New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

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TheTimeLord
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New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:01 am

Thinking of getting myself a Dell XPS 15 as a Christmas gift. I want something fairly light, SSD, and fairly powerful. I am also very intrigued by the Thunderbolt 3 port that the Dell possesses. Are there any other contenders I should be considering?
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JohnFiscal
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by JohnFiscal » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:13 am

Hopefully Dell has moved beyond the laptop I bought back around 2000. Later I bought a Sony, which I like, but they are out of the pc business now.

I also am looking for a new laptop and am heavily leaning towards Lenovo's ThinkPad line (formerly IBM's). Wife is promoting the new Microsoft Surface laptop, I don't think it's released for sale yet ...not the tablet version but the full laptop. It sounds promising as well but is likely (to me) to be friable as it seems to be pushing tech to the limit (so, $$$ when things fail). ThinkPads are "bullet proof".

Wife just bought a couple of old refurbished ThinkPads from Newegg and I am amazed at the build quality. BTW, we put Windows 10 on both of them and they operate very well. The more expensive one (only $155) we put a $70 Samsung EVO SSD in and it now has amazing performance! I'm tempted to just get an old beater like one of these and 'soup it up' like we did, rather than buy a new Lenovo for $1500 or so.


ETA: The Dell Precision workstations we use at our office are pretty much bullet- and bomb-proof. But they're not laptops

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by jjface » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:32 am

I have a xps13 and like it.

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by DragonWell » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:40 am

I don't know too much about laptops but I stumbled across this website a while ago and thought it might be helpful to you.

http://www.productchart.com/laptops/

You can search by criteria like RAM, GB, screen size, weight, to specify what you want compared with cost. Maybe it reveals some new options - maybe not. Good luck with whatever you decide. :happy

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TheTimeLord
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:47 am

jjface wrote:I have a xps13 and like it.
Right now that is my second choice.
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by JohnFiscal » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:50 am

TheTimeLord wrote:
jjface wrote:I have a xps13 and like it.
Right now that is my second choice.
I like the 13" screen size. That's what my current laptop is. Makes for a smaller/lighter body. Then you can attach it to a larger external monitor. I have Dell 23" Ultrasharp which is great for spreadsheets and having multiple windows open. A docking station allows for easy attachment of the external monitor and keyboard, etc.

ETA: I am really tempted by the 27" Ultrasharp with premier color.

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by SpringMan » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:56 am

TheTimeLord wrote:
jjface wrote:I have a xps13 and like it.
Right now that is my second choice.
Because the xps13 has such a thin bezel, it puts its front facing webcam in the lower corner instead of the more normal center top. This may not matter but if you do skype or other video calls, your front camera may pickup your bottom chin instead of your face. Otherwise the xps13 is a sweet laptop.
Best Wishes, SpringMan

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by StoneyCWI » Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:06 pm

Lenovo is having all sorts of fits and problems with their X240 and X250 product lines.
The down side of the issue is Max Ram and Battery. The X240/250 has a Max Ram of 8GB and both have internal batteries (but you can swap in a battery in lieu of the drive.

I have set on the older X230 as a work machine, there are plenty still available in unused condition.

BTW These are 12.5" display models.

Their larger units have just as many issues. Go here and read from their Customer web page
https://forums.lenovo.com/

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TheTimeLord
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:07 pm

SpringMan wrote:
TheTimeLord wrote:
jjface wrote:I have a xps13 and like it.
Right now that is my second choice.
Because the xps13 has such a thin bezel, it puts its front facing webcam in the lower corner instead of the more normal center top. This may not matter but if you do skype or other video calls, your front camera may pickup your bottom chin instead of your face. Otherwise the xps13 is a sweet laptop.
I believe the XPS 15 has the same issue. My understanding is the trackpad issue has been fixed in the new models of both XPS 13 and 15. I lean towards the 15 because it is I believe the same form factor as a normal 14 but is meaningfully more powerful than the 13 at the same price points. Right now it is really a race between the $1,300 XPS 15 and $999 XPS 13 but I did find the Yoga 900 interesting but no Thunderbolt 3 which I think will be in everything worth owning next year.
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TheTimeLord
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:11 pm

JohnFiscal wrote:
TheTimeLord wrote:
jjface wrote:I have a xps13 and like it.
Right now that is my second choice.
I like the 13" screen size. That's what my current laptop is. Makes for a smaller/lighter body. Then you can attach it to a larger external monitor. I have Dell 23" Ultrasharp which is great for spreadsheets and having multiple windows open. A docking station allows for easy attachment of the external monitor and keyboard, etc.

