So much to share, but so busy recently…

If you’ve followed my brief blog, you know that I recently purchased and received a Dell Inspiron 14 7000 Ultrabook.  While my initial thoughts were very positive, time told a different tale…

As I continued to use the Inspiron regularly, I noticed four things:

1) The screen seemed to be having a backlight bleeding problem.  By this, I mean the bottom edge of the LCD panel had two bright white lights that you could see shining upwards onto the screen when dark.  Not sure if this was just a quirk of the particular type of LCD panel used by Dell or a manufacturer defect–but there it was.  It wasn’t as annoying as just odd and seemingly out of place.

2) The keyboard seemed to be bulging–not a ton, but enough that placing the keyboard at eye level, it seemed to have a slight warp in it.  I also noticed that the unit had a tendency to not sit flat on certain apparently-flat desk surfaces.  This, I’m guessing, was most likely a manufacturer’s defect.

3) Four-plus pounds feels heavy in the hand after using a Surface Pro (a little over two pounds) and my ever-reliable Nexus 7 tablet (under one pound).  This may be an ultrabook by spec, but it was just a hair too heavy for me.

4) The real killer: malfunctioning sleep mode.  When I used the Inspiron at work, schlepping it around to the units at the hospital to take my client notes, I would leave the power on and just close the lid to put it into sleep mode.  Initially, I noticed that every once in a while, when I’d lift the lid, the backlighting on the keyboard would come back on, but the screen remained dark.  I would try hitting the trackpad button, swiping my finger over the trackpad, hitting the space bar a couple times…nothing worked.  After nearly a minute of trying everything I could think of to bring the unit back up, I would have to do a hard reset/power down (holding down the power button for 10 seconds) and power the machine back up.  As I said, at first this was just every once in a while…but as I continued using the laptop, it became more frequent–until finally, Monday morning, it did this four times in the first hour I was at work, including twice while trying to use the laptop to take notes in court–first when I initially sat down in court and opened the laptop, and then after I had turned away from the laptop to pay closer attention to a witness, the machine kicked into sleep mode and wouldn’t wake up.  That was the final straw.

Dell was willing to email me a return shipping label, and repeatedly offered to repair or replace the unit–even trying to entice me by offering a $50–then $100 Dell gift card as incentive to keep their product in my bag.  I firmly but gently said no thanks, and shipped the unit back to Dell on Monday evening.

While sitting on hold for the Dell agent to complete the return process on his end on Monday morning, I perused–as I frequently do to kill a little time (or help my wallet lose a little weight), and noticed that there were several good deals on the ultrabook that I originally wanted to get — the new Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro.  Despite the originally advertised price of “Starting at $1099,” there seemed to be a few models to my liking right around that price with better than minimum specs.  I dug a little deeper and looked around (the Dell rep kept me on hold for around 10-12 minutes), and was able to talk my way into getting a decently-spec’ed Yoga 2 Pro (i5-4200U Haswell processor, 8gb RAM, 256gb SSD) for $1079 plus shipping.  Yes, a couple hundred more than the Inspiron, but the unit I really wanted from the get-go, and for considerably less than the $1400-1500 I was guessing a unit with those specs would run me.

Looking forward to getting the Yoga.  Looking forward to seeing the 3200×1800 QHD screen, feeling the more reasonable 3.1 lb weight in my hands, trying out the Yoga in tablet and tent modes.  Honestly, most of all, just having a laptop again.  The only bad news was that the unit I wanted (with “Tangerine” highlights) won’t likely be ready to ship until the middle of next week…

I’ll do a write-up on the Yoga 2 Pro when it arrives…maybe even do my own little unboxing video.  🙂

More tech coming soon!