Choosing the perfect Ultrabook

Now some perspective here, a normal computer user will be happy with mostly any ultrabook. Their performance is good and they are very very light. A normal user should look for the following weight, sturdiness, and speed. The variation in weight between ultrabooks is huge, see there is a big difference between a 1.1 KG ultrabook and a 1.4kg one, 300grams are about 25% of the weight of an ultrabook and grams add up fast once you add a power supply etc. You really want a light ultrabook that you can take anywhere with you, but you also want it to be able to survive minor accidents if you are planning to take it with you at times and places when you would not take your notebook. To me an ultrabook holds the potential to replace a tablet, to be your companion everywhere. And to be your companion everywhere you need it to startup fast like your tablet and so you need it to have an SSD not a normal hard disk.

But to a geek like me there are many other points to consider.

First of all the keyboard. Most Ultrabooks have terrible keyboards for touch typists because they key travel is very limited. Since the manufacturers are trying to make the thinnest and lightest ultrabooks they are willing to sacrifice a lot. Most of the ultrabooks I have seen like the Toshiba z930, and the samsung series 9 have keyboards that will be hard to use for a long time. I have really wanted to like the toshiba z930 since it is the lightest full metal ultrabook you can buy in Egypt and at 10,600LE for the model with i7  third generation and a 256 ssd its price is amazing. But the keyboard will not allow me to work for long periods of time on it nor the others.

The dell XPS 13z has a much better keyboard but the problem is the new model which is based on the third generation of core processors did not arrive yet. This third generation of core processors have a much much better graphics performance than the one before it, so really I will not buy yesterday’s technology even if it was discounted and loose on graphics performance of the new 4000 intel graphics chip. The Dell XPS 13z also has amazing build quality, I mean it gives you the feeling that it can fall and will take it like a man 🙂 The Toshiba although all metal feels more fragile since the metal flexes with pressure.

The apple Macbook Air, has a better keyboard than most, but I am not an Apple Guy.

Now the choice is even more complicated due to windows 8. I do not use windows a lot, my main operating system is Linux, but with the new touch features I would like to have an Ultrabook that I can use to see if windows is worth it, and with such a device it could totally replace the need for a tablet ( I have been forcefully stopping myself from buying a Galaxy Note 10.1 ).

Another interesting Ultrabook in Egypt is the Asus zenbook, the zenbook seems to be very sturdily built, it really gives you the impression that it can go anywhere with you, the keyboard is just as bad as the rest, but the brushed all metal exterior is amazing.

The Sony Duo 11 seems like a nice compromise. Although it has a smaller 11 inch screen and is heavier than the Toshiba Z930 it has a touch screen and can be used as a tablet. It also has a trackpoint ( optical not like the ones on Thinkpads ) which I believe every touch typists should use instead of the trackpad since you do not need to move your hand off the touch typing position to use the mouse.

See touch screens take up more space and weigh more than traditional screens, add to that the fact that if you want to use the touch screen as a tablet, a mechanism for turning it around from notebook mode to tabled mode needs to be made, thus even more added weight.

What do you think is the best tablet for a geek in the market in Egypt?