Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

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Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby Fat-Tailed Contagion » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:08 pm

Hail Bogleheads,

What is the sweet spot between portability, performance, and price right now?

This would be toted around day to day so I'd like it portable.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby Noobvestor » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:14 pm

Fat-Tailed Contagion wrote:Hail Bogleheads,

What is the sweet spot between portability, performance, and price right now?

This would be toted around day to day so I'd like it portable.

Thanks for any suggestions.


I always return to the Lenovo ThinkPad T-Series (according to their site, it's also their most popular) for the balanced machine - quite robust, pretty portable, but sufficiently powerful too. There are faster/stronger for your buck, but Lenovo has a pretty good history of vetting the components so you don't get the latest X, Y or Z, but do get something that will function (i.e. time-tested parts). Their options in a nutshell: http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/laptop/thinkpad/ - but I'm also a go-with-what-you-know person, so haven't shopped around for a while outside of the brand, either except to glance at Consumer Reports or quick-check price differences. Oh, and for performance reasons, I wouldn't buy anything without a solid-state drive at this point, FWIW.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby cheese_breath » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:38 am

I think the sweet spot would depend on what you want to use it for. My main computer where I can do everything including my bookkeeping and financial planning cost me around $800 including software. But I just ordered a Chromebook for just Internet browsing and streaming sports events to my HDTV. The low end Chromebooks run about $199 - $249 depending on whether you purchase and Acer or Samsung.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby chaz » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:42 am

An iPad is very portable.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby justus » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:50 am

cheese_breath wrote:I think the sweet spot would depend on what you want to use it for.


This ^^^

For me, the weight and size matter the most.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby Fat-Tailed Contagion » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:51 am

14" and 4-5 lbs seems to be reasonable, huh?
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby DVMResident » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:56 am

Do you want Windows or Apple?

If Apple, it's between MBA or MBP.

For Windows, I suggest a minimum 4 GB DDR3 RAM with a 128 GB SSD, 2+ 3.0 USB ports

Personally, I like tablets and this is the best Windows tablet: http://reviews.cnet.com/tablets/acer-iconia-w700-6465/4505-3126_7-35472851.html
I'd get the i5 128 SSD version.

We really don't enough about your needs. Try finding a couple candidates using this filter: http://www.newegg.com/notebookfinder, then read reviews on cnet and watching "unboxing reviews" youtube.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby Valuethinker » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:16 am

We need to know for what use.


For general office toting around, MS Office, then I would say the Lenovo Thinkpads are your best bet. Solidly built machines. The ultraportables out there worry me re durability (and power).

Less is always better. So 13 or 14" screen max. i5 Intel Processor. 2GB of RAM is a minimum, but 4GB is much better. I would want at least 3GB on a Win7 machine. When you are using at a desk you can always plug in a much bigger screen.

DVD drive is likely a frill--- you can buy a portable one for when you need it.

You have to make the choice re Windows8, you need to go and try it in a store, (you can switch back to the Win7 classic interface-- for office use you might well want to). I deliberately chose to buy whilst I could still get Windows 7.

If your use is more consumer then the whole world of pads and tablets opens up.

Mac is a whole 'nother question. Macbook Pros look nice (don't know any more than that).
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby bUU » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:10 am

Unfortunately, laptops are traveling down the same path, now, that VCRs traveled down shortly after the introduction of DVD players: Manufacturers tripping over each other to produce crappier and crappier junk, in order to gain what they seemingly feel is the last remaining remnants of revenue to be made from the ground work they've done over the last twenty years to produce laptops for the marketplace. Lenovo and Apple seem to be the only manufacturers that haven't resorted to selling cheap crap to attract bargain hunters, while Acer and a couple of others are selling a mix of crap and decent stuff. Dell has even defiled the reputation of their XPS brand, which used to mean "better than Inspiron" - now, if you want a decent quality laptop from Dell, you need to choose from their overpriced Alienware brand.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby justus » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:15 am

I'm not even sure that the Lenovo's quality is still there. The Thinkpads seem to be okay but some of the Ideapads I've looked at were pretty shoddily made.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby Valuethinker » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:18 am

justus wrote:I'm not even sure that the Lenovo's quality is still there. The Thinkpads seem to be okay but some of the Ideapads I've looked at were pretty shoddily made.


