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Looking for some laptop suggstions

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  • Laptops
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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October 12, 2011 7:58:41 AM

Hey TH people,
I am looking to get myself a new laptop and would like some advice.
Any help would be appreciated!

Basically, what I am looking for is something:
-Moderate size (13 or 14 inch)
-A good battery
-Lightweight (under 2kgs/4.4lbs)
Those are the 3 most important things. I am using this to replace my 9 inch eeepc because I cant deal with the size of it anymore, but weight is still very important because I travel a lot with it (same for the battery).
-Power wise, I think an i3 or i5 would be nice. Not an absolute requirement, but I want something that can be used as my only computer while travelling so it needs some umph. (Will not sacrifice battery or weight for this).


Here are the anwers to the Sticky questions.

1. What is your budget?
No specific budget.
Just looking for the cheapest thing I can get which fits my requirements.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
Im thinking 13 inch, but maybe 14 inch.
Somewhere between 13 and 14.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
Unimportant.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
See above.

5. How much battery life do you need?
Lots.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
No.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Word processing
Watching movies
Heavy internet use

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Unimportant

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Nope
Link me to anything

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
A number of years.
Have had my eeepc for 4 years now and still use it.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Not required.

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
I like Asus.
But have no reason for that.
So, anything.

13. What country do you live in?
Australia.
But that doesnt matter.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
See top.


Cheers and thanks in advance. :) 
Tim

More about : laptop suggstions

a b D Laptop
October 12, 2011 8:34:49 AM

Go to:

http://staticice.com.au/

search for "ultrabook"

Looks like ultrabook class laptop is what you need.

They are new to the market. Wait for a few months for more of them to released from another brand in Australia.

I had problems with Acer before, so I usually don't recommend them, but since only Acer is available, go for it if you have to get one now. They are still in the laptop market so their quality is not terrible, my problem is just an isolated incident.
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October 12, 2011 8:43:33 AM

Thanks Pyree.

The Ultrabook looks really cool! And the weight is amazing.
I am, however, not generally an early adopter. Especially when all the reviews and articles seem to talk more about what is coming in the next 12 to 24 months with Ultrabooks rather than looking at the current one...
That concerns me a little bit...
Thoughts?

Any other thoughts on options?

Cheers
Tim
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a b D Laptop
October 12, 2011 9:05:31 AM

That is also my advice for ultrabook because there is not much options. Is it possible for you to put the purchase on hold? I expect ASUS to release their ultrabook soon.

Otherwise, you can get a laptop with ultra low voltage cpu to give you more battery life. I had a brief look in Australia and it looks like there are fewer options here compared with other continents. I will give it a more thorough look after diner.
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October 12, 2011 9:12:40 AM

Can put on hold for about a month.
Not much more.

I believe Asus are releasing theirs in the next couple of days.
They announced today that that was the case.

Can you reccomend some ultra low voltage CPUs?
It seems that the Ultrabooks arent necessarily very good on battery anyway. Light and powerful, but average battery from what Im reading.

As I said in the OP.
Don't worry about being in Australia.
I travel heaps and 'live' in North America for 6 months of the year.
So, it doesn't need to be available in Aus.

Cheers
Tim
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October 12, 2011 9:20:06 AM

Well, from what I can see, Asus actually just did release their ultrabook. UX21 and 31 I believe it was. It claims to have a pretty good battery life, and while I haven't seen any specific numbers, I haven't looked for them.
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October 12, 2011 9:28:09 AM

Aeir,
Yeah, that's what I thought.
They have announced it will come out in the next couple of days.

Will definitely wait to see what that comes out with.
But any other (non-ultrabook) suggestions for comparison?

Cheers
Tim
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a b D Laptop
October 12, 2011 10:26:55 AM

In USA, newegg is your best friend.
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October 12, 2011 10:28:40 AM

Yes.
I know the site.

But I thought some people may have some suggestions...
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October 12, 2011 11:08:03 AM

Damn. That is expensive!
$1640USD.
(I mean. It's less than that in AUD, but still...)

I know I said that I dont have a budget as such, but surely there is a 13/14 inch lighweight laptop with a decent battery that isn't that much.
No? Haha.
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a b D Laptop
October 12, 2011 11:08:57 AM

No, it is only $800-900 because it is on special.

