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OT- Laptops again
 

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DPotter
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 945
Location: Portland, Maine

2/13/13 8:53 AM

OT- Laptops again

Looking for a new Winblows laptop. Will be my business travel machine, so light and rugged (I know, stiff yet compliant.). Hoping to get it with Win 7.

Any suggestions?

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

2/13/13 9:05 AM

How much do you want to spend?

That's my question. In any event, my answer if funds aren't a problem: I would look at the Lenovo X-1 Carbon (yeah). There are versions with and without touchscreens--for Win7, clearly, without. But be prepared to pay...

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Dave B
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 4511
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

2/13/13 9:39 AM

How powerful and versatile does it have to be? How important are small size and light weight? Cost?

There are several "netbooks" out there that are very small and light and cost under $300. I have an HP Mini-110 that's 7"x10-1/2"x 1" folded with a 10" screen and it weighs 2.9 pounds. It has a reasonable size keyboard, a touch pad, wireless card and a net cam. It has 3 USB ports but no internal CD/DVD drive.

Run time on the battery is about 10 hours and, of course, an AC charger/power supply is included.

It runs Win 7 and has 1G of ram and plenty of hard drive space (230G) for any office suite plus a lot of extras.

I know the X-pads have pretty much replaced these netbooks but their cost is much higher.

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

2/13/13 9:59 AM

On that note...

Thinking more in the "netbook+" line

The machine I use for business purposes (my own business) is a Thinkpad X201e (http://www.thinkpad.org/thinkpad-x201e/). 11.6" screen. It's light, tiny, and I replaced the HD with a 128GB SSD for a total cost of around $300. Battery life is only ~5 hours with a 2-year-old battery, but that's not bad. Small, light, solid, and it looks and feels like business.

If you need fancy graphics, etc., it's not likely the machine for you, but if you need basically Win7/MSOffice, it's more than good enough. I have all of my work documents synched with MS Skydrive as well.

Think about this for a second: this machine is more powerful and more spacious than almost anything that existed four years ago, and way more powerful than the machines I was programming with. It'll do.

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 5779
Location: Maine

2/13/13 10:02 AM

Got one

I just got a Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook. 3 lbs. Love it.

Last edited by dan emery on 2/13/13 10:53 AM; edited 1 time in total

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 15809
Location: Portland, OR

2/13/13 10:06 AM

Got a LeNoVO [edit] a few months back. I should 'note' that I spent $319.00 purposely staying to the cheap side. But it was generous in storage and memory and reasonable in CPU for that price IMO. N580 for reference..

Has a few things I like a lot that are simple but helpful. Mostly the keyboard, the keys are not tight to each other and are cupped/concave slightly. I find it a lot better to type on than my previous Laptops. Still have the previous one and really notice this when I use the old one.

Can't speak as to durability, as it is still new petty much. And good luck finding anything without Win 8 on it.

The annoying things are related to the OS. Win8 has a Charm bar and the Metro DeskTop. Both of which you can work around, as in 'not actually use' and use it more like 7/XP generally. But the right side of Win8 NoteBooks touch pad has a zone to pop up the charm bar, and I have found no way to stop this thus far. So, between the extra stroke to get rid of it when it pops up, and the Metro Desktop which I never use extra and strokes to close when that pops up... Annoying...

I almost wish it had and Android OS frankly...

Have you considered a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1?
Ignore question if you need a lot of HD storage as I do...


EDIT: N580 is 4.2 lbs. IRRC

My experience is that very light Notebooks seem to blow out the hinges faster. again.. YMMV


Last edited by Sparky on 2/13/13 5:33 PM; edited 2 times in total

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

2/13/13 10:46 AM

Win7/Win8

I installed Win8, and there are some things I like about it, but they're mostly under the hood. I think as a desktop OS, it sucks. It's very similar to WP8, which is a good tablet/phone OS, but for desktops? Nah.

Fortunately, there's a desktop mode.

Unfortunately, it lacks a taskbar, etc.

Fortunately, there is an excellent tool out there that creates a Win7 version of the taskbar and start menu. Totally like Win7. I don't have the machine with me, otherwise I could give you the name. It's free, and it works, and it's so unobtrusive that you'll think it's part of the OS.

