubuntu, Win7, OSX

Is there a certain style of laptop you want? (aluminum, black, gaming, etc.) As little plastic as possible

How much hard drive space do you need? 128GB solid state. 256GB would be nice but not really required.

Do you need any special hardware? (blue ray, webcam, specialty ports, etc.) Not even an optical would be necessary. At least 1 USB. Headphone. SD reader would be nice

Is there anything else we need to know?

I'm basically looking at an ultralight. Zenbook, Air, or similar. I will probably use Ubuntu on here at some point. Can Ubuntu be installed on an Air? I like the hardware for it. The touch pad and keys seem a bit nicer than the Zenbook. It also has a backlit keyboard which the Zenbook does not.

Thanks for your input everyone.
Edited by Ovlazek - 11/2/11 at 3:25pm
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post #2 of 22
Specifically something like an ultrabook or just a lightweight 13"? I'd point out the Sony Vaio S as well, if you can go up a little in weight. Pros: Full-power CPU, backlit keyboard, discrete graphics and 1600x900 screen options. It's like $1000 in the U.S. w/ 1600x900 screen, AMD graphics and a HDD (128gb SSD is a $300 option :/ ).

For other ultrabooks, the Lenovo Ideapad U300s gets pretty good reviews. No backlit keyboard, although it's probably as good/better than the Macbook Air keyboard for typing (speaking from experience, Lenovo's chiclet keyboards are great). http://www.zdnet.com/blog/mobile-new...ok-review/5172

Anyway I'd probably go with a Macbook Air. Maybe a Vaio S if you want more power. Not saying the ultrabooks are bad, but I have a feeling they'll depreciate more than Macbook Airs, Zenbook looks a bit clone-ish, and I'm not sure if $1000+ Windows ultraportables are going to catch on.

edit: Pretty much any newer laptop(within the last 8 years or so) can run Ubuntu. The trick is usually about graphics (AMD/Nvidia being a bit buggy on occasion) or wi-fi drivers. I'm guessing they all use supported wi-fi cards, but if not there are other distros that'll definitely run out the box.
Edited by jrbroad77 - 11/2/11 at 7:43pm
 
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post #3 of 22
Have you thought about a tablet? Touchscreens are fun.
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post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by d3310n View Post
Have you thought about a tablet? Touchscreens are fun.
Not for typing out essays/documents, they aren't.
    
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post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrbroad77 View Post
edit: Pretty much any newer laptop(within the last 8 years or so) can run Ubuntu. The trick is usually about graphics (AMD/Nvidia being a bit buggy on occasion) or wi-fi drivers. I'm guessing they all use supported wi-fi cards, but if not there are other distros that'll definitely run out the box.
My UL80VT is about 2.0kg and it is a bit to heavy for my liking. First world problems much? I really like the hardware of the Air. Can you get an OSX laptop to run Ubuntu? I used Tiger a few years ago and now I am quite tired of OSX.

Quote:
Originally Posted by d3310n View Post
Have you thought about a tablet? Touchscreens are fun.
My other toy is a Transformer. It collects a fair bit of dust.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mad Mule View Post
Not for typing out essays/documents, they aren't.
This. My surfing consists of a lot of OCN and long posts.
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post #6 of 22
If you like the Air, check out the Asus Zenbook.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by refeek View Post
If you like the Air, check out the Asus Zenbook.
Did you even read the OP?
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post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovlazek View Post
My UL80VT is about 2.0kg and it is a bit to heavy for my liking. First world problems much? I really like the hardware of the Air. Can you get an OSX laptop to run Ubuntu? I used Tiger a few years ago and now I am quite tired of OSX.
I personally haven't used Tiger, but I tried Snow Leopard and it was kind of fun. Lion looks nice. But yes, a Macbook Air can run Ubuntu. Pretty much anything can.
 
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post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovlazek View Post
Did you even read the OP?
I completely missed the last paragraph, I guess my eyes tend to skip down to the comment below the OP

I'm not sure much can beat the Zenbook at it's price point, though. Very strong competitor. My vote stands.
post #10 of 22
You basically picked the current market leaders in the Ultrabook category, at least in my opinion (Air and Zenbook). Another is the Samsung Series 9 but personally I don't like how bendy the screen is plus it has flip down ports like the first gen Air (I played with one in a Micro Center).

The 13" Zenbook has a higher resolution screen (1600x900) than the 13" Air (1440x900). The Zenbook has a USB 3.0 port but the Air does not. A 13" Zenbook is around $200-$250 cheaper than a similar speced 13" Air. The downsides to the Zenbook are no backlit keyboard, and the touchpad and screen are not as good as on the Air. Asus is trying to constantly improve the touchpad driver as witnessed by the reviews but is not quite there yet (but that might have changed since launch).

I personally own a 2010 11.6" Air and love it, I'd highly recommend them. I'm actually typing on it now. I do really like the Zenbook. My Air doesn't have a backlit keyboard and it's not a huge deal breaker for me but it would be nice to have (all 2011 Airs have backlit keyboards). You really can't go wrong either way as both are ultra thin, ultra light, and ultra beautiful aluminum unibody laptops.
Edited by Ben the OCer - 11/3/11 at 12:41am
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