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Surface pro 2 vs ultrabook?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hey guys so i been considering a surface pro 2 to replace my macbook air (2010) as its starting to have battery problems, Im not looking for a powerhouse but something travel worthy. Ive played with the surface pro 2 at best buy, overall thought it was interesting and seemed pretty versatile. My other option would probably be an ultrabook of some sort.

Im wondering on other peoples experiences with it and how practical the surface is for everyday use. tongue.gif

Also a side question, would there be any real use for the 8gb of memory on the 256gb model vs the 4gb on the 128gb? redface.gif

Thanks for your help!
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post #2 of 7
I take it that you will be performing only basic computing tasks (no content creation) on your new computer right?

Anyway, you might want to consider two other options:
Bay-trail tablets (ASUS Transformer Book T100, Dell Venue 11 Pro, etc) if you only need a basic computing device
Ivy Bridge ultrabooks if you don't need all-day battery life


The Surface Pro 2 seems decent from what I have read. The 10.6" display size is rather small as that is around the same size as netbook screens, albeit the Surface Pro 2 has a much higher resolution. Also, the battery capacity (42 Wh) is slightly smaller than what you will find in a typical ultrabook (over 50 Wh).

Finally, 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD seems unnecessary unless you have a specific need for the extra memory (virtual machines, Adobe PS, etc) and storage (hoarding movies or FLAC-encoded music). The $300 price premium is a little steep when taking into account the $100 you already spend going from 64 GB to 128 GB SSD.
Edited by elreyhorus - 11/7/13 at 6:23pm
    
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply smile.gif

For me its mostly basic function (web + spreadsheets) and my girlfriend needs to use it for remote access and a minimum of an i3 redface.gif

When i was looking at laptops it seems the currently haswell laptops are around $1000 and some of the ivy ones are about $400-800. Is there any major difference between the mobile ivy vs haswell other then battery life?

In terms of battery life, we are looking at about 6-8 hours minimum for frequent long flights/travel. im not planning on loading movies since we have netflix, but we both rip CD's in flac (about 55gb of music between us currently i believe ). Like you said the $300 premium is a bit steep in my opinion since i dont think i would ever use the 8gb of ram.

(i apologize ahead of time for my grammar, been a long day tongue.gif ) reps
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post #4 of 7
The main differences between IB and Haswell is:
better battery life (often by two or more hours vs IB)
better integrated graphics (the Haswell HD 4400 is 20-30% faster than the IB HD 4000)
and 5-10% increase in IPC compared to IB (not including new instruction sets like AVX2 that have yet to be widely used)

For long flights, I would probably get Haswell to be on the safe side.
However, IB should be able to hit 6-8 hours if you lower the display brightness and turn off the Wi-Fi adapter.


http://www.notebookcheck.net/Top-10-Ultrabooks.91067.0.html
http://www.ultrabookreview.com/3331-haswell-ultrabooks/


Also, this is the only user-upgradeable ultrabook (both RAM and disk drive) off the top of my head:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-zenbook-13-3-touch-screen-laptop-4gb-memory-500gb-hard-drive/1737324.p?id=1219062289095&skuId=1737324
    
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post #5 of 7
Correction:
better integrated graphics (the Haswell HD 4400 is 35-50% faster than the IB HD 4000)
    
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thats pretty good amount tongue.gif Thanks for the update! i think im probably going to go with a haswell cpu since im hopping to keep this for 2-3 years. My Gf said she really likes the samsung series 9 .. although after having issues with my two samsung phones being pretty fragile, im a bit more... cautious with samsung products. Although i really do like that zenbook overall and the upgradable memory/hdd is a big plus.

Still not sure if i would want some sort of convertible over a ultrabook yet redface.gif
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post #7 of 7
I guess it comes down to how much content consumption compared to content creation/productivity you and your GF want to do.

Keep in mind that the Surface Pro 2 is not the only device that can double as a tablet. The Yoga 2 Pro and Dell XPS 12 are both convertibles that can act as tablets (although not as elegant as the Surface 2 Pro).

Finally, there is something you should know about integrated graphics and gaming.
The Intel iGPU shares overall TDP with the x86 cores. This means that GPU throttling will occur to keep total power draw within the given power envelope (TDP). This is a HUGE drawback as more intense portions of a game that heavily tax both your CPU and GPU can cause frame rate to drop precipitously.
    
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