I’ve given up on my dream of an all-powerful Ultrabook

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There are many options for almost every type of device these days. Numerous manufacturers make a plethora of variations of one product so that each potential customer can get exactly what they want.

In terms of variations, one of the most prolific types of device is the laptop. There are Ultrabooks, thin-and-lights, gaming, and mainstream laptops – and generally, there are specific products for the home, the small office, and the enterprise sectors.

Now, since I’ve been looking for a new laptop for a little while now, I’ve been perusing every laptop manufacturers’ websites to find one that would fit me best. From Ultrabooks to the heaviest desktop replacement out there, every type of notebook computer has at least earned a look from me.

I’ve been looking for something thin, light, and powerful – meaning the latest i7 Ivy Bridge processor and a hefty GPU – but I haven’t found anything relatively thin and light that was truly powerful; on the other hand, I haven’t found anything truly powerful that was relatively thin and light. All of those “categories” are options that I can select on a manufacturer’s website, though, which means they’re predetermined by the manufacturer and not me.

Since all of those things are both subjective and relative, I decided to take a look at a number of different laptop models so I could compare and contrast all of the things that were important to me: weight, size, and performance. I went to Best Buy, and while it’s one of the worst places to compare and contrast anything, I was able to get a good sense of what I should actually be looking for.

I arrived to the nearest Best Buy at 5:00 p.m. It was in a smaller town, so it was a smaller store. This showed in the laptop section: there might have been 20 laptops – and that’s a rather generous guess. Luckily, they had notebooks of all shapes and sizes, so I was able to know that I absolutely need a 15- to 17-inch screen. At that point, I took away from my attention all of the smaller laptops and focused on the larger ones.

Larger screens meant more bulk, unfortunately, but I kept looking. There was a Samsung Ultrabook with a 15-inch screen there, but the resolution was only 1600 x 900 and it had integrated graphics. Boo.

By the time I was done looking at all of the floor models at this skimpy and disappointing Best Buy, I found the Asus G75VW. It’s a powerful machine that I can definitely see myself using on the go. It comes in at just under 10 pounds and just over 2-inches thick, but it’s also got a speedy Ivy Bridge i7, a Kepler GPU, and an amazing matte 1920 x 1080 screen. The battery is rated at around four and a half hours, but that’s exactly why there are external laptop batteries available to buy. In addition to being a mobile gaming solution, it’ll also serve as a worthy replacement to my most-used productivity tool, my MacBook Pro.

I haven’t made a purchase yet, though. I’m still looking at other companies’ gaming laptops, companies like Alienware and MSI, among others. If I find something that’s even better than this Asus laptop, then I’ll definitely buy that. If not, then I’m sure Asus is more than willing to take my money.

If I have to be very mobile, I still have that MacBook Pro and an iPad. The former is going to be delegated to a backup’s backup status and will also be used for an extra DVD drive, though. The iPad, however, is going to be my second go-to device for when I have to go somewhere. It’s been a media device for me for these past few months, but I’m going to change that soon by purchasing more productivity apps, including Microsoft’s long-awaited iOS version of Office.

In fact, the realization that the iPad is becoming more and more a productivity device for me is what made me decide to stop wasting my time to look at Ultrabooks and look at beefier notebooks. In my opinion, an Ultrabook is a great solution for people who don’t already own a tablet. But since I have and love my iPad, an Ultrabook just isn’t for me.

This post wraps up my on-going PC articles. I may come back in the future to tell you which model I went with when I finally make a purchase, but some sort of gaming laptop is what you can expect to see. In the meantime, let me know in the comments if you prefer portability or power.

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Calob Horton

Calob Horton is an associate editor at Pocketables. He loves all technology, no matter which company it comes from. This unbiased view of the tech world allows him to choose the products that best fit his personal needs and tastes: a Microsoft Surface Pro, a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and a third-gen iPad.Google+ | Twitter | More posts by Calob | Subscribe to Calob's posts

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9 thoughts on “I’ve given up on my dream of an all-powerful Ultrabook

  • Good eye. Don’t even look at MSI; quality doesn’t come close. And since Alienware was bought and subsequently dismantled by Dell in all but name, I wouldn’t go there either. No one really touches Asus’ track record lately; they have consistently high marks in build quality, longevity,and reliability (I think it was Squaretrade that crunched a bunch of numbers over a three year span… one of the third-party warranty services did). That particular line that you’re looking at has top notch cooling as well, which does wonders for making a laptop — especially a high-powered one — last.

    • Avatar of Calob Horton

      I am a little wary about Alienware since it’s owned by Dell. And that’s surprising about MSI – thanks for the warning!

      And yeah, I watched a video about its cooling system – and how the CPU and GPU coolers are separate and independently-controlled. Very nice!

  • What about the Clevo W110, otherwise known as the Maingear Pulse, Origin EON 11-S, Eurocom Monster, Sager NP 6110, or Mythlogic Chaos 1212? It’s not thin, but it’s only a bit over 3.5 pounds, has an GT 650M, and an Ivy Bridge i7. The only catch is the 11″ screen.

    • Avatar of Calob Horton

      That sounds like a good weight, but I don’t want to go any smaller than a 15-inch 1920 x 1080 screen. I have enough trouble with the 13-inch screen on my current laptop!

  • How about the 15inch Clevo with 680m and 1080p?

  • Clevo p150em, (rebranded by Origin PC, and a number of others)

  • should check out exoticpc.com, I have bouight my last 2 laptops from them, and would buy from them again.

    I currently have a MSI GT780, sandy bridge and a gtx 570 in it, so its last years tech but it does the job and should for a while. I had an ASUS N71 before and really liked it, but decided to go with the MSI this go-around and have had no issues.

  • I went through this same search a couple of months ago;
    Skip the gaming laptops and go check out the business series stuff from Dell, HP, etc. My search had slightly different needs, but the best spec’d laptop I could find was the HP Elitebook 8460p. 6+ pounds, mostly non plastic body, an I7QM (quad core) processor, max 16GB of RAM and an okay AMD graphics card.
    I think they have a 14 and 15″ version of the Elitebook. All that build ain’t cheap though, and you’d better be willing to drop at least 1700$ on it.


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