Monday, 15 August 2016

Lenovo Yoga 900

Yep after 3 days of ownership, I had to return the HP Pavilion X360 to JB Hifi.  After praising the machine, somehow the speaker or audio hardware failed.  It would disappear from being available and I even got dreaded BSODs with the error message of APC Index Mismatch.  The BSODs are a lot prettier these days but just as unwelcome.

Note the HP Support help I received was superb.  I had remote help from someone at the other end and they jumped in and helped to try and diagnose.  But in the end after doing a full factory reset the speakers were only sometimes activated and had awful crackly noises.  This morning it went all back into the original packaging and at lunch time I took it to JB Hifi (after doing a full reset and taking a few of my files off the machine).

In store I compared the HP Spectre X360 and the Lenovo Yoga 900.  They were exactly the same price at $1613.  But side by side with a bit of music made the Yoga the choice.  Although as I was ringing up the difference I realised one of the reasons I didn't choose the Yoga 710 last time was the lack of a full HDMI port and 1 less USB port.  Let's hope I don't regret that decision later.  I've already hit the reviews and seeing that there are some issues with the build quality on some Lenovos.  I'm hoping this machine lasts the distance as configuring a Windows 10 machine and installing apps etc is a not that much fun.  Even if it's a lot quicker these days than it use to be.

So the features of the Lenovo are
    Intel Core i5-6200U Processor ( 2.30GHz 1866MHz 3MB)
    13.3" QHD+ (3200x1800), wide view angle IPS, multi-touch
    256GB SSD
    8GB PC3-12800 DDR3L
    Bluetooth v4.0
    Intel Wireless-AC 8260
    720p HD Webcam
    2 x USB 3.0
    1 x USB 3.0 with video out
    DC-in with USB 2.0 function
    Combo audio/microphone jack
    4-in-1 card reader (MMC, SD, SDHC, SDXC)
    4 Cell Li-Polymer Battery
    Windows 10 Home 64
(uh oh, I just hit the down arrow a few times when I wanted to hit the up arrow.)

The packaging is so much more exciting the HP.  Lovely retail box shrinkwrapped with a pop up feature:



I'll update the post if I find that I have to take this one back too!
(Not jinxing myself just yet)

The machine is looking fairly nice although I'm not a fan of the 'watch' hinge:


And just so you can see that the newer machines can do an UGLIER than normal BSOD, here's what the HP Pavilion was showing earlier today:

Sunday, 14 August 2016

HP Pavilion X360 13-U026TU Purchased

UPDATE: Laptop was returned to the shop today (3 days after purchase) due to faulty hardware - something wrong with the speakers/audio drivers.  I ended up upgrading to a different machine and brand.


It was time for a new laptop.  My Sony Vaio was losing keys and the Wifi was stuffed.  I also wanted something less flimsy although generally it worked well.

The things I wanted to improve on this time was:

  • Not having keys that will fall off so easily
  • A laptop that wasn't that flimsy (ie could use it as a 'lap' top rather than a portable notebook when typing
  • A hinge that would let me increase the angle more...
  • A less noisy fan

That's about it.  Everything else was working pretty well really.

So I looked at a couple at JB Hifi.  My price range was 'up to $2000' and I was planning to salary sacrifice it.  After looking at the Lenovo Yoga 710 14" and the HP Pavilion X360 13.3" I ended up with the HP.





It wasn't just the price.  Actually based on specs they were pretty much on par.  But I wanted things like a standard HDMI port and an extra USB port was important.  But it was just little things that tipped things over.  When testing it in store the Lenovo didn't let me ALT + F4 which normally closes the screen. A simple thing.  I didn't want to have to deal with the quirks.  And then there was the price.  The price was about $200 different.

TLDR?  I like it.

The specs of the HP Pavilion X360 (around August 2016) are as follows

  • Intel® Core™ i5- 6200U Processor (2.3GHz, 3MB L3 Cache)
  • 8GB DDR4L-2133 SDRAM
  • 13.3-inch diagonal HD WLED-backlit Display (1366x768) Touchscreen
  • 128GB SSD M.2 SATA
  • Intel® HD Graphics
  • 1x1 802.11 ac WLAN + Bluetooth 4.2
  • Windows 10 HomeHP Pavilion x360 13-u026tu

I would have liked more storage space as I was getting close to 128GB on the Vaio but I think I just have to be more careful esp given most of my storage needs are met by our cloud backup drive at home or just on cloud storage.

Highlights

  • Installation.  Maybe for once I'm on the adoption curve and this is a currently released machine but I basically was up and running within 10 minutes of unboxing.
  • Nicer speakers - it's branded with Bang and Olufson and doesn't sound tinny although in tablet or entertainment mode it's facing the table so not sure why they didn't think of it!
  • Silver on the outside, black on the inside.  I like standard looking laptops.  Nothing too bling for me please.
  • Windows Sync.  I've never had this before but it's almost like Microsoft knows a bit about me and set it up in advance (I just don't expect Windows to be like my phone!)


Could improve

  • Key travel - it's a bit spongy, but I am hoping I'll get use to it
  • Had to adjust a Chrome setting (Hardware acceleration) so a cursor would appear in Chrome.
  • Storage - but it's my choice to be cheap!
  • Lack of backlit keyboard.  Not a major issue, but surprising as I'm just use to having it!

Overall I'd recommend it.  At this price it's pretty decent.