Ultrabook reviews 2014, scoops and comparisons

The complete list of Haswell ultrabooks available in 2014

By Andrei Girbea - @andreigirbea , updated on August 16, 2014

Hey everyone, this is just a quick update to my extended list of ultrabooks worth buying and I’ve put it together as many of you were asking for a curated list of all the Haswell ultrabooks available right now or soon to be launched.

Before we proceed, there are a few things you should know about Haswell ultrabooks.

The new platform does not offer huge performances gain over the older Ivy Bridge line. In terms of CPU, you get 5-10% better scores in various benchmarks, and you’ll hardly feel that in everyday use. Of course, we are talking about the Intel ULV series here, although Intel do plan on diversifying their range of low-voltage processors in the near future, but we’ll talk more about that in another post.

Oh, and if you want to know for sure if a laptop has a Haswell processor, look for the CPU’s code. Haswell lines look like this: Core ix-4xxxU, Core ix-4xxxY or Core ix-4xxxM (ex: Core i5-4200U, Core i7-4500U, Core i5-4200U – ultra low-voltage processors) , while older Ivy Bridge lines had a Core iX-3xxxU indicator and the previous Sandy Bridge processors looked like this: Core iX-2xxx.

In terms of graphics, things are a bit different. Haswell chips are either paired with Intel 4400 HD graphics chips, or the newer Intel HD 5000/5100 series, also called Iris graphics. The later does offer a nice boost, visible in games or other graphic intense applications (video editors, 3D renders, etc). The 4400 HD is somewhat faster than the older Intel HD 4000 in actual games, as you can see in these two videos (games on Intel HD 4000 and games on Intel HD 4400), but the differences are not to die for.

Haswell however really ups the game when it comes to everyday-use efficiency. Under heavy load, Haswell and Ivy Bridge hardware require more or less the same amount of energy. With light or daily use though, Haswell is even two times more efficient, and that translates in longer battery life, as you’ll find from this post.

Haswell ultrabooks impress with their energy efficiency

Haswell ultrabooks impress with their energy efficiency

So if you do care about battery life, Haswell is clearly the way to go. If you want to run some games on your ultrabook, Haswell with Iris graphics is for you as well, but don’t expect too much, regular ultrabooks are not exactly made for such tasks, you’d better see this post about gaming ultrabooks if you want a sleek gaming machine. Also, if you want the latest features, you’ll mostly get them with the latest entries that bundle Haswell hardware. Otherwise, Ivy Bridge machines are still great options, especially if you’re looking to save some money, as these will be greatly discounted in the next couple of months.

Anyway with those on the table, here are the main Haswell ultrabooks you can find right now in stores or you will find in the near future. I’m constantly updating this list, but if you spotted anything that’s missing, feel free to drop me a comment at the end of the post, any help is greatly appreciated.

