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# Laptop (and bag) for Bschool...

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Manager
Joined: 28 May 2006
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Laptop (and bag) for Bschool... [#permalink]

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09 Mar 2007, 08:14
Thinking I should prob get a lightweight one, around 4 lbs.

Looking to spend less than \$1200. Am I correct in wanting to get a light laptop? If not, I could get a good deal for \$600 or so.

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Manager
Joined: 08 Oct 2004
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09 Mar 2007, 10:51
Dell has some good deals on Laptops. I used to have Sony VAIO. It is very good but price is kind of expensive

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SVP
Joined: 31 Jul 2006
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09 Mar 2007, 19:36
I was just thinking about that. I bought a pretty nice laptop about 4-5 months ago, but it has a 15.4" screen, and it's kind of thin but not very light, probably around 6 pounds. If I need to carry a laptop everywhere I go during business school, it would be nice to have something more portable.

I saw a review for the Dell 14.1" laptop. It's not super small, but it's lighter. The best thing is that PC Mag rated it at like 8 hours battery life. That means you could probably leave the charger at home as well, which would save another pound.

I do like the small Sony laptops though. Those seem really easy to carry around.

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Current Student
Joined: 29 Jan 2005
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10 Mar 2007, 00:54
pelihu wrote:
I was just thinking about that. I bought a pretty nice laptop about 4-5 months ago, but it has a 15.4" screen, and it's kind of thin but not very light, probably around 6 pounds. If I need to carry a laptop everywhere I go during business school, it would be nice to have something more portable.

I saw a review for the Dell 14.1" laptop. It's not super small, but it's lighter. The best thing is that PC Mag rated it at like 8 hours battery life. That means you could probably leave the charger at home as well, which would save another pound.

I do like the small Sony laptops though. Those seem really easy to carry around.

I noticed that most campuses are now completely wireless and have powerport connections everywhere; in the lecture halls, MBA lounges, libraries, etc. With all hustle required back and forth between classes, seminars, and group meetings, I agree that weight is a major concern when it comes to selecting the right laptop. Probably gonna stay with my seven pound VAIO just to save a few bucks.

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Senior Manager
Joined: 03 Jul 2006
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10 Mar 2007, 17:38
I've noticed most schools have laptop purchase programs - is this just a scam to make some extra money, or is there a reason everyone should have the same laptop? Would the school's IT department only help program and fix laptops bought from the school's program?

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SVP
Joined: 01 Nov 2006
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Schools: The Duke MBA, Class of 2009

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11 Mar 2007, 00:16
eazyb81 wrote:
I've noticed most schools have laptop purchase programs - is this just a scam to make some extra money, or is there a reason everyone should have the same laptop? Would the school's IT department only help program and fix laptops bought from the school's program?

Some students have told me that if you have an kind of computer problem with a laptop you've bought through the school, you just take it to the IT guys and grunt, "it broke. you fix" and they take care of it for you. IT is one thing that I don't like to worry my pretty little head about. Imagine you're in the middle of finals and your whole machine goes ka-plooey...sad.

But that's just what I hear. I will think about laptops when work makes me return "The World's Sexiest Laptop." Until then, I am all set.

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Director
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
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11 Mar 2007, 10:16
I will buy mine sometime in June before I leave US. Weight is a consideration. I'm not too worried about IT issues because unless it's a major hardware issue I can deal with most other ;)

Once I'm done with MBA, and hopefully have a good job, I'll buy the fastest, most souped up gaming machine in the market :D

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Senior Manager
Joined: 08 Aug 2006
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Location: San Francisco
Schools: Berkeley Haas

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11 Mar 2007, 15:19
As most of previous posters, will most probably go for an ultraportable. Something 1.5 kg or less, preferably Core Duo-based. Max out the RAM of course. Sony rocks of course, but the price kills me, so I think I'll go for some MSI or whatever.

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Manager
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11 Mar 2007, 15:46
braindancer wrote:
As most of previous posters, will most probably go for an ultraportable. Something 1.5 kg or less, preferably Core Duo-based. Max out the RAM of course. Sony rocks of course, but the price kills me, so I think I'll go for some MSI or whatever.

Check Dell.com. You can also customize it

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Senior Manager
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11 Mar 2007, 15:51
Pah, the time hasn't come yet Will play with this stuff somewhere in July.

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Manager
Joined: 25 Sep 2006
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11 Mar 2007, 17:29
I <3 sony, but their laptops are just not worth it. Besides the price, they have all kinds of proprietary gizmos and drivers. It will probably work great out of the box, but as soon as you need to reinstall something or or update a driver... you're in for a ride.

I think all business professionals would agree that IBM/Lenovo laptops are the way to go. T-series are thin, light and can take a beating.

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GMAT Club Legend
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Joined: 05 Apr 2006
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11 Mar 2007, 19:15
Sonys are crap. They look slick, but if something breaks sony charges you a RIDICULOUS amount of money. Spare batteries, etc. Too much custom crap inside too. Driver nightmare. My Sony vaio? A nice machine that wasnt worth the price.

