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2010 Laptop discussion

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Current Student
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2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2010, 11:59
I hoped to filter out some of the clutter from the larger thread to create a more specific thread about relevant laptops - this would be about current manufacturer offers, laptops models, configurations, software recommendations, and tech requirements as of 2010. I'd like to be able to add highly recommended laptops to the following categories within this first post:

Netbooks:

Light/Portable/Everyday laptops:

Premium/Powerhouse/Business grade laptops:

Macs:

Someone with more technical savvy can feel free to re-organize/suggest changes to these categories.

I'd prefer this thread to stay factual, post a laptop model, your configuration of it and/or upgrades you suggest, what category it should be placed in, pros and cons. The back and forth discussion should go into the "Great Laptop Debate" thread, sorry for sounding so anal, but I'd like to keep this as streamlined as possible so that people searching for new laptops can easily research suggested models without having to sift through hundreds of posts to run across a laptop that might fit their needs.

Thanks :)
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2010, 12:22
I am voting for a Mac Pro 13" or 15", if your school allow it.

15-inch: 2.53GHz
Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB Memory
250GB hard drive1
SD card slot
Built-in 7-hour battery
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics
Free shipping
$1,699.00

I think this spec is enough for any kind of school work.
Or you can get a more portable 13-inch one for $1199.
You can also run windows VM on it or do a dual boot.
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Posts: 146
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Schools: Chicago Booth class of 2012
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2010, 14:33
billyjeans wrote:
I am voting for a Mac Pro 13" or 15", if your school allow it.

15-inch: 2.53GHz
Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB Memory
250GB hard drive1
SD card slot
Built-in 7-hour battery
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics
Free shipping
$1,699.00

I think this spec is enough for any kind of school work.
Or you can get a more portable 13-inch one for $1199.
You can also run windows VM on it or do a dual boot.


I run this environment on my Mac with a program called "Boot Camp". Works well. Windows crashes only as much as, well, Windows.
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2010, 21:39
sapphireka wrote:
billyjeans wrote:
I am voting for a Mac Pro 13" or 15", if your school allow it.

15-inch: 2.53GHz
Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB Memory
250GB hard drive1
SD card slot
Built-in 7-hour battery
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics
Free shipping
$1,699.00

I think this spec is enough for any kind of school work.
Or you can get a more portable 13-inch one for $1199.
You can also run windows VM on it or do a dual boot.


I run this environment on my Mac with a program called "Boot Camp". Works well. Windows crashes only as much as, well, Windows.


The Sony Z series look awesome!
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2010, 21:57
I love my macbook pro (but it was pretty expensive) 17" screen.

Intel Core 2 Duo
2.8 GHz
4GB Memory
500GB hard drive
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M

I think I paid upwards of 2500, but it was when this model first came out last August, and the specs still compete with many new computers.
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Joined: 05 Aug 2008
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2010, 22:00
gkumar wrote:
sapphireka wrote:
billyjeans wrote:
I am voting for a Mac Pro 13" or 15", if your school allow it.

15-inch: 2.53GHz
Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB Memory
250GB hard drive1
SD card slot
Built-in 7-hour battery
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics
Free shipping
$1,699.00

I think this spec is enough for any kind of school work.
Or you can get a more portable 13-inch one for $1199.
You can also run windows VM on it or do a dual boot.


I run this environment on my Mac with a program called "Boot Camp". Works well. Windows crashes only as much as, well, Windows.


The Sony Z series look awesome!


I'm down to Sony Z, Dell studio/inspiron 14 and the IBM X series
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2010, 23:35
I have two computers. A (gasp!) desktop PC with a 23" monitor that I use for hardcore work, and a netbook I use for travel and working on client sites. The PC is built of parts from Newegg, and the netbook is an 11.6 inch screen HP Mini 311. It cost $400 when I bought it in November, not sure what it costs now. I highly recommend the 11-12 inch netbooks if you are a person with large hands. 10 inches is just too small.

...that's what she said!
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2010, 04:29
I've been slowly shopping for a laptop and here are few of my requirements.

Window professional 64
4 Gig Memory
250gig harddrive space or above
Webcam
13 or 14" screen size
MS Office application
Non intergrated video card
5lb or less

I think I'm having a hard time choosing the processor. I like the new I3,I5 processors, but they just kill the battery life by more than half. Many newer laptops can only last about 3 hours now.

I'm staying away from Macbook. I think they're just too pricey and it's more graphic or "fun" laptop than work laptop. I'm thinking about ordering Lenovos when they have a pretty good sale again. Model is T410.
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2010, 05:12
I am quite satisfied with my Sony VAIO VGN-NW270F/S 15.5"

2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 Processor
4GB DDR2 800MHz Memory
320GB Serial ATA 5400RPM Hard Drive, Blu-ray Drive
15.5" (1366x768) Widescreen LCD Display, Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
Dimensions, weight: 9.8 x 14.6 x 1.2 inches ; 6 pounds

Pros: big screen (for me it was a must, since my eyesight is not what it used to be), Windows 7 rocks, powerful, solid feel, hardware
Cons: bigger and heavier than smaller counterparts, battery life is short.

