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Looking to buy ultrabook for the family

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Our living room laptop is starting to give us some problems, and it's about 3 years old.

anyways, it's time for an upgrade, so I've been looking at the ultrabooks. I think ultrabook is perfect for us as the laptop is only for web browsing and skype. maybe I'll use it for word processing here and there too. nothing else though. I might have photoshop and coreldraw on it, but that's it. no gaming on this computer.

any suggestions out there? I really like the Toshiba Portégé series. they're slim, and light. Also the asus zenbook. very nice too. if I can convice the lady, I'll see about a i5 zenbook, which is $1000.

my couple questions I wanted to ask were...

i3-i5 and i7. I assume any of these will be speedy enough for just web browsing? the i3 seems to be affordable. anything past that is going over my $850 budget and at the same time staying within my size limit

also, I thought the 128gb SSD might not be enough.... until I looked at this laptop now and I only have 71gb of it used up. so I think we're good in that dept as well.

are the speeds for these things low or something? an i3 running only at 1.4ghz? geez... that sounds awfully slow. Current laptop is a core2duo running at 2ghz. both are dual core as well so...

lastly, the optical drive will no longer exist. but then again, it's something we don't use often. only to make CDs for the car sometimes, but the ipod has taken this task over, so I don't think that's an issue anymore. USB 3.0 and my 32gb flash drive seems to be fine for data storage and moving things around.

but anyways, if anyone has any suggestions, I'm open to them. so far I think the best contender is the Toshiba Portégé with i3 and 4gb ram
Edited by razorseal - 5/5/12 at 9:31pm
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post #2 of 10
GHz is not everything! The architecture of the i3 is significantly better. It will blow that 2GHz C2D out of the water. Not that it matters much, any CPU on the market these days can do basic web tasks. I bet even just a re-install on your current laptop would make it perfectly fine again. (little known fact; that Windows key on the underside of the laptop can be used over and over)

If you need cheap, look for a Llano-based laptop, or wait for its successor, trinity, coming out on the 15th. Otherwise it really doesn't matter (considering the usages you say it will see), and you should pick what physically feels best, or what has the best warranty.
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
since I posted this, I did some more reading around.

i3 seems very weak compared to the i5...

also I found out that the portege has a tuned down SSD compared to the asus' zenbook SSD drive... it's about half as fast (see for yourself)

so trying to decide if paying about 150 more dollars for the asus zenbook is worth it over the toshiba.

I'm just not sure if those things are going to make a difference on a computer that's just to browse the net and do some writing on word... that's the only thing we use the laptop for. the desktop is my power house. lol

KYADCK, I can wait and wait, but the thing is, there is always something coming out every 6 months... I've learned not to wait because your **** is old within a few months of buying anyways. lol...

I might wait just to see if bestbuy or compusa will put the z835 back on sale 699 like they did in december.
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post #4 of 10
Personally I feel that paying the premium price for an Ultrabook that is going to stay in the living room is wasted money. Ultrabooks are great for students and people constantly on-the-go. For a simple networking device that stays spends its life in the living room, that extra money spent on portability could be put to a better use.

However, to answer your questions: For general computer use, I can vouch that the Core i3 is PLENTY of CPU power. I am currently typing on my HP Probook which has a Core i3 M350 (2.26GHz, 3MB Cache, etc.), and it flies through everything I need to do. I can easily run Photoshop on here, as well as watch my HD movies and all that other fun stuff. I would strongly recommend the SSD option, because those are invaluable. My Probook uses a 5400RPM drive and I can't wait to finally upgrade it, lol.
    
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post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorseal View Post

KYADCK, I can wait and wait, but the thing is, there is always something coming out every 6 months... I've learned not to wait because your **** is old within a few months of buying anyways. lol...
I might wait just to see if bestbuy or compusa will put the z835 back on sale 699 like they did in december.

Funny you'd say that actually since both Ivy and Trinity are coming out around the same time no other viable upgrades for laptop-class cpus would come around for about a year.

The only reason I say wait for trinity is they are supposedly boasting 12-hour battery life in the "ultrabook" class and unlike intelgrated (Specifically Intel 3k graphics and lower) can actually play 1080p video. Llano can as well. A i3/5/7 on its own can not.

And again, even the weakest Athlon II x2 is capable of doing what you want. You don't need anything stonger then Llano/i3.
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post #6 of 10
I'd get a real laptop like the Portege R835 if weight and thickness aren't mission-critical, as it's only about .2 or .3" thicker, and 0.7 pounds heavier than an Ultrabook. In comparison, the Macbook Pro 13 is a similar thickness to the R835, and weighs 1.3 pounds more (2 pounds more than an ultrabook). It's only $700, add your own 128GB SSD for about $120 = $820 with a standard-voltage i5 and SSD, and 7-8 hours of battery life. Main concerns with Ultrabook, durability. They shaved down every millimeter, and then another 1-2 mm's.. fine for home use, unless it's dropped, thrown in luggage, etc. Also, keyboards might be a little sketchy, throttling of some i5 Ultrabooks due to poor cooling, and it's still a 1st-gen product. I'd expect Ivy Bridge Ultraportables to cause the current lineup to depreciate a lot, as they're currently a 1st-gen product (Asus Zenbook seems to have quite a few quirks that might get fixed in the new model).

