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back to article Novatech pushes affordable Ultrabook

UK system builder Novatech has hopped on the Ultrabook bandwagon with a new range of 14in skinny notebooks dubbed the nFinity series. Novatech nFinity range The line-up starts with a second-gen Intel Core i3 chip, 2GB of Ram and a 64GB SSD drive. That'll set you back a mere £430. For more va-va-voom, there's the Core i5 and …

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£580 for an i5 ultrabook? That seems a bit more like it, even if it's not all shiny. Wonder what the build quality is like? It would be nice if they offered an option for a decent res screen though.

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@The New Turtle

"£580 for an i5 ultrabook?"

£ 580 is you just want the hardware.... £ 670 if you need Windows 7 Home - the cheapest online option for those that need or want a Microsoft OS installed.

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Anonymous Coward

by WTF?

would I need another "breakthrough" consumer product? For a grand, or even "mere" 400 quid? To boot W7 in 15 sec. v. 30 sec, riight.... and to work for 5 - 7 hours instead of 3. Right, I get it now... Work more, earn more in order to be able to spend more on another "revolutionary" technology in 3 years' time, to boot in 9 seconds and to work for 12 hours. Right... In the meantime, don't forget to upgrade the rest of your not-so-revolutionary-any-longer fleet of indispensables, your mobile(s), your tablet(s) and those of your kids'. And your remotes, you must never forget to upgrade the remotes. Did I miss the super-hd-5D, wall-mountable, 200% immersion guaranteed 95 inch telly, and your mega-ultra-broadband connection to look up all those linux distros via the not-fully authorised search engine, and your red-ray ultra-HD, 4673 tv channel package (basic package, free with your lifelong mortgage, see full T&Ts).

bad day, he?

nah, quite good, actually. Kids in (school strike), tadpoles (this time of the year), plumber (FOC), the sun shining (cancer, FOC)... what else could one want? Ah, yes, an unltra-fucking-book that boots in 15 seconds, right.

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Price

It should be pointed out that the £ 430 price point is for the the ultrabook with no operating system. The cheapest option with an OS is £ 520, which includes Windows 7 Home - so 90 quid 'saved' if you habitually install another OS on anyway, how refreshing !

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Re: Price

I thought that too.

Although I've had problems with Novatech in the past, this is a definite improvement on the practice of bundling Windows without any choice.

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Meh

Meh.

Or £700 for the 'business' version i5 128Gb/4Gb with W7 professional installed. Not quite a bargain after all, but not *quite* as expensive as the name brands.

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Re: Meh.

Well, I'm not hugely surprised at that, since there's not much margin in tin generally; the flexibility in choice of OS and the broad specs available are quite nice, though.

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No LAN port?

Dear god, don't let this become standard.

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Joke

VGA?

What's that when it's at home?

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Re: VGA?

"What's that when it's at home?"

Viagra Generation Artifact (n)

Either something really weird and old that you can't understand why anyone would need it, or something essential that everyone you know uses - depending on your age.

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Hooray

Hooray for the saving of money if you don't want Windows.

Boo for the screen res, lack of 8gig memory option (seriously, memory is so cheap now), and big Novatech logo.

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Linux

Does Linux boot on that ? Have you actually held one of these or just reprinted a press release ?

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@Tom Chiverton 1

"Does Linux boot on that ?"

Should do, Intel HM65 Chipset, Sandybridge CPU (so Intel HD graphics)

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Happy

Re: @Tom Chiverton 1

My employer has bought quite a range of Novatech kit. No problems getting Linux distros to run so far.

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Never the perfect machine...

Pro: there's a decent CPU and battery.

Pro: I wouldn't get an unwanted Windows.

Con: I use more screen than that.

(And more disk, more RAM and ethernet can be useful.)

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Will it hackintosh?

Intel HD Graphics and Hackintosh don't seem to play nicely, from what I've read but maybe it will work?

Under £700 for something that'd do a passable impression of a MacBook Pro would be nice.

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Did you just barf that into whatever you use for publishing, Caleb?

Some proof-reading wouldn't go amiss, sheesh.

Thanks for the heads up though, hopefully they can start a price war.

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Gah.... another pants screen

If the screen resolution wasn't so low I'd be buying one of those now especially since you can get it without paying the Microsoft tax.

14" screen at 1366x768 - what a joke.

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Re: Gah.... another pants screen

Yeah, why is it these brand new Ultrabooks have 5 year old graphics resolution specs? OEMs need to tell the panel manufacturers to up resolutions asap. Pathetic how Apple are allowed to keep on charging high margins while other OEMs are not competing in the MacBook Air 13.3" 1440×900 and better pixel densities.

Plently of us vocal on the issue, as with the 16:10 aspect ratio, including many of us with professional experience in the PC systems industry. So no excuse really for Novatech and the rest.

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Build Quality

As much as I like Novatech for peripherals and things, and even their desktops are usually pretty good (like using Asus motherboards in them), there have been questions in the past about the reliability of their laptops. Novatech are relatively close to me and I've worked for companies who've bought several Novatech laptops but had a high failure rate, perhaps they're much inproved these days but it puts a doubt in my mind.

Still, I wouldn't buy one of these like others said because of the low res screen LAN port. (note, the Reg article says it only has "g" wifi but the Novatech website says "n")

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Of course there is a LAN port

It's on the right hand side, to the right of the HDMI port, behind a rubber bung.

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Unhappy

Re: Of course there is a LAN port

The bung may be there, but according to the Novatech site the port isn't.

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I don't see how lack of an ethernet port is reason to not buy a computer. Ethernet dongles are cheaper than dirt, for one thing. For another this is the standard for ultraportables (I'd prefer the dongle over the bound-to-break retractable deal on... I think it was one of the samsung ones reviewed here?). Also, the fact is - most home users nowadays don't use wired networks - it's all wireless, because the wife doesn't want cables strung through the hallways and running cables is too much work or money (depending on whether you hire someone for it).

While I welcome the price reduction, the specs on the cheap model are pretty crap. You can't really do much beyond "netbook grade" tasks with it. Pity about the screen res - is the zenbook still the only Ultrabook with a higher screen res? Also, I think build quality is going to be lousy with these - Novatech's full sized laptops have sub-par build quality, and nothing gets more durable when you try to make it small and light. But - you get what you pay for.

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Lan and USB

Yes there is a LAN port its just hidden on the hinge behind a rubber plug, the later versions will get USB 3.0 once the Chassis changes. A 14" screen doesn't need a huge resolution because you want to be able to read it and not squint at the dam thing.

As to there laptops I have bought a few recently and I must say the build quality is very good and I have had no problems with any of them, my only complaint is I cannot go to there website and down load drivers.

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Stop

Re: Lan and USB

Sorry, but the Novatech specifications do not mention a LAN port, so while the bung is there, the port probably isn't. The chassis will have been bought in from a manufacturer elsewhere, who may make the chassis capable of hosting a LAN port, but that doesn't mean there is one. We get a lot of laptops that still have a bung/cover for a 56k modem; it's just that the modem isn't there.

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