11-13 inch Haswell ultrabooks

Model Screen Processor Graphics Weight Price(*)
Acer Aspire S3 2013 13.3″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 U Nvidia GT 735M - -
Apple Macbook Air 11 11.6″ TN 1366 x 768 px Core i5/i7 U Intel HD 5000 2.38 lbs / 1.08 kg $899
Apple Macbook Air 13 13.3″ TN 1440 x 900 px Core i5/i7 U Intel HD 5000 2.96 lbs / 1.35 kg $999
Asus Vivobook X200LA 11.6″ TN touch 1366 x 768 px Core i3 U Intel 4400 3.0 lbs / 1.36 kg $469
Asus Vivobook S301/ Q301 13.3″ TN touch 1366 x 768 px Core i5/i7 U Intel 4400 or AMD Radeon 3.8 lbs / 1.72 kg $599
Asus Transformer Book Flip TP300 13.4″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i3/i5/i7 U Nvidia GT 820M 3.8 lbs / 1.72 kilos $499
Asus Zenbook UX301 Infinity 13.3″ IPS touch 2560 x 1440 px Core i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 / 5100 3.1 lbs / 1.43 kg $1399
Asus Zenbook UX302LA 13.3″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 3.3 lbs / 1.5 kg $999
Asus Zenbook UX302LG 13.3″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 U Nvidia GT 730M 3.3 lbs / 1.5 kg $1199
Asus Zenbook UX32LA 13.3″ TN non-glare 1366 x 768 px Core i3/i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 3.2 lbs / 1.45 kg $799
Asus Zenbook UX32LN 13.3″ TN non-glare 1366 x 768 px or IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i3/i5/i7 U Nvidia 840 GT 3.2 lbs / 1.45 kg $999
Asus Zenbook UX303LA 13.3″ IPS non-glare 1366 x 768 px or touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i3/i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 3.2 lbs / 1.45 kg $749
Asus Zenbook UX303LN 13.3″ IPS non-glare 1920 x 1080 ps or touch 3200 x 1800 px Core i5/i7 U Nvidia 840 GT 3.2 lbs / 1.45 kg $899
Dell XPS 11 11.6″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i3/i5 Y Intel HD 4200 2.5 lbs / 1.13 kg $999
Dell XPS 12 12.5″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 / 5000 3.4 lbs / 1.54 kg $1099
Dell XPS 13 13.3″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 / 5000 3 lbs / 1.36 kg $999
Dell Latitude 12 E7240 12.5″ TN 1366 x 768 px Core i3 U Intel HD 4400 2.99 lbs / 1.35 kg $1169
Fujitsu Lifebook U554 13.3″ TN 1366 x 768 px Core i5 U Intel 4400 HD 3.5 lbs / 1.58 kg $999
Gigabyte Aorus X3 13.3″ IGZO IPS 2560 x 1440 px Core i7-4710HQ Nvidia GTX 870M 3.96 lbs / 1.8 kg tba
Gigabyte Aorus X3 Plus 13.9″ IGZO IPS 2560 x 1440 or 3200 x 1800 px Core i7-4710HQ Nvidia GTX 870M 4.05 lbs / 1.83 kg tba
HP Spectre 13T-3000 13.3″ IPS 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 U Intel 4400 HD 3.2 lbs / 1.45 kg $999
HP Split 13 X2 13.3″ IPS 1920 x 1080 px Core i3/i7 Y Intel 4200 HD slate only: 2.36 lbs
slate+dock: 4.9 lbs
$749
Lenovo ThinkPad X240 12.5″ IPS 1366 x 768 px / 1920 x 1080 px Core i3/i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 starting at 2.84 lbs / 1.28 kg $999
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12.5″ IPS touch 1366 x 768 px / 1920 x 1080 px Core i3/i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 3.5 lbs / 1.58 kg $1299
Lenovo IdeaPad U330 13.3″ TN touch 1366 x 768 px Core i3/i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 3.74 lbs / 1.7 kg $699
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro 13.3″ IPS touch 3200 x 1800 px Core i3/i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 3.1 lbs / 1.39 kg $1049
Lenovo Yoga 2 11 11.6″ TN touch 1366 x 768 px Pentium Intel HD graphics 3.2 lbs / 1.45 kg $499
Lenovo Yoga 2 13 13.3″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i3/i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 3.45 lbs / 1.55 kg $899
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus 13.3″ IPS touch 3200 x 1800 px Core i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 3.06 lbs / 1.38 kg $1399
Samsung ATIV Q 13.3″ IPS touch 3200 x 1800 px Core i5/i7 U - - -
Sony Vaio Pro 11 11.6″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 1.92 lbs / 0.87 kg $1149
Sony Vaio Pro 13 13.3″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 2.34 lbs / 1.06 kg $1249
Sony VAIO Duo 13 13.3″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 / 5000 2.93 lbs / 1.32 kg $1399
Sony Vaio Tap 11 11.6″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 Y Intel HD 4200 slate only: 1.7 lbs
with keyboard: 2.2 lbs
$1149
Sony Vaio Flip 13 13.3″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 2.89 lbs / 1.31 kg $1099
Toshiba Kirabook 13.3 13.3″ IPS touch 2560 x 1440 px Core i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 2.97 lbs / 1.34 kg $1499
Toshiba Z30 13.3″ TN non-glare 1366 x 768 px or IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 2.6 lbs / 1.17 kg $899

If you want something with a larger screen and better specs, have a look at the units below.

