Archive for category Report

Surface Pro 3. Engineering vs Demand vs Future

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It’s exactly 12-hours after the launch of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 as I start to write this article. I’ve spent a number of hours hours researching and making notes on this unique product and have come to one main conclusion. Microsoft has a superbly engineered product in the Surface Pro 3 but it’s too early for mainstream 2-in-1 customers.

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Photographer Feedback on the Lenovo Yoga Pro 2

Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro (1) Collage

I’ve been having an email conversation with Lance, a photographer, for a number of weeks on the subject of Ultrabooks for Photographers. Lance was looking for a new mobile notebook for his nature photography work and after some testing and a lot of thought from both sides he finally went for the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro. Lance has now written an article on his requirements and experiences with the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro and I’m happy to present it here. Read about ‘downrezzing’ and a huge advantage over a desktop system. Read about the problem with Yellow too. Lance has a fix he’s happy with.

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Enable Bitlocker on an Ultrabook (Without Windows 8.1 Pro)

bitlockerimageI’ve been using a Bitlocker encrypted drive for a month now and it’s been totally transparent in terms of speed. I’m surprised. I’m also surprised that it was available on my Windows 8.1 (not Pro) OS. Inspired to boost security on my Ultrabook I’ve also enabled secure boot, increased the security level, made sure Defender and Firewall are working and, this is contentious, made sure my login is only via Windows Live account so the password can be changed remotely. Given the reporting and password / device management in the Microsoft Live account though, it seems worth it. Here’s how you can do it too.

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ASUS Transformer Book Trio TX201. This Unique 2-in-1 is nearing availability.

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The ASUS Transformer Book Trio arrives in Europe soon. 999 Euro ( 839 pre 19% tax / 1133 US dollars) buys you a tablet and keyboard dock along with two processors, two operating systems, two drives, two WiFi modules and more. The tablet runs Android on a Clovertrail platform (not the latest BayTrail) and can dock to the keyboard where it can also act as a screen for Windows 8 on a Core i5 processor. It’s a multifunction device that needs careful consideration.

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Core i5 2-in-1’s. Sony Vaio Tap 11, Dell Venue Pro 11 or Microsoft Surface 2 Pro?

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These three very interesting products define the new PC. Highly dynamic, lightweight, touch-enabled, long battery life 2-in-1’s. Many of you have these three on your list. They are the #1, #2 and #3 most viewed Ultrabook alternatives and ride high in the Ultrabook and Ultra-Mobile PC category. The Sony Vaio Tap 11, Dell Venue Pro 11 and Surface Pro 2 are all excellent products and it’s tough to choose between them but there are definite differences. Read on…

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Sony Vaio Duo 13 Overview

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Unfortunately the Sony Vaio Duo 13 has to go back today and we didn’t have time to get a full review together but we’ve had a reasonable amount of time testing and are now able to give you a relatively detailed overview. We’re expecting a longer term loaner very soon and that one will be a retail model rather than the production sample we’ve got here.

In summary the Sony Vaio Duo 13 is a very impressive and advanced Ultrabook and a unique bit of engineering both inside and outside. Haswell shows all it’s colors with the Duo 13 but there are one or two things to watch out for before you buy and of course, this isn’t a cheap Ultrabook but read-on to find out why you’re probably going to get value for your money.

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Sony Vaio Duo 13 Connected Standby Demo

Sony Duo 13

The Ultrabook versions of Haswell, the 4th Gen Core from Intel, bring something special. Connected Standby is the mark of an Ultrabook that’s been built to very tight power efficiency standards, brings alive a part of Windows 8 that few have considered before and gives you the best-in-class in terms of battery life. The Sony Vaio Duo 13 has been built to this standard and although the re-branded Sony Active Sleep was rumored to be a feature that would be brought alive with Windows 8.1, I have it working here on a Windows 8 sample sent to us by Sony. Demo below.

Why you need Connected Standby.

