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Author Topic: Suggestion needed ultrabook  (Read 1297 times)
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Parmin
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« on: March 24, 2013, 06:54:39 06:54 »

Hey
It come the time for me to upgrade to another notebook.
I have been working with my IBM / Lenovo T42 for the past 8 or was it 9 years..
It was sufficient for my job so far, but now it is time for me to upgrade.

I don't want to spend a lot of money for laptops, not that I use it for my main job.
It is mainly to work when I am overseas or away in clients place and need to either communicate or write a quick patch program, quickly design a new PCB or sketch quick something using Solidworks.
I do not play games on it, nor I want to do a full development (although if it is capable it would be welcomed).


My main want in the order of importance are:
1. I need the battery to last for at least 8 hours for simple stuff like writing on Wordpads.
2. I need it to be able to go full scale CAD if and when I need to
3. I rather like quick wakeup from hibernate or cold boot.
4. 13 to 15 inch monitor with 1080 capability is great but I would go down to 900 pixel if needed.
5. It would be good to have good Audio and Video capability for those time when I am bored and need to hear languages I can understand when I am overseas.
6. Quick "security" such as a fingerprint reader would be good as well.
7. Preferably it is less than 4 pounds in weight.
8. Beside a good WIFI capability, it also need to have RJ45 for LAN built in (most hotels uses LAN cable for internet)
9. Full complement of hardware drivers for Ubuntu would be hugely beneficial.

I think of getting either a core i5 or i7 with 8GB ram and 256 SSD.

I am sure many of you work with ultrabooks before, and maybe you have seen one that you think is great..
I would appreciate if you can tell me the brand and model so I could do further research on it.

I have been looking at
Lenovo T420
Samsung Series 9
HP Spectre Pro
Sony Vaio T13
Toshiba Z930

But yet to find anything I like .. the Lenovo T420 seems to be the closest to my spec, but I am open to suggestions.

TIA

Par.
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solutions
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2013, 04:09:10 16:09 »

My next one will be an i7 with 17" screen. An i7 with 8GB is not cheap. Also, your hours of use on battery and performance are diametrically opposed. Why do you want an SSD? Better off loading up on dual 1TB's and upping your RAM and running a RAMdisk, IMO.

I've had Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo, IBM, and Sony. All were crap. That narrows it to HP in my book, as far as your list goes.

My first choice would be Alienware, but with my spending priorities, this Lenovo piece of garbage (the cursor randomly jumps wherever it feels like on the screen...a very common problem) will have to do for a while..
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2013, 04:25:22 16:25 »

My current one is only half price of your budget and had no plan to upgrade it which mean i do not know about current spec, but recently here toshiba shows off their Z930 - look at the picture closely, that pretty girl standing on it! Ha that might be my next one as i tend to abuse my laptop. Parmin, i believe you can read and understand what's written in here, well at least your wife will..  Cheesy

-ichan
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2013, 04:43:30 16:43 »

I also have one and I still use it as my sendary (or tertiary). Notebook quality has become pretty much standardized. It is hard to find a very poorly made one these days. After all every brand must make a selection among a limited number of motherboard, RAM and GPU producers.

... and this hopefully qualifies as another tick on the message counter.
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2013, 04:49:04 16:49 »

... and this hopefully qualifies as another tick on the message counter.
NO
there are a few boards that don't carry a posting tick Tongue
most members carry a tick counter in the heads, and value posts are better received..
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solutions
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2013, 09:18:32 21:18 »

I also have one and I still use it as my sendary (or tertiary). Notebook quality has become pretty much standardized. It is hard to find a very poorly made one these days. After all every brand must make a selection among a limited number of motherboard, RAM and GPU producers.

... and this hopefully qualifies as another tick on the message counter.

Ticks can be nasty...



I wouldn't want one on my message counter  Tongue

...and NO, I disagree...a lot of notebooks, like Dell in my experience, can use cheap power connectors that can trash the entire mother board. We had the power/charge connector on the motherboard go out on all four machines at varying times (changing it risks trashing the MB) AND the wallwarts wouldn't last more than a couple of hundred hours for each machine. 

Same goes for the radios - some notebooks have useless Wifi range (aka speed).