For me personally these cons are not a big issue, as I mostly carry my laptop with me in the car, and a bit around the campus. I don't use public transport or travel by plane with it, so weight and size are not a real issue. Short battery life (don't even remember exactly, but no more than 3 hours) is not an issue either, as I use it only at home and sometimes on campus, where I always have power outlets around.
I knew these "drawbacks" in advance, but for my use and lifestyle, they are not an issue.
Short links on my original selection criteria:
http://parttimembadegree.com/2009/10/24 ... nal-grade/
and eventual selection:
http://parttimembadegree.com/2009/11/02 ... a-student/
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2010, 06:45
For anyone interested in Dell, they currently have

Dell Inspiron 15 15.6" Core i3 Laptop $612
Intel Core i3 - 330M 2.13GHz, 4GB DDR2, 320GB HDD, 6-cell
15.6 WLED (1366x768), ATI Mobility Radeon HD4330, DVD+/-R Drive DL



6-Cell battery won't last you long though. I recommend 9-Cells, also make sure you drain the battery completely on first 3 recharges.
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2010, 08:19
Refurbished Macbooks are a cheaper way to go (available on the Apple website). I've got a

MacBook Pro 15"
15-inch: 2.53GHz
Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB Memory
250GB hard drive

which I absolutely love. It was about $1300 refurb. They say the battery lasts 7 hours but that must be only if you're not actually doing anything. I'd give it about 2 -3. I also wish it was a little lighter, but I'm a wuss.
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2010, 08:23
This ASUS laptop with 11.5 hrs of battery life looks pretty interesting too. I wonder how it compares to Thinkpad T410, Sony Z, etc. (sorry Macs are not for me....)

http://www.amazon.com/UL80Vt-A1-14-Inch ... B002Q8HK7K
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2010, 09:24
My suggestion is no matter what you choose, don't buy until right before school starts. You don't want it out of date by the time school starts.
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2010, 12:46
Is it strongly recommended to purchase the computer from the school? For example, CMU might only sell the IBM thinkpad -- this is not my favorite laptop, but I do not want to be at a disadvantage if everyone else has it...
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2010, 21:12
MBA42012 wrote:
Is it strongly recommended to purchase the computer from the school? For example, CMU might only sell the IBM thinkpad -- this is not my favorite laptop, but I do not want to be at a disadvantage if everyone else has it...

From what I've seen so far, these "recommended" by the school computers, are just a little money on a side for the school or university store. Unless they offer you some pre-installed applications that you don't have already, at no additional charge, this is most likely going to be a rip off. Pretty much the same as buying new textbooks at list price from the bookstore on campus, when you can buy the same books on internet at 30-70% discount.
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2010, 21:24
gmatvit wrote:
MBA42012 wrote:
Is it strongly recommended to purchase the computer from the school? For example, CMU might only sell the IBM thinkpad -- this is not my favorite laptop, but I do not want to be at a disadvantage if everyone else has it...

From what I've seen so far, these "recommended" by the school computers, are just a little money on a side for the school or university store. Unless they offer you some pre-installed applications that you don't have already, at no additional charge, this is most likely going to be a rip off. Pretty much the same as buying new textbooks at list price from the bookstore on campus, when you can buy the same books on internet at 30-70% discount.


I think it depends on the product and on the university. I think in the CMU store, you can get some products at a heavy discount like Windows and even some Thinkpads. I'd do some research on the prices and pick the best between them. I don't think Thinkpads are necessary for some bschool courses, but Windows might especially for some Excel/VB heavy classes.
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2010, 21:51
I heard at Duke softwares are free, for both mac and PC. Just need to bring you bare laptop.

:)
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 19 Mar 2010, 06:36
gmatvit wrote:
MBA42012 wrote:
Is it strongly recommended to purchase the computer from the school? For example, CMU might only sell the IBM thinkpad -- this is not my favorite laptop, but I do not want to be at a disadvantage if everyone else has it...

From what I've seen so far, these "recommended" by the school computers, are just a little money on a side for the school or university store. Unless they offer you some pre-installed applications that you don't have already, at no additional charge, this is most likely going to be a rip off. Pretty much the same as buying new textbooks at list price from the bookstore on campus, when you can buy the same books on internet at 30-70% discount.


It's not absolutely necessary to buy your laptop through the school, provided your laptop meets the hardware and software requirements of the school. You should be able to find out from the school's IT group what those requirements are, as well as any implications of buying your own machine on the level of support they will provide you.
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 20 Mar 2010, 08:33
i mentioned these 2 laptops in the larger thread, but i'll repeat them here. they have, IMO, the most desirable characteristics of a b-school machine (based on requirements that i've read in other threads posted by current students):

- long battery life
- portability (size/weight should be minimized)
- good benefit to cost ratio
- performance (this is lower on the priority list since you won't need high end computing to run excel and outlook, etc.)

asus UL30 A
acer AS 1810 T

both are in the ~$650 range + tax. both are ultra portable, but with a decent enough screen to be able to see things clearly. both have excellent battery lives. and finally, the price point is about half of what you'd pay for a similar macbook.

one downside is that the 64 bit versions of windows might have compatibility issues with drivers and such. if this is the case, then i'd say to get something similar, but that runs windows 7 32-bit instead. the other is that these don't have dvd drives built in. this didn't seem to be too big of an issue either, as if you really needed one you could buy a $70 external dvd drive; it didn't sound like a dvd drive was absolutely necessary for school, though
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Re: 2010 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 20 Mar 2010, 08:48
Hi shadow, do you have the right link to the larger thread? i got a lot of noise in the results when searching...
Re: 2010 Laptop discussion   [#permalink] 20 Mar 2010, 08:48
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