14+ inch Haswell ultrabooks and ultraportables

Model Screen Processor Graphics Weight Price(*)
Acer Aspire R7-572 15.6″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 5.3 lbs / 2.40 kg $899
Acer Aspire V7 482PG 14″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 U Nvidia GT 750M 4.41 lbs / 2.00 kg $899
Acer Aspire V7 582PG 15.6″ IPS touch 1366 x 768 px Core i5/i7 U Nvidia GT 720M, 750M or 850M 4.85 lbs / 2.19 kg $849
Acer Aspire V5 573G 15.6″ TN touch 1366 x 768 px Core i5 U Nvidia GT 720M or 750M 4.41 lbs / 2.00 kg $849
Acer TravelMate P645 14″ IPS non-glare 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 U AMD Radeon HD 8750M 3.46 lbs / 1.57 kg -
Asus E451LD 14″ TN anti-glare 1366 x 768 px Core i5/i7 U Intel 4400 and Nvidia GT 820M 4.0 lbs / 1.81 kg $849
Asus Transformer Book Flip TP400 14″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i3/i5/i7 U Nvidia GT 820M - -
Asus Transformer Book Flip TP500 15.6″ TN touch 1366 x 768 px Core i3/i5/i7 U Nvidia GT 820M 5.7 lbs / 2.6 kilos $599
Asus Transformer Book Flip TP550 15.6″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i3/i5/i7 U Nvidia GT 840M 5.0 lbs / 2.26 kilos $649
Asus Vivobook S451 / V451 14″ TN touch 1366 x 768 px Core i5/i7 U Nvidia GT 740M 4.85 lbs / 2.20 kg $799
Asus Vivobook S551 / V551 15.6″ TN touch 1366 x 768 px Core i5/i7 U Nvidia GT 740M 5.3 lbs / 2.40 kg $799
Asus Zenbook NX500 15.6″ IPS touch 3840 x 2160 px Core i7 HQ Nvidia GT 850M 4.85 lbs / 2.20 kg tba
Asus Zenbook GX500 15.6″ IPS touch 3840 x 2160 px Core i7 HQ Nvidia GT 860M 4.85 lbs / 2.20 kg tba
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 15.6″ touch TN 1366 x 768 px or IPS 1920 x 1080 px Core i3/i5/i7 ULV Intel HD 4400 5.7 lbs / 2.54 kg $649
Dell Inspiron 7000 series 15.6″ touch TN 1366 x 768 px or IPS 1920 x 1080 px Core i3/i5/i7 ULV Intel HD 4400 or Nvidia GT 750M 5.7 lbs / 2.54 kg $699
Dell Latitude 14 E7440 14″ TN 1366 x 768 px / IPS 1920 x 1080 px Core i3/i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 starts at 3.6 lbs / 1.63 kg $1049
Dell XPS 15 15.6″ IPS touch 3200 x 1800 px Core i7 HQ Nvidia GT 750M 4.44 lbs / 2.01 kg $1549
Fujitsu Lifebook U904 14″ IPS touch 3200 x 1800 px Core i5 U Intel 4400 HD 3.06 lbs / 1.38 kg -
Gigabyte U24F 14″ TN matte 1600 x 900 px Core i7-4500U Nvidia GT 750M 3.5 lbs / 1.58 kg $1499
Gigabyte U24T 14″ TN touch 1366 x 768 px Core i7-4500U Nvidia GT 750M 3.9 lbs / 1.76 kg $1399
Gigabyte P34G 14″ IPS matte 1920 x 1080 px Core i7-4700HQ Nvidia GTX 760M 3.7 lbs / 1.67 kg $1399
Gigabyte P34G v2 14″ IPS matte 1920 x 1080 px Core i7-4710HQ Nvidia GTX 860M 3.8 lbs / 1.72 kg $1599
Gigabyte U35F 15.6″ IPS 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 U Nvidia GT 750M 5.07 lbs / 2.29 kg -
Gigabyte P35K 15.6″ IPS matte 1920 x 1080 px Core i7-4700HQ Nvidia GTX 765M 5.1 lbs / 2.31 kg $1399
Gigabyte P35G v2 15.6″ IPS matte 1920 x 1080 px Core i7-4710HQ Nvidia GTX 860M 5.1 lbs / 2.31 kg $1599
Gigabyte P35W v2 15.6″ IPS matte 1920 x 1080 px Core i7-4710HQ Nvidia GTX 870M 5.1 lbs / 2.31 kg $1799
