Finally, a New Laptop!

Finally, I received my new laptop, the HP Spectre 13t-3000 ultrabook, on this Monday, MLK Day! I was so excited that I spent a lot of time playing around with it this week. Here I would talk about the reasons why I've chosen this one, and I would write something about the installation of Arch Linux on this ultrabook in a later post.

Here are the important factors I would seriously consider when choosing my new laptop:

  1. Long battery life. I was eager to replace my old laptop with a new one in early 2013, but I decided to wait for the Intel Haswell because of its much higher energy efficiency than its predecessor, Ivy Bridge.
  2. Thin, light and portable. I would carry my laptop very often, so I'm hoping to get a thin and light one. Also, I would not choose laptops whose screen size is either too large or too small. Therefore the 13 inch or 14 inch models would be great.
  3. High screen resolution. Well, at least Full HD, 1920x1080.
  4. SSD. This is also a MUST. I would prefer a model with 256 GB SSD which is large enough for me to work.
  5. Compatibility with Linux. This is actually the most bothering factor since now most of the mainstream laptop producer only provide OS options such as Windows 8 and Windows 7, and they don't guarantee the hardware compatibility of Linux.
  6. Other things including large memory, at least 8 GB, 802.11ac wireless card and backlit keyboard.
  7. If I could not find such an ultrabook, I would go for the Macbook Air.

Finally, I decided to choose from HP Spectre 13t-3000 and Dell XPS 13, both of which seem to satisfy my needs. The pros for the Dell XPS 13 are:

  1. It could have Ubuntu preinstalled, meaning there is at least some guarantee of Linux compatibility.
  2. A little smaller and lighter.
  3. Much more famous in technology community. I could hardly find any reviews about HP Spectre 13t-3000 while there are a bunch of articles and people talking about the Dell XPS 13.

The pros for HP Spectre 13t-3000 are:

  1. Cheaper. Most of the configurations of their high-end models are the same, but the HP one is about 200 dollars cheaper before using any coupons.
  2. Higher screen resolution, which I found very appealing. The Dell XPS 13 only has a FHD screen, while HP Spectre 13t-3000 has an option to choose a QHD screen, which is 2560x1440. The PPI for a 13.3-inch QHD screen is about 220.84, slightly larger than the 15-inch Macbook Pro with Retina display's PPI, 220.53.
  3. I think the design of the HP Spectre 13t-3000 looks better.:)

Still, I was a little worried about the Linux compatibility of HP Spectre 13t-3000 until I found someone else on youtube had successfully installed Kubuntu on it and it seemed there were no big problems. I also found a 200-dollar off coupon code for HP and it made the total price even cheaper(Er, I mean, relatively, it is still an expensive laptop). In addition, I found dealing with HP is much easier than Dell. I have an aweful experience with Dell. Based on these considerations, I finally go for the HP Spectre 13t-3000.

Up until now, I'm quite satified with this ultrabook. However, if there is an option offered by HP that I could have such a high resolution QHD screen without the touch feature, I would say this ultrabook will be perfect to me. I couldn't find anything useful of a touchscreen since I use Linux exclusively in this ultrabook. Maybe Unity 8, which is said to be out in Ubuntu 14.10, will have some touchscreen-friendly designs. I couldn't find such designs right now in KDE Plasma Desktop, which is my main Linux DE now. What's more, a touchscreen is heavier than a non-touch one, and I could feel clearly that this ultrabook is heavier that the Macbook Air, especially the screen. The touchscreen could shorten the battery life, too. However, since this laptop is originally shipped with Windows 8, a touchscreen seems inevitable. What a pity.

Junpeng Qiu 25 January 2014
blog comments powered by Disqus