I'm thinking of buying a new laptop sometime soon to replace my MSI X-370. My current laptop is OK but the build quality isn't great and I wouldn't mind a general performance upgrade.
I only use my laptop when travelling to family/friends/GF etc. so portability and durability are very important. I'd look for at least 2-3 hours of heavy usage out of the battery and it can't be much bigger than my X-370 which snugly fits in my bag. I have been looking at the Sony Vaio S 13'' and that would be my maximum size really. In terms of usage, I do some light gaming, occasional audio editing and some general usage. The AMD E-450 is sufficient for those needs but I would definitely benefit from a performance boost. The only games I play on my laptop are CPU intensive so graphics aren't too important but a dedicated GPU would be a nice bonus. A removable battery is preferable but not necessary. Lastly, I'm looking at a minimum resolution of 1600x900. Budget is ~£800 and is fairly flexible.
- Small, 13'' laptop (<1'' thickness is fine, it doesn't have to be an ultrabook)
- Decent CPU performance and adequate GPU performance. (i5/HD 4000 is OK.)
- Must have good build quality, this part is important.
- 1600x900 or higher resolution
So far I've looked at the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook and Sony Vaio S (w/ 1600x900 screen, i5 and dedicated graphics selected.)
The Dell was great but they have changed the site now so you have to have it with an i7, 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM so it has jumped out of my budget range. The i5/128GB/4GB version was at £800 and although the performance is pretty average for the price, it was perfect for me as it has excellent build quality and a 1080P screen.
The Sony has excellent performance for the price and has an optical drive but the build quality doesn't look great. There is a carbon fiber version but as far as I can tell, the differences are only aesthetic. The only other thing with this is that it looks a bit boring, not a dealbreaker though.