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Posted: 10/7/2012 5:01:26 AM EDT
So I noticed today while I was out enjoying a coffee at Starbucks that my Latitude D830's (Yes, I drink Starbucks and don't use a mac, we do exist) lid hinge has gotten even worse in the last few months. The lid has been getting looser and looser in the last year or so and now I'm noticing some shear play in the right hinge. It's about 4.5 years old now and still serves my needs (except the xcom demo eats it for breakfast ) but I fear that it will mechanically go belly up soon.

I love the Latitude series, I've owned a Dell D830, Dell D820, handled a Dell D6xx series, and work issued me an HP Elitebook which works for me as well. I find 'business class' notebooks' lack of a gloss screen, and dark 'professional' aesthetic to be not only attractive and functional, but more durable than the competing devices my friends used all through college and I think I'm going to stick with the same class of devices. I also own a Thinkpad T series (old) that I've come to appreciate in terms of durability, function and form which makes me look favorably on the Thinkpad line.

I love the idea of the ultrabook/air and I've been leaning that way since it will be used for office, light software development, computational work, and light gaming (TF2, XCOM). At the same time I've been completely disappointed with ultrabook offerings thus far. The incompetency of these device manufacturers astounds me as they trip over each other, trying to build eye catching hardware. Then Lenovo released the X1.

This thing is gorgeous. I don't know how else to put it. It's a business class ultrabook that actually WORKS. No serious trackpad fuckups, and I don't care about multitouch, all I want is side-scroll. I don't give a rat's ass about win 8 and this touch based UI, that doesn't fit my usage profile no matter how they spin it so I don't care that it doesn't have a touch screen .It's got a good battery life and should be able to handle my workload. The only problem is that they are expensive So quick, talk me out of one of these before I set my heart on a big Christmas present to myself.

I leave you with Gizmodo's one-liner on it...
If the MacBook Air is a porcelain doll, the X1 Carbon is a G.I. Joe strapped with kevlar.


Discuss!
Link Posted: 10/7/2012 5:11:00 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/7/2012 5:32:50 AM EDT
But it doesn't have fruit on it!

That thing is sweet and for the price is pretty sweet.
Link Posted: 10/7/2012 10:26:43 AM EDT
Quoted:
So I noticed today while I was out enjoying a coffee at Starbucks that my Latitude D830's (Yes, I drink Starbucks and don't use a mac, we do exist) lid hinge has gotten even worse in the last few months. The lid has been getting looser and looser in the last year or so and now I'm noticing some shear play in the right hinge. It's about 4.5 years old now and still serves my needs (except the xcom demo eats it for breakfast ) but I fear that it will mechanically go belly up soon.

I love the Latitude series, I've owned a Dell D830, Dell D820, handled a Dell D6xx series, and work issued me an HP Elitebook which works for me as well. I find 'business class' notebooks' lack of a gloss screen, and dark 'professional' aesthetic to be not only attractive and functional, but more durable than the competing devices my friends used all through college and I think I'm going to stick with the same class of devices. I also own a Thinkpad T series (old) that I've come to appreciate in terms of durability, function and form which makes me look favorably on the Thinkpad line.

I love the idea of the ultrabook/air and I've been leaning that way since it will be used for office, light software development, computational work, and light gaming (TF2, XCOM). At the same time I've been completely disappointed with ultrabook offerings thus far. The incompetency of these device manufacturers astounds me as they trip over each other, trying to build eye catching hardware. Then Lenovo released the X1.

This thing is gorgeous. I don't know how else to put it. It's a business class ultrabook that actually WORKS. No serious trackpad fuckups, and I don't care about multitouch, all I want is side-scroll. I don't give a rat's ass about win 8 and this touch based UI, that doesn't fit my usage profile no matter how they spin it so I don't care that it doesn't have a touch screen .It's got a good battery life and should be able to handle my workload. The only problem is that they are expensive So quick, talk me out of one of these before I set my heart on a big Christmas present to myself.

I leave you with Gizmodo's one-liner on it...
If the MacBook Air is a porcelain doll, the X1 Carbon is a G.I. Joe strapped with kevlar.


Discuss!


RAM is soldered on to the Motherboard and isn't upgradable after initial configuration.

Laptop runs very hot.