The Thinkpad was the original IBM corporate brand they acquired, and I think they have tried to keep that quality, selling to accounting firms, corporate users etc. It is the real 'road warrior' consultant machine.

I've had colleagues with many bad experiences with Dell laptops. With Sony, too complex/ too much proprietary. Mixed on everything else. Thinkpad I've heard the fewest complaints.

if it is just a 'desktop laptop' ie home use, doesn't move around much, I'd consider one of the other brands (eg Ideapad).
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby bUU » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:29 am

Quite frankly, if you're just looking for a laptop to use around the house, I would seriously consider getting a good desktop (they generally haven't gone completely to crap, yet), and a Microsoft Surface with the Remote Desktop Client, which is available through the Windows Store. I haven't tried it myself, to assure myself that everything I need to work that way does work that way, but before I buy another laptop, I am going to seriously look into that arrangement. The tablet is, of course, useful in its own right, as a tablet (i.e., outside the home - I bet I'll find good uses for a tablet if we had one), and as long as I can reach into my desktop to use MS Office and Quicken, I'm not sure what else I would need.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby magellan » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:48 am

Dell's business laptops are totally different animals from their consumer ones. In addition to better build quality, you also get much better customer support (entirely different call centers, etc). I just bought a Lattitude E6530 to replace a 4 year old Dell E6500. Although it's a bit pricey, the build quality is great and it has next day in-home service for 3 years.

After a terrible experience with a Dell XPS laptop, my wife got an Asus laptop which had great reviews for reliability. Unfortunately, it had a really crappy power jack/cable design, which I commented on as soon as we got it home. Sure enough, at eleven months the laptop's power jack died and it would no longer charge. I had to remove DW's personal info from the HDD and mail the laptop to CA. Including mailing time, DW was 10 days without her laptop. Overall, I can't complain about Asus' warranty service for a cheap consumer brand, but IMO that power jack design is seriously flawed and they must have known it. Next time you're looking at laptops at a store, notice the difference in the power jacks between the various models.

In terms of reliability, the top failures on laptops are probably power jacks, track pads, keyboards, and LED screens/inverters. The keyboards are very easy to swap out but the other stuff requires significantly more skill to repair/replace.

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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby linuxuser » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:52 am

magellan wrote:Dell's business laptops are totally different animals from their consumer ones.

+1

The average consumer has never seen Dell's business laptops.
You only find the Inspiron series in the retail stores.

As a testament to how good the Dell business laptops are, I have bought 5 of them used - 2 from Dell Financial Services (back from lease) and 3 from eBay.
All of them are going strong.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby Fat-Tailed Contagion » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:04 am

Use would be day to day internet and word processing, spreadsheet, etc.

Nothing fancy, just a solid portable machine.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby linuxuser » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:21 am

Fat-Tailed Contagion wrote:Use would be day to day internet and word processing, spreadsheet, etc.

Nothing fancy, just a solid portable machine.


Like was said before, there is a quality difference between consumer-grade laptops and business-grade laptops.
If you want the latter, you will need to purchase online.
Otherwise, get on Staples' mailing list. I get coupons for laptops all the time.
Keep your eye on Slickdeals.net
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby Valuethinker » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:16 am

Fat-Tailed Contagion wrote:Use would be day to day internet and word processing, spreadsheet, etc.

Nothing fancy, just a solid portable machine.



Is this for a personal business?

Because if it is, then the laptop is your life.

It has to be:

- robust
- portable to take to client meetings and sites (and Starbucks!) -- weight will count (I am not a big fan, though, of ultrathin-- I'd rather have a somewhat smaller screen

At which point-- Thinkpad. There may be other alternatives.

Do not forget separate and daily backup. Laptops break. They get stolen. Security features like Thinkpad has may be useful.

