As Richard Georges puts it at Futurelawyer, “it doesn’t do an adequate job of either, and is too expensive.” I’m not too worried about the expense. Things cost what they cost. But for all its promise, the Surface Pro doesn’t sound any better than the Dell XPS 12 I reviewed a couple of weeks ago.
Someday soon, technology will allow us to have a PC the size and weight of an iPad, with a great hardware keyboard into place when we want to get real work done, and UI designers will make it transition smoothly between both use cases. Right now, we’ve got a compromised operation system in Windows 8, and a lot of compromised laptop-tablet hybrids. For all its promise, the Surface Pro is no different.
The Dell Latitude 6430u is a solid business-class ultrabook. The chassis is good-looking and rock solid, the keyboard feels good, the port selection is as good as it gets, the battery is long-lasting, and the system feels nice and zippy.
But it is going up against some stiff competition, namely the Lenovo X1 Carbon, which is similarly-spec’d and similarly-priced, but substantially thinner and lighter. So does the Latitude measure up to our current top laptop pick?
In theory, the Dell XPS 12 is the best of both worlds: a well-built ultrabook and a full-on Windows 8 tablet. Its unique, swiveling, touchscreen display switches between those modes with a quick flip. It is very well-adapted to Windows 8, but it also makes Windows 8′s flaws glaringly obvious. When it is a laptop, it is made awkward by Windows 8′s tablet UI, and when it is a tablet, it is weighed down by the size and bulk of a laptop.
If you like Windows 8, you will love the Dell XPS 12. It is a very good Windows 8 laptop. If you aren’t sold on Windows 8′s multiple personalities, the XPS 12 won’t make you fall in love.
I said recently that most people spend way too much time worrying about which computer to buy. So I’ve made it easier. Here are my best laptop picks. There are four, total, two thin-and-light laptops, the Lenovo X1 Carbon and 13″ MacBook Air, and two power laptops, the Lenovo ThinkPad T430s and the 15″ Retina MacBook Pro.
You can do the research yourself, but you are probably going to end up with these laptops at the top of your list, anyway.
A: In general, people spend way too much time worrying about which computer to buy. While I don’t necessarily recommend it, you can run a law practice just fine on a crappy hand-me-down Windows PC. My current Dell desktop cost me $300 when I bought it new five years ago, and I’m only now getting around to upgrading it.
Obsessively comparing specs is a waste of time and brainpower. Just get something from Lenovo, Dell, or Apple, and it will work just fine.
The Lenovo X1 Carbon is thin, light, and rock-solid, with a (in my opinion) perfectly-sized 14″ screen. It is also a ThinkPad, which means it is powerful, compact, durable, and uber-utilitarian.
While the ultrabook designation basically just takes the MacBook Air’s specs and turns them into a Windows laptop roadmap, the X1 Carbon is nothing like a MacBook Air. In fact, ThinkPads in general are about as un-MacBook as you can get. They aren’t svelte aluminum slabs, but black, soft-touch rectangles.
You’ll want to read this review, of course, but I’ll spoil the ending: if you are in the market for a Windows ultrabook, this is the one you want.
This will be a cursory review, because I only got to use the Dell XPS 14 for about an hour before it went to sleep and refused to wake up. Still, in that time, I was able to glean some useful information about it. And I’m not really going to hold the conking-out against the XPS 14 because (a) I’ve owned several Dells, and I’ve never had that problem before, and (b) it could very well have been my fault (though I doubt it).
Like the XPS 13 that I loved, the Dell XPS 14 has good looks, a great keyboard, and good battery life. But it’s no ultrabook, whatever the marketing materials may say. It may satisfy the technical requirements, but it violates the spirit of the classification. It may look like an ultrabook, but it weighs nearly as much as two ultrabooks, and it’s sporting a regular old hard disk, instead of a solid-state drive.
The Fujitsu Lifebook U772 ultrabook combines good performance, great looks, a razor-thin chassis, and fantastic battery life. It also has a 14.1″ screen, which is the ideal balance of portability and screen size.
Unfortunately, the Lifebook also disappointing screen resolution, especially on the larger display, and the keyboard isn’t any good if you plan to do any, you know, typing.
So do the Lifebook’s good qualities make up for its bad ones? Read on for my full review.
The HP Folio 13 ultrabook was a one of the last first-generation ultrabooks to market. But like other late entrants, it was worth the wait. By now, though, the second-generation ultrabooks are starting to come out, and they make the Folio 13 look pretty underpowered by comparison.
If you can find a good deal on a Folio 13, grab it. Otherwise, it’s worth waiting a few months for a second-generation ultrabook running Windows 8.
Yesterday evening, Microsoft revealed the Surface (no, not that one), which comes in two flavors, one with Windows RT (it only has the touch-friendly Metro UI), and the Surface Pro, with full-on Windows 8. It’s a tablet, but it’s designed to be used like a laptop, too, with the Touch Cover and Type Cover keyboards.
It is — potentially — a serious upgrade to both tablets and laptops.
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