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sports
Sep 1, 2012


Could you make a note that laptops above 13" are really pushing it in terms of size?

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sports
Sep 1, 2012


I'd have to recommend against Sony Vaio: their laptops are priced similarly to Apple product, but quality wise are far behind Apple standard.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


If you must do Sony, you might like to consider a Vaio Fit.

Unfortunately, driver support for Sony is nonexistent and you'd probably end up stuck with Linux and universal drivers in a few years.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


shrughes posted:

What are you talking about? Their prices are much lower than Apple's.

They have laptops that attempt to compete with Apple, with base prices around ~$50 below Apple. Most people should know that an Apple refurb is 15% off.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


I have an X220 which is a dream of a laptop. It does have heating issues, though. That's the only issue, really, aside from the fact that it's a bit fiddly with OSX installs.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


Shofixti posted:

Have there ever been durability issues with the hinges on convertible laptops? Do the hinges vary significantly from brand to brand? Some of them look really flimsy; even the solid looking ones still strike me as a disaster waiting to happen. If there were serious issues I'm sure they wouldn't be selling them, but I just can't shake the fear of the hinge breaking somehow.

All laptop hinges are pretty flimsy after a while- but breaking a hinge is quite hard. I'd recommend Lenovo's Thinkpad line and Apple if we were going for a review about hinges.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


V for Vegas posted:

Man that new zenbook is one sexy machine

Thing will break like the back of an iPhone.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


If you've won, and have enough money for it, get an Apple.

If you are unable to, please delve into the largely iffy world that is purchasing a Lenovo.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


shrughes posted:

An extremely stiff hinge? No. You don't have a stiff hinge, you have a hinge that snaps closed (via a spring or some other kind of spring-like mechanism, I don't know) when it's nearly closed. This is what the business-rugged Toughbooks do.

Panasonic Toughbooks are way too overpriced and honestly not very smart buys when Apple product surpasses their quality while being 60% of their cost. Please stop mentioning Panasonic Toughbook product lines when mentioning competitors to Apple, these laptops are rarely found in the US and aren't exactly machines of ownership.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


You'd probably want to wait for WWDC to finish. Valve's promising more Steam OSX support for big titles.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


Gaming is a lot like gun ownership. It's best to keep the practice out of public eye- and it's really awkward when you do include it into your daily routine.
I'd like everyone to consider the new Apple lineup, though. Mavericks is a stupid name for an OS but Microsoft has another 2 years to go for a really mediocre answer.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


Vinlaen posted:

I'm talking about full convertibles so I can use the ultrabook as a tablet OR a laptop.

"Tablet-mode" is really neat (espicially the Civilization 5 touch-optimized version!) but I know that 95% of games don't work properly with it so that why I want the full laptop experience as well. (and for the better viewing angle of the screen)

While touch-based interfaces are cool, the gimmick wears off quickly and you'll probably end up just using the laptop as you normally would.
Such is the fate of literally every touch screen/convertible laptop I know.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


What I advise you to do is purchase a MacBook Air, 13", with this- or last-years' processor generation. HD 4000 is really capable, and HD 5000 is overkill (in my point of view) but if you like games for the eye candy and not for the actual gameplay then pay the premium for a new one.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


BotchedLobotomy posted:

My laptop for work is biting the dust and I'm being asked to pick out a machine from bestbuy.com or http://www.bhphotovideo.com/ for a replacement. Budget is under $1,400.

I am a windows guy but I dont mind getting a mac as long as I can bootcamp it (thats simple right?) -

It looks like they already have some haswell laptops, but the only options are these for an i5: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/searc...4292+4033986829

Which seems sort of pathetic on clock speed, 1.3ghz? Is that $1,300 option acceptable or is there a current better option? I want to play some games (not too crazy, I have a desktop for the intensive ones) but I also don't want a dog either. Am I better off trying to wait a little longer if I can?

Pick up last (or this, if you wait) year's 13" MBA or just get a Samsung Chromebook for the sake of having a work laptop.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


Doctor rear end in a top hat posted:

That's what a lot of people say that haven't used them (me included). Then you read reviews from AnandTech and people say they find themselves reaching for the screen to do simple stuff like scrolling more often than the touchpad. The thought of a fingerprint-covered screen doesn't really appeal to me, though.
I'm going off of a fleet purchase where 90% of people thought they'd use the 'tops for notes and stuff but ended up just using them like normative human beings

Also, as Haswell rolls out, I say one thing:

Nobody should have to buy discrete graphics in a laptop past June. Nobody.
Unless, of course, you are a solid modeler who makes 1000 part assemblies in Inventor while working in a nomadic tribe. You do not really need the mediocre graphical gains that are present in a laptop graphics card.

