I'm getting a new laptop. A new variant of the ASUS UX32VD Zenbook (model: UX32VD-R4010P) seems to tick all my boxes. But I'm good at talking myself into things, so please help me sanity-check my choice. Many details inside.
My employer is buying me a new laptop. It has to be available from this supplier
. They carry an extensive range covering pretty much every major manufacturer, but it does mean that I can't precisely tailor a configuration from a manufacturer's website. Main requirements, in roughly decreasing order:
* Must run Ubuntu reliably. This is the only real non-negotiable. I don't mind if it has, say, an unsupported fingerprint reader, but all the day-to-day stuff (external monitors, WiFi, audio, graphics acceleration, etc.) has to be solid.
* 13-14" screen. Weight below ~2kg / 4½lb.
* At least ~380GB storage, even if that means a spinning-platter HDD. In a pinch I could offload some stuff to an external drive, but I really really want to avoid this if possible.
* Screen resolution: more than 1366x768. 1600x900 would be enough, 1920x1080 would be great.
* No optical drive (more bulk, weight, and points of failure) -- I'll get a USB unit for the occasional times I need one.
* Preferably, upgradeable RAM and hard drive, though this isn't essential if it's well-specced to start with.
* Performance doesn't need to be blinding, but does need to be future-proof for a few years.
The main problem I've found is that "lightweight" and "big HDD" seldom go together: if it's light, it's usually an ultrabook with a 256GB SSD. If it's got a big HDD, it's also got an optical drive, a big screen, and about 1kg more weight than I want to lug around. Ideally I'd wait a year until 512GB SSDs are more common, but I have to get this machine soon.
The best I've found is this new iteration
of the ASUS Zenbook UX32VD
ultrabook, which appears to have two
256GB SSDs. (In fact, even the previous version with 500GB spinning disk + 24GB SSD cache would have been acceptable.) It seems that this 256+256GB version (UX32VD-R4010P) is pretty new and not (yet) released in any English-speaking markets, and I haven't found any reviews or even official announcements about it.
Checklist: small/light enough, enough storage, 1920x1080 IPS display, Good Ubuntu compatibility
, and apparently very repairable and upgradeable
for an Ultrabook. So, problem solved, probably! But before making an expensive and hard-to-reverse decision, I would like to hear what the Hive Mind thinks of this choice -- in particular:
* Any information at all about this particular model of the UX32VD, beyond what's on the merchant's website.
* Any reasons why I shouldn't get this machine.
* Any alternatives I should consider. Please treat the wall-o'-text above as a general guide rather than a cast-iron constraint -- I'd rather have a lot of suggestions to consider than no suggestions at all because it's too much work for people to tick all my boxes. I can check Ubuntu compatibility and availability through the supplier myself.