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2010 Laptop discussion

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Senior Manager
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2011, 22:07
nink wrote:
Vapor wrote:
Quick question: for those in bschool, do you guys carry around your laptops all the time and work outside of your room most of the time?

I'm still deciding between a 12" and a 14" and I'm wondering if it's best to buy an ultraportable with a dock and an external monitor. But that won't help if I'll be in the library all the time.


That really depends on the student. Most people I know at least carry a laptop, iPad, or netbook to class. Most bschools also have lockers for students to keep stuff at school.

I originally went to school with Vaio TT series and then after it broke down, I switched to Thinkpad X series. It's not like we are in engineering or math phd program. Most laptops will do fine. I do recommend "ultra-portable + long battery life" oriented laptops. (Unless you want to rip up the textbook and carry them by chapter by chapter basis like I do.....be warned that paper cuts are common when ripping up the textbook.... :( )


Can't you just get a PDF and throw it in a dropbox so you can view via laptop, ipad, iphone, anything web connected? Ripping up a textbooks seems like such a oldschool fix... I guess if you want to take notes in the margins, and just like the tactile feeling of a book, then maybe it still has its pluses. But really... these days you can even mine a textbook with searchable PDFs, what a Godsend!
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2011, 07:47
I hate laptops, but I know I'm going to need one for school. My main beef with laptops is their durability - I've broken hinges and it feels like I've gone through a HDD a year and I'm not careless with them.

I was seriously considering purchasing a Toughbook F9, but the $2500+ price tag is pretty scary. I just noticed that Asus makes a "business" line of notebooks (B3J for instance) that includes anti-shock hard drives and spill-proof keyboards for about $1000. Anyone have any experience with this line or suggest similar options? I've had bad experiences with Dell (personal) and Lenovo (work, ugh that fan!) and I only use Asus MoBos in my desktops, so I think I'd be comfortable going with them.
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2011, 08:02
mEEchigan04 wrote:
I hate laptops, but I know I'm going to need one for school. My main beef with laptops is their durability - I've broken hinges and it feels like I've gone through a HDD a year and I'm not careless with them.

I was seriously considering purchasing a Toughbook F9, but the $2500+ price tag is pretty scary. I just noticed that Asus makes a "business" line of notebooks (B3J for instance) that includes anti-shock hard drives and spill-proof keyboards for about $1000. Anyone have any experience with this line or suggest similar options? I've had bad experiences with Dell (personal) and Lenovo (work, ugh that fan!) and I only use Asus MoBos in my desktops, so I think I'd be comfortable going with them.


Business class laptops usually have better durability (Lenovo Thinkpad T or X series, Dell Latitude, HP Elitebook, Toshiba Tecra/Protege?, and others). They often cost more though, but should be less than $2500 for a decent configuration. Plus you can purchase additional warranty through Squaretrade (often discounted if you look on slickdeals.net) or the manufacturer if desired.
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2011, 09:28
mEEchigan04 wrote:
I hate laptops, but I know I'm going to need one for school. My main beef with laptops is their durability - I've broken hinges and it feels like I've gone through a HDD a year and I'm not careless with them.

I was seriously considering purchasing a Toughbook F9, but the $2500+ price tag is pretty scary. I just noticed that Asus makes a "business" line of notebooks (B3J for instance) that includes anti-shock hard drives and spill-proof keyboards for about $1000. Anyone have any experience with this line or suggest similar options? I've had bad experiences with Dell (personal) and Lenovo (work, ugh that fan!) and I only use Asus MoBos in my desktops, so I think I'd be comfortable going with them.


Unless you drop your laptop a lot, there's really no need for a toughbook. Just buy the business lines from dell, lenovo, or hp instead of consumer notebooks which are designed to be cheap.

Thinkpads, Latitudes, and Elitebooks all have awesome build quality.
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2011, 10:29
Vapor wrote:
mEEchigan04 wrote:
I hate laptops, but I know I'm going to need one for school. My main beef with laptops is their durability - I've broken hinges and it feels like I've gone through a HDD a year and I'm not careless with them.

I was seriously considering purchasing a Toughbook F9, but the $2500+ price tag is pretty scary. I just noticed that Asus makes a "business" line of notebooks (B3J for instance) that includes anti-shock hard drives and spill-proof keyboards for about $1000. Anyone have any experience with this line or suggest similar options? I've had bad experiences with Dell (personal) and Lenovo (work, ugh that fan!) and I only use Asus MoBos in my desktops, so I think I'd be comfortable going with them.


Unless you drop your laptop a lot, there's really no need for a toughbook. Just buy the business lines from dell, lenovo, or hp instead of consumer notebooks which are designed to be cheap.

Thinkpads, Latitudes, and Elitebooks all have awesome build quality.