HD 5000 is really capable and should cover everyone except extremely niche professional markets.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


Hadlock posted:

Is it possible for you to post a fact in this thread, or at least a link to at least support your statement? Looking through your ambitious post history in this brand new thread, you aren't contributing anything here.

I don't consider numerical quantities "stats" or "evidence" in computer recommendation, aside from the price.

I'm going off of honest, personal, observation in situ to better direct prospective buyers to the right path.
I'm terribly sorry I can't provide numbers for your liking. I'm more about what a laptop "does", not what it "is". And even then, numbers aren't going to factor into what the laptop "is", after all.

Honestly, I'd rather give people a straightforward recommendation than subject them to the pains and horrors that is "tech journalism". Engadget, The Verge, etc., etc., are all really lovely and poorly written- and I can't begin to fathom what kind of masochism/autism it takes to read about clock rates and benchmarks all day.

I just wish people would focus on qualitative, day-to-day uses when choosing a laptop. I'm glad that you do monitor these threads for content.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


shrughes posted:

I'd also like to note that the prices on Ivy Bridge models seem to be lilting downward even harder than before. The T430s is now <$800 on the main site, before it would be just under $800 on the B&N Gold portal. So the 13th, or "soon", seems to be quite realistic.

This is a very good deal. If anyone wants a new laptop, be sure to check out last year's selection of ThinkPads and MacBooks.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


Bleh Maestro posted:

I want:

-15" (13" if I can't afford what I want in 15") with at least 1600x900 hopefully
-Intel core (anything)
-Dedicated graphics in the mid-range
-SSD (hopefully)
-$800-ish

I want this in a 'normal' laptop form factor. I don't want a GAMING laptop, but I do want to be able to play 'real games' if I need to. I find it difficult to find a laptop like this with dedicated graphics.

I can probably pick something out like this on newegg, but I was hoping someone had a specific recommendation for brand/model. I want to know that it's not going to overheat/get extremely hot or extremely loud with the fans. I understand this will probably happen during gaming, but I don't want it happening at desktop. I also want good build quality and there are a lot of brands out there. I'm ok with even no-name or off-brands if they make a good laptop.

Also, I actually would like to perhaps get this as a refurb/used laptop as I really don't care if it's brand new. Are there any good refurb or used laptop sites besides ebay? I don't like Ebay.

Closest I can think of is a T430.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


Bleh Maestro posted:

It looks like They only have one dedicated graphics option and it's on the low end. At least when I just went through their little 'build your own' program just now. But, I'll do a bit of digging and see if that card may be satisfactory to me.

You might want to get a Haswell HD 5000 laptop.

Integrated graphics perform just as well as even higher-range mobile GPUs, nowadays.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


Mu Zeta posted:

The keyboard light is useless. The last two I had didn't even light up the keyboard area properly and just shined right in your face.

I find ThinkLights extremely useful. I grew up with a GameBoyColor and the auxiliary light accessory, though.

It's not really bothersome. It shines and illuminates my desk when I need to find my contact lens or something, and I'm pretty sure people with a shred of typing competence never look at the keyboard when they type.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


fookolt posted:

So whatever happened to the ThinkPad Helix? How were the reviews for it? That thing looks amazing for doodling and drawing with that Wacom active digitizer.

It's a shame it got released like a month before Haswell

Unfortunately they start at $1,650. I'd rather take an mba 13" for less than that.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


knox_harrington posted:

Damnit there's something rolling around inside my new x230. Sounds like a loose screw or cable inside the front right corner. So annoying! I checked my warranty status and it says 3 year on site, that means someone will come out and mend it, right? Or should I take out the keyboard and have a look?

I don't want to void the warranty but at the same time really don't want to send it away for repair / return it.

ThinkPad support is still handled by IBM. They go above and beyond what most custserv people do. I called in for a hard drive (claiming I had a "bad sector" when it really just ran out of room) and got a new one shipped first class to me.

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

sports
Sep 1, 2012


you ate my cat posted:

I'd like to know this as well.. There's no way my laptop's surviving another few months, it's getting to the point where it's barely usable now. If I'm going to be waiting another couple months for the refresh, I'm buying an ivy bridge Thinkpad tomorrow.

If you were to buy a laptop tomorrow, I'd suggest an X220. Sandy->Ivy bridge wasn't so much a milestone as Ivy->Haswell.

Also, the X220 stays around $600.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


RVProfootballer posted:

Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus (great name ha) announced, 3200x1800, 12 hour battery, 1.4kg. I'm really hoping the battery life holds up; I was expecting new ultrabooks to be maybe 10 hours, given that the new Air is 12. Supposedly slightly better trackpad and keyboard than last gen Series 9, too.

