Lenovo ThinkPad Edge S230u Twist Ultrabook
I've been looking for an Ultrabook that met my needs for almost a year and I finally found what I've been looking for with the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge S230u Twist.
I do a lot of sports photography and often process 1,000 photos per day. I need a fast, portable system that can handle Photoshop CS6 and Nikon Capture NX2. I also use Photomechanic, but that is not nearly as demanding as the other too apps.
I often hook my system up to a high quality monitor. As a result a great screen on the Ultrabook was not a high priority for me, but a full or mini HDMI connection was essential. I feel micro HDMI plugs are just too small and fragile and ruled out any system with one of these.
I also strongly prefer a full sized RJ-45 jack and must have 1 gb ethernet as wireless is WAY TOO SLOW when moving photos from the Ultrabook to my desktop.
So, what does the Twist offer (there are other configurations, this is what I ordered)?
i7 3537U 3.1ghz with 8gb SDRAM - so plenty of horsepower and memory
HD 4000 graphics - fine for photo editing
12.5" 1366 x 768 Gorilla Glass display - looks just like an iPad, touch screen. As the name implies, it can be twisted and folded into a tablet shape. I was looking for a higher res display, but this seems fine. Again, I often hook up to a monitor, so not an issue.
500gb 7200rpm drive with 24gb SSD - I prefer SSD's, but the largest offered is 128gb, so I went with this configuration as I need the space. I'm very happy with it.
Windows 8 Pro 64 - I like the OS enough that after getting over the initial learning curve and installing Classic Shell I converted my desktops over to Windows 8. I don't use the touch screen much, but once in a while it is handy (bad pun).
Connections: full sized RJ-45 (1GB), mini HDMI, mini display port (have not used), and two USB 3.0 ports. Of course it has Bluetooth and wireless.
Keyboard: the keyboard is very good for an Ultrabook, better than any other I have tried in this class.
Price: $1,079: bought mine in January. Given the features, seems like a very good value.
Here are some photos of the Twist hooked up to an Eizo ColorEdge CE10W monitor. I place the Twist on a tabletop easel in tablet mode. The easel raises the system up so it is side by side to the Eizo. This setup requires the use of a separate keyboard and should not imply that I don't like the Twist's keyboard. However, the keyboard does have a dedicated numeric keypad which I use extensively.
What would I change? Full sized HDMI port because I think these are more robust. One more USB 3.0 port would be very nice (I haven't found a good USB 3.0 hub).
So, if you are in the market for an Ultrabook, the Twist deserves a look.
I am not affiliated with Lenovo in any way!