The Australian price can be lowered by using coupon code BULKONE15, but still more expensive than in USA.

Edit: With the ANNIVERSARY coupon for Lenovo USA, it is only about $750.
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October 12, 2011 11:17:30 AM

Ok. Fair enough.
But who knows how long it will be on special for.
It's $1600 retail.

No. You don't understand.
The AUD is stronger than the USD (that may actually not be true. It's dropped the last couple of days). So, when I buy it from the US website with AUS dollars it will be cheaper than the listed price.
Either way. As i said, im in North America half the year. I can get the cheapest price on whatever I decide to buy.



Anyone else with other suggestions on lightweight laptops?
Cheers
Tim
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a b D Laptop
October 12, 2011 11:22:29 AM

I think the best option is to use AUD, pay by visa, buy the laptop from USA for less then $750 (if you use coupon and downgrade from W7 Pro to W7 Home Premium) and send to your USA address.
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a b D Laptop
October 12, 2011 11:23:37 AM

Oh, wait or are you French Canadian?
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October 12, 2011 11:40:30 AM

@ Reply 1.
Yep. Exactly.
"So, when I buy it from the US website with AUS dollars it will be cheaper than the listed price."
May as well send it to Aus address though. Shipping is negligible these days.

@ Reply 2.
No.
But my North American residence is in Canada.

--------

I would really like some comparisons before I commit to the first option presented...
Cheers
Tim
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a b D Laptop
October 12, 2011 11:53:06 AM

I don't think Lenovo ship them to Australia or Canada if you buy from Lenovo USA.

Try send it to your friends or family in USA that can receive your laptop and resend it to your in Australia.
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October 12, 2011 1:26:18 PM

Altough its not popular on this forum, I recommend the Apple Macbook Air. Its the only notebook computer I would buy today if I had to.

Given the fact that you will not play games on it, its a perfect choice. There is no other notebook out there that can compete with its small form factor and features. Its ultra portable, its ALL SSD, includes a full back-lit keyboard and an insane battery life. It also has the multi-touch trackpad, wich makes other notebooks look from last century.

You can also check the Sony Vaio, they have some crazy designs, it may be interesting to you.
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October 12, 2011 3:55:15 PM

Leandro: actually, the Macbook air is pretty much specifically what the new Asus Ultrabooks are going to be competing with. I don't think that they have a backlit keyboard (I haven't looked), but beyond that, they're on par if not better in more categories, and have a higher resolution in the 13" model than the equivalent macbook air. I had a site up on my other computer specifically comparing the two side-by-side in chart format when I was looking at them last night. And better yet, the Zenbooks aren't a Mac.
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October 12, 2011 4:38:29 PM

I am happy with this release from Asus, cause it will force Apple to make even more competivie Airs, but the Airs do offer 3x times more SSD storage and also thunderbolt ports, wich will be compatible with external gaming videocards in development. The Asus has a USB 3.0 port instead, perhaps a better option today.

And in addition, the Air has a multi-touch trackpad, thats an awesome exclusive feature wich makes you work 500% times faster and eliminates the use of a mouse.
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October 12, 2011 4:43:43 PM

The Zenbook also has a multitouch trackpad, though. And just as much, if not more (depending on which models you're comparing) storage. Where did you see that the Airs have 3x more? USB 3.0 will likely be far more useful,, in general than a thunderbolt port. Competition is good for the consumer, though. ^ ^
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a b D Laptop
October 12, 2011 8:49:47 PM

^+1 @Aeir

USB 3.0 is way more common and many other laptop have multitouch touchpad. When will Apple take that comment down for their ads?

Although the Lenovo is still going to kill both in battery with removable 9cell battery plus expansion battery tray to give it up to 24 Hrs of run time.
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October 12, 2011 11:13:02 PM

Pyree said:
I don't think Lenovo ship them to Australia or Canada if you buy from Lenovo USA.

Try send it to your friends or family in USA that can receive your laptop and resend it to your in Australia.


I also wouldn't be buying it from the manufacturur.
Anyway. Let's stop worrying about me buying it and actually find a laptop that fits my requirements.


Quote:
Altough its not popular on this forum, I recommend the Apple Macbook Air. Its the only notebook computer I would buy today if I had to.