Hopefully the touchpad isn't something awful. Too bad it has a touch panel.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


NeoSeeker posted:

So is this a case where I should just wait another couple of months for the next best poo poo to come out?

I think I would be able to go up to 1500. Exactly What kind of improvements would I see?


And to the former question about waiting... is it worth it to wait?

If you can go up to 1500, buy one of those new MacBook Airs. They have a huge battery life (and even if you install Windows the battery life won't take that much of a hit) and the integrated graphics don't suck.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


shrughes posted:

Thinkpads used to be pretty:


But now they're just so drab:


'tis why I moved to MacBook Airs.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


Advertiser posted:

I've heard poor reviews about the Vaio Pro keyboard and in Australia at least the i5 version is $1,400 with a 128gb SSD, 4 gigs of ram and HD4400 integrated graphics where as for the same price I can get the Air with a 256 gig SSD, 8 gigs of ram and the HD5000.

Edit: Although the Sony does have a full hd display... hmm.

The Air does have a better WiFi card in terms of standardization.

My buddy got the 13", 128G Air and it is quite a machine.

Doesn't Sony have terrible driver support, anyway?

sports
Sep 1, 2012


qtek posted:

What's the general Goon opinion on this Beastie?

http://www.affordablelaptops.com.au...p-notebook.html

If you plan on being immobile/within 10 feet of a wall plug then go for it. Clevo/Gigabyte/Tianjin People's National Electronics Factory (whatever OEM this is) makes laptops for tons of well-known companies. The designs that don't get sold to a big name (Dell, Asus) get bought at a bargain by Clevo or Sager and other small companies iirc.

To me, that price could net you a really really kitted out MacBook Air that, while not pushing as much triangles as that could, would otherwise be a functional, mobile laptop that you wouldn't have to worry about breaking.

I'm guessing you are eligible for a student discount, too. Here's the new MBA 13" with a student discount.

When configuring a laptop, RAM is arguably the most important spec- because the processor and integrated graphics both share it. Unless you're running Athena or Fortran plasma simulations or something, you'll probably be covered with 8G of RAM.

Edit: Also, getting quad core hardware on a laptop isn't the best idea considering Intel dual-cores are recognized by an OS as quad cores and use hyperthreading.

sports fucked around with this message at 14:40 on Jun 24, 2013

sports
Sep 1, 2012


Master_Odin posted:

So if I can afford it, is the 13" MBA the way to go as I was kind of interested in a Thinkpad, but beyond the Helix, there's no mention of when the refreshes are coming (like the T450). However, the MBA would have a far better screen from what I've read in this thread (and would a non-graphics guy like me notice this? I use this as my primary monitor for reference). My use-case is I want to be able to:
  • Run Sublime Text and other code stuff (Linux on a VM) and run Latex and word and Matlab
  • Browse the web and watch netflix occasionally
  • Be able to play non hyper amazing graphics. This includes indie games, Dota 2, Civilization V (and other games of the "one more move variety"), but never something like Battlefield 3 or Last Light.
  • It would be moved around quite a bit (most likely daily) when I bike/walk to class and work so beyond a sleeve for my bag, should be fine so long as I'm not flinging my bag at a wall or something.

I believe the HD5000 can handle all that? What about the processor (would the cheaper one be fine or is it better to go more expensive). Same with RAM. Secondarily, would 256GB probably be fine for a laptop so long as I don't try and install every game in the world? I'm assuming it is, but I haven't had a real laptop in a long time, and my desktop has a ton of memory, so I've never really thought about it. Now I feel kind of silly asking this stuff.

Yes, an MBA 13 would be perfect for what you describe.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


Schmetterling posted:

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.

You'll be more than happy to know that the MBA is a very capable machine that does sacrifice some "upgradability" for reliability and cost effectiveness.
Please don't miss the payments for the creditline, though!

sports
Sep 1, 2012


Megaman posted:

Are there any 11.6 inch i7 quad cores? Does that even exist? I'm looking to buy the smallest fastest laptop/netbook/whatever

There's really no point in getting a quad-core processor today when most dual cores virtualize 2 more cores themselves.

These guys are small market enough to retail a 14" laptop with a quad core option.

The grad student I work for runs Autodesk Inventor 2013 and physics simulations on an ancient dell laptop with a core 2 duo at very reasonable speeds. It's not exactly a prerequisite to have some squad-portable Alienware when literally every "i-" prefixed processor now is very very capable of delivering the throughput required for what has classically been regarded as "demanding" tasks.

