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matt4444

Best Ultrabook for University

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Ok, I start University next week and my Student loan comes in. I was just wondering what the best ultrabook would be. 

 

I'd like for it to fit in my backpack, so preferably a 13", perhaps 15", not sure.

I'd also like it to be thin and light.

8GB's of RAM and at least 256GB SSD.

For the CPU, I'd like an Intel i5 or i7 (quad core if possible). Also, if possible the CPU to be Haswell.

Battery life is a must too.

 

So far, I've found a few ultrabooks. The first being a Razer Blade, this was way too expensive though and not readily available in the UK. The second was a Surface Pro, this has a good price with student discount, but the battery life concerns me and also the fact that the next gen Surface could be out soon. I also had a Surface RT, but I need to be able to run proper applications on it. The third device I looked at was the Macbook Air 13", this device met all the criteria (8GB's RAM, 256GB SSD, long battery life and i5/i7 Haswell processors, would have preferred quad). 

 

The only thing stopping me from buying the Mac instantly is the price even with student discount, it comes to ?1015, which I'm struggling to justify.

 

Please can I have people's opinions on what I should purchase.

Thanks. :)

 

 

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I will suggest an ASUS ZenBook Ultra as a great choice.

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I will suggest an ASUS ZenBook Ultra as a great choice.

Just looked that one up and they seem more expensive than the Mac and the cheaper ones are from the US. Nice ultrabook though!

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The Sony Vaio Pro 13 is a beast of a machine. Throw in the slate battery attachment and you get epic battery life and the fastest SSD on the market for around the same price as the MacBook Air.

 

Edit: I just configured one to your spec on the Sony site and it came in at ?1,098.98 without any kind of discounts. Also do you really need an i7? From what I have seen the performance difference vs. price isn't worth it unless you are doing really hardcore CPU tasks.

 

Edit 2: With an i5 you can get it for ?999 with the 18 hour battery! Pretty good deal IMHO.

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The Sony Vaio Pro 13 is a beast of a machine. Throw in the slate battery attachment and you get epic battery life and the fastest SSD on the market for around the same price as the MacBook Air.

 

Edit: I just configured one to your spec on the Sony site and it came in at ?1,098.98 without any kind of discounts. Also do you really need an i7? From what I have seen the performance difference vs. price isn't worth it unless you are doing really hardcore CPU tasks.

 

Edit 2: With an i5 you can get it for ?999 with the 18 hour battery! Pretty good deal IMHO.

 

 

 

To be honest, don't really need an i7, just wouldn't have minded a quad core. Does the slate battery not make it a lot heavier? 

 

Just looked, very nice device. Very similar specs to the Macbook Air too. Price is around the same too. Will defiantly consider this laptop. Thanks!  :)

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Just looked, very nice device. Very similar specs to the Macbook Air too. Price is around the same too. Will defiantly consider this laptop. Thanks! :)

 

 

Yeah it makes it a little heavier but it is easily removable so you can leave it at home when you know you won't need it very easily. Something you can't do with the Macbook Air. As for quad core I don't think there are any quad core ultrabooks are there? The Air can have a dual core Haswell i7 but not quad.

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Sony UK has a store for education and you can get some serious savings there on the Vaio Pro 13 (which is a great machine).

 

In addition to that they're offering the extra sheet battery and 4-year warranty (instead of two) for free now. New promos always go up on Tuesday, so the promo might change tomorrow. They're always pretty good though.

 

Sony UK Education store: https://shop.sony.co.uk/shop/b2c/education.do?shop=SST_GB_EN

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Have a gander at the recently released XPS 12 by Dell, it's got a nifty flip screen allowing you to use it in tablet mode.

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Sony UK has a store for education and you can get some serious savings there on the Vaio Pro 13 (which is a great machine).

 

In addition to that they're offering the extra sheet battery and 4-year warranty (instead of two) for free now. New promos always go up on Tuesday, so the promo might change tomorrow. They're always pretty good though.

 

Sony UK Education store: https://shop.sony.co.uk/shop/b2c/education.do?shop=SST_GB_EN

 

Can't see that it's being discounted when added to basket?

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Have a gander at the recently released XPS 12 by Dell, it's got a nifty flip screen allowing you to use it in tablet mode.

I used to have a Dell Inspiron Duo which was a lot like that. It's a nice device, but it is quite a high price again and not too sure about the weight.

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Looks like the offer is the sheet battery and additional warranty at this moment. Sometimes it's 7% or 10% off. In Belgium they seem to have different promo combinations.

 

If you don't mind taking the chance (or the sheet battery/warranty don't matter that much to you), wait 'till tomorrow morning. Site will be updated by then and it's pretty likely there wil be a new promo available.

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Looks like the offer is the sheet battery and additional warranty at this moment. Sometimes it's 7% or 10% off. In Belgium they seem to have different promo combinations.

 

If you don't mind taking the chance (or the sheet battery/warranty don't matter that much to you), wait 'till tomorrow morning. Site will be updated by then and it's pretty likely there wil be a new promo available.

