Ultrabook Poll Closed–Results

Posted on 30 January 2012 By


Thanks-you for your 600+ votes in the recent ‘Favorite Ultrabook’ poll. The results are worth discussing. The top three remain the same as in November last year when we ran the same poll with only 5 Ultrabooks. The Dell XP 13 and HP Envy 14 Spectre enter at #4 and #5

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The Ultrabook I bought myself is the winner. The Asus UX31. The funny thing is that I had to take it back because of a showstopper of an issue with the keyboard – I find it terrible. Despite that there are people who own it and have no problem with it and I suspect that because of the marketing, its looks, features and value, it’s retained #1 position

#2 is the Toshiba Z830 which I would put at #1 (core i5 version) but only if you don’t work in a silent room. The fan can be a nightmare in a silent room. You won’t hear it in an office though.

The Lenovo U300s is reported (I still haven’t fully reviewed it yet) to be a great all-rounder and deserves #3 position.

You can see all the Ultrabooks, along with alternatives, in our Ultrabook database.

What I find amazing is that the HP Folio 13 is getting great reports, has leading battery life, a great port-set and a great keyboard with a good price and isn’t anywhere in the running. The only thing going against it is that it isn’t stylish. Are we that concerned with style? It appears so but remember this is a ‘favourite’ poll. It’s not a ‘what I bought’ poll. I suspect the HP Folio is going to be the device of choice for many; Even those that have no idea what an Ultrabook is and just want a lightweight workhorse. I’m considering it myself as I need a full SD port, quality keyboard and long battery life. 1.5KG is not my ideal weight but the battery life is so good I may be able to leave 200gm of charger at home!

The Samsung Series 5 13 is another device I think will sell well. I’ve done extensive testing on it and it’s a great all-round lightweight laptop. The price is looking good. There’s a lot of storage and a better hybrid HDD solution than on the Acer S3 too.

As for the LG Z330, I think we’ll see that rise when reviews come in. It’s a looker but is relatively unknown. The Acer Aspire S3 is still a good device (I called it the ‘honest’ Ultrabook’) but maybe it’s time to see the price drop on that now. $699 anyone?

Over the next month I will be building an Ultrabook-chooser application that will guide you to a solution based on your requirements and my knowledge. I expect the top ten to look very very different!

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  1. #1 by Daniel Rourke on January 30, 2012 - 17:24

    I wrote up a user review of the U300s (we talked briefly on a previous post). If you’d like to read it I can send it along.

    • #2 by Chippy on January 30, 2012 - 17:47

      Hi. Can you send it to news@Ultrabooknews.com ?

    • #3 by Dan on February 5, 2012 - 13:16

      Awesome, can’t wait to read it!

  2. #4 by Andre on January 30, 2012 - 17:38

    I’m also surprised about the Folio. I wouldn’t say its NOT stylish. It just doesn’t look like an Air clone. I find the (otherwise very good) Thinkpads uglier. They have the design of a pocket calculator from 1980.
    I guess I’ll end up with the Folio. An ethernet port might not be needed for the casual facebook user, but for me (admin) it’s a must-have. WLAN isn’t always available AND working properly. Or for transfering a few dozen GB as fast as possible. Or to sniff ethernet traffic. Or to fix the WLAN….
    USB adapters are a hassle, and you never have them around when you actually need them.

    So if you want ethernet you can choose between the Folio and the Toshi.
    Toshi pro: light, matt screen
    Toshi con: mediocre battery life and SSD, loud, slightly less stylish than the folio IMHO (hate the hinges)
    Folio pro: one of the few devices with acceptable runtime, SSD very good (for mSATA), good keyboard (for an ultrabook, but no IBM Model M ;-)
    Folio con: heavier than most ultrabooks, glossy screen that also sucks even more than the average notebook panel in terms of contrast and angles.

    So, by switching from the Toshi to the Folio I basically trade the low weight and runtime for higher weight and runtime, and I trade a relatively good screen and a mediocre SSD for a (less than) mediocre screen and a good SSD. Priorities… *sigh*

    I don’t get why notebook manufacurers have such an extreme fetish for 1366×768… and glossy! WHY? Would a 1440×900 matt screen cost 100% more?
    And they also think that 5-6 hrs of REAL runtime is more than enough. What are they smoking? Whenever the hardware gets more efficient, they use smaller batteries, so that the runtime doesn’t increase! WHY? Sort of like MS: whenever the HW gets more powerfull, they look for ways to waste the additional power. In 5 years we’ll need a 5GHz 8-core with 128 GB RAM just to surf the web, write a letter or play tetris! I did the same with 133MHz and 32MB RAM! And it was smooth! But back then we didn’t have flash, java, .NET and other bloated bloat bloat.

    My (realistic) dream notebook:

    -Ivy Bridge
    -OLED or anything that is NOT TN, thin and efficient
    -14″ squeezed into a 13″ thin bezel
    -1440×900 or 1600×900
    -matt
    -less than 1,3 kg
    -REAL runtime 9+ hrs
    -sturdy aluminium/magnesium/carbonfiber case
    -all black
    -fullsize ethernet, HDMI, cardreader
    -upgradeable SSD and RAM
    -a relatively flat/low _mechanical_ keyboard with a precise silent click
    -999€

    Is that too much to ask for? In, say, 2013?

  3. #5 by musiceman on January 30, 2012 - 22:55

    Hello. Why you don’t include also sony vaio Z in the list?

    • #6 by Chippy on January 31, 2012 - 19:32

      Because it’s not an Ultrabook!

      • #7 by James on January 31, 2012 - 21:42

        Yes, technically the VAIO Z or VAIO SB don’t really count but that’s more or less semantics as far as consumers are concerned. Also remember the Ultrabook Term is still evolving and may just end up the new term for all things Ultra Thin & Light.

        In any case, Sony is coming out with a official Ultrabook later this year.

  4. #8 by Steefan on January 31, 2012 - 12:36

    I bought the Folio 13 last saturday, and it is a beautiful machine (do not see what people mean by it not being stylish, but whatever.)

    An amazing machine for the money, however it is really loud. The fan seems to be on 100%, all the time. This was definitely the dealbreaker for me, as I expect such a machine to be quiet, or at least have the fans running less than it does. Updating the BIOS did not help in anyway, and that made me suspect it was a defect on the product. I went by the reseller and their own demo was also loud.

    All in all I traded the Folio with an Asus ux31, and so far no problems. (other than the keyboard is not backlit….)

    So if anyone is looking for a quiet laptop, do not choose the Folio.

    I will however wait anxiously for the HP Envy 14 Spectre, but I hope they have taken care of the fan problem (= my own interpretation), otherwise it will not be an option for me.

    -Steefan

    • #9 by Chippy on January 31, 2012 - 19:30

      Very good info. Thanks. Would you refer to the noise as air-flow or mechanical?

      • #10 by Steefan on January 31, 2012 - 20:55

        Definitely air-flow. If you hold your hand up against the fan-placement, and covering it, the sound goes a lot quieter, although you can still hear the mechanical spinning of the fan.

        If you hold your hand 10-15 cm from the fan placed right beneath the backside of the screen, you can still feel the air coming from the fan. So the fan is definitely doing something, I just can’t see what part of the laptop that heats it up, that the fan needs to be on all the time.

        You could compare the laptop fan to the noise of a floor fan (http://tinyurl.com/87mb62k) – spoke with a friend today who made that comparison, and I thought it was spot-on.

  5. #11 by Andre on January 31, 2012 - 18:13

    Seems that most people think that 11′ is too small. Kind of surprised that they didn’t fare better.

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