Beautiful design, Solid and thoughtful construction
Truly, there is not much to criticize about Dell's latest XPS 12. It is a top-tier piece of technology that excels in nearly every department, from its exquisite construction to its clever, versatile design. It maintains one of the best keyboards on any Ultrabook to date, coupled with a comfortable touchpad, accurate 10-point multi-touch screen, and a reasonable weight that - while still a bit heavy by tablet standards - communicates quality. And it's incredibly stylish, to boot.
Haswell processor provides performance and battery life that could justify its high price
If you're looking for a lightweight tablet then look elsewhere. The Dell XPS 12 is primarily intended as a powerful working laptop, and its fourth-generation Haswell processor provides performance and battery life that could justify its high price. The tablet mode isn't entirely successful, but it's a nice little bonus that you can use to relax when you finish work at the end of the day.
Absolutely tiny, Excellent hinge design
Considering the tiny dimensions of the XPS 12, many might find the rather large price tag hard to swallow. Closer examination reveals this to be a very reasonable price, considering the potent hardware within, all wrapped in a cutting-edge package that favours mobility over all else. If you're looking for a transforming tablet that punches well above its weight class, the XPS 12 is a premium contender, albeit at a premium price tag.
Excellent 1080p touchscreen display
For the past two years, we've ended practically every ultrathin laptop review by suggesting that you should probably just buy a MacBook Air. That wasn't always an option for Windows users, but for those who could, Apple offered an unrivaled experience. Those days are done: we've now seen two credible alternatives in a row, laptops which arguably outclass the Air in certain departments.
Bright Full HD IPS display with high contrast
Light, thin and elegant. Samsung Series 9, Apple MacBook Air 13, Acer Aspire S7 391 and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon - all devices make compromises to meet these requirements. The Vaio 13 Pro is the lightest Ultrabook (1,066 grams/~2.4 pounds) within this competition; the just 10 mm (0.4 inches) thick base results in a reduced keyboard quality and problems with the torsion resistance. The case material of carbon fiber is unbreakable but still flexible.
Very light, easy to carry, yet comfortable to use
The Vaio Pro may fall short in some areas, but that's only because it aims so high. Its weight and size are truly impressive, and bode well for the coming generation of Haswell laptops. However, the flexible carbon fibre doesn't instill confidence and battery life isn't on a par with the MacBook Air.
Very thin and light, Strong build quality/sturdy materials
If you're looking for a svelte laptop to show off, yet still be able to do real work in Windows 8, the Acer Aspire S7-392-6411 is the ultrabook you want at the top of the list. It's the current pinnacle of the ultrabook trend and shows the brilliance that the PC makers can return under Intel's increasingly stringent standards for ultrabooks.
Looks good and feels good overall, Long battery life
Acer's premium Ultrabook gets a fourth-generation Core i7 CPU, which gives it much better overall battery life without really sacrificing performance. It's a very good unit, but it has some issues that could be annoying to some users, including touchpad that 'clicked' every time we picked up the laptop from the palm rest area.
Gorgeous design, very light, rigid frame, good performance
If your budget is generous and you have a taste for the best, the Acer Aspire S7 is a top contender. The glass lid, 0.51" slim design and 2.87 lb. weight make for a stylish and attractive Ultrabook that competes nicely with the also very light and chic Sony Vaio Pro 13. The Acer is a bit pricey, but you do get a nice set of upgrades: Core i7 rather than i5 CPU, 8 gigs of RAM and a 256 gig SSD drive that augment performance.
Matte and bright display, Full HD with high contrast ratio
The GS70 Stealth is an attractive and powerful device for gaming enthusiasts who want to use the 17.3-inch notebook on the road. The build quality is good, the design is appealing and the weight is not much higher than a standard multimedia notebook. All of this is combined with a high-contrast and bright display that is well suited for gaming and movie playback.
Powerful gaming laptop surprisingly thin and light
The MSI GS70 Stealth combines style and substance to stunning effect, with huge power levels inside a chassis that's slimmer and smarter than any other gaming laptop. The 17in screen still means this laptop isn't exactly portable, though, and the high price puts it out of reach for most gamers. If you can afford £1679 and like your laptops to make a statement as well as play any game around, the MSI excels in every important department.
Haswell processor, powerful Nvidia graphics, bright, high-quality screen
The MSI GS70 is a fantastic marriage of style and substance: plenty of power and a great screen crammed inside a chassis that's thinner, lighter and better-looking than most of its rivals.
