Sunday, January 31, 2016

vertical inches matter - 16:10 or better (3:2, 4:3) laptops, ie "real laptops" or "business laptops"

business laptops are generally pretty solid - tons of options for cpu, pixel density, memory, storage, graphics. but there's very little choice when it comes to aspect ratio - the vast majority of laptops for sale today (jan 2016) are 16:9. this translates to very short screens that are great for watching movies, but just aren't useful for doing real work.  in the hopes of encouraging sales, and hence production, of real business laptops, i'm going to maintain a list

  • HP spectre x2 - windows 10 convertible, 3:2, 12", core m, $800 (m5 6y54, 8gb, $950)
  • Lenovo miix 700 - $750, m3-6y30, 4GB ram, 64GB ssd, 12", 3:2
  • ipad pro - 4:3, 12.9", A9X cpu, 32GB, $800
  • macbook pro 13 retina - $1300, 13.3", 16:10, i5, 8GB ram, 128GB ssd ($1100 non-retina)
  • macbook air 13 - $1000
  • surface pro 4 - $900, 12", 3:2 aspect ratio
  • surface book - 13.5", 3:2, $1500
  • chromebook pixel - 3:2, 13", i5, 8GB ram, 32GB SSD, $1000 (i7/16/64/$1300)
  • samsung ATIV book 9 - 12.2", 16:10, 4GB ram, 128GB ssd, core m 5y31, $1300
  • panasonic CF-SZ5 - 12.1", 16:10, core i5, 8GB ram, 128GB ssd, $1400 (in japanese, so i'm guessing)
  • panasonic toughbook - more of a bulldozer replacement than a desktop replacement
  • Hp Pavilion X2 12 - 12" 3:2 1920x1280, Core M 4GB, convertible, $600
  • Thinkpad X1 Tablet - 12" FHD+ 2K (2160 x 1440) IPS, 3:2 - Core M - up to 16GB Ram - $999+(?) not yet released

edit: posted on reddit. thanks to SaneBRZ for the samsung and panasonic info

all of these machines have at least one major flaw. the macs are macs, the pixel lacks storage, most of them have touchscreens (pretty much useless) which are expensive, many of them aren't user serviceable (maybe the spectre and miix), the SZ5 doesn't appear available in the states, and overall they're all expensive. 16:9 business laptops are available for $250 with better specs. a better aspect ratio translates to more surface area for the display, hence higher cost, but only marginally so

vertical inches ... the surface book is 7.5", pixel is 7.2", macbooks are 7.05", my old lenovo x60 (4:3, 12") is 7.2", and a nominal business laptop (lenovo 14", 16:9, $250) is 6.86"

so the macbook air is $750 extra for .19" and the surface book is $1250 for .64". that's something on the order of $2000 an inch ... outrageous


blob said...

There should be a lot more consumers pushing for vertical inches, but apparently people are leaving their brain at the wardrobe.
The Pixel would have been perfect if you upgrade the SSD and run Linux. But sadly it has been discontinued and almost erased from the internet, much like 4:3 screens were.

Unknown said...

I've been searching for posts like this for the past 5 years. I'm still using a Thinkpad T410 that I've upgraded to SSD. I have like 3 or 4 of them now and any time I see a really good deal on one I pick it up.

But - I'm an IT consultant and people see me using old tech and they figure something is wrong with my brain or I'm too cheap to get a new computer.

Sadly, I haven't found anything I would consider - closest has been the Surface Book - but the reviews are not rave enough for it to deserve the high price tag, especially given mediocre battery performance.

Maybe a Macbook Air running Linux? Maybe... I can Wine most of the Windows software I need.

Unknown said...

I'm happy to see that they are indeed people out there who crave for Thinkpad T60s 4:3 monitors , 7 row keyboard layouts and the keyboard click that programmers love to hear. I stumbled across this post searching for any laptop that comes close remotely close to the Thinkpad T60 but I guess its a George Michael now. For this lonely reason, I buy refurbished unused Thinkpads and breathe them a new life by upgrading the RAM and swapping with SSD.

Thanks for the article write-up