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  1. #1

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    Default Help me pick a new laptop?

    New job requires a new laptop, but I'm no expert. Looking for help from the experts and/or users in the peanut gallery.

    Budget probably close to the $1000-$1200 mark
    Not a lot of special requirements, but battery life might be important and multi-tasking without strain is a must
    Used mostly in an office setting on wireless internet...I will be mobile and will mostly use IE, MS office, AS400
    Would like some usb, needs some type of monitor out, ethernet would be nice
    Can be convertible to a tablet, but not necessary
    Brand (Lenovo, Sony, Samsung, other)?
    HDD or SSD?

    A few I looked at today at the MS store: Lenovo Ideapad Yoga (i5 or i7), Sony Duo 11 (a little too much $), Samsung ATIV Book 6

    Any help appreciated...I need to buy in the next week or so.

  2. #2

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    Dell and hp have some fairly nice convertible units, but the hp might be a bit out of your price range. My wife is eying them for her next computer for law school and Photoshop processing.
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  3. #3

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    DON"T buy HP... We use them at work... I swear after the warranty expires, they break... We are now in the process of choosing either Lenovo or Toshiba....

  4. #4

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    I've been super impressed with the Lenovo models we use at work.
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  5. #5

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    I'd have to agree with jon s above. Toshibas and Lenovos are pretty good machines. I have a Dell as well, at work, and have never really liked them. There are some nice Lenovo Thinkpads that hang in that price range and are very mobile and reliable. My HOME laptop is a Lenovo i5 core, 8 gig RAM.

    You probably want a 14" screen for mobility, 8 gigs of RAM, i7 core CPU, Windows 7, etc. I'm sure more will chime in on things like vid-cards, batteries, software, etc.

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  6. #6

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    My 1st laptop was a Toshiba, which lasted 5 years before being retired last year. Switched to HP, big mistake. No MAJOR issues, just annoyances.
    The reason I picked the HP was a 17" screen size for <$500. I discovered the tradeoff.
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  7. #7

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    Dell Latitude. I use an E6530 core i7 and get about 6 hours of life out of it, stretched to 8 if i really turn down the settings. Multitasking is a breeze. I've dropped it a few times...no problems! I have it set up with 3 external monitors at work in addition to the built in display when I dock it. VGA and HDMI out on the unit itself.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    I've been super impressed with the Lenovo models we use at work.
    Replaced my HP with a Lenovo and never looked back. Great laptop

  9. #9

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    To the OP: I personally suggest Dell or HP, but lean more towards HP. My office has had both (I run IT for it) and of them the HP's had a better feel and keyboard than the Dell's. You could also theoretically get a Lenovo as they tend to run pretty cheap, but I am not a fan of their look and feel. They use a plastic case and a keyboard keys and a layout I am not fond of.

    At home I personally run a HP and have had it for 3 years and its taken all the abuse we can give it without any complaints besides needing to change the battery out.

    If you dont need lots of storage space given your going to be moving around with it a lot go with a SSD. It will save your battery life, not have issues with getting jostled either.

    I would look at a screen size of 13" or less if you plan on docking it with a monitor normally and using the screen just when out and about.

    Cant recommend any specific models because I havent looked in a long time.

    Personally after our HP laptop at home dies I think we will both be getting our own 10 - 13" Netbooks with SSD's and a 9 cell battery since we normally just use them for surfing the web/forums/word.


    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    Dell and hp have some fairly nice convertible units, but the hp might be a bit out of your price range. My wife is eying them for her next computer for law school and Photoshop processing.
    Skip, is she looking at desktop or laptops? If doing Photoshop processing I highly suggest a desktop with a decent processor and a industry GPU rather than consumer. Just my .02 from someone who did graphics.
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  10. #10

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    I personally love the macs if you wanted that. they are great and super reliable. You can still use word on them too.
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  11. #11

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    I've sold all three of the big names for business use: Dell, HP and Lenovo, but now I just stick with Lenovo. Occasionally I have a client that insists they want something prettier than a Lenovo, so they get an HP, but otherwise it's Lenovo. Dell has gone way downhill and I flat refuse to sell them any more.

    Do not buy from a brick-and-mortar store. They tend to carry only consumer model laptops. You want one built specifically for business use. In fact, even if it's not for business use, I still recommend that anyone looking for a laptop buy one built for business use. They are built better and have less bloatware on them.

    So, if you do get a Lenovo, do NOT get an Ideapad, get a Thinkpad. Ideapads may be prettier but they are built for consumer use. Yes, Thinkpads are usually monolithic pieces of black plastic for the most part, but they are built very well. And their keyboards are consistently rated the best in the industry.

    I've also had pretty decent luck with HP, aside from the cosmetics.