Given the fact that you will not play games on it, its a perfect choice. There is no other notebook out there that can compete with its small form factor and features. Its ultra portable, its ALL SSD, includes a full back-lit keyboard and an insane battery life. It also has the multi-touch trackpad, wich makes other notebooks look from last century.

You can also check the Sony Vaio, they have some crazy designs, it may be interesting to you.


To be honest.
Apple and Sony are probably the 2 brands that I would automatically shy away from.
It seems to me that they are the 2 where you pay for brand and not content. Like, a comparable non Apple or Sony is generally heaps cheaper...

I may be wrong though...

Quote:
Leandro: actually, the Macbook air is pretty much specifically what the new Asus Ultrabooks are going to be competing with. I don't think that they have a backlit keyboard (I haven't looked), but beyond that, they're on par if not better in more categories, and have a higher resolution in the 13" model than the equivalent macbook air. I had a site up on my other computer specifically comparing the two side-by-side in chart format when I was looking at them last night. And better yet, the Zenbooks aren't a Mac.


Quote:
I am happy with this release from Asus, cause it will force Apple to make even more competivie Airs, but the Airs do offer 3x times more SSD storage and also thunderbolt ports, wich will be compatible with external gaming videocards in development. The Asus has a USB 3.0 port instead, perhaps a better option today.

And in addition, the Air has a multi-touch trackpad, thats an awesome exclusive feature wich makes you work 500% times faster and eliminates the use of a mouse.


Quote:
The Zenbook also has a multitouch trackpad, though. And just as much, if not more (depending on which models you're comparing) storage. Where did you see that the Airs have 3x more? USB 3.0 will likely be far more useful,, in general than a thunderbolt port. Competition is good for the consumer, though. ^ ^


Quote:
^+1 @Aeir

USB 3.0 is way more common and many other laptop have multitouch touchpad. When will Apple take that comment down for their ads?

Although the Lenovo is still going to kill both in battery with removable 9cell battery plus expansion battery tray to give it up to 24 Hrs of run time.


So, do we all really think that a computer that is not actually out yet is the only thing which fits my needs?
Surely someone else has needed something like this in the past.

Cheers
Tim

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October 13, 2011 4:06:09 AM

What do people think about this one?
Asus U36JC?
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a b D Laptop
October 13, 2011 4:58:57 AM

If you are going with ASUS, I suggest the U46E instead of the U36JC because it has a 2nd gen i5 (Sandy Bridge) in there and is slightly faster.

The Nvidia 310m in the U36JC is really weak and not convincingly better than the integrated HD 3000 in the Sandy Bridge. The Nvidia 310m is just a waste of battery.

Also, U46E has a dvd drive.

The best part is that the U46E doesn't seem to cost more.
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October 13, 2011 5:02:04 AM

I am also currently looking for a lightweight laptop. As of now my best pick is ASUS U36SD, but I'm still looking for other options. My deadline is on end of November, so if nothing new comes up, I'll probably go with it.

AFAIK, The only difference with U36SD and U36JC (the one you have mentioned) is that U36SD uses the newer sandy bridge processor, maximum RAM capacity and speed, and the GPU.

I'm actually waiting for the availability and prices of the upcoming ultrabooks, but if it can't meet my deadline and/or budget then that's it.

You can also check Samsung NP900X3A. I think this is the most available ultrabook as of now. I also like it but my budget wasn't able to reach it. ^_^
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a b D Laptop
October 13, 2011 5:26:48 AM

I think the Samsung 9 series is just too expensive for Balthraka.

As for you jolen, the Samsung 9 series and the ASUS U36SD is laptop of different class. The U36SD is going to eat the Samsung alive in performance. I don't see what justify the significant higher cost of the Samsung laptop.
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October 13, 2011 5:51:38 AM

To be honest, I wouldnt buy any computer today from any manufacturerer, Sony, dell, apple, asus, whatever... they were so much better 3 years ago, in comparison to what was available in the market. Im waiting for notebooks to go SSD. Apple Air is 64gb only, Im talkin about 500GB.

I just said that if I HAD to buy a notebook today, it would be Apple air cause its SSD and extremely portable, Asus doesnt exist yet
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October 13, 2011 6:26:25 AM

Quote:
As for you jolen, the Samsung 9 series and the ASUS U36SD is laptop of different class. The U36SD is going to eat the Samsung alive in performance. I don't see what justify the significant higher cost of the Samsung laptop.


