(junior member)
01/03/14 10:46 PM
Help me choose an Ultrabook

Brand new Forum member!
It seems that when I am about to decide on which Ultrabook to buy, I hesitate due to reported seriuos issues on the models that I am considering. For instance:
Sony Vaio Pro 13: WiFi issues, fan noisy
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro: Wifi and screen color issues with the yellow
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus: Color issues
So, I decided to come to the experts on this forum. Here are the attributes that I am looking for in an Ultrabook in order of importance to me:
1: must be very light - I travel a lot.
2: 13" screen (not 12")
3: WIFI connectivity and reliability must be excellent (ie: hotels, coffee shops, etc.)
4: great screen - I have poor eyesight
5: battery life - not critical because I do most of my heavy work in my hotel room where I can plug in the unit.
Lately, I have been looking at the the Sony Flip 13" and the Acer Aspire S7.
Your thought and advice would be very helpful and appreciated.

(junior member)
01/04/14 03:20 PM
Re: Help me choose an Ultrabook

I'm no expert, but I've been looking around too.

I've been put off by wifi and noise issues on the Sony ultrabooks too.

If you are not happy with Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus, I'd suggest Dell XPS 13.
The only significant issue with this machine, as far as I can tell, is lack of SD Card reader. Personally, I'd be willing to overlook that.

(Head Honcho)
01/05/14 04:04 PM
Re: Help me choose an Ultrabook

I agree with ozaz, the Dell XPS 13 latest generation is definitely worth a serious look-- great keyboard, nice screen and good WiFi.

Samsung issued a color fix for the ATIV Book 9 Plus and the yellows now look pleasing when the machine isn't plugged into AC (there's a link to the fix in our review). I've used this fix on mine and the yellows are no longer bothersome.

The Yoga 2 Pro has single band WiFi, and I'd suggest dual band if you want the best possible connectivity. The ThinkPad Yoga is available with dual band WiFi and it's very solid (that machine is also reviewed on our site).

(junior member)
01/07/14 12:30 AM
Re: Help me choose an Ultrabook

Thank you Lisa for your reply! BTW - your video reviews are awesome!! I commend your efforts.
Here is where my lack of knowledge drives me nuts:
1: In real-word terms, how does dual-band WIFI work and how would I know that it is doing anything for me? For example: Let's assume that I am sitting in a hotel lobby in Argentina and there were 20 people using the hotel WIFI service. 19/20 have laptops with single band wifi and I am the only one with dual-band wifi. How would this hlep me specifically?
2: When I read specs very rarely is the phrase "dual-band" shown in the wireless spec section. Is there a way for me to know if in fact a unit has dual-band.
3: I am looking at 2 units:
Dell XPS 13 (Haswell) and
Acer Aspire S7 (Haswell)
Do both of these units have dual-band wifi?
Thanks for your help with this!!!

(Head Honcho)
01/07/14 02:38 AM
Re: Help me choose an Ultrabook

Dual band WiFi is faster. It also avoids interference with Bluetooth. For example, if you're using a Bluetooth mouse, headphones or speakers, they can interfere with WiFi reception since they're both on the 2.4GHz band. The 5GHz WiFi band is thus less polluted by Bluetooth and all those 2.4GHz access points around you.

If the specs say 2.4/5GHz WiFi then it's dual band. If they don't say, it's time to check our reviews Both the XPS 13 and Acer Aspire S7 have dual band WiFi. Most (but obviously not all) machines that cost $1,000 or more are dual band.

(junior member)
01/07/14 05:20 AM
Re: Help me choose an Ultrabook

There are thousands of posts on various tech forums with Ultrabook purchasers passionately complaining about serious Wifi issues with top-of-the-line products; even with Dual-band.
Reading your reviews as you suggested is great when the product is initially introduced but even you can't foresee future issues that can and have transpired.
What is your feeling about this obvious issue and how does a consumer like myself have confidence in what to buy?

(Head Honcho)
01/07/14 01:52 PM
Re: Help me choose an Ultrabook

This is a complicated issue. If you read forums, there are a few folks complaining about any and every laptop on the market. Why? There are so many wireless routers out there running different protocols (a,b,g,n, ac) on different channels and bands with a vast array of firmware and brands. 100% compatibility isn't going to happen. Especially with old router firmware.

And some models do have weaker WiFi, like the Sony Vaio Pro 13 and Duo 13 don't have very strong WiFi. Should you buy a laptop and love it but find you're having problems with WIFi, try changing router bands and updating firmware on the router. Also make sure the laptop has the latest drivers. These can really help. And if you like everything but WiFi on the laptop, USB WiFi adapters are a cheap fix (if you don't want to ditch the laptop).

(junior member)
01/07/14 04:18 PM
Re: Help me choose an Ultrabook

Thank you again Lisa!
Looking forward to your next video review.
Now - back to my -40 degrees wind chill.

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