I have one corner of my screen set up so that if I hover there, I drop to the native Win8 interface. Good for some things, not for all.

If anyone here wants the name of that taskbar replacement, I can find it when I get home tonight. I honestly have to say that if I did not have it, I would have dropped back to Win7, in spite of some nice underlying technological improvements in Win8.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 3772
Location: Nashua, NH

2/13/13 12:01 PM

What size screen do you want/need?

Personally, I can't stand tiny 10"-13" screens and went with a 15.6 on my recent purchase.

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

2/13/13 12:44 PM

Stiff yet Compliant

Brian:

The problem with that is that the machine is relatively bulky. I found even carrying a 14"-screen machine around inconvenient if I had anything else to throw in my briefcase.

Granted, that was a few years ago and machines are thinner now, but size remains a consideration--depending, of course, on what work you're doing and how you like to work.

Fortunately, there are size options for just about everyone these days. And a smaller-screened machine for portability can be easily hooked to a monitor at your home base.

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 5779
Location: Maine

2/13/13 2:27 PM

screen size

Screen size is personal preferance of course, I've found 13 or 12" works for me. I use the computer to read large pdf document files during hearings, and that size with a good resolution screen works well. I used to think I needed a big screen so I had a 17" (I think) but I didn't use the whole screen anyway and got tired of lugging it around (I carry it alot). At 3 lbs and very thin the Dell is very convenient to carry. I also have an iPad and like it, but for work uses I like the added capability of the laptop (maybe I could use the iPad for business if I were more adept with it, I dunno).

I purposefully got the Dell with Win 7, and suspect you can still do so.

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DPotter
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 945
Location: Portland, Maine

2/13/13 4:42 PM

Thanks for the info.

Screen size - I would probably want smaller to keep the oa size down

I have a Lenovo U310 which seemed pretty good til I dropped it on a tile floor from about 4 '. It bent the main body in a U shape but still runs. Maybe that should be a clue to buy another Lenovo.

I'm basically looking to buy my last Windows machine. It needs to last me about 4 years (til retirement) and run Win7 so I can still work some legacy software for my customers. I will only use it for simple business stuff and internet surfing email + my legacy stuff while on the road. Rest of the time it will sit on a shelf.

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PLee
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 3493
Location: Brooklyn, NY

2/13/13 5:13 PM

I picked up an ASUS s200 running Win8 for my wife and like it a lot. It handles all the legacy Windows software (a major reason for the selection) and the touch screen is really handy. Unfortunately, a lot of Windows software isn't optimized for touch screen yet, but I suspect that they will get around to it eventually.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 15809
Location: Portland, OR

2/13/13 5:31 PM

BTW&FWIW the Computrainer 3D runs fine on the W8 Lenova.


Previous LT=ASUS/W7, very happy with that, although the keyboard is wonky compared to the LeNoVo. The keyboard is about the best of every laptop I have owned/used...

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 5779
Location: Maine

2/13/13 6:33 PM

Stiff yet compliant

Hey, my Dell has a CF base, aluminum cover, and magnesium palmrest. It's aero as hell. So it's both light and aero. Most important, it fits perfectly into a sleeve in a fancy leather portfolio I got as a gift.

Funny, I used to go to hearings and arguments with 2 big bags of filled with documents and and books. Now I can just take a sleek portfolio with the laptop and a thin folder with my notes and a couple documents. The federal courts are now offering lawyers wireless access, in which case I can simply operate my office computers remotely with a laptop and access documents on the internets. I think this will spread. Times change, and at 62 I'm struggling to keep up!

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

2/13/13 7:36 PM

Lenovo Number & Windows 8 lifesaver

1. I had the wrong info on my machine. It's a Thinkpad X120e, no doubt now discontinued, but a great little beastie all the same.

2. To make Win8 useable on a non-tablet, simply install Classic Shell: http://www.classicshell.net/. This thing is bombproof and brings back the full functionality of Win7.

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DPotter
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 945
Location: Portland, Maine

2/14/13 10:14 AM

Dan +1 on all of it!

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