I don't wanna steal the thread to the OP so I didn't mention my specification but we almost have the same specs anyway ;)  .

For me, I am just looking for a lightweight, good build quality, a little bit of beauty (which is in the eye of the beholder, for me, it's thin :D  ), a budget of 1K USD (1.2K if it's SSD, since I'm planning to change it to SSD if it doesn't - 120GB is enough for me, I just hope it's possible, is it?), and finally not a MAC (no offense meant, it's just my own preference).

So performance is actually not much an issue for me except for the SSD. Battery life is also not important to me (I'll probably plugging it in most of the time) compared to what the OP needs. I actually have thought about MSI X370 (which only has AMD E-350 CPU) but I think the build quality is quite bad (can someone confirm this?).

I'm also thinking about ASUS U31SD, but its build quality is not as good as U36SD but the price difference is not that much, so I think it's not worth it. What do you think? I haven't seen any of this personally so my basis is just from the reviews I read and watch.

Quote:
I just said that if I HAD to buy a notebook today, it would be Apple air cause its SSD and extremely portable, Asus doesnt exist yet


I did found an ASUS U36SD that has 160GB of SSD (version RX114V). But the specification from ASUS website didn't have it, so I'm not really sure :p  .
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October 13, 2011 6:35:23 AM

Quote:

If you are going with ASUS, I suggest the U46E instead of the U36JC because it has a 2nd gen i5 (Sandy Bridge) in there and is slightly faster.

The Nvidia 310m in the U36JC is really weak and not convincingly better than the integrated HD 3000 in the Sandy Bridge. The Nvidia 310m is just a waste of battery.

Also, U46E has a dvd drive.

The best part is that the U46E doesn't seem to cost more.


I am not necessarily going with Asus.
I am just looking for options! And I was only getting one from so I thought I would throw out something I found and see people's opinions...
I DONT CARE about the brand or where it is available (I just prefer not Apple or Sony for reasons above).

As for the 46UE.
I cant seem to find a reliable weight for it.
At 14" and with a DVD drive surely it wont fall into the under 2kg (4.4lb) category. Anyone know?

Oh, and the DVD drive isnt a selling point.
Can happily take it or leave it.

Quote:
I am also currently looking for a lightweight laptop. As of now my best pick is ASUS U36SD, but I'm still looking for other options. My deadline is on end of November, so if nothing new comes up, I'll probably go with it.

AFAIK, The only difference with U36SD and U36JC (the one you have mentioned) is that U36SD uses the newer sandy bridge processor, maximum RAM capacity and speed, and the GPU.

I'm actually waiting for the availability and prices of the upcoming ultrabooks, but if it can't meet my deadline and/or budget then that's it.

You can also check Samsung NP900X3A. I think this is the most available ultrabook as of now. I also like it but my budget wasn't able to reach it. ^_^


Thanks for the Asus suggestion. That's a good thought.
Do the SandyBridge processors use more battery though? From what Im reading they are not the low power ones like on the 36JC (and would presumably then use more power).
No?

Samsung looks nice.
A little expensive considering what's out there though.

Quote:
Take a look at dell.com too

Any particular computer?

Quote:
I think the Samsung 9 series is just too expensive for Balthraka.

While not true, I just think there are cheaper options that perform equally well.

Quote:

To be honest, I wouldnt buy any computer today from any manufacturerer, Sony, dell, apple, asus, whatever... they were so much better 3 years ago, in comparison to what was available in the market. Im waiting for notebooks to go SSD. Apple Air is 64gb only, Im talkin about 500GB.

I just said that if I HAD to buy a notebook today, it would be Apple air cause its SSD and extremely portable, Asus doesnt exist yet


Interesting opinion...

---------------

Cheers
Tim
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October 13, 2011 7:15:03 AM

I just got a Lenovo T420 and it's very basic but absolutely a powerhouse, light and excellent battery life.

Just a note to notebook buyers, the Intel brand wireless/Lan network card performance is worth every penny compared to cheaper network chips like Realtek, it picks up weak signals my friends can't even detect.