They are NOT all the same these days.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 09:30:31 21:30 by solutions » Logged
Parmin
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 10:46:37 22:46 »

Yup, not all notebooks are the same.

Solution, I will check Alienware.. it is not a brand I know of, but I am open for suggestion.

And Ichan, standing on the spine of the monitor would not damage the scree.


Ok.. no conclusive answer here..

Keep them coming folks!
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 11:53:23 23:53 »

And Ichan, standing on the spine of the monitor would not damage the scree.

That shows did make me do some search, below a capture from toshiba website - perhaps it is only a marketing hype but sounds great to me. It looks elegant too on the youtube video.

Now I sound like a salesman..  Wink

-ichan
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GunMage
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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2013, 04:03:39 16:03 »

Yup, not all notebooks are the same.

Solution, I will check Alienware.. it is not a brand I know of, but I am open for suggestion.

And Ichan, standing on the spine of the monitor would not damage the scree.


Ok.. no conclusive answer here..

Keep them coming folks!


Just to point out Dell owns Alienware now (acquired in 2006). However that being said I am now on my 3rd Alienware laptop and I have no complaints. I have an M17, M11 & M18 - The M17 is like 5 years old now and still is better than a lot of new Laptops. The M11 and M18 are 1.5 years old and I use the hell out of them both with the M18 being my MAIN CAD/Development platform. I use it daily for both Solidworks and Altium. They are a bit more expensive but worth it in my experience.

For a bit of reference
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alienware

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Parmin
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« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2013, 12:54:08 00:54 »

One thing I found about Alienware in my last week of sporadic searches, is that they are HEAVY!!
WOW behemoth and also they are not usually known for long battery life.

I might be wrong tho..
Anyone want to point out a model that may suit my need as listed above?
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GunMage
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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2013, 04:06:47 16:06 »

One thing I found about Alienware in my last week of sporadic searches, is that they are HEAVY!!
WOW behemoth and also they are not usually known for long battery life.

I might be wrong tho..
Anyone want to point out a model that may suit my need as listed above?

I would look into getting a M11Xr3 (I know it is a bit smaller than you were wanting) - Issue is they are discontinued but can be found possibly in the Dell outlet store or second hand (Ebay etc)
Why I would recommend the M11 is that it is small and rugged, It has both the Nvidia GT335 Graphics card as well as the Intel integrated. The computer switches between them automatically based on application, This works well and actually save a good deal on battery life.
The only negative that I can add is that there is NO optical drive. For me that doesn't matter as I have 64Gb USB thumb drives and again one less thing to drain the battery.

I understand your comment about being heavy but let me tell you that I have come to appreciate that the heaviness equates to ruggedness. I carry that laptop everywhere, it gets bounced around a great deal on my motorcycle, it has been dropped several times and still not one issue.

For portability you want to avoid the M18 - It is truly a monster and a great desktop replacement. If you just can't get the M11 or don't want a used computer I would look seriously at the M14

M11 tech specs
http://gdgt.com/alienware/m11x/specs/


I hope that helps you some
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Parmin
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« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2013, 12:09:15 00:09 »

GunMage
Thank you for your insight.
I agree the M11X is a tad small, I am currently thinking hard about the M14
The problem I have about the weight is that I could carry more things in my bags when I travel overseas if my laptop is light,
But then again the T42 I am used to was 5.8 lbs in weight with the 9 cells battery, so not all is lost..
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Magnox
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« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2013, 10:35:42 10:35 »

I'll throw in my vote for an HP Elitebook; that's what I finally decided on when my previous POS Asus died. I deliberately searched out an older, 'reconditioned' model as I wanted a 16:10 screen format (or 4:3) not the silly 'widescreen' that the manufacturers tell us that we all need now to watch out HD movies on.

