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Ultra thin laptops, are they worth it?


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#1 Oracle X

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 01:10 PM

I've been planning to get a laptop around Christmas, my initial plan was to grab a netbook. - something small and portable and less than $500. And then I noticed all these ultra thin laptops on sale, mainly the Samsung 9 series, Asus UX and some Acer brands and man they look snazzy. All shiny and fast like a MacBook Air but without the yuppie factor. Now I'm really tempted. The major factor besides the look is the fact that most of them uses the latest i5 with SSD drives - something I've always wanted to try. Sure they're a little above my initial budget but if they can last me awhile say 3 years, then they would be worth it, no? I would like to get everyone's opinions on this subject. Are they worth the hefty price tags compared to their net book counterparts? Should I bother shelling out $1300 for a 13in with i5 with SSD if all I'm after is a portal device for light work and light entertainment? I don't like bulky large 15in laptops and am concerned that a netbook doesn't have oomph to run decent apps. I got my eye on the Asus UX31E btw.

Edited by Oracle X, 16 December 2011 - 01:14 PM.

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#2 lunchbox1988

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 03:18 PM

I have the UX21E i7 version, is 11.6" of beast, the onboard GPU doesn't hold up to much, but handles WoW on low settings fairly well. I must say, it is light, thin and powerful all without looking hideous, which is a big call for me to make sine I became a Mac convert for my personal computing. This machine seems to run all my apps well without bogging down when it comes to crunch time, I put Win7 x64 Ult on it, and haven't looked back. If you plan to use a lot of data, invest in a good USB3 HDD for storing larger files to save your SSD for the important things.

Edited by lunchbox1988, 16 December 2011 - 03:18 PM.


#3 Oracle X

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 03:43 PM

Hmmm is 11in good for vids? Also WoW isn't exactly the benchmark for speed and high graphics.

Edited by Oracle X, 16 December 2011 - 03:46 PM.

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#4 Jeruselem

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 05:12 PM

10" screens are too small. I think say 12 to 14 is optimal.
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#5 nesquick

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 06:17 PM

the Toshiba ultrabook is the thinnest and lightest of all of them and probably the best quality IMO so it may be worth having a look, also if you live near WOW sight and sound they were clearing out mac air 11" models for $899.

Edited by nesquick, 16 December 2011 - 06:18 PM.

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#6 mudg3

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 07:44 PM

the Toshiba ultrabook is the thinnest and lightest of all of them and probably the best quality IMO so it may be worth having a look, also if you live near WOW sight and sound they were clearing out mac air 11" models for $899.



The toshiba is shotty as fuck. I've got 3 of them in my office currently the screens flex and they arnt put well together at all specs are good for the price though. I currently have a newer MBA 11" which is very solid but if I had it my way again i'd be going with the ASUS versons though anandtech raved about them and pretty much said they were almost perfect notebooks.
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#7 SquallStrife

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 08:50 PM

OP, Don't discount the MBA "just" because it's a Mac. It's a very well built piece of gear, and OS X really grows on ya, but you can install Windows if you want to swing that way. One of the things I really like about the Macs is the massive trackpad, it gives you plenty of room to perform gestures and stuff.

#8 nesquick

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 07:46 PM

the Toshiba ultrabook is the thinnest and lightest of all of them and probably the best quality IMO so it may be worth having a look, also if you live near WOW sight and sound they were clearing out mac air 11" models for $899.



The toshiba is shotty as fuck. I've got 3 of them in my office currently the screens flex and they arnt put well together at all specs are good for the price though. I currently have a newer MBA 11" which is very solid but if I had it my way again i'd be going with the ASUS versons though anandtech raved about them and pretty much said they were almost perfect notebooks.

really? I had a look at them in officeworks the other week and thought they were ok, for ~1.1kg you can't expect much in the way of reinforcement.
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#9 Oracle X

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 12:58 PM

OP, Don't discount the MBA "just" because it's a Mac. It's a very well built piece of gear, and OS X really grows on ya, but you can install Windows if you want to swing that way.

One of the things I really like about the Macs is the massive trackpad, it gives you plenty of room to perform gestures and stuff.



No, I hate Mac OS. I have dealt with enough macs to make me never touch one again. Plus I really like Win 7. And installing Windows on a Mac just for the hardware is just stupid IMO.

I don't care for trackpads, it's mouse for me.
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#10 SquallStrife

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 01:10 PM

No, I hate Mac OS. I have dealt with enough macs to make me never touch one again.


You must have had a pretty unfortunate experience to feel that way, you have my pity.

#11 lunchbox1988

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 01:29 PM

Yea, some people hate OS, some love it, and there are those in the middle, I love my MBP, it is fast, portable and handles my daily tasks easily, but I gotta say, nothing beats my ASUS for portability and functionality for work.

#12 Genders

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 01:37 PM

the Toshiba ultrabook is the thinnest and lightest of all of them and probably the best quality IMO so it may be worth having a look, also if you live near WOW sight and sound they were clearing out mac air 11" models for $899.