ETA: I am really tempted by the 27" Ultrasharp with premier color.
I bought Dell UltraSharp U2715H 27-Inch and have been very pleased. It isn't 4K but it is the highest resolution my work laptop can push and probably my old eyes can see.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00P0E ... ge_o04_s00
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by supalong52 » Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:41 pm

I just replaced my six year old Macbook Pro with an HP Envy 13. http://store.hp.com/us/en/mdp/Laptops/envy-13 It's got an all-aluminum build, 2.8 pounds. Build is better than XPS 13, which I also considered. Price is also much less. I upgraded to i7 Skylake processor for $850 total. Opted for full definition screen for better battery life though. For some reason, not a lot of reviews, but folks on Amazon seem to like it a lot. http://www.amazon.com/HP-13-d010nr-13-3 ... B015AD1ZFA

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by knpstr » Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:46 pm

I think the surface pro tablets look nice from Microsoft, quite powerful too.
It's basically a laptop with the keyboard case.
I have been considering one, but they are quite pricey.

I'm still using my Samsung laptop I bought from Wal-Mart years ago.
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by Puakinekine » Fri Dec 11, 2015 2:04 pm

The way Microsoft names their devices gets very confusing for people. This is the Surface Book. It is a laptop and not a tablet. But you can easily take the full keyboard off and use it as a tablet. There are probably some kinks that need to be worked out on it, as it is a first generation product.
http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msu ... .325716000

This is the latest Surface Pro 4 (I have the SP3). The best way to describe it is that it is tablet device equivalent in power to a PC, with an optional keyboard cover. I rarely use it as a tablet. I actually dislike tablets in general but, it was the best and the lightest fully powered Windows device I could find for travel at a year and a half ago or so when I bought it.
http://www.microsoftstore.com/store?key ... g&filters=

Both devices have spectacular screens. My SP3, but for one minor issue, is an extremely well made and designed device. The SP4 has a slightly larger and higher resolution screen, and a better keyboard cover. I will be getting the new SP4 keyboard from Santa to use on the SP3. I covet the Surface Book as one of those highly desirable objects that strike my fancy, but cannot justify in any way buying one at the moment.

My go to, work horse machine is an aging 14” Lenovo 430. It is older, not very attractive, a bit heavy, but can be and has been easily upgraded (RAM, SSD, battery, etc.) and has an extremely comfortable keyboard. I suspect a major part of my ease with working on it over the SP3 is the larger screen size and the better keyboard. 14 Inches is the sweet spot for me with laptop screens. The screen quality on the SP3 is far better, so if I want to really see something well, I use that.(I have also asked Santa for a new external monitor.) Of the newer ThinkPad’s, the 14” T450s, the 14” X1 Carbon Touch, and the 12.5” X250 look interesting. I am (unjustifiably?) prejudiced against Dell after having the case on a laptop crack apart, making it useless after a very short life. But that was a long time ago, so I really should let it go.

