I use my Intel NUC with Atom N2820 processor daily. It’s quiet, neat and runs Openelec like a dream. It was cheap too but now I’m wondering if I should have waited. The Ainol Mini PC comes with RAM, storage, a Windows OS and a 26 Wh battery for just $129. It’s silent too!
Ainol Mini PC
It doesn’t have a Gigabit Ethernet port but it does have USB3.0 so adding an adaptor is no problem. Retro-fitting an infra-red reciever might be a problem though and of course this Baytrail-T ‘tablet without screen’ is not going to allow for any expansion. The storage won’t be as fast as what’s possible with the SATA interface on an Intel NUC. The biggest problem I see though is that you might have problems installing your favorite Linux distro on this due to the 32-bit UEFI bug. Some tablets come with a 64-bit Windows not but you can clearly see that this 64-bit CPU is running a 32-bit Windows version on the Geekbuying sales page.
Along with the Baytrail-T-based dongles these are interesting IoT-style products (and with a 3G dongle could be the perfect malicious hotspot) but until they allow you to boot your chosen 64-bit OS they’re not flexible enough. If anyone finds a similar one with 64-bit UEFI bootloader, let us know.
I bought an Acer E11 Windows laptop. It’s pretty much an Acer C3 Chromebook running Windows. Same N2840 CPU. Same 2GB of RAM. Same 32GB eMMC SSD. Same weight and sizing. Over the last two days I’ve tested it hard and now have my first set of thoughts about the Windows vs Chromebook experience. I’ll go deeper into this topic over time and add videos and long-term thoughts as my experience grows but I wanted to get thoughts out there as soon as possible to help people in the run up to holiday-season buying. This could be one of the most interesting market fights we’ve seen since Android and IOS. Chromebooks and the new wave of Windows netbooks fit different user types, but do the potential customers know that?
In our last review we looked at an 8-inch tablet running on the Atom Z3740 costing under $300. In this review we have the Dell Venue 11 Pro 10.8 inch tablet running the current high-end Z3770 CPU and costing $499. The powered keyboard is an additional accessory at $159. The two units are extremely well built but are they worth it? We take a look in our detailed Dell Venue 11 Pro review.
Take a look at the back of most Ultrabooks and you’ll find nothing. By having sealed-in batteries the OEMS save money, weight and space. The owner, however, is left with the big unknown of battery lifetime and if you’ve ever owned a laptop you’ll know how totally useless they are when you have to drag the mains cable around with you everywhere. I recently had to order a new internal battery for a Samsung Series 5 NP530 that is under two years old and has zero battery capacity. On the other hand I’m typing this on a two-year old Ultrabook that still has 85% battery capacity. So how long will the average battery last?
This is a post by Surface Pro 2 owner Hector Gomez who shares his battery life report after one month of usage…
When Microsoft announced the first Surface Pro it got hit with many reviewers claiming battery life was only around 3.5 hours. I personally got a good 5 hours, and yes, if I watched a lot of videos on it, it did drop down. Though I was able to get a full work day use out of it I accepted I would always have to carry the power supply with me for full-days of usage. That changed with the Microsoft Surface Pro 2…
It is possible to feel confident that you’ll last the day without your charger. I experienced it for the first time with Haswell and with the Fujitsu S904 it’s possible you could even do a two-day + hotel stretch without a charger. It’s not an Ultrabook because of the battery bump but at only 1.5KG it’s probably got the biggest battery / weight ratio of any laptop or Ultrabook.
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.
There isn’t a manufacturer out there what will tell you how long that sealed-in battery will last and you’ll be lucky to get any idea of replacement cost, or even possibility, before you buy that product.
I’ve got an Ultrabook here that is reporting a warning that the battery needs replacement after just 18 months. On another, that I’ve been using for well over a year, the wear level is just 14%. In this article you’ll find out why Ultrabooks have sealed batteries, how to check your battery health, tips for prolonging the life of your battery and some examples of Ultrabooks with removable batteries.
Sure, we can all get an Ultrabook to run for 10hrs. I did it myself recently when I put a Samsung through a typing test but how about being online and running web apps? Running the web through a browser is one of the most taxing things you can do to a laptop so seeing 9.5hrs runtime in a MobileMark2012 test is something worth checking out, in 60 seconds with a timelapse video. Haswell is doing the business.
What’s Connected Standby? It’s the hardware and software that turns a PC into a smart device. Always on, Always Connected! You can find more information here and I encourage you to read it and to consider this ‘seal of efficiency’ for your next laptop or mobile PC which, in 2013, can only be an Ultrabook or a Clovertrail or BayTrail based laptop, tablet, convertible or dockables.
Here’s a way to check for Connected Standby, battery capacity and to view historical battery life reports. Useful to use quickly in the PC store!
While Ultrabooks generally perform to similar efficiencies under load there’s quite a difference when it comes to near-idle operations and that can seriously impact the length of time you can use an Ultrabook as an offline word processor. As a blogger that’s a very important scenario for me and I suspect that if you’re offline and answering a bunch of emails or writing a presentation or report, this scenario is important to you too. If you choose the right Ultrabook you can get 10 hours of typing on one battery charge.