Typically has poor batterylife (~4-4.5 hours for general tasks)

uses an ULV processor and integrated graphics which limits the useful lifespan of the computer.

If you want a more portable computer with the characteristics you describe, you would be better off with an X230/X230T.  There are still compromises made compared to ~15 inch laptops, but overall its a solid product, best in class.

Sad to say that ultrabooks still haven't matured properly yet, that should happen next year with the next generation of intel cpu's.
Link Posted: 10/7/2012 10:59:22 AM EDT
Not to dissuade you from a new notebook: The display hinges are relatively inexpensive, if you'd rather try replacing them. It's a bit of work, but nothing that cannot be done by someone who knows how to use a screwdriver.
Link Posted: 10/7/2012 12:06:26 PM EDT
Quoted:
RAM is soldered on to the Motherboard and isn't upgradable after initial configuration.

Laptop runs very hot.

Typically has poor batterylife (~4-4.5 hours for general tasks)

uses an ULV processor and integrated graphics which limits the useful lifespan of the computer.

If you want a more portable computer with the characteristics you describe, you would be better off with an X230/X230T.  There are still compromises made compared to ~15 inch laptops, but overall its a solid product, best in class.

Sad to say that ultrabooks still haven't matured properly yet, that should happen next year with the next generation of intel cpu's.


I actually was wondering about temperatures. It's one of my only two worries about an ultrabook configuration. Not that I'll be putting it to the grindstone much, but seeing as how it's so thin I can't imagine power dissipation is easy of a trick to pull off.

As far as battery life goes, I've seen mixed reviews. I've seen the highest end X1 reviewed as having a 3 hour battery doing normal tasks and the low end reaching 6.5 hours doing normal tasks. Ultimately I'm not that concerned as I don't leave my laptops unplugged for long periods of use. I appreciate the wire-free feature, but I don't like to use it when I don't have to. Also, I find that when I am on battery, I'm doing very light duty work. Battery replacability by the way is my second concern. I've replaced the 9 cell battery in my D830 twice in its lifetime. If I get a good 5 years out of my next laptop I don't mind sending it somewhere for a factory replacement once or twice. I consider it necessary regular maintenance.

You'll have to help me out here as I'm an RF guy, not a silicon guru. Why exactly would a ULV processor reduce the useful lifespan of the computer? ULV logic should have a lower TDP per capita reducing thermal stresses. Unless someone is taking the ULV opportunity to use an unproved gate geometry, why would this be limiting anything?

Integrated graphics aren't a huge deal for me. I don't game much and when I do it's pretty light. Mostly TF2 and L4D2 these days, although I am looking forward to the new XCOM. The takeaway here is that I don't go after the greatest of gaming experiences, and I'm okay playing on the lowest settings for what little newer stuff I do play so this particular integrated graphics solution doesn't frighten me.

I'm a bit turned off to the X230t because of the mechanically complex lid. I don't care for tablets, I don't need to write anything so that feature/function is lost on me. I did take another look around Lenovo's website though and see that they're lining up to release the next gen Thinkpad ultrabooks for win8 so I'll look for a price drop on the Carbon some time in the near future as well as browsing some of their other models.

As far as the replacement hinges go on the D830, I may end up doing just that, but I see this sort of failure as generalized aging so I'm turning my attention to a potential next laptop. (Also, XCOM
Link Posted: 10/7/2012 12:39:09 PM EDT
Quoted:
Quoted:
RAM is soldered on to the Motherboard and isn't upgradable after initial configuration.

Laptop runs very hot.

Typically has poor batterylife (~4-4.5 hours for general tasks)

uses an ULV processor and integrated graphics which limits the useful lifespan of the computer.

If you want a more portable computer with the characteristics you describe, you would be better off with an X230/X230T.  There are still compromises made compared to ~15 inch laptops, but overall its a solid product, best in class.

Sad to say that ultrabooks still haven't matured properly yet, that should happen next year with the next generation of intel cpu's.


I actually was wondering about temperatures. It's one of my only two worries about an ultrabook configuration. Not that I'll be putting it to the grindstone much, but seeing as how it's so thin I can't imagine power dissipation is easy of a trick to pull off.

