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# Best Brand of Laptop for MBA

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Manager
Joined: 30 Jun 2011
Posts: 63

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Concentration: Real Estate
Schools: Northwestern (Kellogg) - Class of 2014
Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink]

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26 Mar 2012, 13:07
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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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Director
Status: Go Blue!
Joined: 03 Jun 2010
Posts: 685

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Location: United States (MO)
Concentration: Nonprofit, General Management
Schools: Michigan (Ross) - Class of 2015
GMAT 1: 740 Q47 V45
GRE 1: 336 Q169 V167
GPA: 3.22
WE: Information Technology (Manufacturing)
Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink]

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26 Mar 2012, 13:08
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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Manager
Joined: 10 Aug 2011
Posts: 187

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Location: United States
Concentration: Finance, Economics
GMAT 1: 700 Q48 V38
GPA: 3.4
WE: Securities Sales and Trading (Mutual Funds and Brokerage)
Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink]

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26 Mar 2012, 13:09
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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Intern
Joined: 16 Dec 2011
Posts: 3

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Location: United States
Schools: Wharton - Class of 2014
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V45
Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink]

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26 Mar 2012, 13:38
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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Senior Manager
Joined: 20 Jun 2010
Posts: 488

Kudos [?]: 79 [0], given: 27

Concentration: Strategy, Economics
Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2014
Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2012, 11:20
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]

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27 Mar 2012, 11:54
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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Senior Manager
Joined: 20 Jun 2010
Posts: 488

Kudos [?]: 79 [1], given: 27

Concentration: Strategy, Economics
Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2014
Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2012, 12:06
1
KUDOS
^ 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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Senior Manager
Affiliations: CBS Class of 2014
Joined: 07 May 2011
Posts: 390

Kudos [?]: 20 [0], given: 8

Concentration: Finance
Schools: CBS '14 (M)
Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2012, 12:10
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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Manager
Joined: 08 May 2011
Posts: 219

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GMAT 1: 710 Q46 V42
Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2012, 12:53
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.

Kudos [?]: 17 [0], given: 2

Manager
Joined: 05 Dec 2007
Posts: 154

Kudos [?]: 26 [0], given: 14

Concentration: General Management, Strategy
GMAT 1: 780 Q51 V47
Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2012, 12:58
wait for apple to come out with the macbook air-pro hybrid. 15 inch. rumors are saying that it's going to be sometime this summer. probably around \$1700

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Manager
Joined: 07 Feb 2011
Posts: 117

Kudos [?]: 25 [1], given: 7

Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2014
Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2012, 14:52
1
KUDOS
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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Senior Manager
Status: schools I listed were for the evening programs, not FT
Joined: 16 Aug 2011
Posts: 389

Kudos [?]: 46 [0], given: 50

Location: United States (VA)
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WE: Research (Other)
Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2012, 19:27
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.

The wonders of desktop virtualization!

I have no idea if I'm just going to go PC or a Mac... However all the school I've looked at have been pretty adamant about Windows 7 PC's.

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Current Student
Joined: 12 Sep 2011
Posts: 900

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Concentration: Finance, Finance
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40
Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2012, 19:51
1
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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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Manager
Joined: 17 Oct 2011
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Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Marketing
GMAT 1: 720 Q51 V36
Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2012, 19:57
i agree with GMATLA that Excel in Mac is not same as Excel in windows. however, i will still buy "another" mac once I turn in my office mac. I will have vmware, bootcamp with windows running just for Excel.

i don't want two computers at mba and the personal me can't live without mac.
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Intern
Affiliations: CPA
Joined: 24 Jun 2011
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Concentration: Other
GPA: 3.27
WE: Accounting (Consulting)
Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2012, 20:43
Has anyone worked extensively with the 2011 version of office for macs? My boss uses it at work and it seems to have closed the gap on the windows version considerably, at least at first glance.

If anyone's used the software for higher end excel use, I think it'd be beneficial for many of us to hear your thoughts!

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Joined: 16 Nov 2010
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Location: United States (IN)
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2012, 20:59
I'll be using my 1.5 years old Acer Laptop with Windows 7, I have Full Enterprise version of Office in it, and the screen + Keyboard is big, so I feel quite convennient using the same.
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2012, 11:39
I got the Lenovo T420S during the Thanksgiving sale (10-15% off) at the end of 2011. I start school this fall.
I wanted a lightweight laptop (3.68 lbs) with a 14' screen and good specs. Also rugged as hell.

i5 processor, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB hard disk 7200 RPM. The keyboard is fantastic too! I got it for ~\$900.
And it has all the Lenovo attributes, scratch proof screen, spill resistant keyboard that drains anything poured over it, Lenovo thinkvantage, etc. I should be relatively bulletproof through my 2 years.

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Manager
Joined: 06 Nov 2011
Posts: 77

Kudos [?]: 30 [0], given: 5

Location: United States
Schools: Indiana (Kelley) - Class of 2014
GMAT 1: 540 Q33 V31
GMAT 2: 650 Q39 V40
GPA: 3.22
Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2012, 12:56
Last year for my personal use I bought an HP Pavilion dv6. I think I have about 4-6GB of memory on it, and enough processing power to handle whatever will come my way in b-school. HPs have a good name for PCs. I use Dells for work and like them also. I've never fallen in love with the Macs, but have always been a PC girl because of my IT work experience. My school recommends PCs although I think they give limited technical support to Mac owners, so I'm glad that my previous purchase will work well for me.

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Intern
Joined: 08 Dec 2011
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Location: United States (CA)
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GMAT 1: 730 Q45 V44
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WE: Information Technology (Other)
Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2012, 14:00
It really depends on your focus and how much support you anticipate needing. Macs are great and very user friendly. Office for Macs is not as good as Office for Windows, but it's still pretty good. If you anticipate using Excel frequently, the things missing on the Mac version will start to annoy you. It will also be more difficult to get support for a Mac. That's not a problem if you can handle your own tech support, but it could be otherwise. I work in IT (not helpdesk or support, but it still counts), and can tell you that many IT support personnel just don't want anything to do with Macs. They work in Windows (or Linux) all day and either can't or don't want to deal with a computer that they aren't as familiar with.

My opinion on buying a new laptop is, go with Lenovo or HP. They both make very good computers. They both also have nice ultrabooks, and I'm leaning heavily toward an ultrabook right now because of their low weight and good performance. Sony also makes nice computers, albeit usually more expensive. My primary problem with Sony laptops is that they come installed with Sony software, and some of it is impossible to remove without formatting the computer and starting from scratch.
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Manager
Joined: 08 May 2011
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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2012, 14:12
I have a sony vaio and it's awful. I'd stay away from Sony PCS.

Honestly, I've been using a MAC for work and it's a much better computer then PCS. So if I end up in a finance-heavy job, I can always buy a cheap PC for excel and have my mac for personal reasons. Or just do bootcamp.

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Re: Best Brand of Laptop for MBA   [#permalink] 28 Mar 2012, 14:12

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