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Looking for a Business laptop less than $1,000

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May 1, 2014 7:22:30 AM

Hi all, I am looking to purchase a laptop for work. I will be working with 10-20 excels opened and will most likely be using 2-3 at once and probably will be switching between these 10-20 excels constantly. I will most likely also purchase a portable monitor two use as a second screen to display multiple excel at once. I would like the laptop to be at least 14 inch screen, prefer 15 inch screen.

1) I am wondering if I should focus on Ram or CPU power?

2) I would like to stick with Lenovo or Asus, as I have used those two brands previously and it has worked well for me.
I spotted the Lenovo T440s, wonder if that is the right laptop for me?

3) is there any Asus laptop that are similar to T440s?

Thank you for your help

More about : business laptop 000

a b D Laptop
May 1, 2014 9:06:12 AM

1. Both. What you've posed as your primary tasks don't require much CPU power, but you will need a decent processor to allow for multitasking, as well as a decent amount of RAM for multiple programs running simultaneously. I would suggest an i3 processor with 4 GB of RAM (or more) as a starting point.

2. Both make good laptops! The problem with the T440 is that it uses a ultra low voltage i3 processor. These processors have their voltage and frequency (or speed) reduced to alleviate heat generated. Less heat is good, but the trade off is reduced performance. My suggestion: either look for a system with a non-ULV i3 processor, or consider a laptop with an i5 or i7 ULV processor. The higher tier chip will somewhat make up for the inherently reduced speed.

3. Asus has their Vivobook line. The model that comes to mind for what you're aiming for would be the Asus X550LB-DS71. It touts considerably more powerful hardware than the Lenovo in every aspect, save for the hard drive (the more expensive T440 has a solid state drive). Depending on who you order from though, the hard drive can be upgraded to a solid state drive. :)  We seldom see an order come in for this particular model without some sort of hard drive upgrade.

Hopefully that helps and wasn't too long winded!
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May 1, 2014 7:31:38 PM

Prostar Computer said:
1. Both. What you've posed as your primary tasks don't require much CPU power, but you will need a decent processor to allow for multitasking, as well as a decent amount of RAM for multiple programs running simultaneously. I would suggest an i3 processor with 4 GB of RAM (or more) as a starting point.

2. Both make good laptops! The problem with the T440 is that it uses a ultra low voltage i3 processor. These processors have their voltage and frequency (or speed) reduced to alleviate heat generated. Less heat is good, but the trade off is reduced performance. My suggestion: either look for a system with a non-ULV i3 processor, or consider a laptop with an i5 or i7 ULV processor. The higher tier chip will somewhat make up for the inherently reduced speed.

3. Asus has their Vivobook line. The model that comes to mind for what you're aiming for would be the Asus X550LB-DS71. It touts considerably more powerful hardware than the Lenovo in every aspect, save for the hard drive (the more expensive T440 has a solid state drive). Depending on who you order from though, the hard drive can be upgraded to a solid state drive. :)  We seldom see an order come in for this particular model without some sort of hard drive upgrade.

Hopefully that helps and wasn't too long winded!


Thank you for your wonderful reply. I got some follow up questions.

1) Thanks for the baseline guidance, now I know where to start or at least the bare min.

2) I was actually looking at the T440s, not the regular T440. T440s has the i5 4200U, 4 gb ram, 500 gb hdd with 16gb ssd for boot. Currently $999 on lenovo website, so its right on my budget range. But after considering your #1 reply, I kind of want to have at least 8 GB of ram upgrade, and there is also an option to upgrade to dual band AC Wifi. Which I kind of want, because I will be using this laptop in Hong Kong a lot and can use the AC Wifi. If I add these two upgrades it will be $1,109 so its just over my budget. Which stinks a little.

3) I looked at the vivobook line, the price is excellent, the x550LB model is really nice, lacking of the ssd boot drive kind of stinks, but like you said you always upgrade the hard drive anyway. I also took a look at the V551LB, not sure what the major difference between x series and v series, but they look similar. Just curious can these two models increase their ram to 16 GB? wonder how much of an upgrade cost that would be.
How is the quality build of these Asus models vs the Thinkpad T series?
Also, do you know if there are any Asus laptops that has AC Band wifi?

A side question: Do you have any option on the Asus MB168+? might get that as a seperate monitor.
Not included in the $1,000 budget of course.

Thank you again.
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a b D Laptop
May 2, 2014 2:38:32 PM

Oops, I took the "s" as plural in T440s. Sorry!

Regards to the Vivobooks: The V551LB has an similar (if not identical) body, but it comes equipped with a touch screen, whereas the X550 does not come with a touch screen. I know that on both Asus models we offer up to 12 GB of RAM. Whether the system(s) will take two 8 GB modules or not, I'm not sure of, although all the information I could dig up seems to point to 12 GB being the cap.

I haven't played around with the T series. Going off of past experience with other Lenovo models, they've always seemed pretty solid, as has Asus. One thing I notice from many owners of the G series and acclaimed Y series even is that Lenovo laptops have earned a reputation for getting excessively warm. Asus laptops, on the other hand, have prided themselves on implementing very good cooling systems. And yes: Asus systems can take a 7260 AC card! Both Asus models mentioned can accept one.

I haven't had a chance to test the monitor, but it has received high marks. Historically Asus makes good quality monitors, too. The one included in their laptops is usually not by them, but instead usually made by either LG, AUO, or Chi Mei (with some variance - those are just the big names most commonly used).
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