Very good keyboard, Stable performance under load
The ThinkPad Edge E431 may not be exciting, but it's a solid performer. It's a business-grade notebook with lots of power, excellent build quality, adequate battery life, and a strong keyboard. It's also quite durable and light enough (thanks to its ABS plastic frame) to fill a bag without overburdening its owner. The clever proprietary charging/OneLink Dock port design is also a nifty addition if you're frequently in search of better docking options.
Portable OneLink Dock, Good durability
The Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E431 provides an impressive offering for its price. Starting at $500 (NBR's configuration was priced at $648) users will receive a durable attractive chassis, with excellent usability thanks to Lenovo's high quality keyboard and touchpad, along with ample performance capable of handling most business tasks with relative ease.
The only area where the E431 suffers is portability.
Excellent spill-resistant keyboard
The Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E431 isn't without its sacrifices, but with a starting price for a business laptop that starts at less than $550, that's to be expected. You'll have to pay extra for solid-state cache or storage. And you'll have to live without a touchscreen, HD resolution, or backlit keys. And the screen's color and contrast washes out quickly if you aren't sitting dead center.
Convertible tablet form factor
The Lenovo ThinkPad Twist (3347-4HU) ultrabook convertible is really a clamshell laptop convertible tablet like the ones that Lenovo has been making for the past half-dozen years. It's the natural evolution of the Tablet PC concept of the mid-2000s, in 2012 ultrabook form.
Impressive touch responsiveness
In spite of the somewhat confusing misnomer, the ThinkPad Twist is actually a member of the Edge family. This is Lenovo's attempt at producing an affordable, business-minded convertible that compromises in a few key areas in hopes that its adopters won't mind. After all, it inherits many critical traits of the classification, ranging from a good IPS display panel to a responsive touch interface and clever transformation design.
Ultrabook with touch screen
If you want a light laptop with a touch screen under $1000 your options are limited right now. The Lenovo works great, has an hdmi, a great video card, and a 500 gb hard drive that is very quick. I have spent a good deal of time looking at computers and I think that this is the best one for windows 8. This computer has a plastic coating that makes it much more comfortable in cold weather. Most ultrabooks are exposed metal which can feel cold. Especially if you bring your laptop to bed.
Excellent build quality, Usability
The Lenovo ThinkPad Twist is well designed, sturdy and a strong performer. It'll also last you a good while, racking up over three and a half hours of battery use under moderate conditions. It's just as happy acting as a powerful tablet as it is a laptop, and while a little heavier than normal laptops, the versatility on offer makes it a machine worth considering if you're looking for a serious workhorse.
Excellent connectivity including optional 3G
The snazzily named ThinkPad Twist S230U is a generally great little Windows 8 touch-enabled convertible Ultrabook in a tried and proven swivel form factor, surprisingly let down by minor build quality niggles and poor battery life, while we also miss a Wacom stylus with digitizer option. Otherwise it offers good connectivity including 3G, flexible specs, nice ergonomics and excellent usability.
Good screen resolution for a 13-inch laptop.
The new Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (Mid 2012) is a simple upgrade of the class-leading line, with a $100 price drop. Although a new processor gives you a little extra performance and some tests, the real additions are things like the new (for Mac) USB 3.0 ports and free upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion.
High manufacturing quality, Low weight, Compact size
In the review of Apple's 2011 MacBook Air we wrote, "Overall there is not much new to report about the latest MacBook Air, and that is a good thing." That is basically also true for the MacBook Air 13 Mid 2012. However, there are a few improvements worth mentioning as well as things that could still be improved in our opinion.
Little bit faster in general speed, a lot faster in graphics speed
This revised 13in MacBook Air is a little bit faster in general speed, a lot faster in graphics speed - if only catching up with 2010's Air - but with approaching an hour of extra battery life. We also appreciate the even quieter fan. This is the original ultrabook, and with extra details and quality touches it still beats all Ultrabooks we've seen so far.
Incredibly thin and light.
While Apple doesn't own the exclusive rights to the super-skinny notebook guest list any longer, it is still the market leader. But while the latest MacBook Air impressed us greatly, the wow-factor has worn off slightly, due to this being the third iteration of the current design.
In a market becoming densely populated with slim-line laptops from a massive range of manufacturers, Apple still holds the trump card with the MacBook Air - but only just.
