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Best Brand of Laptop for MBA

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Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2012, 12:07
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I need to purchase a new laptop for business school. Kellogg's website has a bunch of recommendations are far as memory, speed, etc. However, there isn't a recommendation as far as what brand to purchase but they did say that a lot of students have Lenovo.

What do you guys think?
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2012, 10:50
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I am an avid Mac user but think I will be getting a moderately priced PC for my MBA needs. I currently work in finance and use a PC at work and a Mac at home. I've tried to use my Mac's Excel at home and get frustrated when I try using it since I'm used to my PC shortcuts.

As for PC brands, my coworker pointed out this SquareTrade research piece out to me. Seems like a reliable source since they need to determine how much to charge when insuring these different brands.
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2012, 11:06
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^ I have been told that certain scripts and add-ons for Excel will only work on Window's version of Office

However, this may no longer be an issue given the release of Office for Mac 2011.
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2012, 13:52
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mpg2011 wrote:
MDF wrote:
I don't like the feel of Windows, so I'll be using a Macbook Air.

As for spreadsheet/Excel...Office for Mac is sufficient for my current, albeit somewhat limited, needs. But if a course requires Windows-only software, I'll just setup a dual boot.


I'm 100% decided on a mac too... I think the new Office will suffice for mac, if not, dual boot it is.


Someone above mentioned this, but you really might want to reconsider buying Apple products if you're going to do anything even remotely related to heavy spreadsheet work (i.e. financial modeling, etc.).

I own a MacBook Pro at home and it's completely useless for professional use (my career has been in investment banking and private equity). There are extremely limited excel shortcuts and the lack of a separate number pad is a real pain.

My plan is to make the iPad my everyday device and then find a moderately-priced laptop that I'll use for anything requiring spreadsheets, which I assume will be anything requiring financial models, graphs, statistics, etc. That plan may ultimately change, but there's no chance I'll be using Apple as my b-school laptop.
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2012, 18:51
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I would also HIGHLY recommend a PC instead of a MAC if you are planning on going into finance. You may think that EVERYTHING should be compatable with MAC, but I can tell you that this is not the case. Learn how to use a PC, learn how to use excel on a PC, and continue with PC. No company you will ever work for will allow you to use a Mac in finance, and if you are an excel guy (like me) you know what a detriment Mac's can be to your work. Even though Office for Mac trys to be 100% compatable, it absolutely isn't, and only gets worse with more advanced applications of it.

If you want to work in Private equity, investment banking, or anything finance heavy, I would not advise using a Mac.
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink] New post 11 Jun 2012, 07:25
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Just to give anyone the heads up that is interested in a Lenovo, www.corporateperks.com is running one of the best Lenovo deals I've ever seen. It's like 20-30% off most laptops and accessories (even the newest docking stations, monitors, bags, etc..). I just picked up an x230, 128 SSD, I5 2.6 Ivy Bridge, 4GM RAM, Full Docking Station, 3 year on-site warranty, Webcam, fingerprint reader, backlit keyboard, 36 month version of Norton Internet Security 2012, 6 cell battery, IPS screen, full docking station (was $219, with deal was $149!), and many little accessories for $1,300. Saved almost $500 with the discount, and this was on top of the already "discounted" (The're ALWAYS running "discounts") price. Deal runs through June 12. Wasn't planning on buying my computer for another month or so, but this deal was way too good to pass up.

Note: Requires that you create an account... once you do, click on the lenovo deal under electronics (its the #1 used deal on the whole site right now) and click "Shop Now". It will redirect you to the Lenovo website except everything will be like 25% off. It's incredible.

Also, I have no affiliation with corporate perks and neither does GMAT Club. Just trying to hook up my fellow Clubbers :)
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink] New post 11 Jun 2012, 07:53
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Moving this to the "B-School Life" section.

