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Top 5 Windows 8 ultrabooks

Last updated on: December 04, 2013 18:30 IST

Top 5 Windows 8 ultrabooks

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If you want something more functional and feature-heavy than the latest smartphones you use, these ultrabooks are worth a look.

What a difference a year makes. When Windows 8 ultrabooks and hybrids released in 2012, there was worry that many of these devices wouldn’t have enough apps or offer sustainable battery life. Now a year later, as more Windows 8 ultrabooks emerge, there’s significantly better app selection for the OS and more hybrids/ultrabooks aimed at budget and mid-range users.

Of course, there are still a good number of top tier devices for those who want the best hybrid, convertible or ultrabook Windows 8 experience possible. Many of the contenders may look familiar, while some new ones have arrived, but here’s our pick for the top 5 Windows 8 ultrabooks/hybrids for the holiday season.

Dell XPS 12

The recent refresh for Dell’s XPS 12 features Intel’s fourth generation Haswell CPU, and you’ll have a choice of either a Core i5 or Core i7. The top-line XPS 12 features 1.8 GHz Intel Core i7-4500U with 8 GB DDR3 RAM and a 256 GB solid state drive. An Intel HD 4000 GPU provides for the graphics rendering on the hybrid and can handle most of today’s games at medium settings.

The display is 12-inch LED Backlit display features touch functionality and has a 1920x1080 resolution. Being a hybrid, you can convert the XPS 12 into a tablet by flipping the display inward so that the lid faces the keyboard and covers it. The notebook display thus acts as your key display in tablet form. Along with the improved battery life that the Haswell line promises, the XPS 12 manages to weigh 1.52 kg, making it fairly portable even in tablet form.

The Core-i7 variant of the Dell XPS 12 retails for Rs 1,21,590 while the Core-i5 variant will set you back by Rs 92,090.


Image: Dell XPS 12
Photographs: dell.com

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Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro

When you talk about hybrid Windows 8 laptops that give new meaning to the word “transform”, Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga definitely comes to mind. You can either use it as a conventional ultrabook or fold the display back to use it as a tablet. It could also be set up in a tent-like position to allow for desktop usage. The Yoga 2 Pro will be heading to India in the coming months, and should be worth the wait. Not only is it lighter at 1.39 kg but it also features the new Intel Haswell range of CPUs along with a much sharper screen.

The most powerful model features an Intel Core-i7 4500U clocked at 1.8 GHz with 4 GB of DDR3 RAM and a 256 GB SSD. An Intel HD 4400 GPU is also included, but the main star is the 13.3-inch IPS LED display which features a 3200x1800 resolution. Battery life is an improvement over the original Yoga, though the true benefits of Intel’s Haswell are still to be seen. You’ll still have to contend with the feeling of a keyboard as the back panel when using the hybrid as a tablet though.

Currently, the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro retails for $1199 for the top-end model, whereas the base configuration which features a fourth generation Intel Core i5 retails for $1099.

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Image: Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro
Photographs: shop.lenovo.com

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Sony VAIO Pro 13

The VAIO Pro 13 is a traditional ultrabook rather than a convertible hybrid but that doesn’t mean Sony didn’t introduce a few new design choices. Perhaps the sleekest looking of the lot, the VAIO Pro 13 features a slightly elongated aluminium lid that helps slightly raise the backlit keyboard up when you typing.

It’s also incredibly light at 1.06 kg and features fourth generation Intel Haswell technology with a Core i7-4500U clocked at 1.8 GHz with 4 GB DDR3 RAM and a 256 GB SSD. An Intel HD 4400 GPU is present along with 13.3-inch TFT LED backlit, full HD display. Build quality is very good, especially when you consider how slim and lightweight the device is, and it even comes with touch-screen capability for the display. If you’re looking for a Windows 8 ultrabook that stands out and don’t care for using it as a tablet, it’s worth a look.

The Sony VAIO Pro 13 retails for Rs 118,490.

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Image: Sony VAIO Pro 13
Photographs: sony.co.in

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HP Split 13 X2

If you’re looking for a more cost-effective ultrabook/hybrid solution, then the HP Split 13 X2 comes recommended. The Split 13 the X2 features a tablet and docking keyboard, allowing you to use it as an ultrabook or as a standalone tablet. Though it features the third generation Ivy Bridge processors from Intel, you still get some fairly good performance with a choice between the Core i3 and Core i5.

The Core i5-3339Y model is clocked at 1.5 GHz with 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, a 500 GB HDD and 64 GB SSD. The 13.3-inch LED backlit display has a 1366x768 resolution with anti-glare properties. An Intel HD 4000 GPU lets you enjoy some light gaming on the go. Combined together, both the keyboard dock and tablet provide a fairly extended battery life especially when compared to most other devices in the market. Yes, even those with the new Haswell CPUs. If you’re interested in battery life and don’t mind a low resolution display with older technology, the Split 13 X2 is worth  a look.

The Core i3 model retails for Rs 64,340, while the Core i5 model will set you back by Rs 69,290.

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Image: HP Split 13 X2
Photographs: hp.com

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Nokia Lumia 2520

The Nokia Lumia 2520 is the first Windows RT 8.1 tablet to be introduced by the manufacturer bearing the Lumia label. Its look stands out among the metal cased ultrabooks, with Nokia opting for a polycarbonate back panel that comes in multiple colours. Even though you can purchase a keyboard, which also acts as a cover for the device and increases the battery life, the Lumia 2520 acts more as a tablet. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC clocked at 2.2 GHz with 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB internal storage, a microSD slot for 32 GB more space and an Adreno 330 GPU.

The 10.1-inch IPS display features ClearBlack technology and a full HD resolution. The battery life is perhaps the best among hybrids, thanks to both the Snapdragon 800 and the use of Windows RT. App selection is usually a problem on RT devices, but Microsoft has worked hard to fix that with its Windows Store. On top of that, there are some interesting Nokia Apps exclusive to the device such as Storyteller, Nokia Music and Here Maps. There’s even a 6.7 megapixel rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics for taking pictures.

The Nokia Lumia 2520 will release in the coming months for India and currently retails for $499, with the keyboard costing an additional $149.

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Image: Nokia Lumia 2520
Photographs: nokia.com

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