If it is personal use only, and it's not going to go out of the house much, then any of the leading brands, with an i5 or i7 processor, 3-4GB of RAM. Screen size doesn't matter much but smaller is better (you can buy a standalone screen for desktop equivalence) ie say 14".
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby pochax » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:30 pm

i think the sweetspot for PCs is:
- 15-16" HD screen (720p) (17" and 14" typically cost more - 1080p HD definitely costs more)
- 4-6GB RAM (8GB+ costs more)
- 320-500GB HDD (SSD costs more but lose memory space but vastly improve boot/startup time and accessing file speed)
- CPU: Intel Core i3-3000series or i5-3000 series or AMD A6-4000 series or A8-4000 series (Intel better with processing-based functions while AMD probably a bit better for graphics/gaming - assuming you are not buying a discrete graphics card)
- assume you will get all of these "standard" goodies: OS (windows 8), at least one USB 3.0 slot (and a few 2.0s), bluetooth, webcam, wifi b/g/n, possible DVD-burner drive (but not as necessary these days), and multi-card (SD) reader/slot, audio/HPhone jack, manufacturer bloatware and 30-day trial software (antivirus, microsoft office, etc etc.)
- at least 4hrs battery life

should run you ~$400-500. example here: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications ... 180-156414

sometimes can get better deals on fatwallet.com or slickdeals.net
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby Puakinekine » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:07 pm

I purchased a Lenovo Thinkpad in August (T-430) and am pleased with it. It is very sturdy, has easy access to hard drives (there are 2 in in it, a msata running the OS and a regular spinning hd for storage. I bought the msata afterwards and installed it myself), battery, RAM, etc. They are designed to be easily repaired and upgraded. The keyboard is the best I've ever worked on and backlit. The screen is a decent 1600x900, and I get from 8 to 10 hours of battery time with mixed usage. It is not cool or sexy (really kind of ugly) compared to some of the beautiful thin and light designs coming out now, but I don't think the lid and screen will crack within a year like my husband's (once) really nice Asus U31. It also has a DVD drive, which is not a luxury but a necessity for me. I dislike using external disk drives. In hindsight I, perhaps, should have gone for the T-530 with the larger screen, as I used a 15.6 inch laptop the other day and really liked the real estate. But this is a good compromise in screen size vs portability.

If you have a Visa and live in the US, this website offers decent prices.
http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/cont ... ardholders
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby Fat-Tailed Contagion » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:36 pm

Puakinekine wrote:I purchased a Lenovo Thinkpad in August (T-430) and am pleased with it. It is very sturdy, has easy access to hard drives (there are 2 in in it, a msata running the OS and a regular spinning hd for storage. I bought the msata afterwards and installed it myself), battery, RAM, etc. They are designed to be easily repaired and upgraded. The keyboard is the best I've ever worked on and backlit. The screen is a decent 1600x900, and I get from 8 to 10 hours of battery time with mixed usage. It is not cool or sexy (really kind of ugly) compared to some of the beautiful thin and light designs coming out now, but I don't think the lid and screen will crack within a year like my husband's (once) really nice Asus U31. It also has a DVD drive, which is not a luxury but a necessity for me. I dislike using external disk drives. In hindsight I, perhaps, should have gone for the T-530 with the larger screen, as I used a 15.6 inch laptop the other day and really liked the real estate. But this is a good compromise in screen size vs portability.

If you have a Visa and live in the US, this website offers decent prices.
http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/cont ... ardholders


Is it too heavy to tote around at 4.77 pounds?
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby CyberBob » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:16 pm

You might want to check out Laptop Magazine's list of Top 10 Notebooks Now.

