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Powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, the Asus VivoBook S550CM is extremely compatible with the Windows 8 operating system and leagues ahead of most other ultra books and laptops. Equipped with a DVD writer, along with a large 15.6 responsive touch screen display and an internal storage system comprising of a HDD and a SDD, this ultra-book is a must-have for all tech-savvy users.

 

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Design
The Asus VivoBook S550CM is just less than an inch thick, which is unique for a laptop with a 15.6  display. It has a simple yet sleek design with a black colored aluminum lid and a subtle brushed finish. Rendered with a beautiful light color, the palm rest and keyboard area aptly contrast the lid. The area around the keyboard is also made out of aluminum. The base of the chassis is black and made from supreme quality plastic. In hindsight, it is the surplus amount of metal used that enables this laptop to stand out from the rest.

 

This Asus ultra-book is equipped with a 1.7 GHz third generation Intel Core i5-3317U processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM and a 750 GB hard drive. Coupled with the hard drive is a 24 GB solid-state drive that augments the responsiveness of the operating system. The VivoBook S550CM features a switchable Nvidia GeForce GT635M graphics card with 2 GB of memory for demanding applications, but it can also use the integrated Intel HD graphics in an idle state. You can also manually select programs to alternate between integrated or discreet graphics from Nvidia’s control panel.

 

It does have a slightly large footprint and is a bit heavy at 2.6 kg, which does not make it ideal for traveling. However, with its slim design, ultra low voltage processor, and other admirable features, it is still one of the best ultra-books available. It also has certain unprecedented features among ultra-books like a detachable battery and user-upgradeable memory and hard drive.

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Display
The Asus VivoBook S550CM has a large 15.6 responsive touch screen display that innovatively implements the operating concept of touch screenphones and tablets. The glare-type screen in edge-to-edge design has a resolution of 1366×768 pixels, an average maximum brightness of just below 200 cd/m, and a contrast of 171:1. Moreover, it has a modest black value of 1.26 cd/m. Furthermore, the brightness is reduced to 162 cd/m  on battery to save energy.

 

Performance
With a dual-core ultra-low voltage processor, this laptop is good for daily usage, media consumption, and casual gaming with low-to-medium ranged visual effects. The hard drive boasts of sequential read and write speed of 84 MB/s and 80 MB/s respectively.The speakers are neither too loud nor too soft and provide you with ideal listening pleasure. Moreover, this laptop boots in just under 10 seconds and performs exceptionally well even when multiple applications work simultaneously or the antivirus runs in the background.

 

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Connectivity

All the ports are conveniently placed at the side of the ultra-book. The left side features D-sub and HDMI video outputs, an Ethernet GB port, and a USB 3.0 port. The right side features a tray-loading DVD writer, two USB 2.0 ports, and a headphone/microphone combo jack. This is one of the rare ultra-books to feature an optical drive. It also features a card reader, HDMI and VGA support for multi-monitor use and the compulsory Kensington lock.

 

Battery Life
The battery has a maximum runtime of 4 hours and 20 minutes under low load, minimum brightness and disabled wireless module in an idle scenario. In a Wi-Fi scenario while surfing the net, the battery lasts for 3 hours and 39 minutes with a screen brightness of approximately 150 cd/m. In DVD playback mode, the battery runs for 1 hour and 44 minutes.

 

Verdict
The Asus VivoBook S550CM is suitable for both, office applications as well as gaming. Though its display quality is just average, the Asus VivoBook S550CM is still responsive enough for a Windows 8 capacitive multi-touch screen. While not being apt for traveling because of its heavy weight, the large 15.6  display screen makes it an ideal desktop substitute. One of its most favorable qualities is the interchangeable graphics mode between discrete NVIDIA and onboard Intel graphics according to the application loaded. This in turn, helps preserve battery life.

 

  • Ultrabooks
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In the recent past, the word ‘Ultrabook’ has gained immense popularity in the world of gadgets. Ever since its advent, it has taken the mobile computers’ scenario by storm. In this blog, we will have a detailed look into a leading Ultrabook- Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A and decipher what has made it a hot favourite among laptop users. But before we delve into the nuances of Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A, it makes sense to understand the basics of an Ultrabook and what makes it different from its counterparts. The first question that will naturally come in our mind is what is an Ultrabook? Well, the answer to the same will also vary; some might say that it is a Window’s equivalent to Apple MacBook Air, whereas, others might say that it’s a lightweight and portable variant of the usual laptop. But, going by the thumb rule that you should always consult an expert, hence, it is ideal to understand what the inventor of ‘Ultrabooks’ has to say. According to Intel, the inventor of the concept of Ultrabooks, these are thinner and longer-lasting laptops that do not compromise on performance.

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It will be good, if we understand the basic difference between a laptop and an Ultrabook. Ultrabook is a wafer thin laptop, in the generic sense of the term. If we quote, ‘Ultrabook is a new category of mobile device inspired by Intel’. These flaunt a slimmer and lighter body for ultra-portability, without compromising on features and performance and hence come at a higher cost as compared to laptops. Laptops serve as a cheaper option, even if they have better specifications than Ultrabook. Since ‘portability with performance’ have been the buzzword in the mobile computing segment, Ultrabooks have become highly desirable.