I got an Elitebook 8530W, and I love it. Here are the brief specs:


Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T9600 (2.80 GHz, 6 MB L2 cache, 1066 MHz FSB)
512MB NVIDIA Quadro FX 770M Workstation GPU
15.4" screen at 1680x1050 (1920x1200 is also available on the Elitebooks, but I find 1680x1050 enough for this screen size)
8GB RAM
750GB WD Black Edition HD (a fast one)
Weighs about 6.5 lbs... smaller, lighter models in the Elitebook range are available.
Magnesium case, spill-proof keyboard, strong enough to stand on, etc.
802.11n wifi, bluetooth, GPS, 3G (I can send/receive text messages on it too!)
Fingerprint reader, built-in security chip and all the usual enterprise level features.
Not sure you'll get eight hours out of it though; perhaps with aggressive power control (turn off BT, 3G, GPS, dim the screen, etc).

I've overclocked both the CPU, unlocked the ability to run both cores at full speed (and it runs cooler when not pushed!) and overclocked the Quadro card. The limited memory on the Quadro card means it doesn't really like games, but that's not an issue to me.

It runs Windows 7x64 perfectly and is quite happy with Proteus, Quartus II,  and other assorted EDA software, Chief Architect, Accelrys Discovery Studio (molecular modelling tools) and Chemoffice, etc etc.

I used to work for a company that sold Toshiba, Dell, IBM, Lenovo and other laptops into schools and colleges; I'll take an HP Elitebook any day over them. Even a second hand one.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 10:40:19 10:40 by Magnox » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2013, 01:32:00 13:32 »

Too bad it has a GPS - the HP looked good, otherwise
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« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2013, 03:19:34 15:19 »

I have to admit. I just took a look at the HP EliteBook 8470p Notebook PC
http://shopping1.hp.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/WFS/WW-USSMBPublicStore-Site/en_US/-/USD/ViewProductDetail-Start?ProductUUID=eGQQ7EN5mTsAAAE6JhpmfAbP&CatalogCategoryID=

And it look like a really decent Laptop. If I was in the market I would consider this an option as well.
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Parmin
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« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2013, 06:47:47 06:47 »

Hum, the HP 8470p does not pass the cut..
Battery life < 5 hours idle!! according to http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-HP-EliteBook-8470p-Notebook.83640.0.html

I am now SERIOUSLY contemplating to get Acer M5-581TG with 8+ hours idle and 6+ hours with WLAN.
The problem I have with this one is it is WAY TOO LARGE with 15.6 inch screen

Samsung Series 5 530U3C looks good too..
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« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2013, 10:07:45 10:07 »

If you are doing design/engineering, I would not be looking at time on battery. You can always buy an additional pack (I carry FIVE for trans-Pacific flights)

Better than, while plugged in, waiting 2 days for a simulation when it *only* takes 16 hours.
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Parmin
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« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2013, 11:24:31 11:24 »

LOL, I always carried extra batteries on my old T42..
The new ultrabooks commonly have internal battery that could not be easily replaced unless you have a screwdriver, which is unfortunately not allowed on commercial airlines.

================
Anyhow, thanks for the advice.

I have just commited to purchase a few Samsung Series 5 530U3C  Tongue  I want one in every port I frequent Grin
And right after paying I browsed on how to install Ubuntu on them.. guess what..
Lucky I did.. This is what I found, I hope it can help many of you from frustration.

SAMSUNG LAPTOPS CAN BE BRICKED IF YOU INSTALL UBUNTU WITH UEFI-BOOT !!!!!
Remember to set OS Mode to CSM OS if you want to do it..
Better yet, just dont install Linux on Samsung.. (which is sux because I have built a bitching Ubuntu OS for running VM)
Sigh..
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Magnox
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« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2013, 12:49:13 12:49 »

SAMSUNG LAPTOPS CAN BE BRICKED IF YOU INSTALL UBUNTU WITH UEFI-BOOT !!!!!

That's nasty! I recall reading on MDL about concerns with UEFI and non-MS operating systems.

I was issued a couple of Samsung laptops a couple of years ago on a job. They seemed quite decent machines, but I still prefer my HP for my use.


Too bad it has a GPS - the HP looked good, otherwise

Actually, I had to hack the BIOS to allow use of a combined GPS/3G card in the internal 3G slot. The standard HP offering for my model only does 3G without the GPS, even though it does have the GPS antenna in the lid and the relevant connectors. For me it's quite useful as I use travel around a fair bit and use OS maps on my laptop with Memory Map.

« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 12:53:20 12:53 by Magnox » Logged
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