Heavy, staid machines such as the Schenker XMG P703 are better for pure power, but if you want a machine that's powerful and portable - and you can afford the £1,679 price tag - the MSI GS70 is a contender.
Lightweight for a 17-incher, Very slim lines
MSI has delivered outstanding bang for buck in the GS70. Not only does it include a huge 17-inch monitor at 15-inch pricing, but it does so in a package that weighs much less than many smaller gaming laptops. Obviously, MSI has borrowed some TARDIS technology to get the GS70 into such a svelte package.
Bright IPS screen with good contrast
The Yoga 11S is essentially a blend of the Yoga 11 and Yoga 13; it's an attempt to leverage the benefits of both models while keeping the affiliated limitations to a minimum. In some ways, it succeeds: with a bright IPS screen, sturdy design, excellent performance, and a responsive, accurate touchscreen, it's got a lot to like.
However, like its predecessors, its utility boils down to the user's goals.
Extremely portable, Strong hinges
If you're in the market for a Windows 8 tablet or laptop you'd be remiss to not check out the Lenovo Yoga 11S.
While it currently lacks a Haswell option, it's still plenty fast enough for whatever you want to do, with the exception of hardcore PC gaming. We took this model on several business trips and experienced nary a hiccup. On planes its diminutive size made it perfect for working or watching videos and it easily tucks away nicely into any bag you may be traveling with.
Ultrabook and tablet in one
If you're looking for both an ultrabook and a tablet, but don't want too many devices kicking around, the IdeaPad Yoga 11S is a great solution. It's powerful and fully featured, with great flexibility. There are better tablets and ultrabooks, but this is as good as we've seen in a hybrid.
Compact, clever design, good keyboard
As a laptop, the Yoga 11S has lots to offer. It's a nice little machine that has impressed us in general use. There are some interesting things to note. For a start, we tested the Core i3 version of the machine, which doesn't seem to appear on the Lenovo site, but you can buy it from PC World and the like, for £700.
Good performance, Great battery life, Digitizer support
The Sony VAIO Duo 13 is a slick-looking hybrid ultraportable that gives you solid performance and a full workday's worth of battery power. The 13.3 inch touch screen display delivers a crisp picture with brilliant colors but its viewing angle performance could be better.
Not too bulky in tablet mode, Good build quality
Sony has chosen the right direction constructing a 13-inch sibling to the 11-inch Duo 11. The ultrabook hardware is top-notch: A fast SSD, an economical yet fast Haswell generation CPU with an integrated GPU even better suited for casual gaming. The high-resolution Full HD IPS panel offers great brightness levels, vibrant colors and superb viewing angles (although falling short of covering all of sRGB space).
Great, but has room for improvement!
I like this convertible ultrabook very much and I can picture myself using it for years to come. I can recommend it to others .
- It is overpriced but you get what you pay for (powerful CPU/GPU, good battery life, beautiful display, quick SSD [probably the most expensive part], solid and thin build). This is a premium ultrabook .
- The battery life, screen, keyboard and weight could use some improvement to earn another star.
Increased battery life, Bigger screen looks fantastic
The Sony Vaio Duo 13 is an excellent product, and probably the best hybrid Ultrabook/tablet device we've seen, but with such a hefty price tag it's still not enough to convince us to ditch our separate laptops and tablets.
It's a shame, because for £500 less we wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Sony Vaio Duo 13 that ticks most of the boxes and improves on a lot of its predecessors faults.
Extremely light, No screen wobble when touched
If you value portability over all else, or need a tablet that handles handwriting with ease, the Duo 13 has a lot to commend it. However, measured alongside other highly portable transformers like the Dell XPS 12, the Duo 13's specs leave a lot to be desired. If you need a Windows 8 machine that you'll barely notice carrying all day, it doesn't get much lighter than this. But you'll end up paying a high price for a machine that is thoroughly out-specced by the competition.
Superb full HD display with wide color gamut, fast performance
As is often the case with Sony, we've got a groundbreaking great product that's not perfect, but it's so much closer than the Vaio Duo 11. Unless you're a digital artist, there really isn't a single fatal flaw. Quite the opposite, in fact: the machine is very fast for an Ultrabook thanks to Sony's use of cTDP to bring up performance above and beyond many Ultrabooks that don't surpass the 17 watt CPU power ceiling, the full HD display is one of the best on the market and the tablet has so...