I find it extremely useful in buying a new laptop to sit down and list what I want, what I need and what my priorities are. Then I arrange the list according to importance. Do I want/need screen space, screen quality, battery life, power, large amounts of storage, low weight, build quality, attractive design, the ability to upgrade RAM, battery, hard drives myself, etc. There is never the perfect machine. And often what you think is important is really not. Knowing next to nothing about it, I am wondering about the OP’s need for a thunderbolt port at this time. It may be the darling of the moment, but that all may change by the time it is ready for primetime on PC’s. I only mention this because I have fussed over having this sort of thing in the past and paid dearly for it, and when all was said and done, it did not matter. They (and I) had moved onto something else.
Last edited by Puakinekine on Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

autonomy
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by autonomy » Fri Dec 11, 2015 2:30 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:Thinking of getting myself a Dell XPS 15 as a Christmas gift. I want something fairly light, SSD, and fairly powerful. I am also very intrigued by the Thunderbolt 3 port that the Dell possesses. Are there any other contenders I should be considering?
The XPS15 would be my choice for work, but we're going end up getting Precision 5510 or 7510 instead. 5510 is a good laptop too, though I'm not too fond of Dell's build quality.

I've always been a fan of Thinkpads.

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by jjface » Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:25 pm

Unless you travel get the 15

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:47 pm

jjface wrote:Unless you travel get the 15
Just for lugging around the house.
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by DVMResident » Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:26 pm

Dell XPS 13 or 15 are great choices. The XPSs are probably the best Windows ultrabooks on the market today. The 15 is really nice because the footprint is acceptable and the extra screen real estate with worth it. If gaming is an interest, I would consider would consider the GPU version. The battery life is a little short at 5 hours on wifi tests.

I played with Miscrosoft's Surface Book in Best Buy. It's defiantly interesting and innovative and the build quality is excellent, but a bit unbalanced (screen heavy). Some of the features like the stylus are very tempting, but unless you have a specific desire for a detachable tablet or a stylus, XPS is simpler and cheaper.

This is my go-to site for laptop reviews: http://www.notebookcheck.net/
XPS 15 review

Periodically, Notebookcheck will publish top 10 by category. Here's the ultrabook list.

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by Oddlot » Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:07 pm

Bought an ASUS UX305F 13" notebook (no touchscreen) w/SSD earlier this year. It is only a half inch thick. At $700, I thought it was the best value at the time. I have been happy with it.

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by Mel Lindauer » Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:15 pm

JohnFiscal wrote:Hopefully Dell has moved beyond the laptop I bought back around 2000. Later I bought a Sony, which I like, but they are out of the pc business now.

I also am looking for a new laptop and am heavily leaning towards Lenovo's ThinkPad line (formerly IBM's). Wife is promoting the new Microsoft Surface laptop, I don't think it's released for sale yet ...not the tablet version but the full laptop. It sounds promising as well but is likely (to me) to be friable as it seems to be pushing tech to the limit (so, $$$ when things fail). ThinkPads are "bullet proof".

Wife just bought a couple of old refurbished ThinkPads from Newegg and I am amazed at the build quality. BTW, we put Windows 10 on both of them and they operate very well. The more expensive one (only $155) we put a $70 Samsung EVO SSD in and it now has amazing performance! I'm tempted to just get an old beater like one of these and 'soup it up' like we did, rather than buy a new Lenovo for $1500 or so.


ETA: The Dell Precision workstations we use at our office are pretty much bullet- and bomb-proof. But they're not laptops
Yes, the Surface laptop (called the Surface Book) is indeed, available. It's an awesome product but very pricey.
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by happyisland » Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:22 pm

Get the XPS 15!
I'm currently typing this on an XPS 13, which is just a fantastically high-tech device with its tiny bezels. Also, I am surprised by how useful I find the touch screen, and would recommend that option as well.

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by dpc » Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:41 pm

Happy with my Acer Aspire S7 for the past year. Never use the touchscreen.
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by mouses » Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:46 pm

I love my Thinkpad. It is so much more reliable than the hp laptops I used to use. It makes them look like the crap they are.

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by Pill » Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:51 pm

13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, I bought the 15-inch but I like the 13 much better and recommend 13-inch

I crossed over a few years ago, after my wife had bought one. And I am so glad I did. Far better operating system and machine. I don't ever plan to by a pc again. Mac's are elite, and worth every penny in my opinion.

There is a small learning curve, but once you get used to it, they flow much better. I highly doubt anyone regrets buying a mac!

