So you get Home & Student 2013, which isn’t a 365 subscription but the W X P usual suspects including OneNote but no Outlook. According to Microsoft’s own UK shop, this would normally set you back £110, so it’s worth having.Eminent critic of this parish Alastair Dabbs described the original ZenBook UX31E as one of the finest Ultrabooks on the market, reserving his only real criticism for the limited viewing angles of the 13.3-inch display.Dabbsy will no doubt be relieved to see that the latest model – renamed the ZenBook Touch UX31A – puts that right, with a bright, colourful IPS LCD display that provides 1920 x 1080 resolution and viewing angles that just won’t quit. It’s touch-sensitive too, although I’m still not convinced that touch controls are much use on a laptop of this size.
The dark, brushed-metal finish still looks very dapper, and at 1.3kg and 17mm thick the ZenBook remains one of the most portable laptops currently available. Connectivity consists of two USB 3.0 ports, along with micro HDMI and mini VGA, and Asus also includes full VGA Ethernet adaptors free of charge.It’s very expensive, though, costing a whopping £1,500 for an Ivy Bridge Core i7 running at 2.0GHz, 4GB of memory and a 256GB SSD. And, with battery life stretching to just five hours of streaming video it really needs a Haswell boost to justify that sort of price.Dell’s Latitude 12 isn’t the slimmest or lightest laptop in this selection, but it’s well built and very comfortable to use.It only has a 12.5-inch screen, but at 1.36kg it’s actually heavier than several of its 13.3-inch rivals. Even so, that’s still a pretty good weight, and the Latitude’s solid build quality makes it one of the sturdiest laptops in this group.
The keyboard has a nice, firm feel to it and will be comfortable to use for long periods. The soft-touch finish on the wrist panels shows good attention to detail and it’s well connected too, with three USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI and mini DisplayPort.Unfortunately, it’s also very expensive for a non-touch laptop with a relatively modest specification. I tested the entry-level E7240 model, which costs £1,375 for a Haswell Core i5 running at 1.6GHz, and a 4GB of memory and 128GB of solid-state storage.That only produces mid-range performance, with a score of 3000 when running PCMark 7 that is soundly beaten by the 1.3GHz MacBook Air. The Air also beats the Latitude’s 1366 x 768 resolution while still coming in at well under £1,000.The compact little battery doesn’t help either, with just 31Wh capacity that only allowed the Dell to deliver five hours of streaming video. Dell seems aware that it’s overpriced, though, and is currently offering a temporary discount of £344 for online sales, which also includes a three-year warranty to help sweeten the pill.
Firing up Word for the first time stirs the Office installer into life which has a few housekeeping tasks to do or so it would seem and instals in the background, but never quite gets there. I tried the On-Line repair option but I think this made matters worse.I'm guessing the initial stalling issues here are due to being logged on to Windows 8.1 with a Microsoft account. I have a full Office 365 instal associated with this account and it appears this started being installed instead of the Home and Studio version simply getting straightened out.Scrap that, let’s try again with the local repair. Oh lord, we’re back where we started, but instead of timing out at 86 per cent it’s 19 per cent. I put in a call to Asus' UK PR and the advice seemed quite sound at first. Go to PC Settings and perform a Refresh from the Update and Recovery section.
A few taps later and Windows 8.1 reports: “Additional disk space needed”. First it wanted 6GB more, so I chucked away the AV content and tried again, then it wanted 3.4GB more and yet all the content was gone, I’d run Disk Clean-up and I’d only loaded one app. OK, let's uninstal the app – PCMark 8. Another run and 247MB of space is needed. We're getting there and the only trick left is to delete the Microsoft account login I created and use the Asus local one it was delivered with. I'll come back to this later.The good news is that despite these notifications of apparent incompletion, you can use the Office apps. I’ve written this whole review on the T100 and have not found myself cursing the keyboard or the device in the process. In fact, those Office foibles aside, I’ve grown rather fond of the Asus Transformer Book T100, mainly because it’s so light and compact. The tablet weighs a mere 550g, and as a combo it's 1.07kg and 263 x 171 x 24mm.Personally, this was the first time I'd used an Atom-powered device where the experience didn’t come over as a series of compromises. Admittedly gamers will baulk at the PCMark 8 casual gaming frame rate of 7.2fps but the scores Home (1617) and Work (2674) show that while it’s no match for its Core i series cousins, the pace is picking up a bit. Wake from sleep is up and running by the time the lid is open, something Asus calls Instant On.