KyadCK, just to clarify, Intel HD 2000, HD 3000, and "Intel GMA HD" (1st- and 2nd-gen Core-i, and their derivative Pentium/Celerons have one of these IGPs) can all play 1080p video flawlessly. I had GMA HD (same performance as HD 2000), currently have HD 3000 so I'd know. The only issue with HD 2000/3000 is that "24p" video is played at 24.000 FPS instead of the native 23.976FPS, which leads to 1 dropped frame every 40 seconds. So, HD 2/3k aren't good for movie playback, per-se. For watching 1080p TV shows and such (typically not recorded at 24p), it's perfectly fine. I personally watched several HD movies (mostly from Amazon streaming or Netflix) on my HD 3000 graphics and didn't notice the frame drop every 40 seconds but supposedly it is there.
Edited by jrbroad77 - 5/6/12 at 2:29am
 
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post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for those pointers guys. you're right. that's not a bad idea. I wouldn't mind putting the extra money towards more power...

I'm gonna look at that portege R835 now and see.

KYADCK, I see that asus zenbook already announced one which will be coming out in june and they fxied some of the things like the mousepad and added a couple of things... it's supposed to come out in june in taiwan, so I expect 4th Q 12 release. Im' not sure if our laptop is going to make it that far. it's on it's last leg.

karmuhhhh, the i3 you mention is 2.26ghz, this i3 is way UV'd at 1.4. that's a huge difference imo

I might hit up bestbuy to look at one today.
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrbroad77 View Post

I'd get a real laptop like the Portege R835 if weight and thickness aren't mission-critical, as it's only about .2 or .3" thicker, and 0.7 pounds heavier than an Ultrabook. In comparison, the Macbook Pro 13 is a similar thickness to the R835, and weighs 1.3 pounds more (2 pounds more than an ultrabook). It's only $700, add your own 128GB SSD for about $120 = $820 with a standard-voltage i5 and SSD, and 7-8 hours of battery life.

It looks like this is a discontinued model? (still have the 830 model though. I found out the ones that end in 5 are retail models like bestbuy, and 0 is toshiba direct or biz model)

http://us.toshiba.com/computers/laptops/portege/R830/R835-P56X
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post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorseal View Post

It looks like this is a discontinued model? (still have the 830 model though. I found out the ones that end in 5 are retail models like bestbuy, and 0 is toshiba direct or biz model)
http://us.toshiba.com/computers/laptops/portege/R830/R835-P56X

It's not discontinued, but you're probably right regarding numbering. They'll discontinue the R830/R835 line in June/July when the Ivy Bridge mobile dual-cores release. Anyways, the chassis is the same between all models. I read that some R835's have a glossy screen, mine has a matte screen. If you have a preference in either direction, I'd confirm the screen's finish before you buy (I don't know how to tell by model number, but maybe there's a way). In terms of other features, they're pretty much the same across all the various sub-models, main difference being CPU and RAM.

Anyway, I'd check them out at Best Buy, or maybe Office Max/similar also carries them. Amazon seems to have the best pricing. http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-Port%C3%A9g%C3%A9-R835-P94-13-3-Inch-Magnesium/dp/B006YL1AMG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1336325385&sr=8-2
 
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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
So we went to best buy today and looked at few laptops. the toshiba ultrabook was nice, but we didn't seem to spend too much time with it. I was more interested in the asus zenbook...

then we saw couple more laptops and honestly they seems just as fine for our use. one was a i7 samsung, which was a fullsize laptop. the other was a sony S series laptop with a 13.3" screen, it had an i5, but also had a blu-ray player. neither had SSD. I metioned I can upgrade them to SSD for faster times, and she said 'do we really need that?' well... we don't need it. lol

Here is the sony and the samsung that I saw. I like both, and it's a hard decision. the sony was more of a 'in between' laptop and 8 gigs is ton of memory. I wonder if I could upgrade that to a SSD eventually?

FWIW, she liked the sony the best. I'm torn between all 3. too bad I can't afford them all.

Here is the Sony S
Sony - 13.3" VAIO S Series Laptop - 8GB Memory - 754GB Hard Drive - Silver

The Samsung
Samsung - 15.6" Series 7 Laptop - 8GB Memory - 1TB Hard Drive - Silver
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