HP and Compaq are cheaply built and have poor maintenance records. My Compaq laptop? Cheap, and it showed. Broke after six months, RMA'd, repaired.

My HP laptop? So far so good, but its not especially light and it runs insanely hot.

Dells are just pieces of crap. Period. They are built in cheapo plastic, they are oft overpriced for what they are, and they are just not quality machines. Take it from someone who used to work on them daily... they suck. I've owned 3 from work, and they all sucked. The fans went out, the screens got dead pixels, etc etc etc.

Now IBM.... here's a laptop. Solid machines, well built, lots of good options under the six pound mark, including the T series. I've owned 3 of these and had 2 from work. They have all worked great. I had one fry on me and IBM replaced it the next day.

In my mind? There is no question - if you want a durable quality laptop, IBM is the way to go. There's a reason they are the laptop of choice for so many companies and consulting firms.

The only thing I'd seriously consider instead? Maybe an apple. With the advent of parallels with cohesion and bootcamp, the mac can be a windows machine - but of course, with all the mac goodies as well. They are quality machines, and if any of the rumours are true - leopard launch soon, built in h 264 encoder and decoder, etc, then well, it's worth seriously considering. One of the things that is most impressive is the new mac backup system (go check it out on apple's leopard pages). IT's basically a differential backup thats all graphical. It's got a wow factor, that fer sure.

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11 Mar 2007, 19:53
I think Lenovo makes great laptops, but they are not really working with IBM any more. I think they have the right to continue using the name for a while, but have actually stopped. Lenovo is really expensive though.

I have had lots of different brands in the past. Currently I'm using an Acer. It's a lot of computer for the money, probably 50% less than a comparably equipped HP or Dell, and much less than Sony or Lenovo. From a price/performance standpoint, it is a winner. The only problem is that it runs really hot. The north bridge runs right under the touchpad and it can get hot enough to be uncomfortable sometimes.

If I do get a new notebook for business school, size and battery life will be the chief concerns. The thing is, I think quite a few schools have policies against using computers in class. I'm pretty sure that Duke and Columbia both have policies that computers are OFF in class, at all times. I was just looking through the stuff for Darden and their students clearly have their comptuers ON. So, I guess I might just wait until I get to school, or at least figure out where I'm going before I concern myself too much more about what to look for.

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11 Mar 2007, 20:04

At work, we have a Toshiba Protege R200, and it's so freakin' hot. It weighs nothing, everywhere I go people want to touch it, and it seems to work fine. I can throw that thing in the smallest briefcase and it takes up no room. I call it "sexy-sexy," as in, "Can I take sexy-sexy with me to that conference?"

Now the IT guys call it that too, at least when they're talking to me.

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SVP
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11 Mar 2007, 20:12
It must be nice to be a buxom girl when dealing with guys in IT. Strangely, all the IT people at the law firms I worked for were women.

Anyhow, I like the business line of Toshiba notebooks. Their consumer line sucks (in my opinion). Bigger and bulkier than comparable models from other brands. The business models are great though, and they're priced accordingly.

Last edited by pelihu on 12 Mar 2007, 02:52, edited 1 time in total.

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Senior Manager
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11 Mar 2007, 23:10
Totally agree on every good word about IBM. We bought about 30 Dells and 30 IBMs for office users. In a year, about 7 dells are junked, and ALL IBMs are 100% functional. Pure luck? Maybe...

I somehow wasn't aware they do ultraportables as well. Will go look when time comes. However, the question "will Lenovo maintain IBM's quality?" is still open...

And yeah, I think I saw that ultra-thin Toshiba Made me drool all over, sexy-sexy it is.

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Intern
Joined: 01 Mar 2007
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12 Mar 2007, 06:13
not sure if other schools do this, but Kellogg has an optional laptop program. you buy your laptop through them and then they provide all support. i believe the model they use is the IBM T60 (which i just got for work a few months ago and LOVE).

i think i'm going to go for this, the support piece sounds too good to pass up. they even give you a loaner to use while they're fixing it if something goes wrong. can you imagine your laptop going haywire right before a final?

to me, the only real drawback is that i won't have a computer all summer. i'm leaving my job in june and i'm pretty sure i won't get this until sept. oh well...

any other schools do this?

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Director
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12 Mar 2007, 10:46
Would having a Mac be very impractical fro b-school? The only reason I'm asking is that nobody has mentioned this so far.

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SVP
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12 Mar 2007, 10:50
dukes wrote:
Would having a Mac be very impractical fro b-school? The only reason I'm asking is that nobody has mentioned this so far.

the schools i've looked at are not so into macs. they probably don't want to mess around with a lot of compatibility issues. I mean, if you want to use your mac, go to art school. those arty types are all about the macs.

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VP
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12 Mar 2007, 10:50
I am sure I have read stuff on some people's blogs - generally, except for a course where you need some econometric software, I think they found they were fine.

But mac's cr@p out in their own way - I can't see how you can say a sony is style over substance and contemplate buying a mac!

* I really like macs.

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12 Mar 2007, 10:50

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# Laptop (and bag) for Bschool...

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