Ok, will do cheers! :)

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ram and disk will always be cheaper and higher quality if you buy it yourself and swap it in.

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What are you studying? Macbook Air is affordable in this range because all ultra-books charge premium prices. I'm using a 11 inch right now, and the 10 hour battery life is really good, so I'd say a Haswell model is a must. Instead of upgrading SSD, maybe get an external hard drive. If you don't need the extra ram, then maybe it's worth it to skip the upgrade, but try and deffiantly push for it though. 128GB of free space (around 105 GB) isn't hard to manage if you buy a 64 SD card or even an external hard drive to go along with the machine, as I find the 256GB space is a luxury rather then a neccesity. (because of apple pricing). 

 

If you don't like OS X, then get a Zenbook or VAIO Pro, but they won't be cheaper. However, sometimes you need software that only runs on 'X' platform, hence you should get a Windows computer or think about dual-booting.

 

I had a 13 inch (2012) with the upgraded ram (8GB) last year but I sold it. I now have a 11" Air 2013 base, and will be getting a Retina Pro 13" to go along the Air. I use the Air purely for writing whilst the Pro will be used for photoshop/design work. Totally unnecessary, but the Air was a gift. 

 

If you have any questions about the Air (11 or 13), then feel free to ask!

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What are you studying? Macbook Air is affordable in this range because all ultra-books charge premium prices. I'm using a 11 inch right now, and the 10 hour battery life is really good, so I'd say a Haswell model is a must. Instead of upgrading SSD, maybe get an external hard drive. If you don't need the extra ram, then maybe it's worth it to skip the upgrade, but try and deffiantly push for it though. 128GB of free space (around 105 GB) isn't hard to manage if you buy a 64 SD card or even an external hard drive to go along with the machine, as I find the 256GB space is a luxury rather then a neccesity. (because of apple pricing). 

 

If you don't like OS X, then get a Zenbook or VAIO Pro, but they won't be cheaper. However, sometimes you need software that only runs on 'X' platform, hence you should get a Windows computer or think about dual-booting.

 

I had a 13 inch (2012) with the upgraded ram (8GB) last year but I sold it. I now have a 11" Air 2013 base, and will be getting a Retina Pro 13" to go along the Air. I use the Air purely for writing whilst the Pro will be used for photoshop/design work. Totally unnecessary, but the Air was a gift. 

 

If you have any questions about the Air (11 or 13), then feel free to ask!

Studying Computing. :) If I was to get a Macbook Air, it probably would be the 13". Also, have you had any experience with Apple Finance, as it would be a lot easier splitting the payments for a few months, then paying the rest off in January when my next Student Loan Payment comes through.

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Studying Computing. :) If I was to get a Macbook Air, it probably would be the 13". Also, have you had any experience with Apple Finance, as it would be a lot easier splitting the payments for a few months, then paying the rest off in January when my next Student Loan Payment comes through.

 

I would go with the 13" MacBook Air, i have the 2012 version of it and love it. I had never owned a Mac before, however found OSX easy enough to get used to. Of course you can dual boot Windows too if you wish. I was extremely impressed with the battery life, overall spec of a device so thin and the build quality too.

 

For student discount are your accessing the Apple store from the campus network? If you enter the HE store there you will get 15% off everything I believe.

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Studying Computing. :) If I was to get a Macbook Air, it probably would be the 13". Also, have you had any experience with Apple Finance, as it would be a lot easier splitting the payments for a few months, then paying the rest off in January when my next Student Loan Payment comes through.

 

Ahh! Yes, I would recommend 8GB of Ram, but maybe you can get by with 128GB with external hard drive. Apple Financing works differently, you borrow the money off them and then you repay them in a 24 month contract with an interest of 14.9% (APR).

 

Therefore if you borrow ?500, you'll have to pay ?75 more over the course of 24 months. I would recommend it buying it upfront. Remember to order online or via telephone as this gets you 3 years warranty of Apple Care, I believe in-store purchases don't qualify. 

 

Also you'll be able to access your University store beforehand, so you don't have to be connected to the school network. PM me with your University name and I'll try and find it for you, I did this for mine. (Or you can do it yourself heh).

 

13" is really nice. I couldn't fault it, except I sold mine due to the upgrade. I sold it for 40 pounds less then what I paid for, and they cut the price of the new model too, so after eBay fees I only had to pay around 150 to upgrade to the 2013 model. (Which I didn't do, as I was waiting for the Retina refresh).

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Try to get something with at least 1600x900. The typical 768p really isn't sufficient for programming. Also I feel anything smaller than 14" is a bit small for extended sessions.

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Ok, have looked at a lot of ultrabooks now. It's now coming down to price really, as I'd prefer to pay a fair bit below the ?1000 mark. Is Haswell really that great compared to Ivory Bridge in terms of performance and battery life?

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Now wondering if it's worth waiting for Surface Pro 2. But then it could still be as heavy as the original Pro and might not be released this year?

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