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  • Zhuk86 - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    This article is a great idea, but I was wondering if for the next article you guys could add an alternative ultrabook for international readers if you choose a Vizio ultrabook? sadly you can't get these laptops in most parts of the world, though it might be different one day! Reply
  • nagi603 - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    I second this. Nice for the US readers, but Anandtech has (AFAIK) quite an international readership. Reply
  • meacupla - Sunday, March 31, 2013 - link

    If you're in canada, probably the best ones you can buy are either $500 for asus X202E, $750 for acer iconia W700 or $800? for asus zenbook prime Reply
  • raywin - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    I love the topic, but I want some more detail! Give me your top three budget ultrabooks, and tell me why vizio wins out. As it is, this seems like the most begrudging recommendation I have read in ages. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    The idea is to pick just one good offering in each of these. We'll have plenty more over the coming weeks and months. Most of my Ultrabook alternatives aren't in the budget category, and they have other idiosyncrasies. I still think the Dell XPS 12 is really interesting, but I would rather have a dockable tablet -- either tends to be over $1000. If you don't mind the keyboard, the Microsoft Surface Pro gets a strong recommendation as well, but it's a better tablet than a laptop.

    Looking just at budget Ultrabooks, everything else is pretty much HDD + SSD cache with a lousy 1366x768 LCD. Personally, I can't recommend ANY of those at the current prices...they would need to be more like $500 to be worthwhile compared to the Vizio.
  • Anonymous Blowhard - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    > Looking just at budget Ultrabooks, everything else is pretty much HDD + SSD cache with a lousy 1366x768 LCD. Personally, I can't recommend ANY of those at the current prices...they would need to be more like $500 to be worthwhile compared to the Vizio.

    The Acer S3/ASUS Vivobook/Fujitsu UH572/Lenovo U310/U410 have all been that low during sales. You can even get an older Folio 13 and get a 128GB SSD with that, but you're stuck with a Sandy i3.

    Question about the Vizio - it's got 4GB of soldered DDR3, but is it set up as single-channel or dual?
  • JarredWalton - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Should be dual-channel; no reason for it not to be since they don't have an SO-DIMM slot for a second channel. As for other sales hitting $500-$600, it's true that happens, but again most have Core i3 and a worse display. Reply
  • Anonymous Blowhard - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Both of the Lenovo U-series and the Folio are single-channel; the latter has soldered RAM as well. Shame to leave that performance on the table, it really hurts the GPU which is otherwise in the "good enough" category for 768p gaming. Reply
  • raywin - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Thanks Jarred! I appreciate the follow up. Reply
  • bleh0 - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    I would recommend that you add a few alternatives for the next article. Personally I prefer a traditional notebook/laptop and eagerly await that piece. Reply
  • will2 - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    I also want a new slim light notebook, bit like the 20mm 2.2kg Zenbook UX51VZ with better IPS screen and a fast ULV to keep noise, consumption, and hopefully price down Reply
  • Spoelie - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    ULVs are ridicilously more expensive than their normal voltage parts, so good luck with that Reply
  • kyuu - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    Yeah, the Vizio thin+light on sale for $599/$680 makes it an easy choice for those looking for a budget... thin and light.

    Too bad I'm holding out for the updated touchscreen models with a Trinity (maybe hopefully possibly Richland?) APU. Plus, I want the 14" model. And on that note...

    This is the 15" model, correct? The 15" model has a 1920x1080 screen, contrary to what is stated in the article. The 14" has the 1600x900.
  • DanNeely - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    The Amazon link is to the 14" model for $680; the cheapest current model 15" on Amazon appears to be $800; an older win7 model is available for $600. Reply
  • kyuu - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Oh, you're quite right. I mixed up his mention of the review of the 15" model and didn't notice the link was for the 14". Thanks. Reply
  • lightsout565 - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    I'm waiting for the new models too.

    They promised to fix many of the issues in the first gen models, most notably improving them to get "double the battery life". I don't know if I'd prefer the AMD or Intel variants but I think they're waiting to release them until Haswell is available. At CES they originally said Mid Feb. and here we are almost into April and still nothing.
  • kyuu - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Nope, you can see the specs of them on Vizio's site now. Just updated Ivy Bridge and Trinity, unfortunately. Reply
  • Kill16by9TN - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    Mmmmh, apparently that is how free markets are working. Vizio now (20:30h CDT) lists the "14” Thin + Light | CT14-A4" as being " currently in stock." for " $849.00 FREE SHIPPING"
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    USA only product, as far as I can tell. Pretty good nonetheless though. :) Interesting addition to Anandtech. Can go great or pretty badly. Hope it works out. :D Reply
  • lightsout565 - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Looks like Vizio just release the specs on the new Thin and Light Touch Models.

