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Schmetterling
Apr 1, 2011



I am going to start distance education in August, and I would like to get a nice little laptop to do my work on. I'll be doing a Librarianship and Information Management degree, so I will need to write a lot, which means that a good keyboard is a must. I would also like to be able to play some Steam games, but that's not the highest priority. Mainly I need it to be lightweight and have a long battery life so I can carry it around and use it on the train etc.

I've looked at the machines recommended in the OP, and I've encountered a problem - I'm in Australia, so everything is double the price. My budget is very low, and I'm not sure what to do. I don't want to compromise and just buy a cheap lovely plastic toy, but I can't afford $1900 for a Thinkpad x230.

Where should I look for a more affordable solution? Should I try ebay? Even with more than $100 postage, getting a laptop at US prices would be far cheaper, although then I'd have to worry about what to do if I had any problems with it.

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Schmetterling
Apr 1, 2011



As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I want a laptop for starting distance education this August. I would ideally wait for Haswell, but it looks like they are taking their sweet time to actually release anything. Plus, when the new shinies are available, I'd have to pay the Australia tax and probably face highly inflated prices.

All that said, should I look at buying one of the discounted Thinkpads that I can get on ebay? For example, this T430, perhaps because it's refurbished, is a seemingly good price, and from what I've read I could upgrade the harddrive to an SSD for around $250. I think I read that you can upgrade the RAM at home too? Plus, it has the HD+ screen with 1600x900 resolution.

Alternately, this Dell Inspiron 15R SE has a '15.6" FHD Anti-glare (1920x1080)' screen and more RAM/bigger HDD.

Any ideas?

Schmetterling
Apr 1, 2011



Still looking at laptops for uni on ebay; which would be better for carrying around, the T430 or the X230? I'm leaning towards getting a Thinkpad of some sort, due to the proclaimed toughness. I want to drag this thing around Brisbane with me, so I can work on stuff whilst I get some walking in.

I've found a couple of too-good-to-be-true auctions for an X230 ($250, with Win7 32 bit?), but the cheapest (hopefully legit) X230 with a warranty (until 2016!) is this one for $1100, with the IPS screen, i7-3520M, 500gb harddrive, and 8gb RAM. Alternately, I could try bidding on this T430, which ends in three hours and is currently at $830. It has 8gb RAM, the 1600x900 HD+ screen, and a 500gb harddrive. It also supposedly has a warranty until 2016, which would be nice.

Yet another option is to buy one of these manufacturer refurbished T430's, each of which has a 6 month warranty, for $700 (i5-3320M, 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD, 14" HD+ screen) or $800 (i7-3520M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, 14" HD+ screen, and Nvidia NVS 5400M graphics). If I got the $800 one, I could maybe try upgrading the RAM myself, but I'm not sure how confident I'd be to do that.

Schmetterling
Apr 1, 2011



dissss posted:

How much of a hurry are you in? I don't know about Australia but the NZ Lenovo site has done some pretty good deals over the past year so it might be worth keeping an eye on

My T430s with Nvidia graphics, the 1600x900 display, backlit keyboard, Intel wifi and a 128GB Samsung 830 was just over $1000NZD last year whereas that combo is currently $1770NZD

My course starts in August, and I'd like to have a laptop by then.

I've been checking the Australian Lenovo site, and the current end-of-financial-year sale has the T430 for $1300 with i5-3380M, Windows 8, 4gb RAM, 1366x768 screen, 320gb HDD, and one year warranty. A T430s matching what you listed would cost $1661AUD.

Fake edit: I'm playing with the Lenovo site, making the fanciest possible T430s, and it comes out to around $2000. However, upon adding Windows Home and Student, it suddenly drops down to $1736, an extra $300 saving. This is odd.

Real edit: Wow, there's some flash sale on, where if you make a customised laptop over $2000, it cuts off $500. If you can get it over $3000, it cuts off $1000!

Schmetterling fucked around with this message at 07:30 on Jun 19, 2013

Schmetterling
Apr 1, 2011



Bob Morales posted:

Smaller is better. Get the X230! The T430S is nice but the X230 is reeeally small. Remember you can plug an 11 or 12 inch laptop into a 22" monitor when you get back to your room/desk.

I already have a desktop in my room, but I do like the idea of a tiny little laptop. I could get a cute bag for it!

quote:

New to eBay?

What do you mean?

Schmetterling
Apr 1, 2011



Bob Morales posted:

Because those prices will only go up - if you want to look at what they're actually selling for instead of what the current bid happens to be at, look at recently ended auctions for laptops.

