Recommendations for an Ultrabook

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Oct 9, 2022
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Hi,

My name is Thomas and I'm new here. I'm relatively tech-savvy and understand the lingo. There are just so many laptop options I'm struggling to pick the right one for me.

1. What is your budget?

~$1,500

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

13-14''

3. What screen resolution do you want?

1080p+. Can't lie I do like the ones that are kind of in between 1080p and 4k.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

Portable.

I have a Lenovo X1 Extreme from 2019 that I bought as a desktop replacement. Still holding up great but it's a bit bulky and when the time comes I'll replace it with a beast desktop, but not quite there yet. It has an i7H, 16gb RAM, and 516gb storage and is still pretty quick on everything.

5. How much battery life do you need?

8-10+ hours. The more the merrier of course as I'll be traveling with it at times.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?

Generally no, and if ever, they would be on the casual end of the spectrum.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)

I work for a virtual CPA firm and am the head of marketing. Most of my work is cloud-based and I host many meetings/events via Zoom and similar platforms.

I typically delegate video and photo editing, however, there are limited cases where I need to jump in and do it myself.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

516gb +

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

N/A

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

~2-3 years. Lenovo X1 Extreme from 2019 still holding up like a champ nearly 3 years later.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?

None. Didn't know this was still an option these days haha.

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.

I prefer Lenovo, Dell, or HP as they have treated me well in the past in terms of performance, durability, aesthetics, and keyboard (hard to beat Lenovo there). But it doesn't have to be from these brands.

I've been considering the Dell XPS 13 Plus (not a huge fan of the lack of a visual trackpad), Lenovo X1 Carbon, Lenovo Slim 7i Carbon, Asus Zenbook S (seems to be a lot of value in this one for the price), and potentially the MS Surface Laptop 5 when it drops later this month.

13. What country do you live in?

US

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

This laptop will be a secondary machine that I'll use for the following:
  • Around the house laptop
  • Travel laptop - may need to host meetings while I'm traveling so a good built-in webcam is ideal
  • Back up for if the main goes down I can still work while I wait for the replacement.
I'd just buy the Lenovo X1 Carbon and call it a day but I'm finding it hard to justify an additional $300 - $500+ over some of the other options given this will be a secondary PC and not my primary. From a tech perspective, I'm thinking an Intel i7 or AMD equivalent (could settle for an i5 in the worst case), 16gb RAM, and 512gb storage, unless everyone believes its unnecessary.

Thanks for your time and consideration!
 
Oct 9, 2022
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Alright, I think I narrowed it down to two laptops:
  1. Zenbook S 13 OLED
  2. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 Intel
The Zenbook is $1518 while the ThinkPad with comparable specs is $1877.

Is the ThinkPad worth another $350+ for the following use cases?
  • Around the house laptop
  • Travel laptop - may need to host meetings while I'm traveling so a good built-in webcam is ideal
  • Back up for if the main goes down I can still work while I wait for the replacement.
I'll see what the MS Surface Laptop 5 offers tomorrow when it's announced, but right now it looks like these two are the finalists.
 
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It really depends on what you prioritise, both are very good laptops.

Zenbook S
--Faster and more consistent performance under sustained loads
--Much stronger GPU
--OLED screen great for watching tv/movies

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon G10
--Better keyboard and trackpad
--Better built in webcam
--Longer battery life (8 hours 58 minutes web surfing vs 7 hours 10 minutes on the Zenbook S)
--No risk of OLED burn in
--Spill resistant keyboard

If it was me and I was buying a work and play device I would go with the Zenbook S for it's substantially better gaming performance and OLED panel. However if I was going to be using it as my primary work device I would go with the Thinkpad X1.
 
Oct 9, 2022
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It really depends on what you prioritise, both are very good laptops.

Zenbook S
--Faster and more consistent performance under sustained loads
--Much stronger GPU
--OLED screen great for watching tv/movies

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon G10
--Better keyboard and trackpad
--Better built in webcam
--Longer battery life (8 hours 58 minutes web surfing vs 7 hours 10 minutes on the Zenbook S)
--No risk of OLED burn in
--Spill resistant keyboard

If it was me and I was buying a work and play device I would go with the Zenbook S for it's substantially better gaming performance and OLED panel. However if I was going to be using it as my primary work device I would go with the Thinkpad X1.
Thank you for this. Leaning toward the Zenbook right now as it seems like the better value for the money. As much as I love Lenovo, I'm struggling to justify paying a $300 - $500+ premium for a secondary laptop.

OLED burn in risk seems to be the biggest downside as I'm seeing conflicting battery length reviews on both laptops.
 