Powerful hardware and responsive software
Imagine an Envy x2 at half the price running Android instead of Windows and that is essentially the SlateBook x2 in a nutshell. This 10.1-inch detachable has more in common with the Envy x2 than the Split x2 - and that should be taken as a compliment. These HP models may not look as sleek as the Asus Infinity models, but the FHD IPS display, solid workmanship, versatility and outdoor usability are all indubitably better than the larger and more expensive Split x2.
Quite good despite the plastic components used
The HP SlateBook x2 is a fast hybrid device and performed quite well in most of the benchmark tests. Barring the cramped keyboard, reflective screen and the below average audio experience we did not find anything missing in the device. Lack of 3G may be an issue for some. Sure the rear camera is a disappointment, but that should never be a consideration while buying a hybrid device.
LCD panel offers excellent image quality
If you want to take this laptop somewhere do you really want to be toting around several pounds of accessories? Probably not. So, while the EON17-SLX is an excellent machine, I hesitate to call it a laptop. Instead, it's like a semi-portable desktop-perfect for, say, a college student who changes dorms every year.
The fastest laptop money can buy
An entry-level SLX may have trouble competing against value leaders like the ASUS G-Series and the Samsung Series 7 Gamer. But our review unit, with its incredible price tag of $4,694, dominates everything. And, as we mentioned before, you don't even have to spend that much. Buyers who drop down to a standard Core i7 (instead of the Extreme Edition), 8GB of RAM, and grab just one solid-state drive can get this laptop with two GTX 680Ms for just over $3,000.
Good upgradeability and maintainability
Alienware once again lives up to its reputation as a manufacturer of high-end notebooks. The successor of the M18x R2, simply called 18, not only impresses with its dignified design but also with the excellent performance. Nothing comes close to the performance of an SLI system with two GeForce GTX 780M GPUs at the moment. Combined with a quad-core processor and a Solid State Drive the notebook even manages the most demanding applications. The retail price is consequently very high.
Comfortable keyboard and touchpad, Strong performance levels
The Dell Latitude 6430u is an ideal unit for users who want a mix of portability and productivity. The sleek ergonomic design makes the notebook easy to hold and traverse with, while the extensive battery life ensures that the device will last while in the absence of a power supply.
Offering good performance, and great ergonomics and feel
I rarely get this enthusiastic over a corporate product of any sort, but I'm a sucker for products that are tactilely and ergonomically superior. The Latitude 6430u is expensive, but most truly superb things are. Even consumers should seriously consider this ultrabook, since the entry-level configuration is more than adequate for most purposes, and the three-year warranty makes a big-box store's extended warranty unnecessary.
Solid design, Comfortable backlit keyboard
The Dell Latitude 6430u is an impressive entry into Dell's business lineup. It proves that within the boundaries of the Ultrabook classification, there is the option to include extra connectivity and a removable battery, which are both features that are useful in a business setting.
Lovely design, removable battery and serviceable parts
The Dell Latitude 6430u is a business Ultrabook that's good enough looking for executives yet durable enough to drag to off site sales calls month after month. It offers solid Ultrabook level performance with ULV Intel third generation CPUs and it's powerful enough for business tasks and downtime with HD movies and even some light gaming. It's not as thin and light as classic 3 pound Ultrabooks like Dell's own XPS 13, but it is significantly lighter than the Dell XPS 14.
Erratic performance issues, Dismal screen quality and brightness
Strangely, while performance was ultimately exceptional, it took some doing to get it there. My testing experience with the 6430u was marred by more than its fair share of hangs and crashes and other strange behavior. My first run of the PC Mark 7 benchmark (my standard first stop for performance testing) ended with results 30 percent below its eventual high point.
Fast 2D and reasonable 3D performance
The Dell Latitude 6430u is heavier than the average Ultrabook, and doesn't have the compelling desirability of the slimmest 13in options, such as the Samsung Series 9 900X3B. But it has plenty of functionality to make up for this, with great general performance, an excellent screen, a robust chassis, decent battery life, a choice of pointing devices, and a healthy array of ports.
Terrific battery life
The Dell Latitude 6430u isn't the flashiest Ultrabook on the market. True to its intended audience of workaday professionals, it's a well-designed and well-built laptop that gets excellent battery life and is a pleasure to use. It's a great choice for anyone whose first priority is getting things done.
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