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Should I wait for a Haswell-equipped Laptop?

If you planning on buying a new all-in-one, ultrabook, or convertible, it is vital now more than ever to carefully and intensively read the spec sheets. That’s because the newest Intel CPU upgrade (it’s official name is fourth-generation Core i series, code named as Haswell) offers important and considerable battery life improvements. For users who mainly rely on laptop’s batteries, a Haswell-equipped laptop is a real-world payoff.  However, if you want a desktop PC, or maybe  you have laptop that you don’t tend to disconnect from the power cord,  and battery life isn’t a big concern for you, you could get a good discount on the many available pre-Haswell PCs.

Currently, the laptop market is in major flux. Many new laptops and hybrids, such as the Acer Aspire R7, Toshiba Kirabook or the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S, all have Intel’s third-generation Core i series processors. Only few systems already have Intel’s just-released fourth-generation Haswell processors.

Normally that be wouldn’t  be much of an issue; any current laptop will have enough processing power for normal daily tasks.  Quite frankly, the average consumer wouldn’t feel much difference in surfing the Web using a laptop with affordable Intel Core i3 versus one with Core i7. But from the few Haswell PCs and Macs tested so far, the battery life results are very impressive. Moreover, the Haswell-equipped PCs provide Intel’s better integrated graphics, either the HD 4400HD, HD 4600, or HD 5000. That’s of course better and way more efficient than the current outdated Intel HD 4000 graphics embedded  in third-gen Core i-series systems.

Need a 14-hour Laptop? You got to have the Latest 13-inch MacBook Air.

In order to clarify here is a case in point: the 2012 Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air managed to last for about seven and half hours in our video playback battery drain test. Whereas the 2013 version of MacBook Air, with a Haswell CPU installed, ran for an astonishing fourteen and half hours in the exact same test.  Likewise, Sony’s Haswell-powered Vaio Pro13 ran for approximately 9 hours, and that’s applies to just any Haswell-powered device.

But should the customer who thinking of acquiring a laptop or PC waits for the Haswell version, rather than a particular third-generation Intel Core?  Well, Haswell is really a valuable choice, but that might mean waiting for a long time in some cases, and for students and other customers who want to be prepared for the new school year, this potentially means missing the back to school window.

Although, some popular brands, such as Toshiba U series of ultrabooks and the Lenovo Yoga line have not announced any plans to offer Haswell powered versions, they eventually will employ this amazing technology.

Here is my opinion on the subject

 AS for it concerns the traditional PCs or all-in-one with no battery, the last-gen processor isn’t that big problem. The same goes for 15-inch and larger laptops, which spend most of their time tethered to a desk and power outlet.

Ultrathin laptops, especially Sony’s new Vaio Pro and Apple MacBook Air are among the first laptops to employ the new Intel fourth-gen processor, and the result is very long battery life. Therefore, it would be waste of money to buy a premium ultrabook with shorter non-Haswell battery life. Just to spend more than $1,600 on Lenovo Helix or Toshiba Kirabook and not get the latest processors and the resulting boost in battery life, is very devastating.

Some of our favorite relatively affordable laptops, such as Sony’s Vaio Fit 14and Toshiba U-series ultrabooks, are not yet available with fourth-gen processors. The new Core i3 CPUs for low cost systems are the last item on Intel’s priority list, and more-modest battery life expectations are built into purchasing a sub-$800 laptop.  Nevertheless, there are already some good deals on pre-Haswell PCs, as retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers begin dumping inventory to make room for new Haswell models. So this summer it is likely to see many $800 to $900 PCs sold for $600.

Categories : Tech Blog

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