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TheTimeLord
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:21 pm

Pill wrote:13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, I bought the 15-inch but I like the 13 much better and recommend 13-inch

I crossed over a few years ago, after my wife had bought one. And I am so glad I did. Far better operating system and machine. I don't ever plan to by a pc again. Mac's are elite, and worth every penny in my opinion.

There is a small learning curve, but once you get used to it, they flow much better. I highly doubt anyone regrets buying a mac!
I have an iPhone, iPad and I am typing on a Mac Mini, but the Dell XPS 13 and 15 sit on top my list. I considered a MacBook Pro with Retina display but going a different way.
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by MoonOrb » Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:09 pm

Yes, I came in here to say consider a 13" MacBook Pro with a Retina display. I'm typing from one now. If you want to go another way that's understandable, but it's superior to any computer I've ever used, for work or for personal use. It's not even close. This is a magnificent product. All of my previous computers, mostly laptops, were PCs.

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by bondsr4me » Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:40 pm

I switched to Apple years ago....won't go back to pc's.
We have 2 MBP's, 2 iPads, 2 iPhones, and a new iMac, and 2 iWatches.
They all work without problems.
You can't go wrong with Apple.
Don

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by sambb » Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:14 pm

mac/apple all the way
no crashes
no bugs
no viruses
no malware

and it just works

has doubled my producitvity

incredible products - i would pay 2x as much or 5x as much for them

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rob
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by rob » Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:33 pm

I have a HP Elitebook 840 (SSD, i7) and it's a great machine so far.... Lighter than most laptops and fairly strong with the i7.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

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htdrag11
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by htdrag11 » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:03 pm

My primary laptop is a Dell XPS 15z, about 3 years old w/o issues until I upgraded to Win X. Other than OS issues such as flashing screen and occasional screen getting fuzzy, it has been reliable. The older one is the Latitude D6630, also a workhorse until 2 of the USBs died. Gave it away last year and it's still working after 7 years.

My backup is a HP 13 Stream that is strictly for home use running my banking apps only, no surfing; weights 3.4 pounds.

If the MBP 13 Retina is cheaper, I would go for it. The Dell XPS 13 1080p is a better deal at $450 less, but then Apple is always a premium product.

Have fun shopping.

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by b4nash » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:45 pm

The Wirecutter is a solid curator of technology and chose the XPS 13 as the "Best Windows Ultrabook".

http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-be ... ultrabook/

I am typing this from my 2010 Macbook :thumbsup :thumbsup but understand if it's not for you.

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by JustinTime » Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:45 am

surface pro 4 and surface book has been solid for me.

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by marc515 » Sat Dec 12, 2015 7:30 am

I switched over from a Dell XPS-15 (9530) to a 15" Macbook Pro Retina this past March, and all I can say is the user experience on a Mac is so much better.

Apple has won me over with this purchase, and their customer support is by far the best I've ever had.

It just works!

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by SleepKing » Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:11 am

TheTimeLord wrote:Thinking of getting myself a Dell XPS 15 as a Christmas gift. I want something fairly light, SSD, and fairly powerful. I am also very intrigued by the Thunderbolt 3 port that the Dell possesses. Are there any other contenders I should be considering?
Can't go wrong with your dell or mac book or mac pro, really depends on your budget, integration of other devices, and common use of the laptop.

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by cutterinnj » Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:19 am

I used cheap PC laptops for my whole life until work got my a 13" MacBook Air July 2013.
I use it many hours each day, and it's actually FASTER than it was when I bought it (OS updates, I imagine.)
The battery STILL lasts 10 hours.

You would have to do a good bit of convincing to make me switch to a non-mac now. My time is too valuable to mess around with Windows these days.

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TheTimeLord
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by TheTimeLord » Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:40 am

marc515 wrote:I switched over from a Dell XPS-15 (9530) to a 15" Macbook Pro Retina this past March, and all I can say is the user experience on a Mac is so much better.

Apple has won me over with this purchase, and their customer support is by far the best I've ever had.