The toshiba is shotty as fuck. I've got 3 of them in my office currently the screens flex and they arnt put well together at all specs are good for the price though. I currently have a newer MBA 11" which is very solid but if I had it my way again i'd be going with the ASUS versons though anandtech raved about them and pretty much said they were almost perfect notebooks.


I've got two of the Toshiba Z830's in my office. Similar feelings toward it.

I've also got two of these: Acer Aspire S3 Similar specs except it's heavier all aluminum body. No ethernet port, totally wireless.

My Executive got given laptops for free, so two Toshiba's and two Acer's turned up.
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#13 mudg3

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 01:56 PM

UX21E kgo or ill sell you my MBA and ill go get one :P
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#14 G-relk

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:32 PM

the Toshiba ultrabook is the thinnest and lightest of all of them and probably the best quality IMO so it may be worth having a look, also if you live near WOW sight and sound they were clearing out mac air 11" models for $899.



The toshiba is shotty as fuck. I've got 3 of them in my office currently the screens flex and they arnt put well together at all specs are good for the price though. I currently have a newer MBA 11" which is very solid but if I had it my way again i'd be going with the ASUS versons though anandtech raved about them and pretty much said they were almost perfect notebooks.


I've got two of the Toshiba Z830's in my office. Similar feelings toward it.

I've also got two of these: Acer Aspire S3 Similar specs except it's heavier all aluminum body. No ethernet port, totally wireless.

My Executive got given laptops for free, so two Toshiba's and two Acer's turned up.

No ethernet?! That's ghey. The main reason I would be buying an ultra-portable would be to take onsite for networking jobs. Without ethernet it's no more useful for that kind of work than my phone....
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#15 SquallStrife

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:54 PM

MBA has no ethernet port either. For what you want, G-relk, you could always just grab a USB Ethernet adaptor. It's a compromise for the thinness and lightness.

#16 nesquick

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 03:51 PM

the Toshiba ultrabook is the thinnest and lightest of all of them and probably the best quality IMO so it may be worth having a look, also if you live near WOW sight and sound they were clearing out mac air 11" models for $899.



The toshiba is shotty as fuck. I've got 3 of them in my office currently the screens flex and they arnt put well together at all specs are good for the price though. I currently have a newer MBA 11" which is very solid but if I had it my way again i'd be going with the ASUS versons though anandtech raved about them and pretty much said they were almost perfect notebooks.


I've got two of the Toshiba Z830's in my office. Similar feelings toward it.

I've also got two of these: Acer Aspire S3 Similar specs except it's heavier all aluminum body. No ethernet port, totally wireless.

My Executive got given laptops for free, so two Toshiba's and two Acer's turned up.

No ethernet?! That's ghey. The main reason I would be buying an ultra-portable would be to take onsite for networking jobs. Without ethernet it's no more useful for that kind of work than my phone....

ASUS U31 has an ethernet port, and is only 21mm thick iirc comes with 10hour battery life to might be worth looking at a notebook on the verge of being a ultraportable.
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#17 lunchbox1988

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 06:49 AM

The U21E comes with a USB to Ethernet adapter, I use wireless when possible though.

#18 G-relk

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 09:10 AM

MBA has no ethernet port either.

For what you want, G-relk, you could always just grab a USB Ethernet adaptor. It's a compromise for the thinness and lightness.

True enough, though that means taking extra crap with me.

ASUS U31 has an ethernet port, and is only 21mm thick iirc comes with 10hour battery life to might be worth looking at a notebook on the verge of being a ultraportable.

Oooh, nice.... way better specs than the ultrabooks too! *tempted*


More likely than not I will just end up getting a cheapish netbook and use that. I have my MacBook for the moment, but I'm not huge on OSX.

What would be ideal for what I want is a 7" or 8" android based tablet with ethernet and USB....
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#19 akonobi

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 01:28 AM

I would like to get everyone's opinions on this subject. Are they worth the hefty price tags compared to their net book counterparts?

Should I bother shelling out $1300 for a 13in with i5 with SSD if all I'm after is a portal device for light work and light entertainment? I don't like bulky large 15in laptops and am concerned that a netbook doesn't have oomph to run decent apps.

I got my eye on the Asus UX31E btw.


The UX31E-DH72 is really something special but it depends on what you will use it for. Since I use mine at work it really makes my life easier.

Asus Zenbook UX31E-DH72 Review

#20 Greaver

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 09:07 PM

Seriously considering a Asus UX31E-DH72 at the moment They are reasonably priced for what you get compared to the MBAs and their performance is quite astonishing when compared even to a lot of full blown laptops I compared it to the Dell XPS 15z on Anandtech bench and the zenbook blew the 15z out of the water on everything except graphics related tasks, and given the only game I will wish to run will be TF2 (and with a dx9 max frames config at that) I imagine it will be perfect. I only want it for couch surfing and using while I am out and about which I already have my galaxy tab for but with those specs and of course the windows platform for steam and the like its not hard to justify. For the record it looks and feels great, sturdy as hell, and the Acer ultrabook feels like shit.
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