I don't drop the laptops, but I've had terrible luck breaking HDDs. I have a Thinkpad T61 from work - broke the HDD once and the fan is seriously loud. Not a huge fan of Dell, but I used to buy from them when they were much cheaper than everyone else. My wife went through 2 HDDs on her Dell, but she did drop them. So, more than anything, I'm looking for an anti-shock hard drive just to make sure I don't lose productivity and data. Asus has them, but I did a quick search on Latitudes and didn't see this capability.

Processor wise, I assume the i3 is fine for Word, Excel, and Firefox? I don't see myself needing the laptop for much more and I have a powerful desktop back home if I ever need the power.

edit: Meant to ask - assume integrated video is fine. Or does the power saving options offered with the higher end GPUs make a difference?
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2011, 10:40
Lol toughbooks are for like construction workers, guys on oil rigs or commanders in Iraq.. Doubt you will need one of those for the halls of b school

Posted from my mobile device Image
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2011, 09:56
Wanted to run this by some people. I have a 2.5yr old Sony VAIO that still runs good as new, and is powerful enough for B-School requirements. However, it is big (15.6"), heavy (6.6lbs), and sucks batteries dry (2.5-3hrs with a new battery, which I need to buy). I'm hoping to be within walking distance of campus.

I was thinking about making that my "home" computer for heavier use, like a desktop, and getting something more portable for on campus. Don't have enough posts to hyperlink, but I am thinking of an HP dm1z. ~$450 shipped, about as powerful as my existing laptop, but 11.6" screen, 3.5lbs, and 7hrs battery life. Would this work well for most of my computer work, or would the screen size be a major hindrance?
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2011, 13:38
SeattleMBA2013 wrote:
Wanted to run this by some people. I have a 2.5yr old Sony VAIO that still runs good as new, and is powerful enough for B-School requirements. However, it is big (15.6"), heavy (6.6lbs), and sucks batteries dry (2.5-3hrs with a new battery, which I need to buy). I'm hoping to be within walking distance of campus.

I was thinking about making that my "home" computer for heavier use, like a desktop, and getting something more portable for on campus. Don't have enough posts to hyperlink, but I am thinking of an HP dm1z. ~$450 shipped, about as powerful as my existing laptop, but 11.6" screen, 3.5lbs, and 7hrs battery life. Would this work well for most of my computer work, or would the screen size be a major hindrance?


I think the screen size would bother me, but don't forget that the keyboard is probably smaller too. Can't imagine typing on a tiny keyboard all day.

I'm looking at 13.3" computers right now and the biggest problem I'm noticing is the resolution doesn't seem to get better than 1366x768 - it's kind of bothering me.
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2011, 13:41
mEEchigan04 wrote:
SeattleMBA2013 wrote:
Wanted to run this by some people. I have a 2.5yr old Sony VAIO that still runs good as new, and is powerful enough for B-School requirements. However, it is big (15.6"), heavy (6.6lbs), and sucks batteries dry (2.5-3hrs with a new battery, which I need to buy). I'm hoping to be within walking distance of campus.

I was thinking about making that my "home" computer for heavier use, like a desktop, and getting something more portable for on campus. Don't have enough posts to hyperlink, but I am thinking of an HP dm1z. ~$450 shipped, about as powerful as my existing laptop, but 11.6" screen, 3.5lbs, and 7hrs battery life. Would this work well for most of my computer work, or would the screen size be a major hindrance?


I think the screen size would bother me, but don't forget that the keyboard is probably smaller too. Can't imagine typing on a tiny keyboard all day.

I'm looking at 13.3" computers right now and the biggest problem I'm noticing is the resolution doesn't seem to get better than 1366x768 - it's kind of bothering me.


Definitely agreed. So I opted for a 14" laptop instead: http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread ... &t=2881081
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2011, 13:45
The dm1z has that same resolution on its 11.6" screen. I believe they managed to cram a full-size keyboard in there by shortcutting some of the usual keys (for instance, Page Up/Down is Fn+Up/Down Arrow).
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2011, 13:55
futurestrategist wrote:
mEEchigan04 wrote:
SeattleMBA2013 wrote:
Wanted to run this by some people. I have a 2.5yr old Sony VAIO that still runs good as new, and is powerful enough for B-School requirements. However, it is big (15.6"), heavy (6.6lbs), and sucks batteries dry (2.5-3hrs with a new battery, which I need to buy). I'm hoping to be within walking distance of campus.

I was thinking about making that my "home" computer for heavier use, like a desktop, and getting something more portable for on campus. Don't have enough posts to hyperlink, but I am thinking of an HP dm1z. ~$450 shipped, about as powerful as my existing laptop, but 11.6" screen, 3.5lbs, and 7hrs battery life. Would this work well for most of my computer work, or would the screen size be a major hindrance?