Apple has updated what was already one of the better ultraportable laptops on the market to keep it competitive, with a downright impressive set of specification upgrades and (in theory) some of the best connectivity going thanks to its dual USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt combination. However, we canâ?? t say weâ??
Incredibly light, yet well built
The MacBook Air 11 continues to be a wonderfully portable laptop, suiting travel or those who are constantly on the move. While an IPS screen would be nice and the default storage sizes need to be raised, this is a lovely piece of engineering that has well and truly carved its niche.
Very low price, Quick startup/shutdown/resume
HP knows what it's getting into with the Pavilion 14 Chromebook, and that's why it's targeting the consumer market. No matter how you slice it, there are still too many quirks surrounding Chromebooks-such as the storage limitations and internet connectivity requirements, or the inability to run many business applications-to recommend the platform wholeheartedly to business users.
Cheap laptop for basic web browsing, word processing and spreadsheets
At £250 it's cheaper than most budget Windows laptops and if you're looking for a cheap laptop for basic web browsing, word processing and spreadsheets then the Pavilion Chromebook works quite well. A lack of 3G connectivity may help keep the price down, but the offline option for Google Docs means it doesn't turn into an entirely useless lump of plastic when you lose your internet connection. The battery life demands improvement.
Generous screen, Fast and responsive
So if you think a Chromebook is right for you, which should you buy? We still think the Samsung Series 3 Chromebook (which, perhaps tellingly, is the one Google itself promotes through TV advertising), is the best balance. Yes, it struggles with some more computationally complex tasks and the screen is very washed out, but the long battery life and lightness make it feel like a pure Chrome OS thing.
Attractive and well-built design, Spacious keyboard and touchpad
HP's Pavilion 14 Chromebook could serve the role of being someone's sole PC. A large keyboard, reasonable processor, and low price combine to make a very attractive low-cost system that anyone could pick up and use for most computing tasks. Battery life is the system's only disappointment, but an extended battery that roughly doubles endurance is available.
Yet, this system's attempt to fit in the mainstream is, ironically, what drains it of value.
Impressive CPU performance with Ivy Bridge
We praised the X220 for its sturdy case, fast performance, premium IPS display, extensive connectivity options and long battery life, but we also noted some unfortunate drawbacks like CPU throttling issues, subpar VGA quality and a warping case. Has the X230 fixed these issues or has it introduced more unanticipated problems along the way?
Fortunately, the 2012 refresh shows none of the hardware problems that plagued the original X220.
Great durability, ports, and performance
The Lenovo ThinkPad X230 offers the power and expansive feature set of a full-size notebook in a thin and lightweight ultraportable. Whether you are travelling around the world or commuting between offices, this powerful notebook is easy to carry - starting at just 2.96lbs!
Eraserhead cursor control, and comfortable keyboard
ThinkPads have always been more than the sum of their parts, and the X230 is no exception. IT departments and fans will love the laptop and the vast array of support and warranty options that come with it. There's nothing here to disturb the continuity of the X line. For everyone else, this machine deserves some tire-kicking, especially with regard to the addictive keyboard. But its profile and appearance may not meet modern expectations.
Excellent screen, Excellent keyboard
If you're after a small laptop that's also powerful and comfortable to type on, the ThinkPad X230 is perfect. It has an excellent, backlit keyboard and its screen is also splendid. The only thing we don't like is the touchpad, but it does have a TrackPoint that you can use instead of it.
Brilliantly built, great materials and design, fantastic screen
While the XPS 12 is expensive, it's also a wonderful laptop to use, and the screen rotation means that when you're out and about, on a train, on a plane or working in a cafe there's always a mode that will work in the space you have. It's a solidly-built laptop and typing on it is a pleasure. For us, this is one of the best uses of Windows 8 hardware, and we applaud Dell for getting it right.
Great keyboard, Impressive screen, Very powerful
The Dell XPS 12 is an excellent PC rather than a laptop - used as your main home system, it's portable, quiet and feels like a luxury experience thanks to a great display and highly usable keyboard and responsive touchscreen.
The tablet mode works but it's one of the heaviest tablets in the world so only suitable for sofa or desk use. Even without the tablet skill set, it's an admirable and powerful machine tied to the home.
Stable, well-manufactured aluminum case
Lenovo's IdeaPad U410 leaves us with a kind of love-hate feeling after the test. It is not surprising since Lenovo devices sway between ingenuity and chaos much too frequently.