HP EliteBook 1040 G1 14″ TN 1600 x 900 ps / IPS 1920 x 1080 px non-glare Core i3/i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 3.3 lbs / 1.49 kg $1299
HP Envy TouchSmart 14 14″ TN touch 1366 x 768 px Core i3/i5/i7 U Nvidia GT 730M 4.44 lbs / 2.01 kg $749
HP Envy TouchSmart 15 15.6″ TN 1366 x 768 px or IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 M Intel HD or Nvidia GT 740M/750M 5.6 lbs / 2.54 kg $849
HP ZBook 14 14″ LED non-glare, optional touch, 1600 x 900 or 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 U AMD FirePro M4100 starts at 3.57 lbs / 1.61 kg $1399
HP ZBook 15 15.6″ LED non-glare 1920 x 1080 px Core i7 MQ NVIDIA Quadro K610M / K1100M / K2100M starts at 6.2 lbs / 2.81 kg $1699
HP ZBook 17 17.3″ LED non-glare 1600 x 900 or 1920 x 1080 px Core i7 MQ NVIDIA Quadro K610M / K3100M starts at 7.67 lbs / 3.48 kg $1849
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2014 14″ 1600 x 900 px TN or 2560 x 1440 px IPS touch Core i5/i7 U Intel 4400 HD 2.99 lbs / 1.36 kg $1299
Lenovo ThinkPad T440s 14″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 U Intel 4400 HD 3.5 lbs / 1.58 kg $949
Lenovo Flex 14 14 TN touch 1366 x 768 px up to Core i7 Intel HD 4400 4.4 lbs / 1.99 kg $549
Lenovo Flex 2 14 14 TN touch 1366 x 768 px up to Core i7 / AMD APUs Intel HD 4400 4.2 lbs / 1.90 kg $699
Lenovo Flex 15 15.6″ TN touch 1366 x 768 px up to Core i7 Intel HD 4400 5.1 lbs / 2.31 kg $449
Lenovo Flex 2 15 14 TN touch 1366 x 768 px / 1920 x 1080 px up to Core i7 / AMD APUs Intel HD 4400 5.1 lbs / 2.31 kg $499
Lenovo IdeaPad U430 14″ TN touch 1366 x 768 px Core i3/i5/i7 U Nvidia GT 730M 4.17 lbs / 1.84 kg $699
Lenovo IdeaPad S510p 15.6″ TN 1366 x 768 px Core i5/i7 U Nvidia GT 720M 5.73 lbs / 2.59 kg $749
Lenovo Y40 14″ TN non-glare 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 U AMD R9-M275 4.9 lbs / 2.22 kg $849
Lenovo Y50 15.6″ TN non-glare 1920 x 1080 px Core i7-4710HQ Nvidia GTX 860M 5.3 lbs / 2.40 kg $1049
MSI GS60 Ghost Pro 2PC 15.6″ IGZO IPS 1920 x 1080 px Core i7-4710HQ Nvidia GTX 860M 4.4 lbs / 1.99 kg $1799
MSI GS60 Ghost Pro 3K 2PE 15.6″ IGZO IPS 2880 x 1620 px Core i7-4710HQ Nvidia GTX 870M 4.4 lbs / 1.99 kg $1999
Razer Blade 14 2014 14″ IGZO IPS touch 3200 x 1800 px Core i7 HQ Nvidia GTX 870M 4.5 lbs / 2.06 kg $1999
Razer Blade Pro 2014
17.3″ TN matte 1920 x 1080 px Core i7 HQ Nvidia GTX 860M 6.54 lbs / 2.93 kg $2499
Samsung ATIV Book 2 2013 NP270E 15.6″ TN non-glare 1366 x 768 px Core i5 U Intel HD 4400 4.85 lbs / 2.19 kg -
Samsung ATIV Book 9 2014 NP940X5G 15.6″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 px Core i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 4.4 lbs / 1.99 kg $1499
Sony Vaio Fit 14A / Flip PC
14″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 and 2880 x 1620 px Core i3/i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 4.32 lbs / 1.95 kg $849
Sony Vaio Fit 15A / Flip PC
15.5″ IPS touch 1920 x 1080 and 2880 x 1620 px Core i3/i5/i7 U Intel HD 4400 or Nvidia GT 735M 5.05 lbs / 2.29 kg $1049