    14" battery goes from 51Wh to 80Wh.
    15.6" battery goes from 52Wh to 90Wh.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Hopefully the final prices are MUCH lower than the currently listed MSRPs...$1090 for the Richland and $1420 for the updated IVB is simply too much IMO. Reply
  • kyuu - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    It's a little confusing, but from what I'm reading I believe the A10-4657M is just an updated Trinity SKU, unfortunately. No Richland. =( Reply
  • kyuu - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    On the other hand, the upgrades to 8GB of RAM and 802.11ac wifi are nice. Reply
  • IVIauricius - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Got my order in today with Dell for a refurb XPS 13. i5 3317U, 128GB SSD, 4GB RAM, and the new FHD 1080p display. $750 with their current 25% off coupon. Starting price was $999, and ended at $810 after TX taxes. Reply
  • coolhardware - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    It is impressive how far Vizio has come in such a short time. I always enjoy checking out their laptops when I go to Sam's Club. :-)

    I second IVIauricius's suggestion for Dell ultrabooks with coupons and/or refurbs (you still get nice warranty options). Hard to beat the bang-for-the-buck.

    Also, if you are willing to go with something that is not quite an ultrabook but still retains a very compact form factor and nice touchscreen, checkout* the ASUS X202E/S200E. I picked one up at Staples on special for $399 and have loved it, here are the pros/cons:
    +Intel Core i3 CPU (1.8 GHz Core i3-3217U)
    +HD 4000 Graphics
    +4GB RAM
    +500GB HDD
    +11.6” 1336×768 touchscreen
    +HDMI out/VGA out
    +Ethernet (only 100Mbs though)
    +2 x USB 2.0 ports
    +1 x USB 3.0 ports

    +Price: $399-$499 (Amazon product link)
    +Very good speakers for the size
    +Fairly easy upgrades for 7mm SSD, wifi, etc. (dissasembly photos)
    +Touchscreen works very well, touchpad works well once drivers are upgraded

    -RAM is soldered in (but at least it has 4GB)
    -HDD is SLOW, needs the user to upgrade to SSD (see above) to attain really good performance
    -No WiDi out of the box (but again, can be upgraded as shown above)
    -Non-IPS display (but still a nice display IMHO)
    -Battery life is only about 4-5 hours

    Summary: obviously not suited for any type of demanding game, but for everyday tasks it is a very pleasing system (especially after upgraded to a SSD) and its capabilities are a nice fit for Windows 8.

    That may seem like a lot of cons, but about half of them are user fixable and for the price it is hard to beat!

    *I do NOT recommend the Q200E (the 'Best Buy' specific model), while it looks the same, internally it has a 2nd gen CPU (not 3rd gen) with corresponding HD3000 graphics instead of HD4000.
  • Bob-o - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    While I think it is a great idea to have a continuously updated "best in category" recommendation, your site reviews so few models within each category I'm not sure how well informed your recommendations will be. True of all sites really. . . gizmo 'A' is extolled as "great", "the best" but then I notice they have never reviewed gizmo 'B'. . . or 'G'. . . or. . . Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    I think what we are trying to do is to pick the most interesting and important products for reviewing. At least I find it a bit irritating and boring to review a bad product because I already know the bottom line is going to be "don't buy this", yet we have to give it the same treatment as all other products (can't just run one test and say that this sucks).

    With components, this isn't even that bad because you just run it through the tests and then it sits in a closet. With laptops you actually have to use the system for several days before you can make any real conclusions, so I definitely understand why Jarred and others are picky with the products they review.

    We also have relatively few editors (of which most are freelance, including me) compared to many other sites, hence we don't even have the capacity to review every product that's released.
  • Gandalf_The_Grey - Monday, April 01, 2013 - link

    Can there also be a recommendation for European users?
    Unfortunately we can't get a VIZIO in Europe.
  • elrui - Tuesday, April 02, 2013 - link

    I bought the 15" with the i7 and 256gb ssd recently for 850 (on sale on Amazon) and I love it. Screen is better than some laptops that are priced 300-400 dollars higher. The only negative I have is the keyboard, layout is a bit off and the choice of key types is weird (I prefer an island keyboard) Reply
  • ericwaltz - Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - link

    I have a question: Why people care so much about touch screen on ultrabooks? I use my laptop for work (mostly coding, calculating, and writing stuff) and I don't feel I miss touch capability and I cannot imagine a scenario where touch would be useful for me. Moreover, from what I understand, it leads to shorter battery life and to inferior screen quality (due to additional layer). So it seems that there are only negatives (at least, for my usage scenario). Can anyone point me to the case where it is really useful? Reply

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