LF notebook for college


Nov 11, 2012
Hi, I am currently looking for notebook and need some opinions.

I am on a budget of about 600-750max so I know I will need to weight my wants/needs.

here goes..

-thin/light profile: 13-14" maaaaybe 15" if its light enough to lug around to class
-sturdy build (aka keyboard that doesn't flex when I type)
-solid keyboard and trackpad
-hardware capable of running general productivity stuff (word, ppt , excel) as well as some molecule modeling apps

-some SSD (or ability to install my own... swap it off my desktop or something)
-windows 8 multitouch capabilities. I have visited best-buy and tested some units with very mixed impressions on touchpad gestures
-backlit keys
-decent screen res for the size, at 13" with 1366x768 will do fine

heres what I have so far...

best for price:
ASUS Zenbook UX32A-DB31 Ultrabook Intel Core i3 2367M(1.40GHz) 13.3" 4GB Memory DDR3 1333 320GB HDD Intel HD Graphics

better specs but near top of budget:
Acer Aspire TimelineU M5-481TG-6814 Ultrabook Intel Core i5 3317U(1.70GHz) 14" 4GB Memory 500GB HDD + 20GB SSD HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M LE

For this i have mixed feelings, I have been told Acer are problematic and not great build quality.
Also, I dont really need discrete gpu nor DVD drive so this has unnecessary weigh

other options?

DELL - xps.. I think I can get 25ish % corporate discount from family member but not sure how great quality they are. Had an alienware m11x and build of that thing was pitiful for the price

HP - heard they are garbage, dont really like their designs/ specs for the price

Lenovo - hate the flexy keyboard on u310, no real opptions besides that for the price

Sony - T series are OK especially the 15" but not sure of how portable they will be

Apple - air would be ok, build is solid and i like the os for the most part but even the refurb prices seem too high

so basically im trying to find a lower end ultrabook or ultraportable, what should I look for? will i3 be enough to tackle general productivity tasks? only know what 1st gen i7 ulv is like from experience so I need some input



Nov 11, 2012

Ah yes, I have looked at a few with the criteria I need for the price and am not thrilled with their touchpad, although Its something I can get used to. Thanks.