- Toshiba PA3821U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PABAS232 laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3615U-1BRM laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3591U-1BAS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3589U-1BAS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3589U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3522U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3816U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3819U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3593U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3594U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PABAS110 laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3450U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3399U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3399U-2BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3729U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3730U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3672U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3634U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3635U-1BRM laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3636U-1BAR laptop battery
The same can’t be said of powering up from cold as it was difficult to fathom whether the T100 was on at all, as there’s no obvious indicator – the power LED doesn't initially shine on boot-up. To stop it powering up in a holdall, the T100 needs the power button depressed for a few seconds but this isn't necessarily as straightforward as it sounds.The only way to tell anything is happening is when the screen flickers. That might take five seconds and it might not work at all until you depress it again, which is tiresome and not an uncommon scenario with this device. Yet from the flicker stage, it takes 20 seconds to get to the login screen.A battery life of 11 hours is claimed which seems hopeful but it all depends on what you’re doing with it. Asus has implemented its own Reading mode, which seems like a missed opportunity, as it simply alters the colour temperature of the display so that it’s warmer and easier on the eye.
The XPS “2-in-1 Ultrabook” is Dell’s answer to the Lenovo Yoga and the successor to its XPS 12, which had a pivot-about-the-middle display. Speaking of screens, that’s the key feature with the new model: an 11.6-inch panel with an amazing 2560 x 1440 resolution.Dell has dropped the old pivot screen mechanism in favour of regular hinges that here let the screen fold right back against the body of the laptop. One moment it’s a notebook, the next a tablet. It’s a touchscreen of course.Running Windows 8.1 on a 1.5GHz Haswell Core i5, the £929 XPS 11 also features the category-standard 4GB of memory and 128GB SSD. Like the MacBook Air, it has dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi too. The XPS only weighs 1.13kg, though.Battery life isn’t bad, though, with preliminary numbers pointing to eights hours’ runtime on a single charge. Not quite up there with the Air, but certainly above average.
- Toshiba PA3636U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3728U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3818U-1BAS laptop battery
- Toshiba PABAS228 laptop battery
- toshiba PA3191U-5BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3356U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3356U-2BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3356U-3BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3587U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3588U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PABAS066 laptop battery
- Toshiba PABAS071 laptop battery
- Toshiba PABAS105 laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3475U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3331U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3534U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PABAS098 laptop battery
- Toshiba PABAS174 laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3535U-1BRS laptop battery
- Toshiba PA3727U-1BRS laptop battery
- toshiba PABAS240 laptop battery
Most of the laptops reviewed here are expensive Ultrabook models, but HP’s Pavilion TouchSmart 11 is a return to the days of the affordable netbook.Its outstanding feature is its price: a mere £299 which gets you an 11.6-inch touch-sensitive screen, a 1GHz AMD A4-1250 processor, 4GB of memory and a 500GB hard disk. That spec’s not going to win any awards, barely passing the 1000 mark in PCMark 7. Even so, the TouchSmart 11 can still handle basic work in office apps, as well as web browsing and streaming video. It even manages to squeeze in a 10/100 Ethernet port, two USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port, along with full-size VGA and HDMI.The touch-sensitive screen is good value at this price and responds smoothly when you’re flicking around the Windows 8 Start screen. The highly reflective glossy screen is irritating at times and so is the 1366 x 768 resolution, though it’s forgiveable at this price. The image is bright enough to provide a good viewing angle for anyone sitting next to you in your local coffee shop.
It’s not the lightest machine in this group, but the 1.5kg weight is no hardship. However, the keyboard and trackpad are rather small and didn’t really allow me to type at full speed. Battery life is also fairly modest: around 4.5 hours of streaming video. Even so, the TouchSmart is still pretty good value if you need a really portable machine on a tight budget.Admittedly, with Reading Mode on the Asus, I was expecting some power saving features similar to those that appear on the Kobo Arc 10HD Android tablet's Reading mode, that disables various peripheral functions, but no. The power tweaks on here are all standard Windows options along with some separate Intel Graphics backlighting adjustments.You’ll want to keep an eye out on the battery though, as a complete recharge can take about 8 hours, which leads me to think that perhaps Asus could have supplied a rather more beefy charger for the 31Whr Li-Po power cells. You don’t get a secondary battery in the dock either but it clocked up 6hrs 18mins on PCMark 8's arduous battery test, so the hours could well stretch into double figures with some frugal power settings.
So what happened with the PC refresh mentioned earlier? Deleting the Microsoft account login I’d created cleared off a load of space so I could perform a Refresh. However, this didn’t solve anything. It warns that it will delete installed applications, producing a list that included Office Home and Student.Afterwards another list is created on the desktop showing what has been deleted. Oddly enough Office Home and Student wasn’t on this list. It wasn’t on the T100 either, but had been replaced by the generic Office installer that has Buy, Activation and Demo modes. None of which are very helpful without an activation code. Asus tells me this is included in the box when buying a T100, but as this model was doing the rounds for review, it had been removed.