Ultrabook

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Review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

When Lenovo first introduced the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook in 2012, we were faced with a machine that was close to perfection. Sure, the original iteration was not perfect in every sense but it came closer than any Ultrabook we had available.

Now that we have landed in 2014, the company has released its third iteration of the ThinkPad X1. We've spent a little time with the 2014 edition of the ThinkPad X1 and after the break, we see what has changed for the better and for the worse.

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If you are a PC gamer, then you will probably remember the days of lugging around a heavy 10-pound machine, just so you could claim the ability to run Crysis on max settings. Gaming laptops of the past were fat, heavy, and had battery life so short that you could blink and the laptop would be dead. Now, Razer has introduced a refresh to their seemingly impossibly thin Ultrabook gaming machines.

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When we first heard of Dell’s XPS 11 2in1 Ultrabook, it was a case of uncertain identity. A seemingly impossibly thin Windows 8 device made possible by including a touch sensitive keyboard in substitution for a standard mechanical one. Dell’s website told us it was an “Ultrabook”, but Dell Public Relations insisted it was a “tablet first”.

Whatever it may be, we sat down with it and we are quite impressed, but it all depends if you are looking for a tablet or a notebook.

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Just in time for the holiday season, Dell has announced a few new additions to its line of PCs. Typically Inspiron has served as the company’s budget line of machines, but with these latest editions, Dell is going above and beyond to make budget seem premium for Windows 8.

The first introduction is a selection of new Inspiron 7000 series laptops. Typically, Inspiron units have been made from plastic, but not this time; this time, the 7000 series is made of “forged aluminum” and features “diamond-cut beveled edges”. According to Dell, the 14-inch model that measures in at .6 inches is 27% than its predecessor. The 15 inch and 17 inch models are just as impressive, coming in at .9 inches and 1.1 inches respectively (Remember, these are budget machines).

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Grab a cup of coffee and that outdated backpack, we are going to get you ready for the first Semester of classes in this special Back to School 2013 Guide. We have broken the guide down by different student types including “The Geek”, “The Artist”, “The Budgeter”, and “The Entrepreneur”. Check it out below and let us know what you think. Alright, all board – let’s go!

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Lenovo has been generating some noise in the enterprise sector with their famous ThinkPad line (formally an IBM brand), but Dell is a bit tired of going unnoticed. The company’s last generation of Latitude business notebooks made us questions who exactly was in control of the horrendous design, but with this latest series refresh – we are impressed.

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If you are a Windows Phone fan, there is a good chance you are a fan of vibrant colors. I myself am a lover of the color red and keep my vibrant Nokia Lumia 920 on me at all times. Today, Sony has announced a new addition of ruby red Windows PCs. For those wondering, the brightly colored machines are not a part of the (RED) ™ charity.

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Google, like Microsoft, is a company in transition. This can be evidenced today by their entering into the “high end” Ultrabook market with their new Chromebook Pixel. It’s an odd move not because the hardware is not nice (it is) but the pricing: $1299 (32GB) $1449 (LTE, 64GB).

For a company that prides itself on 'free' it’s a different approach from the previous Chromebook strategy of low-cost devices.. To quote iMore’s Rene Ritchie “When did Google become Apple?”.

The other question is how does it stack up against Microsoft’s Surface Pro? We’ll take a look to see how things stand and if Google is making the right move here.

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There are only a few Windows 8 laptops in production that we can consider to be the ‘high end’, machines with exacting build quality and specifications to match. While many PC makers are content to push out hum drum machines with middling specs and so so performance the same cannot be said for Lenovo and their ThinkPad range. Over the years their quality and reliability have become legend amongst the most demanding of laptop buyers.

The ThinkPad X1 comes in a body woven from Carbon fibre in a style similar to that of the current crop of Ultrabooks. Lenovo seems keen on finally shunting the look of their machines forwards and have recently adopted Chicklet keyboards and of course the wedge shape body design we have all come to recognize of late.  I’ll be kicking the tires on the X1 to see how well Lenovo have melded the heritage of ThinkPad with the modern styling of an Ultrabook.

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ASUS has launched (and will be launching) multiple products that run Windows RT / 8. A family of laptops branded under the VivoBook umbrella, the S200 and S400, are solutions for those who require a light, thin notebook that sport touch screens and all the bells and whistles for Windows 8. We recently invested in an S400 to see what all the fuss is about with this mid-range notebook. We must admit - we're pleased with the experience on offer.

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We’re breaking out of our normal confines of phones for a quick post on the Acer S7 Touchscreen ultrabook running Windows 8. Why? Because we bought one last night and we’ll be damned if it isn’t kind of awesome.

So if you’re curious about this little ditty and what I think, head past the break for a few photos and quick video review of this super premium piece of technology.

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