Archive for category Hands-On
Intel had an impressive showing of convertible devices at the annual CES 2014 convention two weeks ago. Among an array of Ultrabooks was the new 12.5 inch ThinkPad Yoga which I got to check out for the first time. Beyond Lenovo’s classic ‘Yoga’ convertible mechanism is a smart retractable keyboard and an amazing trackpad.
One of the best Ultrabooks of the 2012/2013 phase was the Samsung ATIV Book 9. It got even better with Haswell and a QHD screen in the following version. It’s a stunning bit of kit that I’ll be testing fully over the next week or two.
In the meantime, enjoy this overview video and feel free to ask questions. Price is currently about $1399 for the 128GB/4GB/QHD/Core i5 version. It’s not cheap and one could argue that for that price you shouldn’t have to carry adaptor cables but despite that, the quality, efficiency and style should fit with a lot of customers.
Update: Full review now live.
Need an Ultrabook for professional use that’s going to be flexible with connectivity and be available in hundreds of variations? The Dell Latitude E7440 is one for you to take a look at because it’s available in variants that would suit most people. From a ‘basic’ Core i5 with 1366×768 screen and hard drive to this, the 8GB, SSD and FullHD version with fingerprint reader and smartcard reader.
The version I have here isn’t actually an Ultrabook although one can argue that by last years specifications it is. it doesn’t have the touchscreen and it runs Windows 7. It will be interesting to test Windows 7 on Haswell to see if it’s as efficient as Windows 8. I don’t think it will be but we’ll find out soon.
The Fujitsu T904 is my kind of Ultrabook. I’m a big fan of the swivel form factor despite that ever present issue of the flex and possible weak-point that the single-point screen hinge introduces. You wouldn’t believe how useful it is to flip the screen round just to show someone an image. With a digitizer you’ve also got an impressive lay-flat tablet. If you’ve got a non-slip surface, the T904 even works in easel mode.
It is possible to feel confident that you’ll last the day without your charger. I experienced it for the first time with Haswell and with the Fujitsu S904 it’s possible you could even do a two-day + hotel stretch without a charger. It’s not an Ultrabook because of the battery bump but at only 1.5KG it’s probably got the biggest battery / weight ratio of any laptop or Ultrabook.
An impressive-looking Fujitsu Lifebook U904 model with Win 8 Pro, 14-inch 3200×1800 IGZO touch screen, VPro, 10GB RAM, 4G, 256GB SSD, fingerprint reader, weighing, 1.39KG and offering up to 8 hours of battery life is going to cost you 1800 Euros after tax but wow, it’s looking like a very impressive bit of professional Ultrabook.
At the Fujitsu Forum 2013 preview in Munich yesterday (and continuing for the next 2 days) I had the chance to get hands-on with a number of new Fujitsu products. The Fujitsu Stylistic Q584 might interest you if you’re looking for a very lightweight, waterproof 10-inch Windows 8.1 tablet on Baytrail but Ultrabooknews readers are more likely to want to know about what’s cooking on Haswell. The Stylistic Q704 is the successor to the Q702 that I tested at MWC this year. That was “the most complex and multi-faceted PC we’ve ever tested.” The Q704 follows the same path in offering fully-featured high-quality tablet or laptop-style productivity but this time in a waterproof and dustproof casing. The design is much improved, the keyboard feels better and Haswell will really improve the battery life.
I had hands-on with the new version of the ASUSat IDF13 this week and while it excites me to see Haswell pushing down into this form factor I’m of the opinion that, for now, Baytrail-based 2-in-1’s will better meet the average requirements in this space. Price is one factor but weight of tablet is a huge problem for consumers – the type of customers that should be targeted by 2-in-1’s to help turn round the PC business.
Having said that…
We’re expecting about 20% graphics performance improvement on the Intel Iris graphics (e.g. Zenbook Infinity) over the HD 5000 graphics seen in some Ultrabooks but what if that isn’t enough for you? The Cyberpower Zeuss Hercules offers Intel Iris Pro graphics (HD 5200) with a full-HD display in a 1.9KG package. It looks very Ultrabook-like but could have the grunt to take it into high quality gaming territory. Students, take note!
We saw the ASUS Infinity launch, behind perspex, at Computex. It appeared last week at IFA but it wasn’t until today that I got some hands-on time with it. It’s a beautiful design, light and has the unique feature of an Intel Iris HD 5100 GPU.