Ultrabook Convertibles and You, a buyer’s guide for the winter holidays.

Purchasing a new laptop can be one of the most arduous and stressful experiences a consumer can have. Standing in a retail environment with 30+ different machines staring at you, the salespeople constantly trying to up-sell, specs and options that you don’t understand but still want, and the looming thought that your brand new powerhouse of computer may be outdated in mere months.

Well, we here at Nerdreactor understand how difficult it can be to choose the right laptop and have created a list (making sure to check it twice). This list is specifically for Intel’s new line of Ultrabook convertibles or “Lookbooks”. An Ultrabook is defined by Intel as (according to Wikipedia): An Ultrabook is a higher-end type of subnotebook defined by Intel. Intel has applied to register the name as a trademark.[1] Ultrabooks are designed to feature reduced bulk without compromising performance and battery life. They use low-power Intel Core processors, solid-state drives, and unibody chassis to help meet these criteria.[2] Due to their limited size, they typically omit common laptop features such as disc drives and ethernet ports.[3]

To those with little tech knowledge, this translates into a compact, lightweight, powerful, high quality laptop with features such as touch commands (on some models) and great battery life.

The Ultrabooks convertibles which we will see on this list are specifically those running Windows 8, meaning they will have touch-screen capabilities. First, I will give a description of the consumer, then match the best possible Ultrabook to each stereotype.


A student. Typically my laptop needs to be easy to type with, have great portability, high battery life, and can run a variety of software needed for my classes. I would also like fun features such as easy to access social feeds, some gaming, easy media access, and possible tablet conversion.

VAIO T Series 13 Ultrabook


Why this one?

From our list of convertibles, the VAIO T Series 13 seemed the easiest to quickly close, convert, and type with. With a beautiful display and quick conversion, this powerhouse can do everything from Word documents to 3D gaming. Featuring a large hard drive on even the basic models, this convertible will perfectly bridge the gap for any student looking for a powerful laptop and tablet in one. From our hands on time, we also noticed it was one of the lightest in the series of convertibles. Although all of them were considerable light-weight, the VAIO and the Asus really stood out as the featherweights of the group.


A typical individual with a desk job. My laptop needs to be efficient, sturdy, elegant yet highly functional. I also need a tablet to use on break, or at home, in bed, and around the house. Microsoft office is a necessity, as are news feeds and current event updates. While social media isn’t as important to me, i still want to be able to monitor my children’s activities and accomplishments.

Lenovo Ideapad Yoga (Exclusive to Best Buy)


Why this one?

While all Ultrabook convertibles will perform the functions you require, the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga has not only the more professional design, but its 360% folding screen quickly converts it from clamshell to tablet. It may not be the most powerful Ultrabook on our list, but it makes up for it with the highest battery life out of this subgroup. It is also one of the thinnest from these choices and is easily portable in either a briefcase or purse. Our only skeptical analysis was due to its design, the keyboard was left on the bottom of the machine in tablet mode. This can be dangerous to anybody who may misplace it on an uneven surface and could potentially damage the keys.


An artist. While clamshells may be useful, I also need a tablet to better showcase my work and be able to work on projects on the go with no need for a keyboard or mouse. Due to the high processing demand of Adobe software, my machine needs to be exceptionally powerful but still have a certain charm.

Toshiba Satellite U920T/U925T Ultrabook


Why this one?

The Satellite is not only an extremely powerful machine, but from our own experience had the most visually stunning display. For many artists a Macbook has been a necessity due to its high resolution. The Toshiba matches the Macbook Pro’s retina display with its own high resolution screen. Featuring Gorilla glass, you don’t need to worry about breaking the screen from a slight slip of the hand. Its tablet mode is also the most impressive we have seen so far. It really doesn’t feel anything like a laptop, but a slightly thicker iPad with Windows 8.

Editor’s Note:

The Toshiba personally fits my needs from start to finish, I’ve always find myself needing to use a laptop for coverage but the size and ability of a tablet makes it easier to carry and use which had me in that eternal struggle of which one do I need to invest in. You first notice the ease of use especially with the Window 8 OS, but once you spend some time playing around not with just the system, but Ultrabook itself and not have to worry about damaging anything, it’s a simple open and slide. Plus the design is amazing since the face of the laptop covers the keyboard, keeping your investment safe. Now the choice is easy; it’s everything you need in one, making this my personal choice.


Not in the market for a tablet. The tablet craze may be going strong, but I will not budge. While I may not believe in tablets, I would still love to have a touch-screen display. I also enjoy sharing my videos and pictures with friends but will admit to having some difficulty with clamshells. I am also accustomed to Apple-esque design and aesthetics.

Acer Aspire S7


Why this one?

Well for one, the Acer Aspire S7 does NOT convert into a full tablet. It does although have all the touch-screen features you could ever want and need. The S7 is also one of the most aesthetically pleasing on our list for mac users. Featuring a sleek silver finish, this is also the thinnest Ultrabook on our list. The screen folds back 180% to create the illusion of a tablet with a keyboard underneath reminiscent of a Microsoft Surface device. With some awesome upcoming software updates for Windows 8, users will be able to transfer files with a simple flick of the finger.


A gamer. I already own a top of the line Desktop PC at home, but have been quite interested in tablet based games. I also still want to be able to play all the games that a top of the line gaming laptop could handle. My machine needs to be powerful and meet the demanding standards of top end games.

Dell XPS Duo 12 Ultrabook


Why this one?

Well this laptop isn’t exactly a Razer Blade, but its on-board Intel 4000 chip will offer gamers the resolution they need for all but the most demanding of high-end games. Let’s be honest, if you’re in the market for a specifically gaming oriented laptop, this isn’t for you. But, if you’re a gamer who can be satisfied with not playing Skyrim on ultra high settings until you get home, then the Dell XPS Duo 12 is the perfect Ultrabook for you. A high resolution screen backed by a 3rd Gen I7 Processor, which will enable you to play any touch-based game. Just imagine the possibilities.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this concludes our list for the top most desirable and best fitting Ultrabook convertibles that should suit the lifestyle of society’s modern stereotypes. We hope that this provided you with some knowledge on what these machines can do without bombarding you to the brink of insanity with tech-specs and overbearing analysis. With this sure-fire guide, you should be able to find that perfect Ultrabook for yourself or loved one and have an extra happy winter holiday that won’t leave you standing in the middle of a Best Buy wondering…


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