It just works!
I have a Mac, I have a PC, I have worked in IT for along time. I like my Mac but I must be missing something because I don't feel the user experience either way is that much better or worse. Can someone give me examples!
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by OAG » Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:52 am

SpringMan wrote:
TheTimeLord wrote:
jjface wrote:I have a xps13 and like it.
Right now that is my second choice.
Because the xps13 has such a thin bezel, it puts its front facing webcam in the lower corner instead of the more normal center top. This may not matter but if you do skype or other video calls, your front camera may pickup your bottom chin instead of your face. Otherwise the xps13 is a sweet laptop.
Same for the 15. I have the 15 Dell with HD (4X) screen. Getting some programs to work well is a chore (think Quicken 2015 for instance).
OAG=Old Army Guy. Retired CW4 USA (US Army) in 1979.

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by cutterinnj » Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:55 am

TheTimeLord wrote:
marc515 wrote:I switched over from a Dell XPS-15 (9530) to a 15" Macbook Pro Retina this past March, and all I can say is the user experience on a Mac is so much better.

Apple has won me over with this purchase, and their customer support is by far the best I've ever had.

It just works!
I have a Mac, I have a PC, I have worked in IT for along time. I like my Mac but I must be missing something because I don't feel the user experience either way is that much better or worse. Can someone give me examples!
1- I open the screen of my (incredibly thin and light) Mac Book Air, and it's on. No "start up screen", no "wait for a second", it's just on. Light is on, and I start using it; it takes 2 seconds for it to connect to WIFI, but that's the only delay

2- I cannot remember the last time it "forced" me to do some weird upgrade with restarts, a la any Windows machine. Upgrades are very easy, non-intrusive, and very rarely "break" some other component of the system, which I find that Windows tends to do a lot of.

3- I cannot remember when it had a hard crash. I want to say I had one in 2014, but I can't remember for sure. If an app stops functioning, you just reload it, and keep working from where you left off.

4- The track pad is awesome; I can switch between programs and windows with gestures that work 100% of the time; I've yet to find a Windows laptop that comes close

5- I'm sure there must now be contenders, but having 10 hour battery life for most of my uses is amazing. Battery life hasn't decreased perceptibly in almost 2 1/2 years.

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by jpsfranks » Sat Dec 12, 2015 12:35 pm

cutterinnj wrote:2- I cannot remember the last time it "forced" me to do some weird upgrade with restarts, a la any Windows machine.
Odd, I have one waiting for me right now, OS X El Capitan Update 10.11.2, released 12/8, requires restart.

I agree wholeheartedly on the trackpad, but I think the other points (fast startups, rare crashes, good battery life) are available on similarly specced PCs such as the previously mentioned XPS.

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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by cutterinnj » Sat Dec 12, 2015 1:15 pm

jpsfranks wrote:
cutterinnj wrote:2- I cannot remember the last time it "forced" me to do some weird upgrade with restarts, a la any Windows machine.
Odd, I have one waiting for me right now, OS X El Capitan Update 10.11.2, released 12/8, requires restart.

I agree wholeheartedly on the trackpad, but I think the other points (fast startups, rare crashes, good battery life) are available on similarly specced PCs such as the previously mentioned XPS.
You are correct
The update came up when I checked the app store last week, and recommended that I install.
It downloads in the background, and asks you when you're ready. When you affirm that you are, you go do something for a few minutes; when it's done, it restarts and drops you right off where you were as if nothing ever happened. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's how the last 3 major OS updates worked (granted they took a bit longer, but upgraded effortlessly and dropped me right back in to where I was.)
If I compare it to pretty much every Windows update I've dealt with, it will often download something I may or may not want in the background (sometimes several things in the same week or even the same day), and sometime trick me into clicking "restart now". They then take a long time to install, and often times log you back into the main screen rather than what you were doing.
I remember when I tried to give a relative a "clean install" of Windows on a machine I gave away a few years ago, it downloaded, installed, and reset itself many, many times before it was finally "useable"
I think the final straw was a few years ago when I got a "Windows 8 machine" and it was completely different than the Windows I had used for the prior 15 years; no start screen, bizarre iPhone like icons that sometimes worked, and nearly impossible to use. It was the strangest, most annoying thing I've experienced in computers, and finally came to the realization that my time is more valuable than to deal with that sort of customer disrespect.

