I don't know what to do. $800 Budget

bgt123

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Aug 28, 2012
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1. What is your budget?
My max is $900, but I'd really like to keep it under $800.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
I've been looking at 11.6'', but I'm worried that might be too small for the kind of work I want to do on it (typing long essays for school, having multiple windows open at the same time, watching HD video). Any advice?. I wouldn't get anything larger than 13'', as I still want a decent amount of portability.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
It's really important to me that it has an HD screen. 1920x1080 is preferable, as I watch a lot of movies and video. I've seen a lot of 11.6'' screens with 1366x768 screens at an affordable price - does anyone know if I'd even be able to tell the difference between that and 1920x1080 on a screen of that size?

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Portable. I'll be taking this in a backpack to school, traveling with it, and carrying it around the house.

5. How much battery life do you need?
Enough to get me through the school day. I really don't want to be tied to a charger or have to worry about having one with me during the day. 6-8 hours minimum. I'm usually out from the house, and therefore a charger, for about 7 hours a day. There are times when I'll be out for close to 12 hours, and would prefer not to have to worry about carrying a charger with me. Obviously anything longer is desirable.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
I don't expect a portable laptop to me able to play games (I have a desktop for that).

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
As mentioned before, I watch a lot of video, so an HD screen is required. I don't need the power for HD photo/video editing.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
I really want SSD storage for the speed. I can get by with 128 GB, but I'd like to option for expansion through an SD card slot. I can keep most of my files on USB or external storage.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
I'll buy from anywhere (new, not used). I'd prefer somewhere that has a storefront, so I can just go and pick it up in store, but it's not super important to me.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
3-4 years of usage is what I expect to get from any laptop.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
I don't need any of these and I don't think anything portable would have them anyways.

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
I don't really care about brands. However, I really want a nice looking device. I'm a fan of Lenovo, but that by no means is a requirement.

13. What country do you live in?
America.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I want reliable wifi performance and speed. Some things I really want are: Intel i5 Haswell (or equivalent), SSD storage, and an HD screen. 4GB of RAM should be enough for the usage I need. I don't need a lot in terms of ports. I only really use 1 USB at a time, but having 2 just in case would be nice. I'd also like an SD card slot for quick storage expansion, but I mostly just store my files on a USB anyways.

I've been looking into a lot of 2-in-1 machines, like the Lenovo Yoga line and similar. I don't see the point in having Windows 8 if there's no touch screen or tablet-like functionality. Are 2-in-1s a gimmick or do you think it's a smart purchase? I like to have the keyboard connected at all times - not any of those tablets that can plug into a keyboard. Along with standard laptop usage like word processing, making presentations, etc., I do a lot of light browsing and video watching on the couch/in bed, and having something I can turn into a tablet for a smaller footprint is really appealing.

I really enjoy using a tablet for browsing the internet and other light usages. I know they're not as light as tablets, but I'm usually laying a tablet in my lap anyways (not holding it in one hand), so the fact that it's a little heavier than a tablet doesn't bother me. I haven't really played around with any of them a part from in BestBuy for a few minutes. I really like the form factor, but if you think I can get by without it and have a thinner, lighter device for my money by all means suggest something different.


Basically, I'm confused as to if I should get an ultrabook or a convertible laptop to meet my mobile computing needs.



Thanks for the advice!
 

digitaldoc

Distinguished
Herald
http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/lenovo/z-series/z40/?sb=:000001C9:00011F90:&cid=us:cse:OAB9Cs:

I personally would not recommend a 2-in-1 (jack of all trades, master of none and all that).

I used an 11.6" notebook for a few years, and used it for several research projects. In retrospect, it was highly portable, but painful to use. When it died after 2 years (Acer), I replaced it with a Lenovo 14" model. What I figured out was that while it was a little heavier to carry (about a pound), with the larger screen and full keyboard, it felt a lot more like a "Real computer," and a lot less like a novelty. Trust me, an Excel spreadsheet on 11.6" makes it twice as much work!
 

bgt123

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Aug 28, 2012
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What do you think of the Lenovo Yoga 2 11''? http:// I think it's a good price for what I'm looking for. All it's missing is the higher quality screen I wanted, but I think that's hard to come by in laptops in my price range. The only concern is the 6 hour battery life and potentially slow single band wifi.

I think I can get by with a 11.6 inch screen for a mobile laptop and then use my desktop for anything that requires the extra real estate. Or do you think it's still worth the extra investment to have a 13'' screen?

What kind of ultrabook could I get in the same price range?
 

buggaby

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Nov 4, 2010
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Maybe you already saw this, but here:
http://www.ultrabookreview.com/1834-best-budget-ultrabooks/
There are some good reviews there near the bottom (e.g. the Dell XPS 12 looks promising).
 

bgt123

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Aug 28, 2012
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After looking around I think the Lenovo Yoga 2 11'' is the best thing I can get for the money I'm willing to spend on a laptop that meets all my needs. Is it worth spending the extra money to upgrade to the 13'' model or an entirely different laptop with a 13'' screen? Am I making the smartest choice, or am I overlooking better products? Any input is appreciated.

Should I look at the microsoft surface? I've ignored it because of the cost and not having an attached keyboard. I don't think the keyboard would be useful for typing while its in my lap on the couch, etc.

Am I stupid for thinking I need an i5 processor? Maybe I could get by with an i3 for what I need, thoughts? I'm really just watching video, typing paper/making presentations, and browsing the web.
 
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