Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Fuzzy Avatars Solved! Please re-upload your avatar if it was fuzzy!

New Laptop for school (ultrabook)?

wyrdaskolirwyrdaskolir San Leandro, CAPosts: 562Member

Hi I haven't had a new laptop in years and am not sure how to select the best possible laptop for my price range.

I just found out about the ultrabooks and was wondering if the processors are fast enough for what I want to do since it seems like they are slower.

My budget is $800. I've been looking around and it seems that ASUS is one of the top brands. Black friday and cyber monday is coming up which makes it harder to choose a laptop since I'm not sure where the best deals are.

I was looking at the ASUS vivobook S400 but I'm not sure if its worth it.

http://www.amazon.com/VivoBook-S400CA-DH51T-14-1-Inch-Touch-Ultrabook/dp/B009F1JL5A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353193352&sr=8-1&keywords=asus+vivobook

I will be using it for programming, general web surfing/internet usage, and not for gaming since I have my PC already.

I want a 14-15inch screen, 5+ hours battery life, and it to be really light(ultrabook preferred?). Discrete graphics doesn't matter, 4gb+ ram. Do you guys know if Windows 8 is bad for programming/multitasking?

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I know Quizzical and other members of this community gave me a lot of help last time to help choose PC components which made my building experience very smooth. Thanks again

 

 

Comments

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    The ultrabook question is pretty simple:  do you value thinness above all else?  That is, are you willing to pay a higher price tag for less performance, shorter battery life, less reliability, and so forth in order to get a laptop a few millimeters thinner than it otherwise would have been?  Not necessarily lighter, either, but only thinner.  If not, then you should dismiss the entire ultrabook category out of hand.  Because the entire concept of an ultrabook is to sacrifice everything else for the sake of making a laptop a few millimeters thinner.

    Windows 8 isn't bad for programming or web browsing.  An itty-bitty monitor like that sure is, though.  1366x768 is not what you want unless you're forced into it by having to cut somewhere to save money.  That shouldn't be the case with an $800 budget and not that great of performance needs.

  • wyrdaskolirwyrdaskolir San Leandro, CAPosts: 562Member

    Yeah, I don't really need a powerful laptop for what I want to do with it since my PC would be for gaming. I feel that a touchscreen ultrabook is perfect because I don't really want a tablet and W8 + touchscreen on a laptop would be interesting

     

    EDIT: I can't find any ultrabooks in my budget with higher resolutions

  • wyrdaskolirwyrdaskolir San Leandro, CAPosts: 562Member
    Those really do seem enticing (more powerful hardware than ultrabooks for same price), but I kind of want a touchscreen and light/ portable 14-15" laptop. My current 17.3" laptop is way to heavy and annoying to bring around to class and everything. Are there any good normal laptops with touchscreens? I want the Windows 8 tablet experience on a laptop actually
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by wyrdaskolir

    Yeah, I don't really need a powerful laptop for what I want to do with it since my PC would be for gaming. I feel that a touchscreen ultrabook is perfect because I don't really want a tablet and W8 + touchscreen on a laptop would be interesting

     

    EDIT: I can't find any ultrabooks in my budget with higher resolutions

    Why are you looking at ultrabooks at all?  The only advantage of ultrabooks is that they're thinner.  That's the only one.  On basically everything else (price, performance, battery life, reliability, etc.), they're at a disadvantage to normal laptops.

    If you want a laptop with Windows 8 and a touchscreen, then get a laptop with Windows 8 and a touchscreen.  That's not a reason to look at ultrabooks.

    If you want a tablet/laptop hybrid where you can attach a keyboard to use it as a laptop or detach it to use it as a tablet, then the hardware to do it properly isn't ready yet.  The hardware to do it badly is already available, but they're going to get vastly better in the next several months.

  • wyrdaskolirwyrdaskolir San Leandro, CAPosts: 562Member
    Would you have any suggestions for thin,light,w8,touchscreen,long battery life, good resolution laptop? I don't think my budget can afford that though
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    You've got to set some priorities.

    Thin and light means a big battery won't physically fit.  So the lighter a laptop needs to be, the less battery life it can have.

    If you want a laptop to be extra thin, that means you can't use standard form-factor parts, but have to do a bunch of custom engineering, which adds a lot to the price tag.  It also makes a laptop basically impossible to repair, as everything is soldered directly to the motherboard, so that if any particular part fails, you have to replace the entire laptop outright rather than just the part that failed.  That's basically what ultrabooks are.  Is that what you want?