Thank you for this. Leaning toward the Zenbook right now as it seems like the better value for the money. As much as I love Lenovo, I'm struggling to justify paying a $300 - $500+ premium for a secondary laptop.
I would probably agree, it's a good all round package. As a durable daily workhorse the X1 is better but as you say you are paying a hefty premium for it and it's not better in every respect. If you like Lenovo does it need to be an X1? A T14 can be had for $1,352.50, that gets you an i5 1235U, 16GB of onboard RAM with 1 free RAM slot and a 1TB SSD.

OLED burn in risk seems to be the biggest downside as I'm seeing conflicting battery length reviews on both laptops.
That's one thing that would put me off, I love OLED screens but I would not use an OLED panel for my daily work display. There are steps you can take to mitigate it though, lower brightness levels reduce the risk because it's heat related. Asus has some software features you can enable like pixel shift which can help. Setting the screen to turn off after a short period of activity is a good idea. They need more care basically, where with IPS you don't have to worry. However if this will generally be used for shorter periods at a time rather than a full days work every day then the likelihood of running into this issue should be much lower.

Battery life can always be a bit tricky to gauge, though my two cents would be just assume the X1 will be better. The Asus CPU is more efficient but OLED screens are not consistent in their power use.
 
Oct 9, 2022
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I would probably agree, it's a good all round package. As a durable daily workhorse the X1 is better but as you say you are paying a hefty premium for it and it's not better in every respect. If you like Lenovo does it need to be an X1? A T14 can be had for $1,352.50, that gets you an i5 1235U, 16GB of onboard RAM with 1 free RAM slot and a 1TB SSD.


That's one thing that would put me off, I love OLED screens but I would not use an OLED panel for my daily work display. There are steps you can take to mitigate it though, lower brightness levels reduce the risk because it's heat related. Asus has some software features you can enable like pixel shift which can help. Setting the screen to turn off after a short period of activity is a good idea. They need more care basically, where with IPS you don't have to worry. However if this will generally be used for shorter periods at a time rather than a full days work every day then the likelihood of running into this issue should be much lower.

Battery life can always be a bit tricky to gauge, though my two cents would be just assume the X1 will be better. The Asus CPU is more efficient but OLED screens are not consistent in their power use.

Thanks for the help with this, definitely put some things in perspective.

I ended up grabbing a Lenovo X1 Carbon Gen 10 from Lenovo's factory outlet for $1,110. After some research, I found the outlet laptops are often just returned and can't be sold as new and it seemed like a steal at that price.

For anyone else who may read this, I went with the X1 Carbon over the Zenbook S 13 OLED because while I was impressed with the Zenbook, the laptop will be used primarly for work and the IPS display, 1080p webcam, USB A and HDMI ports, build quality, and $1100 price point made the X1 a no brainer for me.

Had the use case for the laptop been more general purpose or multimedia, I would have went with the Zenbook as I was highly impressed and nearly bought it, but the OLED burn in was a concern for a work laptop.
 
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Thanks for the help with this, definitely put some things in perspective.

I ended up grabbing a Lenovo X1 Carbon Gen 10 from Lenovo's factory outlet for $1,110. After some research, I found the outlet laptops are often just returned and can't be sold as new and it seemed like a steal at that price.

For anyone else who may read this, I went with the X1 Carbon over the Zenbook S 13 OLED because while I was impressed with the Zenbook, the laptop will be used primarly for work and the IPS display, 1080p webcam, USB A and HDMI ports, build quality, and $1100 price point made the X1 a no brainer for me.

Had the use case for the laptop been more general purpose or multimedia, I would have went with the Zenbook as I was highly impressed and nearly bought it, but the OLED burn in was a concern for a work laptop.
Your welcome, I think that's a pretty sensible choice. As a work machine you will probably be happier with the X1. That's a very good price and interesting to hear the outlet stuff is often returns, can I ask what the laptop was like, did it seem similar to a new one?
 
Oct 9, 2022
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Your welcome, I think that's a pretty sensible choice. As a work machine you will probably be happier with the X1. That's a very good price and interesting to hear the outlet stuff is often returns, can I ask what the laptop was like, did it seem similar to a new one?
It arrived two days ago and I'm just getting around to tinkering with it today. I can't tell the difference between this and brand new.

I'll post again if that changes, but right now overall happy with the X1 and think I made the right choice given its use case. Still light and portable.
 
It arrived two days ago and I'm just getting around to tinkering with it today. I can't tell the difference between this and brand new.
That's good to know, might try the outlet myself in future.

I'll post again if that changes, but right now overall happy with the X1 and think I made the right choice given its use case. Still light and portable.
I think so, it was really only the price that was off-putting about the X1.
 
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