I recently posted what I wanted in a new ultrabook to replace my nearly 2 year old, non-touch, Asus UX31E. I’ve waited, watched the market, and even considered buying in the USA when I was over there. But even a month after Windows 8.1 GA, the same disappointing spec and overpriced machines are all that are on the market. If you want a non-touch Ultrabook, it appears that the MacBook Air is the most economical option, even if you upgrade the RAM and SSD.
The family of devices that has caught my attention is the Lenovo Yoga series. In fact, it was when researching them that I found out about the (Android) Yoga Tablet 8. I was going to hold out for the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro but two things happened:
- There is no supply anywhere of this convertible ultrabook.
- I discovered the ThinkPad S1 Yoga
ThinkPad are more business oriented machines, built to last. Sounds ideal for lugging around in a camera bag through airports. The Yoga is also available in this family. I customized the spec, meaning it will take an additional 1-2 weeks to build and ship:
- Intel Core i5-4200U Processor (3MB Cache, up to 2.60GHz)
- Intel HD Graphics 4400
- 8GB PC3-12800 DDR3L on MB
- Windows 8.1 64
- Touch & Pen, FHD (1920 x 1080)
- Backlit keyboard
- ClickPad without NFC antenna & module
- 1TB Hard Disk Drive, 5400rpm with 16GB M.2 Solid State Drive Double
I thought about going with the 256 GB SSD. But then I considered that I’m tired of lugging around USB 3.0 caddies when I go on photo trips. The capacity of a 1 TB drive is going to be useful to me, and that little bit of cache will boost performance a bit.
I went with the touch/pen option because I really do use a stylus. I use a whiteboard app quite a bit when I’m teaching. It’s a hell of a lot easier to explain Hyper-V Replica or SOFS data flow via a “white board” on the projector than on a “small” flipchart or animated PowerPoint slide.
I ordered this ultrabook on Friday night and should have it sometime before Christmas. It’s not a perfect machine and I’ve had to make compromises. I’ll not get the battery life promised by Haswell. I’ll still have to carry a USB-VGA dongle. But it does have Miracast (I hope to blog my experience soon).
FYI, I did consider:
- A customized MacBook Air because of the battery but there’s no touch
- An Asus or Samsung but they focus too much on uselessly high screen resolutions that increase price with undersized disks
- Toshiba ultrabook but they don’t do touch on the new 13/14 inch models
I’ll let you know how the Lenovo goes once I have it and have had the chance to spend some time on it.