Thursday, December 6, 2012

Shopping for a Windows 8 Laptop

I was looking for a new ultraportable laptop for my wife. The MacBook Air with a 128 GB SSD storage is nice, if somewhat pricey option, at Php52,990 for an 11.6-inch unit and Php57,990 for a 13.3-inch model. I asked her about the MacBook Air during the Apple sale two weeks about when I would be able to be get a 5K discount, but she said she was no too happy using OSX on my own 13-inch MacBook Air. 

Also the idea of a touchscreen laptop appeals to her. I got her a tablet two years ago, and from time to time now she mistakenly touches the screen of here old faithful HP Compaq 6510b, which has served here well for five years. 

The Sony Vaio Duo is a very interesting option, but starting at Php69,999, that is a fair bit more than my budget. I like it though, but I do wonder how much it will be used in tablet mode, being all of 2.8 pounds. 

Reading reviews the best regarded is the Dell XPS 12 Convertible

At Php65,990, it is a tab bit cheaper than the Sony Vaio Duo. Still more than I would like to spend. Like the Sony Vaio Duo, it can convert itself into a tablet too, but that would be a 12.5-inch, 3.3 pound tablet. 

The Lenovo ThinkPad S230u at Php55,990 is getting around a price that I am more willing to shell out for. Unlike the previous models mentioned, this one does not have SSD storage, but instead a 500 GB conventional hard drive. Still, it would be a 12.5-inch, 3.48 pound tablet.

Looking at the 11.6-inch Acer Aspire S7, I found something I really like. At Php59,900 it is expensive, but something around the budget I set. It has a 128 GB of flash storage, and this 11.6-inch touch screen laptop is thinner and lighter than the 11.6-inch MacBook Air. 
Now you cannot convert to tablet configuration. But my wife uses her 7-inch tablet with a kickstand case, and my friends with iPad's all seem to use it at a 45 degree angle propped up by a case. So I do not consider the ability to not be able to have it lay flat on its own keyboard a big loss.

I think this would make a good choice for her and I am really sold on the 2.3 pound weight. The 1080p display is a nice bonus.

Is there anything cheaper that would meet the grade. 

The Microsoft Surface RT is not a Windows 8 machine, but with a web browser and MS Office it would suit her fine. I wont run her old Kodak photo editing software, but really there are better options these days. Price at Php37,999 it is not a bad choice at all. About 2 pounds with the keyboard. The only thing is that it looks like if I want 64 GB, I will have to have it bundled with a Touch Keyboard Cover, even if what I want is the Type Keyboard Cover. The type cover being all of Php6,999, if I wanted the 64 GB version, than that would set me back Php44,998, but I would have a spare keyboard cover. 

The 8-10 hour battery life also makes this option interesting. But 64 GB storage wont be enough for a primary machine. 

Another option would be to get the 32 GB Microsoft Surface without a keyboard (Php29,999), add a Type Keyboard Cover (Php6,999) and a Class 10 64 GB microSDXC card (Php4,488). That all comes down to Php41,448 for a 2 pound package with 8-10 hours of battery life with 96 GB of storage, with about 80 GB user available. 

A really low cost option is the Asus VivoBook 202E. Both the Celeron and Intel Core i3 powered variants of the Asus ViviBook 202e are easy on the pocket, at Php20,990 and Php26,990, respectively.  Looking at the Asus ViviBook 202e, it is nicely built with a aluminum (or aluminum like?) deck and lid. The only time I feel like it is a 20K laptop is when I type with the keyboard which feels a bit less tactile than I would like. 

It is between the the Acer Aspire S7 at Php59,900, a Microsoft Surface RT at Php44,998 or a Asus ViboBook 202e at Php26,990. So, which to get?

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