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2011 Laptop discussion

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2011 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 11 May 2011, 05:50
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This thread has been retired. The updated 2012-2013 thread can be found here: 2012-13-laptop-discussion-136344.html#p1107638


2011 Laptop and Software Discussion

Please share your thoughts about which notebook/table is best for Business School?
Please give us your suggestions/comments!!

I will try to update this first post and have all the reviews in one place.
You can always vote for you favorite configuration!

Example:
Hardware configuration:
- Model: netbook, notebook, table, other
- Screen size: 11'' to 14''
- Hard disk space: 500GB min
- Ram: at least 4 GB

Accesories
- External hd/pendrive
- Big monitor/s at home

Online Applications/Programs
- Office 2010
- Dropbox account

Others

Laptops Suggestions
13.3" screen size for a number of reasons:
1. Weight/size
2. Battery life (longer with smaller screen, assuming the same battery capacity)
3. Fits better on airplanes (may not be a factor for you)
4. I use a dual 24" monitor setup at work/home, so I am satisfying my need for large screens.

Toshiba Portege R800 series 13.3" screen
attractive price tag ($750-900-ish, depending on configuration).
Review: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2383651,00.asp

Dell Vostro v130
13.3" i5 4gb ram but short battery life
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2373535,00.asp

For Mac users:
Jerz wrote:
The new office for Mac is definitely better than the last version (especially the support for VBA and macros), but you'll probably still need to run a Windows VM with Excel for PCs since not all the add-ins that you'll use for class (eg. @Risk, MeXL) work even with the newest Mac Excel. That said, plenty of my classmates use Macs (and I switched over when my PC laptop died) and have had no problems either with using it for classwork or using the network and shared drives at school. So if you're a Mac person, there's no need to get a PC for school.
As for which version of Windows to run on the VM, I'd check with your school's IT dept. They will be best able to tell you which version works with their infrastructure and may have student deals that are much cheaper than retail.

Last year's discussion:
2010-laptop-discussion-91450.html

This thread has been retired. The updated 2012-2013 thread can be found here: 2012-13-laptop-discussion-136344.html#p1107638

Last edited by GMATLA on 25 Jul 2012, 19:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LAPTOP SUGGESTION [#permalink] New post 11 May 2011, 06:28
Take a look at this thread:
2010-laptop-discussion-91450.html

It's from last year, but I think there should be some good advice. There are new posts from this current year too. Hope this helps.
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Re: LAPTOP SUGGESTION [#permalink] New post 11 May 2011, 07:05
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I think we should start a new thread.

What are you thinking about pads besides a notebook??
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Re: LAPTOP SUGGESTION [#permalink] New post 11 May 2011, 09:23
What about the Apple Macbook Pro Aire? Is that going to be good for b-school? Also, the Lenovo T420 or X 220? Not looking at the pricetag, which is best for CBS?
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Re: LAPTOP SUGGESTION [#permalink] New post 11 May 2011, 14:53
angwen13 wrote:
What about the Apple Macbook Pro Aire? Is that going to be good for b-school? Also, the Lenovo T420 or X 220? Not looking at the pricetag, which is best for CBS?

Some people don't prefer mac because you are going to use a lot excel in business school. Others don't care and have dual boot with mac.
I think that Win7 has a lot of new futures and is ok against mac os.
In my case I am looking for something between 12/14'' no more than that with a strong processors and tons of ram.
But each case is different, some people prefer to have a big sreen laptop with an ipad. Of course you will need extra money for this.
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Re: LAPTOP SUGGESTION [#permalink] New post 11 May 2011, 15:00
Expert's post
I think what most people don't realize is how much lugging you will have to do.
Even though a 15 or 17" laptop may sound cool and very good for spreadsheets, imagine carrying that around all day long to and from school and from class to class. Add to that a power adapter.

I used to have a number of 15.5" laptops in the past but have transitioned to 13.3" size for a number of reasons:
1. Weight/size
2. Battery life (longer with smaller screen, assuming the same battery capacity)
3. Fits better on airplanes (may not be a factor for you)
4. I use a dual 24" monitor setup at work/home, so I am satisfying my need for large screens.

I have to say, I don't miss the screen real estate at all, unless I am working on several documents at the same time and need dual screens...

I don't see any issues with performance for the normal "office" tasks - I have a ton of windows open and it all still works just fine. Right now I have 39 windows open (Outlook, word, excel, Access, IE, Firefox, Fireworks, Google talk, Explorer). No issues.
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Re: 2011 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 12 May 2011, 00:00
I wanted to go with 15.5 inch screen but the weight issue kills me, and 13.3 inch screen seemed too small. So I went with 14 inch HP pavilion DM4, with just 4 lbs it seems great laptop for everyday bschool use. and you can get it at around 700$, nice price for i5 and 4 GB ram.
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Re: 2011 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 12 May 2011, 13:20
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I'm pretty sure I'm going with a Toshiba Portege R800 series. It has a 13.3" screen and is just barely heavier than the MacBook Air and the Samsung Series 9, but with a much more attractive price tag ($750-900-ish, depending on configuration). It also comes with an optical drive, a rarity among ultraportables. It's getting great reviews, like this one: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2383651,00.asp
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Re: 2011 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 13 May 2011, 09:39
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I found that I did not really need a drive for my laptop. It is nice to have it built in since it does not weigh much at all but also, not a deal breaker if not. It is a nice bonus.

I used to have a Dell latitude 15" and I have replaced the DVD drive with an extra battery and never missed it.

Right now I have a latitude that has the DVD built in (4300) and I barely use that one.

