Help a power user choose a Windows 8 convertible
As an MSFT fan I have been coming here more and more often due to the vibrant community in the Tribe. As most of you porbably are, I'm very excited for Microsoft's upcoming products especially since my phone and laptop legitimately need upgrading.
The Lumia 920 made the phone choice and easy one (though carriers vs buying unlocked is a whole different story). But choosing a laptop is really tricky, especially with so many new formfactors that are cool and promising but are still unproven. So I thought I would post here to see what y'all might recommend.
As someone who's involved in engineering and software development, my work needs are very much those of a power user. I look forward to using client Hyper-V to boot Win8 and Linux side-by-side. I'll probably use 3D modelling and other engineering software, in addition to software development for various purposes and platforms. Basically I don't want my computer's specs to be a limitation to what I can do, within reasonable limits. On the other hand, the device should be able to play hard as well. It doesn't have to super portable as I'm not a road warrior, but I'd really like it to be convertible so I can use it as a proper tablet for some scenarios. Hard-core gaming is not required and I think the built-in Intel graphics capabilities are sufficient.
From this I can narrow down the specs that I need to a Windows 8 Pro machine, an Ivy Bridge CPU (i5 minimum), 8GB of RAM, (6GB minimum), ~500Gb or more for storage (hopefully with a small SSD cache to speed things up). Now you can easily find these specs with full-sized laptops, but I would like something smaller so it can be viablly used a tablet (not primarily though). Most convertibles seem to aim for portability versus high performance, so I haven't found many choices yet. So far, I think the Lenovo Thinkpad Twist seems to do the best job of matching those criteria, although I'm not crazy about the classinc twisting screen style convertible, but I think Lenovo's reliability makes up for it.
I know that the better choice might be to simply buy two separate devices, but I would really like to consolidate everything into one device. Also, my current laptop is 4 years old and is crying for an upgrade, but I have been putting it off for a while for the promise of Win8 Nirvana, so I would really like to get this right. Budget wise I'd rather not go above $1500. So what do you guys think?