Bob
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby Puakinekine » Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:41 pm

Fat-Tailed Contagion wrote:
Puakinekine wrote:I purchased a Lenovo Thinkpad in August (T-430) and am pleased with it. It is very sturdy, has easy access to hard drives (there are 2 in in it, a msata running the OS and a regular spinning hd for storage. I bought the msata afterwards and installed it myself), battery, RAM, etc. They are designed to be easily repaired and upgraded. The keyboard is the best I've ever worked on and backlit. The screen is a decent 1600x900, and I get from 8 to 10 hours of battery time with mixed usage. It is not cool or sexy (really kind of ugly) compared to some of the beautiful thin and light designs coming out now, but I don't think the lid and screen will crack within a year like my husband's (once) really nice Asus U31. It also has a DVD drive, which is not a luxury but a necessity for me. I dislike using external disk drives. In hindsight I, perhaps, should have gone for the T-530 with the larger screen, as I used a 15.6 inch laptop the other day and really liked the real estate. But this is a good compromise in screen size vs portability.

If you have a Visa and live in the US, this website offers decent prices.
http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/cont ... ardholders


Is it too heavy to tote around at 4.77 pounds?


It depends on the extent of your toting. From room to room in office or house or moving around in a car, it is fine. For a daily non-auto commute or air travel involving having to keep it in a carry-on, it is much too heavy. Lenovo has two very sturdy smaller business notebooks, the X-1 Carbon and the x230 (also in tablet-esque form as the x230t) that weigh in at about 3 lbs. I covet them both, as my old 3 lb travel netbook just died, but am having a hard time justifying buying a duplicate 12.5" version (the x230) of the 14 inch Thinkpad that I already have or the X-1 Carbon, which is a very desirable machine, but even more expensive then the x230. BTW, my t430 has a 9 volt battery so weighs in at a little over 5 pounds.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby mildred66 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:31 pm

I would definitely consider a tablet if you primarily surf, email and do media things (watch movies, read books, audio books etc.). I no longer need to travel with a laptop.

If you really want a laptop, I'd vote macbook air. Super light and Mac has a great user experience. I switched from PC years ago and would never go back.

I also like chrome books if you are ready to work "on the cloud". I can't believe there's a $200 laptop out there!
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby Fat-Tailed Contagion » Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:41 pm

Puakinekine wrote:
Fat-Tailed Contagion wrote:
Puakinekine wrote:I purchased a Lenovo Thinkpad in August (T-430) and am pleased with it. It is very sturdy, has easy access to hard drives (there are 2 in in it, a msata running the OS and a regular spinning hd for storage. I bought the msata afterwards and installed it myself), battery, RAM, etc. They are designed to be easily repaired and upgraded. The keyboard is the best I've ever worked on and backlit. The screen is a decent 1600x900, and I get from 8 to 10 hours of battery time with mixed usage. It is not cool or sexy (really kind of ugly) compared to some of the beautiful thin and light designs coming out now, but I don't think the lid and screen will crack within a year like my husband's (once) really nice Asus U31. It also has a DVD drive, which is not a luxury but a necessity for me. I dislike using external disk drives. In hindsight I, perhaps, should have gone for the T-530 with the larger screen, as I used a 15.6 inch laptop the other day and really liked the real estate. But this is a good compromise in screen size vs portability.

If you have a Visa and live in the US, this website offers decent prices.
http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/cont ... ardholders


Is it too heavy to tote around at 4.77 pounds?


It depends on the extent of your toting. From room to room in office or house or moving around in a car, it is fine. For a daily non-auto commute or air travel involving having to keep it in a carry-on, it is much too heavy. Lenovo has two very sturdy smaller business notebooks, the X-1 Carbon and the x230 (also in tablet-esque form as the x230t) that weigh in at about 3 lbs. I covet them both, as my old 3 lb travel netbook just died, but am having a hard time justifying buying a duplicate 12.5" version (the x230) of the 14 inch Thinkpad that I already have or the X-1 Carbon, which is a very desirable machine, but even more expensive then the x230. BTW, my t430 has a 9 volt battery so weighs in at a little over 5 pounds.