Core i5 2410m
Intel SSD X25-m 80g
No DVD
Standard battery = 8hrs
Cost $750
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a b D Laptop
October 13, 2011 7:23:57 AM

@leandrodafontoura

SSD or not, it is not the most important in laptop specification. You can always buy one and put it in a laptop if you want better HDD performance. However, for cpu and especially the gpu, you want to think carefully before getting a laptop because changing cpu is considerably more difficult and gpu is almost always impossible to change afterward.

@jolen

I don't think MSI is bad. Their quality range from excellent to average. A truly bad company would have been out of the competition by now.

As to chassis quality, I don't think you can break them by sudden exertion of force before the HDD or the actual screen break. So if you are not a violent user, even plastic chassis last for years.

@Balthraka
The weight is 2.08kg for the U46E. No, the U36JC use Arrandale standard voltage cpu. U46E use Sandy Bridge standard voltage, which is faster clock for clock.

There are other similar options out there from another brand. In fact, you have so many choice, it is hard to go through every single one. I am just picking the brand I am familiar with and is known for good quality for generally every line of their product.

Ignore the laptop was better 3 years ago comment. Laptop is definitely better now than 3 years ago because of the competition. Now you see more design with ssd, alloy/metal chassis and switchable graphics which you don't have back then.

Other laptop that I think will suit your purpose includes HP EliteBook, Dell Vostro, Toshiba Satellite Pro etc. But I am not familiar with them so I couldn't make a recommendation.


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a b D Laptop
October 13, 2011 7:25:26 AM

Have to agree with billj214 on Lenovo's battery life. Also ThinkPad serie's chassis are really solid.

My pick is still Lenovo ThinkPad x220, based on good performance for your purpose, excellent battery life, solid quality and reasonable price.
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October 13, 2011 8:44:19 AM

After looking from your suggestions, I narrowed my selection to ASUS U36SD, Toshiba Portege R83x, and Lenovo T420. :D 

Although Pyree's pick (Lenovo x220) is actually better than Lenovo T420, I didn't select it because it only offers 12.5", so it didn't pass my criteria to have 13-14" (which I forgot to mention but the OP did mention it). I don't know if Balthraka will be fine with it, but for me, I think I really need the little difference. I actually want 14" but most lightweight laptops are smaller, so I came to accept 13.3 but not any smaller than it anymore. :) 

Here are some of (external) specs/price comparson:
Asus and Toshiba is both 13.3", Lenovo is 14"
Asus and Toshiba's price doesn't differ much (~800-900 USD), Lenovo is a bit expensive (~1000-1200 USD)
Toshiba is the lightest (3.2Kg), Lenovo (3.68Kg), Asus (3.74Kg)
Asus is thinnest (0.76"), Lenovo (1.02"), Toshiba (1.05")

For Balthraka, I think, I'll probably suggest Lenovo as well, (as billj214 suggested) because of its battery life where I think is very important to him (but not for me). I actually don't really know how's the battery life of the other two compares to it, but so far both billj214 and Pyree vouch for its great battery life. You can actually go with x220 (as Pyree suggested) if you could live up with its 12.5" size ;) 

But for me, I actually should have easily remove Lenovo from the list because of it's higher price but because of it's 14" size that I kept it in the competition. But in the end the looks sealed the win for me and it still goes to ASUS U36SD (where this is already a personal viewpoint) :sol: 

Please keep suggestions coming if there are still other good choices that hasn't been mentioned. :hello: 
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a b D Laptop
October 13, 2011 9:02:13 AM

@jolen

I would suggest ASUS K43SA or SV,. They are better in the graphics department than U36SD. Should get at least a GT540 for graphics if you want to game. But on you may find it a bit too thick and you may not need the extra graphics power for games.
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October 13, 2011 3:24:55 PM

Yes the Lenovo is very solid, as for the SSD it is very important for notebooks due to battery life.
My buddy has the X220 which at the time I wish I had bought but his battery life is about 1/3 less than mine!
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a b D Laptop
October 13, 2011 10:17:39 PM

I have an SSD on my laptop but I didn't know how much battery it save because I didn't replace the HDD with it. I put it in there as a boot and program disk along with the HDD for storage in a 2 HDD configuration. The SSD reduce the 2 hrs battery life to 1:40 on a full charge.

Thank you billj214 for your experience on how much battery SSD can save.
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