We are awed by the low price, the design, the feel, the good input devices (extremely good touchpad!) and the impression it makes during use. Lenovo does a lot of things right with the aluminum finish and the rounded edges that a Macbook user would wish for after a long typing session.
Huge Storage Capacity, Dedicated Graphics Processor
One of the prime reasons for going to a larger ultrabook is for the display and graphics. The Lenovo IdeaPad U410 is mixed in this area as it does feature dedicated NVIDIA graphics but the 14-inch display panel leaves much to be desired. Lenovo does offer some amazing amount of storage space that rivals other ultrabooks but still keeps boot times fast. At least the system retains the excellent keyboard and trackpad designs that make it comfortable to work with.
Lenovo's IdeaPad U410 does a good job of being useful in most situations, if you aren't looking to do some hardcore gaming or DVD/CD burning. It's hard to complain about the little things when this system shows such a vast improvement over the Lenovo ThinkPad U310 but manages to be the same price. For students who must keep a budget in mind but aren't willing to sacrifice too much power in their laptop, this is probably the perfect option.
When I first got this laptop there was a problem after a few weeks so I asked for an exchange. They sent me a brand new one the next day! Great service. As for the laptop, I love it! Especially it's light weight. I don't like iMACs but I do like their laptop design and THIS Lenovo laptop has almost the same design PLUS a home and end key which MACs don't have. The only down side to this laptop is that there's no DISC drive and it's slightly flimsy on the bottom and the center of the keyboard.
Great price, Ivy Bridge CPU
There are an abundance of Ultrabooks hitting the market at the moment and a clear trend seems to be emerging.
Manufacturers are having to make the decision between substance and style, between practicality and desirability, and are having to pitch their products into an ever-evolving market with an ever-expanding range of price points.
Well-designed, sturdy and has plenty of power
We like the U410 a lot. It's well-designed, sturdy and has plenty of power. We have some slight concerns about the battery, and you certainly won't see Lenovo's quoted maximum of nine hours, not unless you cast some sort of power saving spell over it anyway.
As a multimedia machine, it's solid. You'll also be able to play games, as the discrete graphics have sufficient punch to drive this laptop at its reasonably modest display resolution.
Low cost Ultrabook that feels cheaper than it looks
If you want a decent bit of hardware at a not-unreasonable cost, then you might consider the IdeaPad U410. However, despite the good features like the SSD cache I, feel that Lenovo has not delivered on what it claims, specifically in the battery department. Also, if you are spending more than £500 on a laptop, you'd expect it to actually feel worth the money. Alas, as a low cost Ultrabook, the build of the Lenovo IdeaPad U410 rather disappoints in this respect.
Thin and portable
Although it has all the ingredients for a good ultrabook or tablet, like an agile processor, svelte chassis, and attractive screen, the Toshiba Satellite U925T-S2120 misses the mark by trying to be both. The end result is a so-so ultrabook and a bulky tablet that converge through an awkward sliding hinge mechanism.
Display Is Exposed Even When Closed
Toshiba tried to offer a unique hybrid laptop experience with the Satellite U925t but it just has a few too many small faults or just doesn't quite compare for price and features against most of the other hybrids available. About the best thing going for it is the fast boot times and data loads from its solid state drive. Beyond this, it has less resolution, lower running times, more noise and a keyboard and trackpad that just aren't as good as its competition.
Heavy but useful
I think this device will appeal to techies, but also be suitable for people who need more computing power and the Windows platform. A real estate agent would find it useful, and it would be good for business presentations when traveling (it could lay flat on a surface) - provided the business projector supports HDMI, of course. The higher resolution camera on the rear of the screen would make a nice video conferencing solution, using Skype and the HDMI output.
Convertible tablet design, Very fast boot times
We like the overall design of the Toshiba Satellite U925t, especially its soft-touch rubberized bottom that helps keep a solid hold on the device. It measures 12.8 x 8.4 x 0.75-inches (wdh) and weighs 3.2-pounds. While it may seem lightweight for a laptop, it is heavy for a tablet, especially if you try to carry it around with you in your hands for awhile.
Relatively low-res 1366x768 display doesn't help
There are a few cases where the Satellite would make sense for you. If you needed a huge, durable tablet to carry around your office and still be a fully functional laptop, this could work. It is slightly more comfortable to use in that form than the XPS 12 or Yoga 13. But for comparable prices, you could go with those machines to get a better screen or laptop experience.