* Clicking each price will show you where you can find discounts for these products.

Alright, that’s about it for now, these are the most known Haswell ultrabooks and ultraportables that you can find now in stores or will be available soon.

If you’re interested in more details about these and some other good ultrabooks worth buying, this post is a good place to start. If you’re on a budget, you might want to see this list of good ultrabooks that sell for under $800 . Or if you want something very powerful, these gaming ultrabooks might be what you need. Last but not least, more and more convertible ultrabooks have been released lately, so you might want to check them out as well.

Either way, you’ll find plenty of things about ultrabooks on this website, including the latest news, detailed reviews and comparisons.

And if you have any questions or need any help, feel free to drop me a line in the comments below, or in any other article, I’ll be around to reply.

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Andrei Girbea, aka Mike, Editor-in-Chief and a huge fan of mobile computers. Since 2007, I've only owned smaller than 12.5" laptops and I've been testing tens, if not hundreds of mini laptops. You'll find mostly reviews and guides written by me here on the site.

83 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    February 25, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Lenovo X1 Carbon is missing from the list, the current version on the site appears to have the Haswell:shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/x-series/x1-carbon/

    Also, how long until someone releases a meme graphic of “u can haz Haswell”? ;-)

  2. Pete

    March 17, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    The Dell XPS 15 uses an IPS for 1080p and IGZO for 1800p.

  3. David

    March 20, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Somebody already mentioned the HP ZBook 14, but you didn’t comment or include it–any reason it shouldn’t be on this list?

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 21, 2014 at 8:40 am

      I’m looking into the Zbook line right now, will get more details about it on the site in a few days. And I’ve added it to the list as well. Thanks for the heads-up

  4. Alexander

    April 6, 2014 at 5:17 am

    There is also the Zenbook UX32LN and the UX32LA
    U32LN=
    http://www.asus.com/Notebooks_Ultrabooks/UX32LN/

  5. Andrew

    April 11, 2014 at 3:57 am

    not listed:
    Toshiba Portege Z30 toshiba.com/us/computers/laptops/portege/Z30/Z30-ABT1300

    I am on the hunt for a sub 3-lb Ultrabook with Haswell, 16GB RAM, onsite (NOT mail-in) warranty, SSD, 1920 x 1080 (or more), backlit keyboard. And even internal 3G/4G. Such a thing likely doesn’t exist now but Sony did make the VPCZ2390X which met all of those requirements. Sadly, no longer available and nothing out there that I’m aware of meets these specs. Closest thing is the customizable Portege Z30. Vaio Pro 13 is tempting but warranty support is terrible – we have been through it twice. Email with any questions, I have been doing a ton of research.

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 14, 2014 at 6:54 pm

      The X1 Carbon 2014 is close, but only supports 8 GB of RAM. I took a look at the Z30 recently, I’m definitely not impressed with how it feels. They also claim very long battery life, but they do that by aggressively capping the CPU’s frequency in Power Saver (at 500 MHz for the Core i5-4200U). Wasn’t impressed with the keyboard and trackpad either. However, I couldn’t get it for a detailed review

  6. Anamika Pandey

    April 13, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Looking for a 15 inch haswell ultrabook . Something with a 5+ hour battery backup and good audio output.
    Haven’t found anything after days of search except the macbook pro. Need help plz !!!!

  7. Dr.Abid Ali

    April 15, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Hello Mike!
    I’m not a very computer savy person. I wish to buy a 11-13 ” laptop for myself. I’m confused between a hybrid like lenovo yoga pro/sony and samsung ativ series 9. I know it sounds wierd but please help me in buying anyone of the above. I wish to use for presentation + online video chatting for conference + a faster downloader machine. Currently I’m using dell which I’m not very impressed with.
    Thank you for your time and advise.
    Regards
    Ali…

  8. Alex

    May 12, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Thanks for the list!

    It would be *very* nice if the tables contained the weights. After all, that is the primary motivation behind ultrabooks.

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 12, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      I’ll try to add those in a future update

      • John M

        May 13, 2014 at 5:38 am

        It may be a lot of work but dimensions too, particular minimum and maximum thickness. Regardless, thanks for keeping this list going!