What are your thoughts on the T430s and T430u? They seem like a similar, yet more portable product.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby Puakinekine » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:16 pm

I can't remember the specifics, but neither fulfilled my requirements. Follow the link below for all the discussion and more that you ever wanted on Lenovo laptops. :happy
http://forum.notebookreview.com/lenovo/
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby justus » Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:49 pm

My sweet spot "choice" has been the T-series Thinkpad 14" and MacBook Pro 13". I find the popular 15.6" laptops are far too bulky and awkward to transport easily.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby mike143 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:34 pm

I really like my HP Envy 4t once I added a solid state drive (SSD). I think a modern day computing device demands a solid state drive. Any processor from Intel is more than enough for your general needs for the next 2 years, next Operating System (OS). I place no value on brand, I have had many Dell's and HP's and one ASUS, and liked them all. I think if you are looking for a good balance you are looking for something sold under the "Ultrabook" designation. I have my Ultrabook and a tablet, the only time I use my tablet is on the toilet, instead of a magazine.
Nothing is free, someone pays.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby sunspotzsz » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:16 pm

Are you getting a PC or Mac?

For PC, I used many different laptops mostly at work, and Lenovo thinkpad is the best. I bought a X1 carbon and love it.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby Fat-Tailed Contagion » Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:18 pm

justus wrote:My sweet spot "choice" has been the T-series Thinkpad 14" and MacBook Pro 13". I find the popular 15.6" laptops are far too bulky and awkward to transport easily.


I would like a PC, what T-series model would you guys recommend?
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby gtaylor » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:36 pm

bicker wrote:Quite frankly, if you're just looking for a laptop to use around the house, I would seriously consider getting a good desktop (they generally haven't gone completely to crap, yet), and a Microsoft Surface with the Remote Desktop Client, which is available through the Windows Store. I haven't tried it myself, to assure myself that everything I need to work that way does work that way, but before I buy another laptop, I am going to seriously look into that arrangement. The tablet is, of course, useful in its own right, as a tablet (i.e., outside the home - I bet I'll find good uses for a tablet if we had one), and as long as I can reach into my desktop to use MS Office and Quicken, I'm not sure what else I would need.


This, a thousand times this!

I got an iPad last year, and it's wonderful. By itself, it does email, web, video conferencing etc; with the 'Remoter Pro' app installed it does RDP or VNC to my Windows and Linux desktop machines at the office. RDP over SSH over LTE, specifically, works really really well. VNC depends a bit on the server and isn't as snappy, but it works.

For any real work, one does need a keyboard, there is a nice Logitech one that complements the iPad and adds little weight. The result is very satisfactory.

I also carry a company laptop, a smallish thinkpad of about 4 pounds. It's huge and heavy and blurry and Windowsy and all told not half as nice to use as the iPad for most stuff.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby bUU » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:07 am

gtaylor wrote:RDP over SSH over LTE, specifically, works really really well.

I assume that RDP directly through wireless Internet works even better?
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby Valuethinker » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:15 am

Fat-Tailed Contagion wrote:
justus wrote:My sweet spot "choice" has been the T-series Thinkpad 14" and MacBook Pro 13". I find the popular 15.6" laptops are far too bulky and awkward to transport easily.


I would like a PC, what T-series model would you guys recommend?


T430 looks like the preferred range from comments here. You are buying a relatively expensive, moderate to high performance machine. However build quality is good (haven't had to deal with support). This is not a 'sexy' machine but an expensive albeit historically reliable one.

I stress this is a good choice for a business or personal business user who will be using the laptop when travelling, at clients etc. Portability matters you want 14" ish screen not 15.4". I am not a big fan of 'ultrathin' computers-- they seem too flimsy to me. Also you want the full Intel processors ie the i3/5/7 series of portable processors. And you need 3-4GB of RAM.

I have not yet acended to the Solid State Drive, so I don't know what the issues/ tradeoffs are there.