As far as battery life goes, I've seen mixed reviews. I've seen the highest end X1 reviewed as having a 3 hour battery doing normal tasks and the low end reaching 6.5 hours doing normal tasks. Ultimately I'm not that concerned as I don't leave my laptops unplugged for long periods of use. I appreciate the wire-free feature, but I don't like to use it when I don't have to. Also, I find that when I am on battery, I'm doing very light duty work. Battery replacability by the way is my second concern. I've replaced the 9 cell battery in my D830 twice in its lifetime. If I get a good 5 years out of my next laptop I don't mind sending it somewhere for a factory replacement once or twice. I consider it necessary regular maintenance.

You'll have to help me out here as I'm an RF guy, not a silicon guru. Why exactly would a ULV processor reduce the useful lifespan of the computer? ULV logic should have a lower TDP per capita reducing thermal stresses. Unless someone is taking the ULV opportunity to use an unproved gate geometry, why would this be limiting anything?

Integrated graphics aren't a huge deal for me. I don't game much and when I do it's pretty light. Mostly TF2 and L4D2 these days, although I am looking forward to the new XCOM. The takeaway here is that I don't go after the greatest of gaming experiences, and I'm okay playing on the lowest settings for what little newer stuff I do play so this particular integrated graphics solution doesn't frighten me.

I'm a bit turned off to the X230t because of the mechanically complex lid. I don't care for tablets, I don't need to write anything so that feature/function is lost on me. I did take another look around Lenovo's website though and see that they're lining up to release the next gen Thinkpad ultrabooks for win8 so I'll look for a price drop on the Carbon some time in the near future as well as browsing some of their other models.

As far as the replacement hinges go on the D830, I may end up doing just that, but I see this sort of failure as generalized aging so I'm turning my attention to a potential next laptop. (Also, XCOM


Taken from the verge review of the X1 carbon:

The X1 Carbon gets really, really hot when it's working hard, to the point where it becomes a problem. It's hottest on the bottom near the back, but even the keys and the palm rest can get hot — and sweaty hands aren't fun while you're on a computer. When the X1 Carbon isn't under serious duress, it's not hot at all, but fire up Photoshop or a game and the temperature spikes.


So while it might do fine under office work, I wouldn't expect it to stay cool under software development, computational work, and light gaming.

As for batterylife, even if you are fine with the underwhelming figures, does the ability to use different capacity batteries not appeal to you.   The X230 easily gets 6-7 hours on the 6 cell and there is a 9 cell battery option (plus a slice) for even longer runtimes.  And you shouldn't run your laptop plugged in after its done charging as doing so will drastically reduce batterylife.  The integrated graphics issue in the X1 is related more to thermals rather than overall performance.  (though intel driver support regarding games is a bit spotty)

Regarding the X230, if you don't care for the tablet factor, just get the regular version with normal hinges.  Pretty straightforward.  The normal design is well proven and the X230 removes any deficiencies the previous gen X220 had.

Finally regarding the ULV cpu.  There are 2 metrics that relate to a laptops lifespan.  One is how long all the components last without failing.  That is not what I am talking about.  I am efering to the second which is how the internal components (cpu, RAM, GPU, HDD/SSD) stand up to software over time.  ULV cpu's generally offer lower power draws/run cooler (though not so much in the X1) at the expense of overall power compared to standard voltage cpu's.

So if you bought a computer with a standard voltage cpu you could expect its performance to meet your needs for a certain amount of time before needing to move on to newer hardware.  But with ulv cpu's you already start at a performance disadvantage which reduces the time that you could expect the cpu to meet your performance needs.  That is an advantage of the X230, is that unlike most other smaller form factor laptops, it uses standard voltage cpu's which gives you a leg up in performance.

This is one of the reasons I don't have much faith in ultrabooks since they suffer from this issue.  They try and mask it with SSD's which speed up certain tasks making the computer feel faster to the end user, but they are gimped.

This will change in the coming years as intel is able to scale down its more powerful cpu's to fit such small form factors negating the need for ulv cpu's in traditional computers with active cooling solutions.  But that time is not now.

And remember the X1 also has a fixed memory config (max 8GB), that cannot be changed once it leaves the factory.  The X230 offers a traditional design which is user upgradable. (max 16GB)  

Not to mention the startling price difference: $721 vs $1329 for starting prices.
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