        • Andrei Girbea

          May 13, 2014 at 11:31 am

          Alright, I’ll consider that as well.

          Later Edit: gave it a try, but there’s no room to add two more columns. Will add the weight, but the height is more or less the same (between 18 to 22 mm, with few exception that go thinner), so I’ll have to leave it out for the time being.

          • Alex

            May 13, 2014 at 9:42 pm

            Thanks a lot for the weights column!
            Really grateful for the work you’re doing.

  9. Pol

    May 24, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Hi, Mike!

    So I’m looking for a 13″ ultrabook around high-end configurations as I intend to run CAD software on it: i7-4500+; HD 4400+ graphics (the 5000 is real rare these days); FHD display (I don’t think higher is any good with Windows right now); HDMI, mini-DisplayPort, USB 3.0, and SD-card if possible; 7+ hours of battery life; comfortable (and backlit) keyboard, responsive trackpad; and as quiet as possible.

    I like the Dell XPS 13, even though it falls short when it comes to ports; I also liked Sony VAIO Pro 13, which is their non-weird ultrabook, but it seems a bit fragile, and since they sold the company I’m unsure about warranty; the Lenovo X1 Carbon, even though it reaches the 14″, it’s still compact enough, I believe, but your review on its keyboard, plus its price, make it go off budget.

    What do you think? Are there any “better fits”?

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 24, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      The HP Spectre 13T-3000 is a good pick as well and probably fairly priced. Also, some of the Asus Zenbooks, if you can find the UX301 with the i7-4558U, but that’s going to be expensive and comes with that QWHD screen. Or maybe you can find the UX302LA.

      The Dell XPS is nice and compact, but like you said, you’re loosing some ports. I haven’t tested their Haswell version, but the reviews I’ve read speak higly of it. Maybe you can use an USB docking station, like one of those Toshiba Dynadocks to supplement them.

      There’s also the Lenovo ThinkPad T440s, also a 14 incher, but with a normal keyboard, FHD screen and better price, just somewhat heavier and thicker than the X1 Carbon

      As for the Sony, i’d stay away, exactly for the reason you mentioned: Sony sold the devision.

      • Pol

        May 25, 2014 at 2:50 pm

        Hi!

        I took a look to HP’s and Asus’ ultrabooks, and while they are pretty feature-packed, some of them got real expensive, and others were not that easy to find available.
        As for the T440s ThinkPad, I liked many of its features, but I believe it’s a bit too large and heavy to carry around as I intend to.
        In the end I’ll most likely get the XPS 13, and then buy some mini-DisplayPort to HDMI and VGA to fit my needs.

        Anyway, thanks a lot for your time and information! And keep this site up and running, it’s real useful!

  10. Darsh

    May 28, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Hi Andrei,

    First of all, a great site and a fantastic article. It took me mere milliseconds to bookmark this.

    I have a few questions but the most important one is that have your compiled your lists on some criteria? I mean are the Ultrabooks listed at the top better than the ones at the bottom of a particular list?

    You seem to have a liking for Acer books (based on the lists). Is there a specific reason for that?

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 28, 2014 at 9:48 am

      No, they are just alphabetically listed here, hence the Acer is at the top.

      In my other lists that you will find here on the site (best ultrabooks, best gaming ultrabooks, best convertibles, best ultraportable under $800, etc), I tend to put the best options towards the top. But all the laptops in my lists are good and recommended, they are just designed with different purposes and target different needs. In other words, I won’t say that a $800 ultrabooks is generally worse than a $2000 ultrabook. Yes, it does not offer the same features, but for someone who only has $800 to spare for a laptop, it could be great.

  11. munesh

    May 28, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Hi

    What is your feedback on Lenovo Ideapad U530 Touch

    Please advise

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 29, 2014 at 11:05 am

      It’s a decent and affordable laptop from what I know, but I haven’t properly reviewed it.

      • Tarun

        July 14, 2014 at 11:08 pm

        Please review it as soon as possible… I’m thinking of buying it.

  12. Darsh

    May 28, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Oh, okay.

    So if you were to recommend an ultrabook to someone from your list (which I think is all-inclusive at the moment) who wants a 15+ incher and an all-around great ultrabook that can do almost everything (with hardcore gaming not being a particular requirement), what would you recommend?