One issue that would concern me is Win8 and its User Interface, touchscreen etc. For that reason, I made sure I had Windows 7 on the new desktop. However you can buy (for $5) 'classic' UIs for Win8 ie close to Win7. Changing UI is a major issue for me.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby bUU » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:48 am

I was talking about something related with a colleague earlier in the week and he pointed out something important: It is fruitless to rail against inevitable progress; just spiting yourself. While it makes sense to decide which OS you want to be running right now, unless you consider laptops disposable, ready to replace them frequently, then it doesn't make sense to buy a laptop today that doesn't have a touch screen. Touch is the way even laptops are going, whether we like it or not, and now that it is mainstream, application developers will eventually consider it a reasonable minimum requirement for use of applications, just like the mouse.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby gtaylor » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:42 am

bicker wrote:
gtaylor wrote:RDP over SSH over LTE, specifically, works really really well.

I assume that RDP directly through wireless Internet works even better?


I have no idea, I would never run naked RDP over the Internet. It probably does some obsolete variant of CHAP and then doesn't encrypt at all.

If you just mean over the local wireless ethernet, sure, it's really zippy. The protocol is considerably better optimized for windowsy mousey things than VNC, and it shows. Among other things one can pick depths and resolutions depending on bandwidth available. VNC has some of these options as well but it's all a bit clunkier and not integrated as tightly on the server end.

For Linux the protocol I keep wanting to try is NX, which IIRC has a free client and I think a no cost for personal use server. Anything beats plain X11 (well, gnome/qt X11; classical Athena and Motif apps are snappy as ever), and I keep finding that VNC is marginal or too slow over WAN links of any sort.

I would qualify my enthusiasm for RDP clients on ipads with the detail that video is mostly not useful, and for that matter I don't recall if the ipad client I use supports audio. I have had video work OK on LAN links, but really it's going to be a challenge for any of these schemes to attempt to play video over them. In practice one does not watch videos while programming, so it never matters to me, but for some people it might be an obstacle.

With the ipad in particular the 'retina' screen is a little interesting to use for Windows. My ipad is actually my biggest monitor in terms of pixels. Typically I run RDP pixel doubled so that it's 4 local pixels to 1 remote pixel; otherwise everything is very small. It's perfectly crisp either way, the scaling doesn't lose pixels. But any which way, the screen is physically small; it may or may not be pleasing to work on as a remote windows client for long periods of time.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby bUU » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:28 am

gtaylor wrote:I would never run naked RDP over the Internet.
I wouldn't either, but standard workstation OSs don't give me any choice.

Thanks for the info.
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Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby Bungo » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:49 am

linuxuser wrote:As a testament to how good the Dell business laptops are, I have bought 5 of them used - 2 from Dell Financial Services (back from lease) and 3 from eBay.
All of them are going strong.

I agree with this. My work laptop is a Dell Latitude E6420. It's a nice, sturdy, trouble-free computer, with more than enough horsepower for most purposes. At a previous employer, I was given a Lenovo ThinkPad, which was a cheap piece of junk in comparison with this Dell.
Bungo
 
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Joined: 28 Sep 2011

Re: Specs for a Portable Laptop these days?

Postby Markov » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:50 pm

I just received my T430, pretty bare bones work machine.

brief specs include:

win 7 pro
180 SSD boot drive
500 gb hdd drive in optical drive space
4gb memory (ordered (2) 8 gb memory from crucial to upgrade, saves couple hundred and easy to install)
video card (I didn't need this, but they had a sale and was only $50 upgrade)
1600x900 (get this upgrade, all research I did, if you do one upgrade, this should be it)

I like the laptop, it was delivered fast, fast boot up, great new keyboard layout, has USB 3.0, and just like overall feel....however, I am sending it back for a new one due to fan noise. I work in home office in quiet environment, and the fan sounds like a jet winding up. The fan would settle down, but once CPU would start processing, the fan would start whining again.

Just to confirm I wasn't being overly sensitive, I asked my wife to bring home her T420 from work. I put my new T430 next to her T420, booted both up at the same time, ran same programs, streamed some video on both. The T420 never made a peep, while the T430 fan was whining away.

I need a new laptop, and like I said, I like the laptop. So rather returning it, I am just exchanging. I can post in 5-7 days when new laptop arrives if the next one makes less noise.
Markov
 
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