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Upgrading my xps m1330 and need powerful laptop under 5 lbs

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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October 16, 2012 2:10:41 AM

I currently have an xps m1330 laptop that I started using for travel but has become my main computer. I am ready to upgrade it and am looking for a machine I can travel with. My two most important considerations are:
--weight, not counting power adapter, less than 5 pounds. less than 4.5 would be better
--ability to run statistical analysis quickly on large data sets. Not prepared to travel with an laptop workstation because of the weight, but an ivy bridge i7 quad core processor at 2.2GHz or higher would be desirable.

Because my heaviest processing is statistics, don't need the video performance of a gaming machine or machine to run photoshop, although good photoshop specs are a good signal of adequate number crunching power.

The weight & processing power are most important criteria. Other considerations:

--Hard drive capacity of 256GB, 512 preferred. If a machine comes with a replaceable drive, I would consider buying a low capacity drive and swapping in an SSD.

--Screen size and resolution. Minimum of 13", my current screen. Ideally full HD screen. I'd like larger than 13" and more resolution, but would not trade up just for screen size or resolution if the weight increased above my 5 pound limit.

--Good keyboard. Decent touchpad.

--Adequate ports for external backup drive, external video, flashdrive.

I'm considering a MacBook Pro 15 Retina and using a Windows partition as my regular partition. (I like Win 7 more than my wifes Mac OS), but don't like the non-replaceable battery, and lower price would be good.

Lenovo Y480 looks like an alternative but I can't get a clear answer from the web about its actual weight, and in an ideal world, I'd like more resolution than the 1366x788 screen.

I'm not sure what else I should be considering and would appreciate some help identifying options.

Thank you.
October 16, 2012 3:22:45 AM

There are tons of ultrabooks that fit your needs. There will be even more at the end of the month. If you can wait til January and get a Microsoft surface pro. It can be tablet or a laptop. Great for traveling.
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October 16, 2012 3:37:35 AM

waldtest said:
I currently have an xps m1330 laptop that I started using for travel but has become my main computer. I am ready to upgrade it and am looking for a machine I can travel with. My two most important considerations are:
--weight, not counting power adapter, less than 5 pounds. less than 4.5 would be better
--ability to run statistical analysis quickly on large data sets. Not prepared to travel with an laptop workstation because of the weight, but an ivy bridge i7 quad core processor at 2.2GHz or higher would be desirable.

Because my heaviest processing is statistics, don't need the video performance of a gaming machine or machine to run photoshop, although good photoshop specs are a good signal of adequate number crunching power.

The weight & processing power are most important criteria. Other considerations:

--Hard drive capacity of 256GB, 512 preferred. If a machine comes with a replaceable drive, I would consider buying a low capacity drive and swapping in an SSD.

--Screen size and resolution. Minimum of 13", my current screen. Ideally full HD screen. I'd like larger than 13" and more resolution, but would not trade up just for screen size or resolution if the weight increased above my 5 pound limit.

--Good keyboard. Decent touchpad.

--Adequate ports for external backup drive, external video, flashdrive.

I'm considering a MacBook Pro 15 Retina and using a Windows partition as my regular partition. (I like Win 7 more than my wifes Mac OS), but don't like the non-replaceable battery, and lower price would be good.

Lenovo Y480 looks like an alternative but I can't get a clear answer from the web about its actual weight, and in an ideal world, I'd like more resolution than the 1366x788 screen.

I'm not sure what else I should be considering and would appreciate some help identifying options.

Thank you.


2.2 Ghz i7s are in the 44+ watt range, which means that they're going to be running hot. Very few laptop manufacturers put these beasts in laptops under 17 inches, and those that do often find out that RMAs can get costly.

Since you're using this as a business computer I would not recommend buying an el-cheapo laptop from any store, get a good one from Dell. I would recommend the Dell Latitude or Lenovo Thinkpad lineup, both of these are top quality and will easily house a beefy i7 without burning you.

Additionally, very few laptops under 17 inches have 1920x1080 displays, most have 1600x900

Here are my recommendations:

Dell Latitude E6530

Dell XPS 15

Lenovo Thinkpad W530

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October 16, 2012 3:58:27 AM

You got 11 days and there will be dozens of newer faster lighter touch friendly options available.

Only a fool would buy something right now. And if your not into the touch interface, older non touch will go on sale soon due to the lack of interest in them.
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October 16, 2012 4:59:10 AM

Ultrabooks don't have the power I need for the stats. The typically dual core i7 1.9GHz processor has about half the processing power of an quad core i7 2.x GHz processor.

And writing statistical code requires a serious keyboard. My stat software is best accessed from its command line.
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October 16, 2012 5:05:20 AM

Pinhedd said:
2.2 Ghz i7s are in the 44+ watt range, which means that they're going to be running hot. Very few laptop manufacturers put these beasts in laptops under 17 inches, and those that do often find out that RMAs can get costly.

Since you're using this as a business computer I would not recommend buying an el-cheapo laptop from any store, get a good one from Dell. I would recommend the Dell Latitude or Lenovo Thinkpad lineup, both of these are top quality and will easily house a beefy i7 without burning you.

Additionally, very few laptops under 17 inches have 1920x1080 displays, most have 1600x900

Here are my recommendations:

Dell Latitude E6530

Dell XPS 15

Lenovo Thinkpad W530



Thanks for the suggestions. Was hoping for a bit lighter, which is why the macbook pro and lenovo Y480 were on the list. Higher screen resolution would be nice but not critical. I'll take a look at the three models you suggest.
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October 16, 2012 5:21:01 AM

waldtest said:
Thanks for the suggestions. Was hoping for a bit lighter, which is why the macbook pro and lenovo Y480 were on the list. Higher screen resolution would be nice but not critical. I'll take a look at the three models you suggest.


I've been hauling laptops around for many years. I quickly found that while hauling my 9 pound 17 inch Alienware around was a bit of a pain in the ass, I got used to it after a while. I much prefer to have the larger screen and beefier internals than to have something lighter and it's not even my primary computer.

The lenovo Y480 isn't a bad choice but that screen resolution is kinda meh. MacBook Pro wouldn't be a bad choice either but the retina display will cost you a pretty penny. You can use OSX too of course, which can be nice to have from time to time.
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October 16, 2012 6:46:12 AM

Based on what's available at newegg for under $1,400 with a quad core i7-3612QM CPU, 1920x1080 and the lightest possible weight (4.42lbs), the Sony VAIO SVS15116FXS seems to be a good option.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sadly, it is currently out of stock, but you can Google around for other places that sell it.
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