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  1. #11
    Senior Member NorthernRaven's Avatar
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    It sounds like you want a workstation you can carry around occasionally? On the screensize front, if as you say you won't be lugging this around much, and most of the intensive work will be done in one location, look at getting an external monitor. Choose a screen size sufficient as "good enough" for short periods of work elsewhere, rather than getting a screen large enough for day-to-day use. For development work, a portrait-orientated monitor can be nice for long blocks of code! Check if the laptop can support dual external monitors. Finally, look at the screen (or at least the specs) - too cheap to believe may be less-goodly TN screen rather than something like IPS; may be worse viewing angles or other quality factors.

    As a baseline, an Apple Retina MacBook Pro, 13" screen, 16GB memory, 256GB SSD runs around $1800 ($2100 for a 15" with an i7), as a reference as you work down the profit-margin ladder...


  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathan79 View Post
    16GB of memory and a 256 GB SSD will limit you to the highest of the high end notebooks, which is why you're having trouble finding a good deal. Very few people need such an extreme amount of memory in a notebook.

    It would definitely make more sense to buy something cheaper and upgrade it yourself, but you will have to do your research and make sure that whatever you buy can be upgraded to 16 GB since many notebooks have lower memory limits.
    I'm thinking of doing that, crucial has a nice tool that lets you confirm the compatibility of their products, which is great as I'm long MU, and they make both SSD & Memory products.
    That being said I've got an Intel SSD, it's awesome.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by indexxx View Post
    I feel MacBooks are cheaper in the long run. Even a used one will likely outlast a comparable Windows machine.
    I've been using Macs since 1986 and while I love them, I would actually disagree with this statement. The longest-lasting laptop I've ever owned was a Lenovo ThinkPad, which hung on for more than 10 years. The main problem with keeping a laptop that long is that you can't usually run the latest operating system on it, so it becomes a security risk.

    My current MacBook Pro is from 2008 and can run Yosemite (the latest Mac OS), but it doesn't run it very well: it's slow, especially in comparison to my more recent iMac, but it still works fine, even the battery still holds a good charge after all these years. But I've had lots of hardware problems with Macs over the years; my current two are the only trouble-free ones in a long line of Macs.

    For PC laptops, I've had Dell, HP, and Lenovo, and Lenovo has always been the most trouble-free for me in terms of hardware reliability and longevity.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad View Post
    I've been using Macs since 1986 and while I love them, I would actually disagree with this statement. The longest-lasting laptop I've ever owned was a Lenovo ThinkPad, which hung on for more than 10 years. The main problem with keeping a laptop that long is that you can't usually run the latest operating system on it, so it becomes a security risk.
    I'm running an 11yr old Dell laptop and it's still running strong. After Windows XP kicked the bucket I downloaded a linux OS (Ubuntu). Switching to linux often solves the speed issues for older computers. Actually I've always ran a dual boot as I'm not a huge fan of Windows. Time for me to upgrade my laptop over the next year or so and I won't be purchasing a MAC, better value for your dollar elsewhere.

    @MrMatt. Keep us posted on the machine you end up purchasing. Thanks.

  5. #15
    Senior Member indexxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad View Post
    I've been using Macs since 1986 and while I love them, I would actually disagree with this statement. The longest-lasting laptop I've ever owned was a Lenovo ThinkPad, which hung on for more than 10 years. The main problem with keeping a laptop that long is that you can't usually run the latest operating system on it, so it becomes a security risk.

    My current MacBook Pro is from 2008 and can run Yosemite (the latest Mac OS), but it doesn't run it very well: it's slow, especially in comparison to my more recent iMac, but it still works fine, even the battery still holds a good charge after all these years. But I've had lots of hardware problems with Macs over the years; my current two are the only trouble-free ones in a long line of Macs.

    For PC laptops, I've had Dell, HP, and Lenovo, and Lenovo has always been the most trouble-free for me in terms of hardware reliability and longevity.
    Interesting- I spent a ton of money on all my PC laptops- new batteries, new power supplies, new hard drives, new DVD drive, this that and the other thing, plus countless hours of frustration in freezes, virus/malware removal, and then they all eventually ground to a halt. My Macbook has been running flawlessly for almost 6 years, still holds hours of charge. Plus I just find the OS to be WAY better. I hate having to use a Windows machine at work and keep cursing it, and hoping for the day when the company switches to Mac. But of course YMMV.
    "What good is money if you can't inspire terror in your fellow man?"- C.M. Burns

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synergy View Post
    I'm running an 11yr old Dell laptop and it's still running strong. After Windows XP kicked the bucket I downloaded a linux OS (Ubuntu). Switching to linux often solves the speed issues for older computers. Actually I've always ran a dual boot as I'm not a huge fan of Windows. Time for me to upgrade my laptop over the next year or so and I won't be purchasing a MAC, better value for your dollar elsewhere.

    @MrMatt. Keep us posted on the machine you end up purchasing. Thanks.
    I'm really leaning towards
    http://www.costco.ca/Acer-Nitro-VN7-...100142104.html
    I'd throw in the Costco damage warranty, plus their return policy is amazing.

    Excellent in every category except battery life, and I've had great luck with Acer.

  7. #17
    Senior Member NorthernRaven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMatt View Post
    I'm really leaning towards
    http://www.costco.ca/Acer-Nitro-VN7-...100142104.html
    I'd throw in the Costco damage warranty, plus their return policy is amazing.

    Excellent in every category except battery life, and I've had great luck with Acer.
    That's a 1TB HDD with 8GB of Flash cache, or a separately mounted tiny 8GB SSD?

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMatt View Post
    I'm really leaning towards
    http://www.costco.ca/Acer-Nitro-VN7-...100142104.html
    I'd throw in the Costco damage warranty, plus their return policy is amazing.

    Excellent in every category except battery life, and I've had great luck with Acer.
    Looks like a nice laptop - good value for your dollar. I just wish they'd toss in an ethernet port. I'm using an older Acer 1410 Netbook with 4GB RAM and it's ran great for me over the past 5 yrs - no issues or complaints so far.

    Thanks for sharing. I'm planning on buying a new laptop at some point over the next few months. I tend to take a long time before pulling the trigger - paralysis by analysis!

  9. #19
    Senior Member Xoron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synergy View Post
    ..... I just wish they'd toss in an ethernet port.
    ???
    Specs include:
    Communication:

    • 10/100/1000 LAN Ethernet
    • WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n
    • Bluetooth v 4.0
    • Webcam

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernRaven View Post
    That's a 1TB HDD with 8GB of Flash cache, or a separately mounted tiny 8GB SSD?
    I think it's what's referred to as a hybrid drive (combines both HDD and SSD in one drive). A cost effective alternative to a full SSD. I've never compared the two but I think I'm leaning towards SSD.

    edit: or after further review it could actually be 2 separate drives.

    Last edited by Synergy; 2015-01-28 at 12:25 AM.

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