Budget - <$1100
Processor - i5 or A8/10 would be overkill (but if it makes more sense $ vs performance, I would go higher than lower)
OS - Win 7 or 8 and I will dual boot with Linux (Ubuntu 10.04 or Mint)
Size - 15 in. or less
Battery - variable ($300 vs ultrabook are two different expectations)
I am looking to upgrade my netbook. My usage is implied from the netbook: general internetting, multi-tasking (Word, Internet, a few third party programs), and maybe some low/mid-range games (maybe LoL or Torchlight). At this point, I am leaning towards an ultrabook/APU "sleekbook". I am of the impression that an APU might fit my general usage and help me avoid a discrete GPU (better battery life).
My netbook is a Samsung and I am very happy with their product/ proprietary software packaged. The 3 and 5 series seem like a good fit. HP also has APU powered "sleekbooks" which are attractive, save my view of HP products.
If anyone has any thoughts on how valid the ultrabook concept is (worth the hype?) vs picking up a $300-400 laptop and just beating it into the ground and getting another in 2 years. Black friday is around the corner and I would like to make a decision before that.
Any thoughts are welcome!! Thank you all for your input.
Oh man. Friday's really close by to come up with something, but I can tell you that Ultrabooks ARE good for the various basic uses you listed, simply because, unlike gaming laptops which are fitted with specs for gaming (such as high ened graphics cards and ivy bridge processors) , they are fitted with attributes that are better suited for a more business or work oriented usage (such as longer battery life and USB ports, drives etc). Samsung has good options, but also take a look at MSI and Dell. They have a good selection of ultrabooks as well. Dell has stuff thats more towards your budget, than MSI, but take a look anyway. It might we worth spending an extra $100 or $200 if it guarantees you a better buy. Both MSI and Dell have good warranty and service, internationally. So if you're traveling for work and run into problems, you won't be too far away from a service point. Hope I helped. Good luck
Dont get fooled by the word ultrabook, thinking they all have SSD's <--- i thought this 3 months ago. However most of the lower end "ultrabooks" are using a hybrid drive system from seagate which is a bit faster than HDD but still nowhere near SSD. So just make sure you get one with an SSD would be the moral of the story.