For reference, here are some similar discussions:
laptop-suggestion-113516.html
2010-laptop-discussion-91450.html
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink] New post 11 Jun 2012, 11:55
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After finishing my first year at HBS, my recommendation for a laptop would probably be a 13" Macbook Air although at this point it probably makes sense to get the new slimmed down Macbook Pro which looks pretty sweet. I had a 13" Macbook Pro this past year and it felt way too heavy to be lugging around campus. (Edited to note: looks like the new slim Macbook Pro is only in the 15" model. Get the new Air than.)

As far as Excel modeling goes, I ran Parallels with Windows 7 and the latest Microsoft Office. At home I had a larger monitor that I docked my laptop to and a wireless Microsoft compatible keyboard so that I could do all the Excel shortcuts that I was used to. I have yet to use my DVD drive on my Macbook Pro although I do have an external drive as well which are crazy cheap these days.

Oh, and I was a diehard PC user but the prices are getting close that it didn't seem to be an unreasonable aesthetic premium. OS X is pretty slick and the touchpad is a joy to use. I also have the latest Office for Mac and while I do use the Excel when I'm too lazy to boot up Parallels, it's still a far cry from the Windows version for doing any heavy lifting. I know plenty of bankers and PE guys who are using Macs here at school but in the office they obviously would still be using their company issued Vaios or Thinkpads. Interesting to note that our Training the Street instructor did his Excel training from a Mac running Parallels as well. That seemed a bit strange.
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink] New post 11 Jun 2012, 12:45
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glores1970 wrote:
All,
Is this an option - forgo the laptop completely. Instead buy any tablet and use Google documents for all your office needs.
I dont know how well Google's spreadsheet compares to Excel.

Is this option viable ? It will be more convenient to carry a tablet than a laptop, and other than finance heavy courses, it appears that Excel is not critical.

Another question - do business schools allow students to record lectures ? Audio ? Video ?


Personally, I wouldn't do it. Google Docs are okay for standard stuff, but if you need to get format or formula heavy, you're going to be out of luck. Also, I would much rather be overprepared than underprepared. A nice, fast laptop will definitely be able to handle whatever is thrown at me, but a tablet probably won't be able to.
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink] New post 11 Jun 2012, 17:24
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gavinj1984 wrote:
GMATLA wrote:
Just to give anyone the heads up that is interested in a Lenovo, http://www.corporateperks.com is running one of the best Lenovo deals I've ever seen. It's like 20-30% off most laptops and accessories (even the newest docking stations, monitors, bags, etc..). I just picked up an x230, 128 SSD, I5 2.6 Ivy Bridge, 4GM RAM, Full Docking Station, 3 year on-site warranty, Webcam, fingerprint reader, backlit keyboard, 36 month version of Norton Internet Security 2012, 6 cell battery, IPS screen, full docking station (was $219, with deal was $149!), and many little accessories for $1,300. Saved almost $500 with the discount, and this was on top of the already "discounted" (The're ALWAYS running "discounts") price. Deal runs through June 12. Wasn't planning on buying my computer for another month or so, but this deal was way too good to pass up.

Note: Requires that you create an account... once you do, click on the lenovo deal under electronics (its the #1 used deal on the whole site right now) and click "Shop Now". It will redirect you to the Lenovo website except everything will be like 25% off. It's incredible.

Also, I have no affiliation with corporate perks and neither does GMAT Club. Just trying to hook up my fellow Clubbers :)


I'm not sure if anybody's looked at this, but you should. If you are thinking about buying a Lenovo, jump on this deal. I just bought one (I was going to get an X230t anyway) and it saved me $475.


Pretty awesome right? Never seen anything quite like it... Even corporate perks.com mentions it's only for older models, but then once you're on the website it's like for everything! I feel like it's their employee pricing
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2012, 09:22
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glores1970 wrote:
gavinj1984 wrote:
glores1970 wrote:
All,
Is this an option - forgo the laptop completely. Instead buy any tablet and use Google documents for all your office needs.
I dont know how well Google's spreadsheet compares to Excel.

Is this option viable ? It will be more convenient to carry a tablet than a laptop, and other than finance heavy courses, it appears that Excel is not critical.

Another question - do business schools allow students to record lectures ? Audio ? Video ?