Forty minutes left and this one is still at $400 inc shipping.

I'd bid, but I'm wary of the 32 bit Windows.

Schmetterling
Apr 1, 2011



Bob Morales posted:

Usually all the bidding happens right at the end.

Install 64-bit Windows - you can still use the same key.

The key works the same? Neat.

Now I can't decide whether or not to bid. There's no warranty, but on the other hand, I found some online instructions for upgrading the RAM in an X230 at home, which could be fun.

EDIT: and it goes under the wire at $560 total. Very, very cheap, but I feel a bit suss about the whole thing. The guy has an identical second one up too for another 20 minutes, but I don't think I'll risk it.

I just wish I could afford to take advantage of the weird flash sale on the Lenovo site.

Schmetterling fucked around with this message at 13:17 on Jun 19, 2013

Schmetterling
Apr 1, 2011



All this macbook talk has come at a convenient time. I just finished having a hands on look at the new airs, to see for myself how much they weigh etc. The very nice man at the store has offered me a new 13" air, with a haswell i5, 8gb ram, 128gb ssd, and apple care, for $1518. He also said I can do it interest free (which is good as I don't have that much money right now). The same thing would be $1648 online.

I know I've been looking at thinkpads, but to get a nice one would cost the same or more (australia) and wouldn't have haswell.

I'd have basically the same usage as the guy upthread ; uni work, mild steam games, and lots of carrying it around.

Edit: buying it directly from apple with educational pricing would be $1538. So I guess I can stop worrying about having to decide right away.

Schmetterling fucked around with this message at 01:07 on Jun 25, 2013

Schmetterling
Apr 1, 2011



QuarkJets posted:

I know nothing about Australian prices, but that sounds like an awful lot of money to spend on a laptop. If it's a good deal and interest free, though, then that's pretty nice and I say go for it (just be sure to read the fine print, ie find out for how long it is interest free)

Even with the big discounts on Australian Thinkpads at the moment ($200 off x230, $800 off x1 Carbon!) it is still cheaper to buy a brand new macbook air than to get a thinkpad with equivalent stats.

Everything costs more here, and it sucks.

I think that I'm leaning towards the macbook air, despite the giant cost. A thinkpad would let me upgrade bits, but to do so still requires me to buy the bits. At least macbooks seem to retain part of their value when selling secondhand, and there's an offical apple store at uni I could take it to if anything goes wrong.

The interest free thing requires me to sign up for something called a GE Creditline, which has 0% interest for 12 months, and then 22.9% interest after that. So if I pay $200 a month I'll be done well before the interest kicks in.

Schmetterling
Apr 1, 2011



I've basically decided that I want one of the new Macbook Airs, but now I need to choose exactly which type. I want 13" and 8gb ram for sure, but I don't know whether to go for the i5 or the i7. I also don't know whether the 128gb ssd would be big enough, or whether I should spend the extra for the 256gb. Any advice?

Cost is a big issue; with education discount and applecare the i5/128gb is $1511, i5/256gb is $1707, i7/128gb is $1668, and the i7/256gb is $1978.

Schmetterling
Apr 1, 2011



shrughes posted:

If cost is a big issue then don't get a MacBook Air.

Anyway the 256GB upgrade is infinitely more useful than the i7 upgrade.

Thing is, in Australia it's equally as expensive to get a Thinkpad or Dell. So I thought I'd go with a pretty one.


Mu Zeta posted:

You can also just buy the Applecare later. You have a year to get it.

I would buy the i5/256gigs. The i7 isn't worth it unless you know you need it.

I hadn't thought of that! Would I still be able to get the education discount if I leave it for a while?

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Schmetterling
Apr 1, 2011



I have a question on behalf of my little brother. He wants something he can take to uni to access his lecture slides, and maybe take notes/work on some projects. He was originally planning to get an ipad, but I'm not sure that he'd be able to work properly without a keyboard. I showed him the Chromebooks at JB Hi Fi, and he's done a bit of googling tonight, and he seems generally interested. What we would like to know is whether he would be able to use a flashdrive to access the slides (as powerpoint or as pdf) offline, as his wireless access is sporadic at best.

Also, the Pixel doesn't seem to be available in Aus, so out of the Samsung and the Acer, which is better? I suggested the Samsung because of the 6.5hr battery life, and even as the more expensive Chromebook, it's still cheaper than an ipad.

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