    P.S. That someone (me :) ) is not on a budget (so I’m open to high-end stuff) and is just looking for the best ultrabook that money can buy right now, is thin, looks good and isn’t too noisy or has any heating issues, what would you recommend?

    Thanks again and keep up the amazing work.

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 29, 2014 at 11:12 am

      15 incher? Well, the latest Dell XPS 15 would be at the top of my list . Other options would be the 15 inch HP TouchSmart or maybe the Razer Blades, but you said gaming is not at the top of your list, so probably there’s no point in going that high.

      If you don’t want any of the latest Haswell laptops, you could also look at the older Samsung Series 9 and the Asus Zenbook UX500VZ.

  13. Jeff

    May 29, 2014 at 4:58 am

    Great articles Andrei. Would you consider reviewing the available options from some of the other brands like Maingear, Eon/Originpc, Aorus, MSI, ibuypower and powernotebooks?

    Thanks for the great info on the ultrabook gaming PC’s

    My ultimate setup would be:

    i7 Haswell
    NVidia Graphics 4Gb
    16Gb Ram
    500G – 1Tb ssd
    1Gb 7200 RPM HDD
    15.6″ Touchscreen

    The MSI GS60 2PC Ghost 3K comes close but no touchscreen.

    Any ideas?

    Again, thanks for all you do.

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 29, 2014 at 11:20 am

      Hey Jeff. I’d love to review those but I’m not based in the US, so it’s close to impossible to get them for reviews here… So I can’t actually say much about all those. I can’t think of a similar 15 incher with such graphics. The Razer Blade 2014 could be an options, but it’s a 14 incher with only 8 GB of RAM and limited storage possibilities.

      • Jeff

        June 14, 2014 at 10:52 pm

        Hi Andrei
        I just purchased the HP Envy TouchSmart 17-j153cl Notebook. It had -most- of the things I wanted in my list above, but what sold me on it was the $875.00 USD price tag on sale at Costco. (As you know,) it has the Intel (Quad Core i7-4700MQ @ 2.40GHz processor, 16384Mb DDR3 SDRAM, 1TB (5400 rpm) HDD and uses the Intel graphics package. Not quite what I described above in my dream machine, but darn close, and the price paid vs. the amount I would have paid with the MSI GS620 (around $2100.00 USD) actually made it a no-brainer for me. I’m going to take the money i didn’t spend and take a vacation. :) Again Andrei, great articles, the information provided in them were invaluable in helping me make an informed purchasing decision. Knowledge is power, thank you very much for your writing and for what you do. Keep up the good work.

        Aloha from Hawaii.

        • Andrei Girbea

          June 16, 2014 at 9:48 am

          Hi Jeff. Enjoy your vacation. And thanks for the kind words.

          The GS620 did came with powerful graphics, so it’s not exactly a match for the HP, but if you don’t plan on gaming, you’ll be fine. You might want to upgrade that slow HDD though to an SSD, if you don’t mind sipping less Mai Tais on the beach :P

  14. themadhatter01

    June 10, 2014 at 12:34 am

    Firstly, great site Andrei and fantastic article. I found your reviews to be immensely useful but I was hoping you could help me find the ideal computer for me. The following specs would be ideal:

    13.3″-15.6″ screen size
    1920 x 1080 px or better
    IPS non-touch screen (I don’t think a touch screen is that useful for my purposes)
    Haswell Intel Core i5 or i7
    under 4 lb preferably
    under $800
    a good graphics card (like an Nvidia) would be great too

    From looking through your list, I think some of the Asus Transformer Book Flip computers can work but I’m not looking for a touch screen or hybrid computer so I might be able to sacrifice that for a cheaper computer or one with better features in other areas. Acer Aspire also looks good, although it may be out of my price range. Gigabyte P34G is probably my ideal computer but it’s also out of my price range. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 11, 2014 at 9:01 am

      It’s going to be very difficult to find a matte screen on a Haswell laptop.

      For 13 inchers, I would look at the soon to be released Asus Zenbook UX303LA, the Sony Vaio Pro 13 (although Sony sold their Vaio line and that might affect long-term warranty and support) or the HP EliteBook 850 G1 , if you could get them within your budget. You might the first two, not sure about the HP though.

