UltraNote IV - i7-7500/16GB RAM/M2.SSD 256GB | PCSPECIALIST

UltraNote IV - i7-7500/16GB RAM/M2.SSD 256GB

ilidim

Member
Ok, first some background things that matter for choosing a laptop.
I wanted a laptop for development which is strong (I don't care about high-end GPU) to run development IDE.
For those that are unrelated, development in modern IDEs and development when it is about large projects require a lot of processing, a LOT of services running, and usually the IDEs are indexing files which also uses the hard drive to it's max.
As a general rule, I would say that the requirements for an average developer is between the 'Laptop for the Office' category and the gaming machines. A satisfying laptop for a developer, is a high end enterprise laptop version without the need for strong GPU.

I got an UltraNote IV with i7-7500U, 16GB of RAM and an M.2 SSD by Samsung.
The cons:
  • The keyboard is a generic keyboard. I have used a lot of different brands, some of them have really nice keyboards where you do not "miss" keys. Sometimes I press a key and it is not pressed but it's only been 4 days that I have the laptop. This is only a matter of being a habit. I have encountered a similar keyboard in an Acer machine (if I remember well) and got used to it after a while. But still, I could say that I have experienced some laptop keyboards where the button press was much gentler. By the way, this is a con related to prior experience. The keyboard is still quite nice.
  • The sound. This model has the sound on the lower front side. This causes the sound experience to 'could have been better'. I cannot express a strong opinion here as I am not a sound engineer but I can't say that this brings the best experience. Also, the maximum volume is not 'that maximum'. For my case though it is quite satisfying as I do not listen to music from the laptop or I usually use headphones.
  • The customer support/Site user experience. While the people assembling the laptop were amazing at the communication, and they fixed an error with the keyboard selection right away after an email, I have to list this in the cons for the following reason:
    In the checkout screen, there are two addresses available. One for delivery and one for the billing. For these two addresses, the user cannot specify separated names. For taxation purposes though, I had to have the addresses have different names. So first thing here, is the site experience. The receiver and the payer could anyway be separate users. It is really bad to not allow the user to set it separately. The worst though is not this. The worst is that after exchanging multiple emails with the customer support, which again, they were quite reactive, I still did not manage to get them to send me different names for the delivery and the billing. In the end, I could not save the VAT because the billing was issued in the same name as the delivery address. This was really bad for me but for the company as well in terms of B2B. If I could vote, I would give 4/5 stars just for this. In my opinion this is unacceptable.

Now, for the pros:
  • The whole process: From the order to the delivery, apart from the last point above, the full procedure was detailed, with a nice overview on the profile, response from the guys over there was fast and I selected a 5 day delivery and the laptop was delivered faster.
  • The packaging: Laptop arrived at my place enclosed in 2 boxes. The external, the shipment box, already included some inflatable cushions to completely protect the laptop from every bumping. Also, the laptop box, even though it is customly assembled, was done professionally and the laptop was properly placed and protected as described in the site's F.A.Q. It seems like a minor thing, but the sense that one gets when buying a new laptop while unboxing it, can impact the impression. And this certainly left a nice impression.
  • The laptop case: The case has the ventilation system openings on the bottom of the case which could make it quite annoying in case the laptop is placed on a flat table. The UltraNote IV has a back which is curved and including the battery, which follows the same curve, keeps the laptop constantly in a 0.5cm higher which lets the laptop breath a bit better. The screen adds on that by also supporting this curve when it is open. That's a really nice addition IMO.
  • The screen: While I do not list parts of the laptop here that just work as described, for mobility reasons, it is worth noting that the brightness of the screen is satisfying in about 20-30% of total capacity of brightness. Full brightness is also quite strong but since this is a mobility laptop, to be able to have the screen work nicely with low brightness is worth mentioning.
  • Battery: I have installed Ubuntu 16.04 and with my IDE (PhpStorm) open, a few services running, and a just bit of youtubing, I can say that the battery lasts at least 4 hours with ease. Of course that is for now as I expect the duration to fall after a few months but still an initial time of 4 hours is a nice thing. And that is with many process demanding functionalities running. Also with WiFi and other software like Thunderbird, chatting, dropbox etc. By the way, I only report duration with percentage. I have more than 50% of battery after 2+ hours but I don't let the battery get too low so that the battery life does not drop that fast.
  • Compatibility: For Windows users of course this is not a concern :p. There have been cases in the past where I tried linux on a laptop and had various problems related to drivers and compatibility. The fact that I installed the latest version of Ubuntu certainly also plays a part, but I should not in the pros that up to now, I did not find any issue with the drivers. I did not need to go with any workarounds, everything worked out of the box in Ubuntu 16.04, all drivers were installed in installation (or first update, I did not check on that, but anyway I did not do anything related). I don't know if I am missing something but sound, screen, camera, mic, WiFi-VPN, BlueTooth, Usb etc have all worked out of the box.
  • All these for only 45W! Just for the trend, and because the world is doing an effort towards the environmental care, I should note here that the charger for the UltraNoteIV is only 45W :)

Other staff I noted but do not qualify as pros or cons:
  • The fan noise is notable. Notable does not mean annoying but just notable. The thing is that I am not sure if this is caused by the fact that the laptop is 0.5cm above the table.
  • The temperature raised when I am developing is normal. For a user that uses the keyboard too much is not a good temperature but NO laptop allows that. Developers are a special case. But usually we use our own separate keyboard as I do so this is fine :)

Conclusion: I got an extra charger, extra battery, extra insurance, early shipment, and of course the i7-7500U, the 16GB of RAM, the Samsung M2.SSD of 256GB (Super fast). It is an amazing price to get all of these and a very satisfying result. I highly recommend this. Especially for users that want to go with Linux and don't want to by default pay extra money for Windows, this is an amazing solution without lowering the quality at all!

Very good job guys :) Please improve the checkout process (the third remark from the cons).
 

Attachments

hargread

New member
I really appreciate this review, as a Java developer I'm currently looking for a new machine and am slightly wary of the performance of such a small machine despite the CPU and other specs. At the same time I'm slight bewildered as to how Dell can seemingly charge £1300+ for their XPS machines with similar specs that people around my office seem to love.

I'd be interested if you use the HDMI and/or the VGA out as well whether it is still performing admirably ~6 months on.

Thanks for any input!
 

Oussebon

Moderator
Moderator
This review is quite old and the OP may not revisit the site.

Moreover, newer CPUs have come out as Intel's 8th Gen and Kaby Lake refresh, with the i5 8250U etc offering twice as many cores and threads as the older i5 7200U etc.

So if you bought an Ultranote now, you should be buying it with a much more powerful CPU.
 
Top