 

The first entrant in the ‘Ultrabook’ category was the Asus Zenbook UX31E in the year 2011. The same created a lot of hype in the market and became an instant hit among the gadget frenzy audience. The all-metal design of this Ultrabook made it a direct competitor to the MacBook Air. But, there were certain flaws with this unique Ultrabook in terms of both the internal and external features. But, the maker was quick in reacting to the crisis and launched a revamped version of the same that took care of all the flaws.

 

The modified Ultrabook from the house of ASUS witnessed a change in terms of the flaws that were previously complained about. The new series of Asus Ultrabooks were named as Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A. As a matter of fact, this gadget still remains one of the best-looking Ultrabooks around. Although, it will not be wrong to say that its design is similar to that of MacBook’s Air, especially the tapered profile and the new black and rounded keys. The new Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A is almost similar like the old Zenbook UX31E. It is only when you have a look inside it that you will get to know about the difference. The new Zenbook has a 3rd Generation Intel Core i5 or i7 ‘Ivy Bridge’ processor along with the new Intel HM76 Express chipset. All these additions make this Ultrabook all the more desirable. It has a 13.3 inch screen at 1920×1080 resolutions which is Full HD. The new processor that comes with Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A is faster and also includes improved graphics. The same owes its credit to the Intel HD Graphics 4000 technology.

 

Apart from highlighting the revamped features, here is a detailed look at the specifications of Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A:

  • This Ultrabook has an illuminated keyboard, which comes with a gorgeous 1080p IPS (in-plane switching) display.
  • It displays a quick start-up; it takes only 7 seconds going from hibernate to keyboard interaction phase.
  • Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A exhibits an impressive battery life; a single full charge lasts for 5 hours operation.
  • This Ultrabook’s firmware supports Intels’ Anti-Theft and Identity Protection technology, thus making it an ideal choice for safety lovers.
  • It has the new Intel HM76 Express Chipset that gives native support for a pair of USB 3.0 ports.

One of the major highlights of Ultrabook Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A is its impressive battery life, which ensures that you do not get stuck due to a drained out battery in the middle of your work. There are certain additional features that make this Ultrabook score more points:

  • The Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A keyboard comes with backlit, which means that you can easily use the keyboard even in the dark.
  • There are ambient sensors on the keyboards that adjust the brightness of the backlight according the ambient lights. This feature ensures that the keyboard is just adequately lit up without consuming too much power.
  • One of the most highlighting features is, with the purchase of Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A, you get updated to the Windows 8 at a very low price.

This Ultrabook from Asus easily replaces the traditional laptop to offer higher portability and functionality along with great user experience.

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The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 is a 13-inch ultrabook that has various unique features. It looks similar to a traditional laptop but provides touch screen which can directly control the Windows 8 tile interface. This amazing laptop allows users to push the screen back which makes it to function like a tablet or even a presentation tool. The screen position of the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 can be shifted in four ways. The first is the notebook mode having the keyboard on the front while the second is stand mode for watching movies or video chatting. The third screen position is the tent mode which is great for touch-based tasks while the last is the tablet mode.

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Build and Design
The Lenovo Yoga 13 ultrabook is a great combination of fast performance, good battery life as well as thin and light design. This 13-inch notebook is just 0.67 inches thin and weighs 3.3lbs which makes it similar to the size and weight of the 12-inch notebook. It has the 10-point multi-touch display without any touch-sensitive layers that are mostly used by thicker convertible notebooks. The screen lid of this laptop is strong and comes with the ability to change positions. Its pressure-activated power button is located on the front edge of the notebook. This laptop uses a single standard RAM slot so its maximum storage capacity is 8GB.

 

Ultrabook Features
This laptop has a modest array of ports as the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 is designed to be like a thin and lightweight tablet. It provides a 4-in-1 media card reader, headset jack, HDMI and two USB ports.

 

Display Screen
The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 has an IPS display panel that gives consistent colours and screen brightness. As opposed to most 13-inch laptops, this laptop gives resolution of 1600×900 pixels. It gives good speaker quality with can give maximum volume output that can fill a large meeting room with clear sound. It gives great audio performance for a basic video. It gives amazing multimedia experience due to its Dolby Home Theatre v4 audio.

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Keyboard and Touchpad
The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 features a standard Chiclet-style keyboard that has good spacing between keys. This AccuType keyboard has a clean layout with rounded keys. It has placed the Home, PgUp, PgDn and End keys in a single row on the right side of the keyboard and has comfortable leather texture for the palm rests.

 

It also has a Synaptics touchpad with a smart sensor that implements palm rejection. It also features Windows 8 specific navigation actions as well as to scroll, zoom and rotate. It also provides freeze/unfreeze screen feature for the Windows desktop which makes it one of the best laptops.

 

Performance
The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 offers three processor options which are 1.8GHz Intel Core i3 processor, 1.7GHz Intel Core i5 processor and 1.90GHz Intel Core i7 processor. It also provides an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 which is perfect for handling any streaming HD videos or even games. It gives fast performance due to the 128GB SSD which is faster than the hard disk drive.

 

Battery Life
The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 has an enclosed 4-cell battery that can run for up to 3 hours and 35 minutes. Based on the usage of the laptop, the battery life varies significantly.

 

Conclusion
The Lenovo Yoga 13 is one of the best touch screen laptops featuring Windows 8 OS. This laptop has a great display with a nice fit and finish. It is a powerful and feature-packed Ultrabook designed to be used like a tablet. This is an amazing laptop can be bought online by those who like its various screen positions as well as the fabulous Windows 8 OS.