    HPs do tend to look prettier than Thinkpads, but in my experience that tends to wear off quickly. The Elitebooks I've had have brushed metal cladding on them, which is very nice looking at first, but it's just cladding. Very thin, and just glued on. The cladding dents easily, and then it looks like total crap, because it then becomes readily apparent that it's just a piece of thin cladding. And if it's colored, the paint will very quickly wear off where you rest your wrists. But if you do go with HP, stick with the Elitebooks.

    As far as performance, you don't need much at all for running Office applications. Just for general system quickness I'd get at least an i5 with 6GB or more RAM. After that, the factor that will affect your speed the most is the hard drive. Whatever you get, make sure it does not have a 5400 RPM HDD in it or that will slow you right down. Either get a 7200 RPM drive if you need the capacity or an SSD, or get a system with both. It doesn't matter if the rest of the specs and the price are stellar. A 5400 RPM drive is a deal-breaker. Graphics card is unimportant for business use. An i5 will have at the minimum a built-in Intel HD gpu which is just fine.

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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndersShadow View Post
    Skip, is she looking at desktop or laptops? If doing Photoshop processing I highly suggest a desktop with a decent processor and a industry GPU rather than consumer. Just my .02 from someone who did graphics.
    Tablet-style laptops. She wants to be able to use a stylus instead of a mouse. The HP is a top contender since her old laptop is a convertible HP tablet-style. She would still be using it if I hadn't shattered the screen. The current HP elitebook or whatever its called is exactly what she wanted when she got hers and should have enough power to run photoshop at a decent speed. The problem is the $1500 price tag, which is essentially what she paid for hers about 6 years ago.
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  13. #13

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    We sell tens of thousands of laptops, and the best quality is from Lenovo, followed by HP.

    Dell is garbage for business, great for home use. Toshiba is difficult to deal with. The newer tablet/convertible laptops are expensive.

    These are hot right now.
    http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops...-series/s230u/
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  14. #14

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    All of our work laptops are Dells. No real issues with any of them. My personal laptop is a Sony Vaio which I was skeptical at first, but has turned out to be a great machine...but that's been with home use. I'm not sure how it would stand up to the vigor of being used 8 hours a day.

    If you're going to be on the laptop screen for any amount of time, I'd recommend a 15" screen. Any smaller is annoying for extended use, but any bigger tends to make it less mobile.

    I'd say another +1 for Lenovo as well and another -1 for HP.
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  15. #15

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    We were a long-time Dell family... more recently, though... my daughter works for IBM, which still gets a big "friends and family" Lenovo discount so the last few we've bought were Lenovos. They seem to be much more rugged and "professional" laptops than Dell, HP, Toshiba, etc. Indeed, my son had a wine-spill incident (he wasn't the spiller!) on his - after it dried out(?!), it worked fine (except that the on-board audio/speakers had been rendered mute). He bought a new one anyway (at our encouragement) - but now he has a spare from beyond the grave.

    At any rate, I am currently pretty pro-Lenovo.

    FWIW: We have a couple of very old Dell laptops that are essentially Franken-putes now (maybe vampire-putes, more accurately) - being kept alive by donor parts (keyboards, displays) from dead brother-laptops :-P
    all the best,
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    Tablet-style laptops. She wants to be able to use a stylus instead of a mouse. The HP is a top contender since her old laptop is a convertible HP tablet-style. She would still be using it if I hadn't shattered the screen. The current HP elitebook or whatever its called is exactly what she wanted when she got hers and should have enough power to run photoshop at a decent speed. The problem is the $1500 price tag, which is essentially what she paid for hers about 6 years ago.
    Gotcha. See if you get discounts through work, or if she can get discounts through school. Also look at their refurb models see if you can save some cash.

    Also depending on how much photoshop she does I would suggest a wacom tablet as they will be a bit better than a touchscreen IMHO.
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  17. #17
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    If you are buying a Windows 8 laptop, touch is a must. Also try the Surface Pro with keyboard as it's functions a lot like a standard laptop in desktop mode.

  18. #18

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    I have hundreds of clients with all makes and models. I hate the consumer grade laptops that all the big companies put out. I love the Latitude line of Dell and absolutely loathe the Elitebook line of HP. Lenovo has been decent. I've got one client that is a construction/general contractor and they absolutely abuse their units. I have to keep replacing the HP Elitebooks day in and day out with Dell Latitudes. I think I'll replace them with ATGs next so they wear better. One of my clients just ordered 2000 units - we will see in the long run how that goes.
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  19. #19

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    Thanks for all the suggestions so far. I took another trip out to check out more models.

    Mac won't work with my company's setup. Surface Pro also has some limitations. I think HP is out.

    I might be leaning toward a Lenovo IdeaPad Yogai7 (256SSD, 8GB) from the MS store, but...any votes on a Samsung ATIV Book 6 (i7, 1TB HDD, 8GB), a Sony Vaio Pro 13 (i5, 128SSD, 4GB) or a Sony 15" Ultrabook (i7, 256SSD, 8GB, BDP)?

    I know these machines are not equal, but they all have most of what I need to get the job done, and are all around $1200.

    Thanks!

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