    The only touchscreen laptops on New Egg are all ultrabooks.  So at the moment, if you insist on a touchscreen laptop, you're saddled with all of the drawbacks of ultrabooks.

    So it's really a matter of priorities.  You'll be able to get a lot more of what you want next summer.

  • jdnewelljdnewell Spring Hill, TNPosts: 2,150Member Uncommon

    Sounds like you are looking for an Ultrabook. But unless you really need something that thin then a laptop would probably serve better.

    I travel for work and am out of town 10-15 days a month some months. I looked at ultrabooks before I bought my laptop. I use it mainly for work so an ultrabook would have done the trick. But for the price and literally no advantage except for being thin I choose a laptop and glad I did.

    I see the appeal for an ultrabook and understand where people would need or want them. But for most purposes a laptop will do it better and cheaper in many cases, + have more features and longevity.

    Just my 2cp

  • dave6660dave6660 New York, NYPosts: 2,543Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    The ultrabook question is pretty simple:  do you value thinness above all else?  That is, are you willing to pay a higher price tag for less performance, shorter battery life, less reliability, and so forth in order to get a laptop a few millimeters thinner than it otherwise would have been?  Not necessarily lighter, either, but only thinner.  If not, then you should dismiss the entire ultrabook category out of hand.  Because the entire concept of an ultrabook is to sacrifice everything else for the sake of making a laptop a few millimeters thinner.

    Windows 8 isn't bad for programming or web browsing.  An itty-bitty monitor like that sure is, though.  1366x768 is not what you want unless you're forced into it by having to cut somewhere to save money.  That shouldn't be the case with an $800 budget and not that great of performance needs.

    My job gave me one those tiny 10" ultrabooks.  I hate it and avoid using it whenever possible.  So little screen real estate makes everything you do such a chore.

    “There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.”
    -- Herman Melville

  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,936Member Uncommon
    Ditto on sentiments expressed by the others.  Pay more, get less doesn't sound like a win to me.

    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • wyrdaskolirwyrdaskolir San Leandro, CAPosts: 562Member
    Looks like I'll be trying to look for a normal laptop with a touchscreen then. Thank you all for steering me towards the right direction!
  • KilraneKilrane Sedro-Woolley, WAPosts: 255Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by wyrdaskolir
    Looks like I'll be trying to look for a normal laptop with a touchscreen then. Thank you all for steering me towards the right direction!

    Why do you need a laptop that sports a touchscreen? There is absolutely no functionality you will gain from this that would be beneficial in any form. Touchscreen's on a Laptop/PC are pretty much nothing more than a gimmick outside of very rare/select situations.

  • wyrdaskolirwyrdaskolir San Leandro, CAPosts: 562Member
    Why can't I be excited about trying out Windows 8 with a touchscreen? It may seem lame to you but I feel like it would make computing in general more fun for me
  • asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member

    I'm going to chime in and just recommend not getting Windows 8...

    It's horrid for multitasking, and not at all conductive for general productivity.

    You make me like charity

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    There's nothing intrinsically wrong with buying a toy because you think it would be fun to mess with.  Most people don't actually need a high end video card, for example, but that doesn't mean they're not cool to have.

    The problem is that you're looking at giving up needed functionality for something that you think would be cool to have.  It's likely that a week after you get it, you'll no longer care that it has a touchscreen--but you'll still be stuck with poor performance for programming, web browsing, and so forth.  And then when a memory module has trouble in a year, you'll have to replace the entire laptop outright rather than just being able to replace the broken memory module.

  • wyrdaskolirwyrdaskolir San Leandro, CAPosts: 562Member

    I read reviews for many of the ultrabooks and it sounds like the the people are satisfied with the performance (many tabs/ applications running). I understand that I will not be playing games on it or doing anything that would require me to switch to my desktop. 

    I feel like the touchscreen and maybe gesture control is not only fun but it would be useful to have.

  • KilraneKilrane Sedro-Woolley, WAPosts: 255Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by wyrdaskolir

    I read reviews for many of the ultrabooks and it sounds like the the people are satisfied with the performance (many tabs/ applications running). I understand that I will not be playing games on it or doing anything that would require me to switch to my desktop. 

    I feel like the touchscreen and maybe gesture control is not only fun but it would be useful to have.

    If you came on here asking for a toy, which is all an ultrabook with touchscreen really is, then yeah....they're fun, its neat, it's nothing more than a gimmick though.

     

    It's your money in the end so spend it however you wish. Just realize what it really is and not what you want it to be.

Sign In or Register to comment.