Now, on the other hand, my wife's laptop was upgraded to Windows 10. It definitely seems more useable than Windows 8. It does still have windows that crash or get "hung up" for whatever reason, but it does seem like an improvement.
Still, if you're not a poor college kid and not in a business that absolutely positively needs you to use a very specific windows tool on your machine (rather than a virtual or RDP session, which I often do), your time is probably to valuable to deal with a Windows machine.

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TheTimeLord
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by TheTimeLord » Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:20 pm

Just got through installing Windows 10 on my desktop. I will be interested to see how I like it.
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jjface
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by jjface » Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:59 pm

1- I open the screen of my (incredibly thin and light) Mac Book Air, and it's on. No "start up screen", no "wait for a second", it's just on. Light is on, and I start using it; it takes 2 seconds for it to connect to WIFI, but that's the only delay
That is the same as comparable windows laptops like the xps13/15. Your mac was never off it was asleep and you woke it up. Turn it off properly and see how long it takes to boot. Not long but not 2 seconds either. I think these days windows 8/10 devices may be even faster booting up but the difference is minimal.

2- I cannot remember the last time it "forced" me to do some weird upgrade with restarts, a la any Windows machine. Upgrades are very easy, non-intrusive, and very rarely "break" some other component of the system, which I find that Windows tends to do a lot of.
Just turn off automatic upgrades.
3- I cannot remember when it had a hard crash. I want to say I had one in 2014, but I can't remember for sure. If an app stops functioning, you just reload it, and keep working from where you left off.
Never experienced a hard crash before on my windows laptops. What is it?
4- The track pad is awesome; I can switch between programs and windows with gestures that work 100% of the time; I've yet to find a Windows laptop that comes close
I agree with you here though the differences are getting smaller.
5- I'm sure there must now be contenders, but having 10 hour battery life for most of my uses is amazing. Battery life hasn't decreased perceptibly in almost 2 1/2 years.
Most windows ultrabooks are close these days. Not just some contenders. I get about 8 from my xps 13. I doubt the extra 2 hours is something I'll miss.

2tall4economy
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by 2tall4economy » Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:11 pm

Had an xps 13 for work. Loved it so much I got one for my wife when she needed a replacement. She loves hers too. 13" is plenty unless you have old eyes or something - I work with massive spreadhseets and get along just fine.

This coming from a guy who used 17" laptops exclusively for years because I did t want to take a chance with a smaller screen.

I have a personal laptop for other stuff too - Msi ghost ms60. It's pretty awesome too but I has to buy an upgraded hard drive with it because the one it came with was too small.

Be careful with switching to Mac. Many love them, but my brother in law and the old regional cio at my megacorp (2 different people) switched to them and HATED every minute of it. Test them out heavily before buying.

Finally, I think the absolute best resource out there for "best laptop" is this page, right side. It's never steered me wrong:

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Benchmarks-Tech.123.0.html
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amarone
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by amarone » Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:24 am

I am wanting an XPS 13, but its support for Windows 10 was delayed compared to most other models, so I waited. Now it is available with Windows 10 but many recent reviews have reported issues with the Windows 10 support, so I will continue to wait until it stabilizes.

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TheTimeLord
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by TheTimeLord » Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:20 pm

The surprise winner has turned out to be 13" Macbook Pro thanks to a well timed sale at Best Buy on the machine and Office. Still in the box so I can change my mind but I think it will be perfect for what I am looking to use it for. Trying to decide if I want to install Windows 10 and VMware or not.
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heartwood
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by heartwood » Wed Dec 23, 2015 1:32 pm

Now that TheTimeLord has announced his result I'll make a slightly off-topic comment. BTW,enjoy your present!

We have a Toshiba and a HP laptops that are several years old and are failing. Over the years we've also had Dell and other brands. I've followed the conversation here and done lots of research online. I've spent time at Best Buy going hands on with several machines. I bought one a month ago (brand recommended by a friend and also by a BB tech) and finally returned it because I could not get used to the trackpad and several other quirks. What a waste of my time setting it up and customizing, then going through a learning curve, then wiping it back to factory settings and returning it.