I think the screen size would bother me, but don't forget that the keyboard is probably smaller too. Can't imagine typing on a tiny keyboard all day.

I'm looking at 13.3" computers right now and the biggest problem I'm noticing is the resolution doesn't seem to get better than 1366x768 - it's kind of bothering me.


Definitely agreed. So I opted for a 14" laptop instead: http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread ... &t=2881081


Pretty nice! The i7 (w/ Sandy Bridge) is overkill for my needs though. I'm glad I started my search this early because I'm having the hardest time finding a laptop that really fits my needs. This one's too heavy, this one's resolution is too low, this one is too cheap, this one is too robust... Wish I could build my own laptop, lol!
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 04 May 2011, 08:52
mEEchigan04 wrote:
futurestrategist wrote:
mEEchigan04 wrote:
Pretty nice! The i7 (w/ Sandy Bridge) is overkill for my needs though. I'm glad I started my search this early because I'm having the hardest time finding a laptop that really fits my needs. This one's too heavy, this one's resolution is too low, this one is too cheap, this one is too robust... Wish I could build my own laptop, lol!


I ended up getting a Lenovo X220 for about $900. I felt that was the best combination of computing power, portability, build quality, battery life, and price.
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 07 May 2011, 10:58
I think I'm going to pull the trigger on a Lenovo T420s. I can't imagine working on a laptop with a resolution under 1600x900 and it's under 4lbs so I'm not going to get much lighter. With my corporate discount it works out to about $1k.
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 08 May 2011, 13:30
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I personally think this is a pretty good deal from Costco.

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.as ... US&topnav=

First, it's extremely portable at 3.23 pounds yet is powerful enough to run any program you will encounter in business school. I rarely use my dvd/cd drive these days but for $50 you can buy an external one for those rare occasions that you will need it. I think the sweet spot for a portable laptop is between 2.5-4.5lbs and 11.6 to 14.1 screen. At 12.5, it's a pretty good compromise.

Second, this laptop cost $850 plus free shipping. At this price, for another $300 bucks you can get a really fast solid state hard drive (SSD) and a $50 external DVD burner drive. I have a first generation Intel 80GB SSD and it's pretty damn fast. A SSD has no spinning parts so it's not subject to data corruption in the same way that regular HD is. The lack of spinning also means that it's quieter and uses less power (better battery life). However, the best thing is that current drives are BLAZING FAST! Windows startup is typically less than 30 seconds and program installs such as windows 7 take only 10 minutes vs the 30+ minutes on a regular drive. With a $20 SATA to USB adapter, you can use the 320GB hard drive that came with the system for storage.

Third, Costco extends the warranty by an extra year. If you buy it with an AMEX card such as the Costco AMEX, you get another year on top of that. This means you get a three year warranty. If the LCD goes dead or the battery, you're covered. The two years extended warranty is probably worth at least $200 by itself.

http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/cont ... F8B846A06C

Lenovo E220s Laptop
Core i5-2537M 1.40GHz
Integrated Webcam
Backlit Keyboard
802.11 b/g/n
Spill Resistant Keyboard
with Fingerprint Reader
3.23 lbs


Processor:

Intel® Core™ i5-2537M Processor (1.40GHz)
3MB Cache

Memory:

4GB DDR3 at 1333MHz

Drives:

320GB 7200 rpm SATA hard drive
Optical Drive NOT Included

Graphics & Video:

Intel HD 3000 Graphics
12.5” LED HD Display (1366x768)
16:9 aspect ratio
HD720p resolution, wide view angle, low light sensitive, fixed focus camera

Communications:

802.11 b/g/n Intel 1000 Wireless LAN
Bluetooth 3.0

Audio:

High Definition Audio

Keyboard:

6-row spill-resistant illuminated keyboard
Multimedia Fn Keys
TrackPoint pointing device, internet scroll bar

Ports:

2 – 2.0 USB Ports
1 - eSATA/USB combo
4-in-1 card reader
External Monitor (VGA)
RJ45
UPEK Fingerprint reader on palm rest, swipe sensor

Operating System:

Genuine Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Additional Software:

Norton Security - 30 day
Skype for Windows
Adobe Reader

Power Supply:

8 cell lithium Ion battery
65 W AC Adapter

Additional Information:

(W X D X H) 12.32” X 8.41” X 0.86”
Weight: 3.23 lbs

Costco extends the manufacturer's warranty on Televisions, Projectors & Computers* to 2 years from the date of purchase. See the manufacturer's warranty for specific coverage terms. For warranty service, contact Costco Concierge Services at 1-866-861-0450.


SSD link (120gb Intel - $225) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

Eternal DVD drive ($30 with $10 rebate) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

SATA to USB adapater ($20) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product
Re: 2010 Laptop discussion   [#permalink] 08 May 2011, 13:30
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