Sony Vaio Duo 13- Too Much Good Stuff to Fit In This Title

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Dell XPS 12 (Haswell) Battery Life Tests

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Testing power usage on Haswell Ultrabooks is difficult due to the huge range of scenarios that the next generation Ultrabooks have. They’ll stream music for days and yet if you try to do too much gaming on them, you might be out of juice in as little as two hours. What we can say though, without a shadow of a doubt, is that the battery life on Haswell Ultrabooks, compared to Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks is hugely improved. We’ve got a Dell XPS 12 with Haswell here that proves it.

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Check and Improve your Ultrabook Battery Life Expectancy

Acer V5 122P Battery PackThere isn’t a manufacturer out there what will tell you how long that sealed-in battery will last and you’ll be lucky to get any idea of replacement cost, or even possibility, before you buy that product.

I’ve got an Ultrabook here that is reporting a warning that the battery needs replacement after just 18 months. On another, that I’ve been using for well over a year, the wear level is just 14%.  In this article you’ll find out why Ultrabooks have sealed batteries, how to check your battery health, tips for prolonging the life of your battery and some examples of Ultrabooks with removable batteries.

 

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Sony Vaio Duo 13 – Too Much Good Stuff To Fit In This Title

Vaio Duo 13 screen

The first reviews of the Sony Vaio Duo 13 are in, the first product pages are up and availability of this not-quite-an-Ultrabook is said to be 9th June. Battery life tests look fantastic and it looks like Connected Standby, aka Active Sleep is on board. Oh, and the TRILUMINOS screen is said to be awesome. There’s so much to talk about…

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Ultrabooks get Meaning, Unique Selling Points with Haswell

Ultrabooks. Copies of the MacBook Air. Expensive laptops. Bringing nothing new to the table. I’ve read it all and discussed it all but knew from day 1 that there would be something special coming. Having followed Atom from day 1 to the point where Moorestown finally got the architecture right I knew what Intel could achieve. Haswell was built with the next generation laptop in mind. It’s HDR-Computing with Connected Standby, some of the best integrated graphics on the market, video engines that can process end-to-end 4K and TDP’s that will allow manufacturers to design PCs you never thought were possible. With Haswell, Ultrabooks get meaning.

 

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Samsung Series 7 Ultra in Tests – Haswell Could Mean Bargains or Refresh

After nearly two years of Ultrabooks the Samsung Series 7 Ultra came along and ticked all the boxes we had listed for an Ultrabook. Finally a combination of screen, performance, battery, ports, storage and price that looked interesting. Our first hands-on was positive but it’s take a long time to reach the shelves and we’re now just days away from Haswell. Can Samsung expect sales or is it going to get crushed by the third generation of Ultrabooks on the 4th Generation of Intel Core processor? We suspect that most will be waiting for a Haswell refresh before even considering it.

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Three ‘Scenario’ Ultrabooks to Consider

It’s Friday and you’re sitting at work daydreaming about your next Laptop. Touch, Windows 8, light, stylish, fast and powerful coming to mind? Here are three Ultrabooks to think carefully about. I’ve chosen each one for a different main usage scenario. ‘Getting Things Done’ , ‘Getting Entertained’ and ‘Getting Moving’

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Chippy’s Ultrabook Customer Challenge – Basic Ultrabook with Personal Storage

Sony Vaio T13How many times have you been asked if you can recommend a product without really having much to go on? It’s true to say that there are many customers out there that are not really sure what they want and so in that case you have to interpret requirements, add a bit of crystal-ball gazing and come up with an answer. Here’s an example I received recently and three choices for an Ultrabook to run Office apps and store media.

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Warning: Hybrids and Tablets can Throttle Your Performance

Q702 CPU rate

Let this be a lesson to all of us. The Fujitsu Q702 I am testing right now has a 1.8Ghz Core i5 CPU with Turbo Boost Technology that can take it to 2.6Ghz. The whole thing is packed inside a tablet PC. Impressive. The problem is that this 1.8Ghz platform down-clocks itself from 1.8Ghz  to an average 1.3Ghz when under load. Fujitsu don’t appear to be telling their customers either.

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