I'm a Windows guy. That said, solely based on comments in the press and online, Apple seems to have a quality product that differentiates itself from others. Apple is just not for me. I kinda wish it was.

When I look at the Windows laptops, I'm unable to identify a way of choosing Brand A over Brand B. The WSJ had an end of year laptop article. They really liked Dell in some use and price points. Go online and the Dell reviews at Amazon are mixed. Talk to the techs at Best Buy and each has a machine to puff and one to pan. Talk to a different tech and its a different machine. With the possible exception of Apple and maybe the MS Surface Book, they all seem like a commodity to me. Go into a Best Buy computer department and look around at all the different laptops. How do you choose when buying a commodity?

DSInvestor
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by DSInvestor » Wed Dec 23, 2015 1:54 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:The surprise winner has turned out to be 13" Macbook Pro thanks to a well timed sale at Best Buy on the machine and Office. Still in the box so I can change my mind but I think it will be perfect for what I am looking to use it for. Trying to decide if I want to install Windows 10 and VMware or not.
I was a long time windows user and IT consultant but bought a 13 in macbook pro mid-2012 for $899 18 months ago when best buy had a sale. I liked it so much I bought my wife one at Christmas. This was the last macbook pro that was user upgradeable and I immediately upgraded the RAM to 16GB and swapped in a 1TB SSHD. I wanted the extra RAM to run virtualization software like VMware and/or VirtualBox. I run Windows 7 in a VMWare VM to run quickbooks and TaxAct. I use quickbooks less and less, so I really only need to run windows near tax time or if someone asks me for help with their windows computer. I recently swapped out the SSHD for a 960GB SSD (recently on sale for $199). SSD made quite a big difference.

There are basically three options for virtualization software for Mac: VMWare Fusion (On sale now for $55, reg 79.99), Parallels ($79.99) and VirtualBox (free). Give VirtualBox a try if you don't want to pay for VM software. Windows 10 ISO can be downloaded from MSFT at no charge and installed as an eval in your VM. Not sure how long you can run Win 10 without activation though. Still it won't cost you anything to evaluate it on your Mac.

VM software requires lots of RAM so hopefully you have more than 4GB RAM or your model can be upgraded to 8GB or more.

It takes a little time to get used to the way Mac OS X works but once you get the hang of the excellent trackpad and keyboard shortcuts (Command Q to quit instead of ALT-F4, and Command-L for address bar instead of ALT-D, you'll be productive. I think you'll enjoy your new Mac.

Merry Christmas.
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Dutch
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by Dutch » Wed Dec 23, 2015 1:57 pm

Act surprised when you open the box

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TheTimeLord
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by TheTimeLord » Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:22 pm

heartwood wrote: I'm a Windows guy. That said, solely based on comments in the press and online, Apple seems to have a quality product that differentiates itself from others. Apple is just not for me. I kinda wish it was.
One of the first things I will be doing is installing Windows 10, most likely with Boot Camp.
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by abuss368 » Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:24 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:Thinking of getting myself a Dell XPS 15 as a Christmas gift. I want something fairly light, SSD, and fairly powerful. I am also very intrigued by the Thunderbolt 3 port that the Dell possesses. Are there any other contenders I should be considering?
Hi TheTimeLord,

One year ago we purchased a 15" Apple MacBook Pro laptop. This laptop is y far the best computer we have ever had. In fact, the entire home is now Apple.

We will never return to Microsoft Windows.

Best.
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CuppedUp
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Re: New Laptop -- Christmas present for me

Post by CuppedUp » Thu Dec 24, 2015 4:25 pm

Slight thread hijack.

For those with the MacBook, are you able to use Remote Desktop to a Windows machine?

My laptop is an aging Dell Precision workstation. It is very large, heavy and has abysmal battery life. But just short of indestructible.

I purchased another dell precision from the outlet during a clearance but ended up returning it due to the wonky scaling issues I had with the 4K display.

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