Good CPU performance, Large and responsive touchpad
The IdeaPad was never intended to be a lineup of business notebooks. Hence, the target everyday home user who won't normally bother with upgrading internal hardware or use the computer outdoors very often may find a lot to like with the IdeaPad U310. The large input devices and conveniently placed ports are both appealing and ergonomic while the shiny screen and bezel will surely catch the attention of many.
Larger Storage Capacity From Hard Drive and SSD Caching Combo.
Lenovo's IdeaPad U310 makes for an extremely affordable option for those looking at a second generation ultrabook platform that doesn't skimp on storage or performance. It retains the same overall look at the past U300 series model as well as its excellent keyboard and trackpad. The changes made to make this laptop affordable do have their drawbacks. This includes it being one of the heavier 13-inch ultrabooks on the market.
Decent screen and an above average typing experience.
While we were reasonably happy with Lenovo's first attempt at an Ultrabook, the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s, it wasn't one of the cheaper ultraportable laptops on the market, and considering it had a few issues, it wasn't one we would recommend saving up for after alternatives like the Samsung Series 9 900X3B. However, not only has the U300s dropped in price, Lenovo has also released a budget Ultrabook for around £600, the IdeaPad U310.
Great design and port selection.
The Lenovo U310 Ultrabook isn't perfect, but small improvements address many of our earlier complaints and with coupons routinely dropping the price down to $750 it deserves a new look. The model Lenovo sent for review retails for $799 and includes a 32GB flash and 500GB hybrid hard drive.
Decent all-around performance
The HP Envy 4-1043cl ultrabook offers plenty of fine features, like Beats Audio, WiDi 2.0, and generous offerings in software and warranty, not to mention a strong performance boost from Intel's latest third-generation processor. Still, we expected a higher quality display and longer battery life from HP's premium laptop line.
Flawless keyboard and precise touchpad
Great on the outside, mediocre in all other aspects: the HP Envy 4-1000sg is a mix of good and bad. HP's chassis are usually quite decent - and the Envy 4 is no exception: the aluminum used for the lid and around the palm rest not only looks very classy (and quite suitable for an Ultrabook), but also does its part in making the notebook quite rigid and sturdy. The keyboard and the touchpad also manage to convince.
Sleek and lightweight design
For $799, the HP Envy 4-1030us is a highly portable and stylish Ultrabook that provides snappy performance at a reasonable price. Add to that excellent audio, a comfy backlit keyboard, a cool-running chassis and fairly long battery life, and this could easily be one of our favorite value-priced Ultrabooks. We're just concerned about quality control. If the lid didn't rub against the back of the chassis on the units we tried, we would likely make this system a top pick.
Solid performer with excellent speakers
The HP Envy 4 is aptly named. It's a solid machine, with good performance scores, excellent speakers and audio enhancement software, and a mediocre screen, keyboard, and trackpad. The only big drawback is the battery life, which is disappointingly under 6 hours, despite HP's tantalizing promise of 9. Luckily, the power block is small enough to carry with you, though plugging in the laptop might cramp the Envy's style.
Sexy design, Sounds great, Very affordable
The HP Envy 4 is certainly one of the most affordable Ultrabooks we've seen. It's got a sleek design and the power is more than enough for basic office tasks and enjoying media on the move.
The Beats Audio and black metallic finish give this Ultrabook some street cred, and it's light and slim enough not to give you any trouble if you want to carry it around for a day.
Aggressive price, a sleek design for a budget laptop, strong battery life
HP's Envy 4 is an attractive, affordable type of ultrabook with a basic but solid set of features, even if it lacks the speed of more expensive alternatives in our entry-level configuration. Your best bet is to pay more for a faster version, or consider the even more affordable larger-screened AMD Sleekbook 6 instead.
Attractive design, Very lightweight & compact
The HP Envy 4-1030us is a new Ultrabook that caught our eye because of its sleek design, Beats Audio and strong set of internal components. While we were impressed with most of what this new comer had to offer, we were disappointed at a strange design flaw and a poor display.
Attractive black-and-red exterior, Good touchpad
We're a bit confused about why HP has decided to take the Envy line down-market. Luxury pricing for luxury products was the entire point, and there's no reason why the Envy 4 could not have been a very nice Pavilion. HP's decision to market nearly the same PC as both an Ultrabook and a Sleekbook is also confusing.
Branding nonsense aside, this is a solid entry in the Ultrabook category. It's one of the most attractive options, and also has better battery life than many competitors.
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