Personally, I wouldn't do it. Google Docs are okay for standard stuff, but if you need to get format or formula heavy, you're going to be out of luck. Also, I would much rather be overprepared than underprepared. A nice, fast laptop will definitely be able to handle whatever is thrown at me, but a tablet probably won't be able to.


Thanks for your reply, gavinj1984. I do see your point about being overprepared.

But seriously, what does an MBA course throw at you, other than Excel formulas, that cannot be done on any tablet in the market. For a finance class, one can use any laptop, even an older one. But for every other course, all you need is a word processor, presentation software, email and of course, a browser.

I wouldn't buy a new laptop unless it is absolutely needed.
I think compared to a tablet, a laptop is much clumsier to handle in a class. With a tablet, you could even record the lecture ! Do they allow that ?


I agree that a new laptop is not necessary if you already have one. The big problem that I can see with using a tablet as your primary computing device, Excel excluded, is that it is very limited. It's great for e-mails and browsing the web. For presentations or word processing, tablets are very limited. There just isn't the same capability. Also, I hate typing anything longer than a paragraph or so on a tablet. If you have to type even a five-hundred word essay, a tablet is not great. I have a feeling that if you decide to go with a tablet as a primary device that you will end up carrying around both a laptop and a tablet a lot of the time. If you're already carrying around a laptop, then the convenience of a tablet is greatly reduced.
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2012, 21:00
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ls413 - Best to my knowledge the Zenbook doesn't have an ethernet port either.

I eventually went ahead with the Thinkpad X230 and couldn't be happier!
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2014, 08:38
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The Lenovo x-series is probably the best choice out, but if you want to be more price conscious, I would look at the Lenovo Thinkpad e-series. I think those are the small business laptops, not as thin as the x-series but easily good enough to get you through school. I got a brand new one for $700, while the x-series go for well over a thousand.

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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2012, 12:08
Good question, I've been wrestling with the same thing. Pretty sure I'm getting a used Lenovo X201 tablet, but would be curious to see others thoughts.
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2012, 12:09
i5 processor laptop with 4-8gb of ram and a decent sized hard drive -- all you need, brand doesnt matter. i have a lenovo and it works fine, dell works fine, etc


do NOT overpay for apple products, especially if you want to do finance



credibility - done IT work on campus for many years, work in finance, and tech geek all aroun

dont buy from the school sites either go to dealnews.com or something and find one that meets your needs
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2012, 12:38
I asked some students at Wharton's welcome weekend and a lot of them told me they have ipads that they use in class and store their class notes on (so that they don't have to print off as much paper, which they have to pay for). They said it's important to have a different computer to use excel on, but it doesn't need to be super nice as long as it has the basic programs you need.

Definitely not the answer I was expecting, but based on that I think I might just get a new ipad and also use my existing computer, which is a couple years old but still gets the job done. I'm really curious to hear what everyone else has to say though! I've been pondering this for awhile too.
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2012, 10:20
I don't like the feel of Windows, so I'll be using a Macbook Air.

As for spreadsheet/Excel...Office for Mac is sufficient for my current, albeit somewhat limited, needs. But if a course requires Windows-only software, I'll just setup a dual boot.
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2012, 10:54
shorttheworld wrote:
do NOT overpay for apple products, especially if you want to do finance


What does going into finance have to do with purchasing apple products?
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2012, 11:10
Bought a Toshiba portege ultrabook. This weighs like 2 pounds and is 7mm thick. That + laptop sleeve that fits in my bag = $. Paid like 650 on sale at bestbuy and has appropriate specs to get through school with.
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2012, 11:53
MDF wrote:
I don't like the feel of Windows, so I'll be using a Macbook Air.

As for spreadsheet/Excel...Office for Mac is sufficient for my current, albeit somewhat limited, needs. But if a course requires Windows-only software, I'll just setup a dual boot.


I'm 100% decided on a mac too... I think the new Office will suffice for mac, if not, dual boot it is.
Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA   [#permalink] 27 Mar 2012, 11:53
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