It’s one of the most Ultraboooky Ultrabooks out there. The Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro sits with the Sony Vaio Pro 13 and the Samsung ATIV Book 9 as showcase devices that are fast, light, stylish and very very usable. The Yoga 2 Pro, however, differs in that it’s a convertible. You wouldn’t know it at first glance though because it’s under 16mm thick and weighs just 1400 grams / 3 pounds. You can’t tell an Ultrabook from it’s thickness and weight though so let’s get into the full review of the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
One of the best Ultrabooks of the 2012/2013 phase was the Samsung ATIV Book 9. It got even better with Haswell and a QHD screen in the following version. It’s a stunning bit of kit that I’ll be testing fully over the next week or two.
In the meantime, enjoy this overview video and feel free to ask questions. Price is currently about $1399 for the 128GB/4GB/QHD/Core i5 version. It’s not cheap and one could argue that for that price you shouldn’t have to carry adaptor cables but despite that, the quality, efficiency and style should fit with a lot of customers.
An impressive-looking Fujitsu Lifebook U904 model with Win 8 Pro, 14-inch 3200×1800 IGZO touch screen, VPro, 10GB RAM, 4G, 256GB SSD, fingerprint reader, weighing, 1.39KG and offering up to 8 hours of battery life is going to cost you 1800 Euros after tax but wow, it’s looking like a very impressive bit of professional Ultrabook.
Sony have created a pure Ultrabook showcase with the Vaio Pro 13. It’s thin, light, powerful, stylish, touch-enabled and efficient. There’s WiDi, NFC and a fast SSD and you can add an external battery to the 37Wh pack that’s already inside.
The Sony Vaio FIT Multi-Flip is another example of some of the innovation going on in the laptop market right now. It’s the Ultrabook platform that gives designers and engineers the flexibility to build designs like this. Once again, Sony include a digitizer layer and a feature-rich product.
Next month, Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere will be setting out on an 1800 mile round-journey to the South Pole covering the same route as the failed 1911/1912 journey by Captain Scott. As part of that journey they will be taking part in a media challenge that no-one has attempted before. 110 days of blogging, video editing, photo posting, Facebook updating and Tweeting using two Sony Vaio Pro 13 Ultrabooks, a few solar panels and a set of Li-Ion battery packs.
I had a chance to sit down with Ben to talk about the Ultrabooks, the extremes of the South Pole and how to make a chess board with Paint and Shortcut icons. This audio recording was made at IFA 2013.
Lenovo launched five new Thinkpads today. We’re taking a closer look at each one in turn. First-up is what we consider to be the one that embraces what we love about Ultrabooks. High mobility, long battery life and lots of technology that helps to ‘get things done.’ The Lenovo Thinkpad X240 will replace the X230 and offer Ultrabook builds on the 15W TDP Haswell processors.
Starting in October The Scott Expedition is aiming to re-trace the route taken by Robert Scott on his 1911/12 journey to the South Pole. He made it, but never quite made it back and so the 1800 mile round trip remains unfinished.
Ben Saunders and team-mate Tarka L’Herpiniere will clearly have some challenges and I won’t attempt to detail the obvious ones but less obvious is the need for non-safety-related communication. Sponsors need pictures, videos, webcasts, social network feedback and tracking so the requirements for electronic equipment are challenging. Intel are sponsoring the team with a Sony Vaio Pro Ultrabook based on Haswell (the latest Core processor) and everything will be charged via sunlight.
I’m very interested in Solar-powered computing (to the point where I did my own 500km journey in 2007 and run a separate blog on solar mobile computing) and ultra mobile computing so as this project also combines the use of Ultrabooks, I’ll be following it closely. More detail on the kit and method below.
Testing power usage on Haswell Ultrabooks is difficult due to the huge range of scenarios that the next generation Ultrabooks have. They’ll stream music for days and yet if you try to do too much gaming on them, you might be out of juice in as little as two hours. What we can say though, without a shadow of a doubt, is that the battery life on Haswell Ultrabooks, compared to Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks is hugely improved. We’ve got a Dell XPS 12 with Haswell here that proves it.
At 699 Euro, the Haswell-based Lenovo Ideapad U330 is the cheapest Haswell Ultrabook on the market right now. It’s now available to order and shipping, at least in Germany. If you’re not into touch, there’s a non-touch version (not a true 2013 Ultrabook but up to 2012 Ultrabook specs) available for 599 Euro.