With more and more software coming as a download, i probably use it only every few months. I may start burning more things on DVD though as I am running out of space. A blu ray would be nice...
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Re: 2011 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 15 May 2011, 06:43
Great thread! I'm leaning towards the new MacBook Airs when they allegedly come out this summer. Hopefully the CPU spec bump should be enough to let them handle windows in parallel without a hitch.

Related question: What software should we pick up? Obviously office. I hear Matlab is industry standard, which kind of pisses me off as I already know python, which is both better and free. Do I need to invest the money and time into Matlab so I can put it on my resume? Anything else? (I know this is school specific, but Booth has a very flexible "use whatever you want" philosophy, so I'm just looking for general advice.)

Thanks!

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Re: 2011 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 17 May 2011, 07:58
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tortoiserun wrote:
I'm pretty sure I'm going with a Toshiba Portege R800 series. It has a 13.3" screen and is just barely heavier than the MacBook Air and the Samsung Series 9, but with a much more attractive price tag ($750-900-ish, depending on configuration). It also comes with an optical drive, a rarity among ultraportables. It's getting great reviews, like this one: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2383651,00.asp


Just got that one after considering all the other ultraportables. So far it's great!
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Re: 2011 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 17 May 2011, 16:38
I am going to wait until the last possible second to make this purchase. Being a Mac user for a long time (outside of work), I am forced into it b/c Excel is intolerable in the Mac environment. I'd like to buy a PC that doesn't feel cheap compared to the Mac (in build) - any thoughts?
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Re: 2011 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 25 May 2011, 13:30
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BabyBeagle wrote:
I am going to wait until the last possible second to make this purchase. Being a Mac user for a long time (outside of work), I am forced into it b/c Excel is intolerable in the Mac environment. I'd like to buy a PC that doesn't feel cheap compared to the Mac (in build) - any thoughts?


I'm at Mac user in my personal life too and I refuse to go PC just for school. Re.FUSE. (If worse comes to worst, I can do Excel work on my work laptop.) Have you considered sticking with a Mac and utilizing BootCamp to load the Windows environment?
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Re: 2011 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 26 May 2011, 13:47
BabyBeagle wrote:
I am going to wait until the last possible second to make this purchase. Being a Mac user for a long time (outside of work), I am forced into it b/c Excel is intolerable in the Mac environment. I'd like to buy a PC that doesn't feel cheap compared to the Mac (in build) - any thoughts?


I'm the opposite I guess. I'm a lifelong PC user (and a little Linux) and I ended up buying a 13 inch Macbook Pro for b-school this year. I'm running Windows 7 on it with Parallels in case I need Windows Office 2010 and also got the new Office 2011 for Mac which is actually decent. The Toshiba Portege was high on my list though but I am digging the Mac so far.
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Re: 2011 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 27 May 2011, 08:20
My IT guy at work swears by Lenovo's. I've had the Lenovo T500 as my work laptop for a year now. It's a 15" screen and weighs a TON. He just bought a much lighter version with an inch smaller screen- the Lenovo T420S. I played around with it a little and really like it. It's exceptionally light for it's size. I'm seriously considering purchasing it.
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Re: 2011 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 27 May 2011, 08:24
bozman wrote:
My IT guy at work swears by Lenovo's. I've had the Lenovo T500 as my work laptop for a year now. It's a 15" screen and weighs a TON. He just bought a much lighter version with an inch smaller screen- the Lenovo T420S. I played around with it a little and really like it. It's exceptionally light for it's size. I'm seriously considering purchasing it.



Completely agree with your IT guy! Business laptops do not come any better than the Thinkpad T Series.
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Re: 2011 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 28 May 2011, 06:57
bozman wrote:
My IT guy at work swears by Lenovo's. I've had the Lenovo T500 as my work laptop for a year now. It's a 15" screen and weighs a TON. He just bought a much lighter version with an inch smaller screen- the Lenovo T420S. I played around with it a little and really like it. It's exceptionally light for it's size. I'm seriously considering purchasing it.


That's what I bought, though I'm still waiting for it to be delivered. What really pushed me to the T420 or T420s was the resolution. I just don't like 1366x768 on a 13.3" or 14" screen. Much prefer the 1600x900 - I like small icons, cells, etc. - and I don't recall another laptop with a similar resolution in this screen size.

I read the battery life on it was pretty poor, though...
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Re: 2011 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 28 May 2011, 07:02
mEEchigan04 wrote:
That's what I bought, though I'm still waiting for it to be delivered. What really pushed me to the T420 or T420s was the resolution. I just don't like 1366x768 on a 13.3" or 14" screen. Much prefer the 1600x900 - I like small icons, cells, etc. - and I don't recall another laptop with a similar resolution in this screen size.

I read the battery life on it was pretty poor, though...


I didn't know that about the screen resolution; that's interesting. My IT guy said you can replace the CD drive with an extra battery for additional life, but I'm not convinced I want to do this. Regardless, I can't use an Apple to save my life, so I'm definitely set on a Lenovo. I just need to decide if I was the T or X series . . . or maybe even something from the IdeaPad line.
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Re: 2011 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 05 Jun 2011, 17:21
I'm thinking about getting a macbook air with and using bootcamp...they're a lot cheaper than they used to be. http://www.apple.com/macbookair/compare.html
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Re: 2011 Laptop discussion [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2011, 16:37
Hi,

If I buy a macbook air and use bootcamp for windows, what version of windows should I buy?
Could I go for an OEM version? In short, how much extra will I need to spend to get windows 7 to run on my Macbook?

On a totally different note, has anyone tried Dell's Vostro V130? Seems great and excellent value (although battery life seems to be very short, but won't we be carrying our power adapters all day long anyway?).

Thanks

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Re: 2011 Laptop discussion   [#permalink] 08 Jun 2011, 16:37
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