quiet ultrabook : hard to find!

More popular than ever, but some are still very noisy.

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mailxd
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quiet ultrabook : hard to find!

Post by mailxd » Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:36 am

I got a SONY VAIO SVT13112FXS. very good price (~650), great specs, quick. reasonable screen/keyboard, very cool/no heat in normal loads.

However, the fan is too often running at high speed unnecessarily, making it not quiet at all!

What a disappointment. Tried two units and both have the same issue....

Any other 13-14in ultrabook with low temperature AND low fan activity?
Can't believe it's so hard to find one ....


Thanks.!

MikeC
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Re: quiet ultrabook : hard to find!

Post by MikeC » Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:32 am

Recently splurged on a Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon. It runs cool, fan does come on sometimes but it's unobtrusive. Still getting used to the huge touchpad w/ integrated left/right buttons. 14" 1600x900 IPA screen in 13.3" frame is v. nice, as is the 3 lb weight.

reviews --
http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops ... arbon.aspx
http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/14/leno ... on-review/
http://www.notebookreview.com/default.a ... +ultrabook

CA_Steve
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Re: quiet ultrabook : hard to find!

Post by CA_Steve » Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:36 am

You could try notebookcheck.net's review search engine. Search on display size, weight and emissions rating.

mailxd
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Re: quiet ultrabook : hard to find!

Post by mailxd » Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:09 am

x1c seems nice. I thought I can find something cheaper and nice (Sony T13 was a close hit, but out owing to its always running fan ....).

I also found notebookcheck recently. It's a great resource about noise / heat. Thanks!

CA_Steve
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Re: quiet ultrabook : hard to find!

Post by CA_Steve » Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:58 am

Laptops always fight the battle of cpu power vs thermals vs size vs heat dissipation vs fan noise. The good news is lower TDPs are helping the mix. The bad news is mfgrs keep cramming them into smaller cases keeping heat dissapation a tough thing to resolve at low emission levels. 10W TDP Haswell CPUs should be interesting next year. :D

Pappnaas
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Re: quiet ultrabook : hard to find!

Post by Pappnaas » Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:23 am

mailxd wrote: I thought I can find something cheaper and nice
You could find something nicer, you might find something cheaper, but if you want a quiet laptop, start spending big bucks. In my opinion it should well be possible to design a relatively cheap laptop that is quiet enough fpr spcr.

But, like back 10 years ago all major PC companies, the big laptop companies don't care about noise if there's margin to be had instead.

xan_user
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Re: quiet ultrabook : hard to find!

Post by xan_user » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:15 am

unfortunately manufactures have to account for the average user that lays their laptop on their fuzzy pillow in the sun to watch hd video...and has 6 cats and two long haired dogs, yet owns no vacuum cleaner.

tim851
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Re: quiet ultrabook : hard to find!

Post by tim851 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:49 pm

The Macbook Air 11" from late 2010 - that is the Core 2 Duo version - is running nearly silent most of the time. The newer models are said to have the same noise characteristics.

During regular usage, i.e. web surfing, listening to music, watching videos, the fan stays on low, which means it's nigh inaudible during daytime. At night, a faint whine is detectable if heard for. The fan will speed up and create a mighty whoosh noise during CPU intensive tasks or if you do anything while charging the laptop. CPU intensive tasks most often -for me- are programs running wild. High-def flash videos (read: youtube) are also a good way to make it loud, as is video-Skyping. As far as fan noise goes, the MBA's is certainly among the most pleasant, as it's really only air whoosh and no detectable motor or vibration noise.

The MBA is a pretty good all-around ultrabook, with the best (though not unparalleld) keyboard, best (unparalleled) trackpad and very good screen (it's not matte, but not very reflective either and very bright to make up for it). Price-wise, it's okay. Comparable ultrabooks are usually the same, sometimes you'll get more storage for the same dollar. Though you have to factor in resale value, which is exceptional for everything from Apple.

I'm not an Apple fanboy, it's just that I tried other options 18 months ago and none of those that were cheaper could convince me.

nick_white
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Re: quiet ultrabook : hard to find!

Post by nick_white » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:35 am

I am in the process of returning a brand new Macbook Air 11 (latest - Ivy Bridge processor etc.) because of the fan.

The problem isn't the fan noise as in dB. BUT... When idle or on low usage scenarios (browsing etc.), the fan sits at 2000 RPM which should be quiet, but when using it in a quiet environment, it's not: it has an annoying buzzing. I first thought it was electrical noise, but it is the fan - I tested with SMC Fan Control and at higher RPM, it increases the buzzing speed until it is covered by the whooshing of the air.

HUGE disappointment!. Especially since I read that the new MBA has the asymmetrical fan and should have a more pleasant noise profile.
Great build quality, great screen etc., too bad for the fan buzzing.
I am now returning this expensive laptop.

So I would advise very-noise-sensitive people to avoid the MBA (at least the 2012 11 model).

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Re: quiet ultrabook : hard to find!

Post by MikeC » Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:58 am

nick_white --

thanks for your comments. I'd been wondering about the new MBA's cooling fan since it came to light. re -- viewtopic.php?f=25&t=64533

I'd handled one in an Apple store, but no chance to play with it in a quiet setting for any length of time. I wonder if there's a noise/fan difference between the 11" and 13" models?

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Re: quiet ultrabook : hard to find!

Post by CA_Steve » Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:19 pm

Nick,

Did you have to test another MBA 11? Just wondering if yours was a bad apple (sorry, couldn't resist) or if it's indicative of the model.

nick_white
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Re: quiet ultrabook : hard to find!

Post by nick_white » Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:29 pm

I tested one in an Apple store, but it was in a shopping mall, so I couldn't hear any potential noise of the laptop.

After noticing the buzzing, I looked on forums for similar findings. And I found a multi-page discussion about the fan noise, where a person mentioned the buzzing, that seems like a problem of design (the fan is not properly placed and the case amplifies the vibration). He also said that he replaced his MBA, but the replacement had the buzzing also...

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Re: quiet ultrabook : hard to find!

Post by CA_Steve » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:08 am

Bummer.

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