Which Ultrabook for office use?

So, the company is springing for a new notebook since I travel a fair amount and the clunky Asus A43S I currently have is way too heavy and cumbersome.

Having done my research I figure an ultrabook is the way to go on account of the size, weight and snappy SSD performance.

My requirements are generally speaking as follows:
[ul]I need to use standard MS Office programs like Word, Excel, Outlook and Powerpoint.
I occasionally need to edit some graphics in Photoshop and Illustrator, but nothing catastrophically huge.
I’ll need to connect to projectors for presentations once in a while and I anticipate at some point the only option will be a VGA connector on some crappy old projector.
Mostly I’ll use an external monitor while in the office that has HDMI and DVI connectors.
I’d like USB3 and I often use a wireless mouse that clogs up 1 USB port
I’d like at least 4G of RAM and an i5 processor, ideally a 256G SSD would be nice[/ul]

I’ve narrowed my selection down to the following models:

ASUS Zenbook UX31

Pros:
Good screen resolution, sleek but solid, good battery life
Cons:
Ports all “Micro” versions that require annoying adpaters; 256G SSD supposedly slow; updated version coming in May?; average screen panel

TOSHIBA Z830

Pros:
Extremely light and slim, full size ports
Cons:
Super flimsy feeling especially screen, only 128G SSD, average screen resolution, average battery life

DELL XPS13

Pros:
Sleek, light, 256G SSD, newly released, good backlit keyboard; Dell support
Cons:
Average screen resolution, below average battery life, display port and micro ports,

I looked at the Acer S3 as well but honestly my experience with Acer notebook quality has been 100% negative in the past and I’m in no rush to get back on that bandwagon.

I’ve almost ruled out the Toshiba on account of how flimsy it feels, paper thin screen! Pity because I like the full size ports. The Xenbook does everything I want except the 256G SSD is supposedly very slow and I’ve heard rumour that an update in coming in May which I guess I could wait for. The Dell is what the company is trying to push for because they like the idea of Dell aftersales support rather than taking our chances with out useless IT guy. Do any of the forumosan tech expert community have any advice, pointers or suggestions on things I may be missing?

Thanks in advance!

There is also the Samsung 530U4B (Check the one with the SSD)

However, nowadays the only noticable difference within laptop/ultrabook, etc… is the screen quality, the battery and hardrive IMO.
The CPU are all pretty fast (An i3 is already a good machine, i5 even better agree and i7 doesn’t make much sense in an ultrabook), RAM is cheap and can be upgraded (Very few people need more than 4GB, even with Windows Seven).

So I suggest you to check carefully the screen and the battery as you may not be able to upgrade them easily isn’t it.
But for the hardrive, few laptops have good SSD (Easily cheap one in fact or just average one). The best being to choose the one you want.
What you could do is to replace directly the HDD from the laptop of your choice with a SSD.
You transform the HDD in external 2.5 hard drive and add a powerfull SSD like OCZ Vertex 3 and co.

Some vendors does that for you.

yah right on. the main differentiation is going to be the screen resolution, screen quality and overall build quality.

you already know i’m going to say go with none of these and just get a macbook air, but if it must be one of these, then it would be the asus.

If you really want to give a try for a MacBook Air, I hope you will have enough luke to get the correct model with the Samsung SSD (Not the toshiba one).
Same price yes but different hardware. :unamused:
But anyway any recent SSD is way ahead compared to HDD and the difference will not be easily noticed.

I also have a preference for the ASUS which seems to have good review online.

The ASUS keyboard is terrible!

I had planned to buy one of them, but after giving it a touchtype test - there was no way I was going to. Typing at speed missed so many characters.

In the end I got a Macbook AiR - the keyboard is fantastic. So if you are going to be doing a lot of office work…

Now is a bad time to buy a 15-inch MacBook Pro. The 15-inch MacBook Air is rumoured to be in production and released next month. Then again, that just means it won’t be in Taiwan till June-July.

I have a Zenbook. The 256 drive is fast and I have had no problems with the keyboard - I also do a lot of office work.

sorry double post

How fast do you type?

I found there is not much play in each key, so you need to really hit them hard or it won’t register (as you can’t feel if it’s gone down or not).

Thanks for the suggestions folks. :bow:

Based on this news of the new Zenbook UX31A being on the immediate horizon with a raft of upgrades over the UX31, I think I’ll wait. We’ll likely have these available in Taiwan earlier than most of the world anyway, so I can hang on to the current clunker for another month or two. If these rumoured specs are true for the new Zenbooks having Ivy bridge, better display, better keyboard and better battery, it would seem a hard platform the beat since the current UX31 is so good as it stands.

[quote=“plasmatron”]Thanks for the suggestions folks. :bow:

Based on this news of the new Zenbook UX31A being on the immediate horizon with a raft of upgrades over the UX31, I think I’ll wait. We’ll likely have these available in Taiwan earlier than most of the world anyway, so I can hang on to the current clunker for another month or two. If these rumoured specs are true for the new Zenbooks having Ivy bridge, better display, better keyboard and better battery, it would seem a hard platform the beat since the current UX31 is so good as it stands.[/quote]

Hey Plasmatron!

I know this post is already a some months old but I’d be interested if you ordered the UX31A? I did, and seems ASUS Taiwan can’t provide any release date yet though I know that it’s already out on Amazon Germany and US.

Do you know anything closer? Can’t wait to get my hands on this machine finally… cheers!