      If you want to look at older IvyBridge models, you have a bit more options, but I’m not sure exactly which one gets withing your budget. You’ll have to check fro some deals. I’d look at the Asus Zenbook UX31A or the UX51VZ , the Samsung Np900x3g and probably others as well, there’s nothing else coming to my mind right now.

  15. Gurjot

    June 20, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Hey Andrei, I currently have a Dell XPS 15 (2012 model) and I`m looking to swap for something lighter, with a better battery, and a better screen (I was really unimpressed by the screen on this laptop). Overall I`m looking for something school oriented, and the good screen is required because I look at PDFs on my laptop for hours at a time. Any help you could provide would be appreciated, thanks in advance!

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 20, 2014 at 10:54 pm

      Do you want a 15 incher or something smaller? And what’s you budget?

      • Gurjot

        June 21, 2014 at 9:30 am

        I’m not that picky on screen size, but I want a really clear display, anything between 13 to 15 is good for me. I’m not looking to spend over 1200 on this. Thanks again!

        • Andrei Girbea

          June 22, 2014 at 9:56 pm

          Hard to give you specific options, there are many good laptops that might fit within your budget, like the HP Spectre 13T-3000, Asus Zenbooks (quite a few of them), Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, Acer Aspire S7, Dell XPS 12/13 and even the XPS 15 2014 and some others.

          If you want a clear screen, I’d suggest looking at some sort of 1080P IPS panel. Higher density screens are also an option, but Windows 8/8.1 doesn’t always scale properly and that means that sometimes you’ll end up with jittery details. Look into this matter for more details.

  16. Wayne

    July 8, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    The link for the Lenovo ThinkPad X240 points to the Kirabook!

  17. spacer

    July 10, 2014 at 7:25 am

    I was wondering which among these are known to be most reliable/compatible with linux?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 10, 2014 at 9:16 am

      I’m afraid that’s a bit out of my league, but I’ll try to document a post on this subject

  18. Walter

    July 17, 2014 at 7:29 am

    You missed one. The newest version of the 11.6″ Asus Vivobook x200LA has a Haswell i3 4010u. It may be the most inexpensive 11.6″ with an i3 4XXXU at about $500. However, I think its soldered single channel ram probably chokes the graphics chip on it…

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 17, 2014 at 8:31 am

      Thanks, I’ve included that one in my list of recommended mini-ultrabooks here http://www.ultrabookreview.com/2375-best-11-6-inch-ultrabooks/ , but forgot to add it to this list. I don’t think you should worry much about the single channel RAM. This is after all meant for light activities, as the i3 CPU is not very powerful. The HDD is the bottleneck though and I’d replace it with an SSD, that will really improve the performance.

      There’s also an even cheaper X200CA, with a Pentium processor, going for under $300. But this one is only suited for basic tasks.

  19. juliet

    July 22, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Hello ,good article .I can see you knowledgeable in laptop ish … I have a question between a Hp touchsmart 14″ and acer S3 13.3″ which would you advice me to get

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 23, 2014 at 11:10 am

      hi juliet. can you be more specific? Links or at least details about the configurations would help.

  20. Tony

    July 24, 2014 at 3:48 am

    I’m thinking of buying the Lenovo Y50 Touch by the end of this month. I have heard alot about the bad screen quality. But I have also heard that the touch model has better colors than the non-touch model.What do you think about its display in the touch model? I would like to watch movies at 1080p with good quality colors. I am moving from a Dell Inspiron 15 (Basic 2012 model). Will I note a significant difference?

    I feel that this laptop is within my price range and required specifications. I am not much of a heavy gamer but do like to game occasionally. I would like the laptop to be thin and sleek. Is there any other similar laptop that you would recommend? 15 inches

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 24, 2014 at 11:37 am

      I haven’t personally tested the Y50 yet. Its screens are bad compared to what you get on most modern laptop, as Lenovo went with some average TN panels. If they’re good enough for you or not, that’s something only you can tell. My advice, try to see them in stores before buying, if possible, or buy from a reputable source that allows returns, in case you’re not happy with that you get.

      Compared to the Dell Inspiron which I believe has a 1366 x 768 px TN panel, the screen on the Y50s shouldn’t be worse. Colors, contrast and viewing angles are more or less the same, but this one is sharper.

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