As long as a laptop is well maintained, given a copious swap partition, and not subject to tons of clicking during loading, it will happily meet needs.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


Also, Megaman, If you do end up buying a quad core laptop, I hope you keep a fire extinguisher on hand. Maybe even one that can tackle lithium fires.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


shrughes posted:

Good lord, stop posting.

(Megaman: He's wrong, obviously. A quad-core CPU will have twice the L3 cache and twice the number of cores. If you care about CPU performance or something... well, is quad-core that important? If you want a lightweight quad-core laptop, the best choices are probably the 15" retina MacBook Pro, the 15" Panasonic CF-B11, the 14" Dell Latitude E6430, and maybe the 14" Razor Blade, if its quality is good. They all come in at about 4 lbs. But the Clevo W110ER is the 11.6" that can be configured with a quad-core CPU. You'll have to read its reviews yourself.)

Edit: Here's a review comparing the Clevo W110ER against other machines: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2410891,00.asp

Note the benchmark list comparing the benchmarks against the similarly outfitted Alienware M14x. The cooling capabilities of the machine limit its performance.

I mean, I understand you have to defend your purchase, but you should realize that most software outside of specialty applications aren't going to use 4 cores to their full extent. The virtualized 2 cores in a dual core processor will on average handle the same amount of load that hardware cores on a quad core would.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


An MBA 13 with Windows 8.1 "Please Forgive Us" on it would probably still beat out most windows laptops in battery life, regardless of the loss incurred.
Windows 8.1 is really nice for some reason and I'm tempted to get it.

Eventually, my Thinkpad should have OSX, Windows 8.1, Debian, and Debian GNU/kfreeBSD on it. Holy god will that be useless.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


Thinkpad Edges are comparable spec to HP Business-class notebooks. I'd suggest going with your choice of an E-series thinkpad if only for the good customer support provided by IBM.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


Yeah Haswell is insane and honestly it's going to take quite a while for programmers to write software bloated enough to hamper Haswell's performace increase. Intel could seriously stop releasing new consumer chips now and people would be extremely happy for 3 or 4 years.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


Relambrien posted:

A friend of mine is in a minor emergency situation regarding purchasing a laptop. He needs one ASAP due to work obligations, and he'll be returning to college in the fall where he plans on using it more. The most demanding things he'll be doing with it are playing World of Warcraft and League of Legends, which he wants to be able to do at high framerates at high settings. He wants to spend around $1300 give or take.

I tentatively directed him at a Sager NP8230 from XoticPC. It's my understanding that waiting for Haswell i5's (as opposed to the i7's available on that model) would be better value, but he doesn't really have the luxury of time to wait and cost is, in his words, "not a critical concern". He only gave me the $1300 figure because I told him I couldn't really do anything without a budget

So basically, he wants a highly game-capable laptop, now, and doesn't particularly care about its price/performance value as long as it's not Alienware levels of absurd. Is the NP8230 pretty close to the mark on that? I'm kind of worried about battery life, but his previous laptop didn't even have a battery and he didn't have any issues using the drat thing only where outlets were available.

If he needs a work obligations laptop just get a Samsung Chromebook for $200 or whatever and get a desktop for games.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


taco show posted:

I travel on average 2-3 days a week (with my work laptop- a Thinkpad T410), but I'd like to take a second personal machine with me on longer trips.

Since I'm already dragging my 5lb Thinkpad through airports, the new one has to be fairly light and with a thin profile (at least better than what I have now). The most taxing thing I would do is play casual games- EVE Online, Steam games- but it would be really perfect if I could run Guild Wars 2.

My budget is $1100, but I'm willing to go over if I can find something that has everything I want. Is this reasonable or should I be adjusting my budget and/or expectations?

Super reasonable! The 13" Macbook Air, with the RAM upgrade, is only $100 away if you want something thin and overpowered.
https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/...2-for-mac-beta/ I didn't know this existed, as well.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-...00.91978.0.html Also, scroll down here to see the performance averages for HD 5000 (the integrated graphics in the Air) running Guild Wars 2.

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sports
Sep 1, 2012


Kreez posted:

These are basically my exact laptop requirements as well. I have an x230 with the 6 cell battery, it's perfect for everything in that list, except that the 1366x768 resolution makes it pretty cramped when you've got matlab or some IDE open in one window, documentation open in another, and a spreadsheet/whatever open in another. A 1920x1080 screen for the x230 would make it my perfect laptop. Probably little chance of that happening, but maybe a slightly better chance the updated x1 carbon may come with something like that...

Have you tried using multiple desktops?

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