Need a laptop for university with 6+ hours battery life

Deimos

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I've got my eye on an Asus zenbook but nowhere does it state what the battery life is, can anyone offer feedback or perhaps another option? I like the size and weight of the zenbooks so something similar would be great, I would consider something with discreet graphics as long as it is not too bulky and can go 6+ hours with light use (word processing, surfing the net with wifi)

TIA
 

YeuEmMaiMai

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several choices

DM1Z with 6 cell

or Sony Viao S series with extra sheet battery
 

/rant/

Limp Gawd
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VAIO S with sheet battery is great. You can even get an HD 6630M in that thing, which makes playing games like Battlefield 3 possible. Still, dedicated GPU can be disabled completely, which will save a lot of battery (perhaps, like double it).

If you're a techie, I can also recommend the 2011 15" MBP. The thing lasts forever on battery, provided you can live with OSX (+ virtualization; I run virtualized Windows for Office and it will last for 6 hours on battery wtf).
 

Deimos

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I vote the IBM X220 with a 9 cell ;)

That looks like a really good option but why do the thinkpads have to be so damn ugly...

damn it all they are running specials at the moment too which makes it a way better option than the asus...

damn it all to hell I hate being practical...
 

Deimos

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Aaaarrrrgggg docking station is cheap too, I could use it to replace the desktop I use at the office and give that to my wife (I was going to build her a new machine but this kills a few birds with one stone)

I thought I was going to finally escape from the thinkpad realm (I'm on my second one right now)...

Oh man, I really wanted one of those slick looking ones too but I just can't justify it, I'm going to order one today before the specials end...

x220 elite, and after I add on some extra stuff its still a couple hundy cheaper than the zenbook...
 

dmfg

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VAIO S with sheet battery is great. You can even get an HD 6630M in that thing, which makes playing games like Battlefield 3 possible. Still, dedicated GPU can be disabled completely, which will save a lot of battery (perhaps, like double it).

Backing this up as an option - I got a Vaio SA for the same kind of usage (without a sheet battery, but on a clean install), and I get ~7 hours out of it when word processing and ~5-6 hours web surfing. I expect a sheet battery would nearly double that.

Other options are marginally thinner and lighter, but they don't have a i7-2640M and 6630M under the hood.
 

ranviper

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Don't count out a macbook pro or macbook air. They are fantastic for college! Great battery life and solid build.

Zenbook likes sexy too. =P
 

PurduEE

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X220 is what I'd get.

Work gave me a x220.. I wish I had my old X201 back. Bear in mind that the X220 requires a 7mm hard drive meaning that you're limited in SSD upgrades - nevermind the fact that it's no smaller than its predecessors that didn't have such a restriction. Mine's running on a spinner right now and it's dogshit slow.

You'll need six or seven hours of battery life to get the work done that you could do with a better laptop in four.
 

W.Feather

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a store on ebay sells 128gb ssds that are pulls from lenovos for $100....

my vote is x220.....I'm partial to having a better machine than a better looking one

Work gave me a x220.. I wish I had my old X201 back. Bear in mind that the X220 requires a 7mm hard drive meaning that you're limited in SSD upgrades - nevermind the fact that it's no smaller than its predecessors that didn't have such a restriction. Mine's running on a spinner right now and it's dogshit slow.

You'll need six or seven hours of battery life to get the work done that you could do with a better laptop in four.
 

sed8em

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Thinkpads are tough as hell for college.
I dropped mine 3 feet onto concrete and it didn't have a scratch.
 

jeremyshaw

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ASUS U31SD or U36SD. Both have massive 80-90wHr (forgot exactly what) batteries, so will last at least 7 hours under web/office use.

As for GPU, both have the somewhat underpowered GT520m.
 

xJeganx

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+1 to the X220. Just ordered mine this week taking advantage of my work discount and 12% off coupon. I don't see an issue with getting a aftermarket SSD since the Intels will fit fine once the spacer is removed and personally Intel is the only brand SSD I would get.
 

shurcooL

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Don't count out a macbook pro or macbook air. They are fantastic for college! Great battery life and solid build.
I'd love to be in OP's position; I would so get a 13" MBA. 7 hours, 3 lbs, 30 days of standby time, SSD, 1440x900, Lion, backlit keyboard, what's not to love. :D
 

JWeavis

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I get 8+ on my Asus UL30vt. Been looking for it's replacement as my grandfather wants it. Haven't found anything that much better.
 

ryuji

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my T510 with standard high cap battery lasts 5 hrs at maximum brightness all radios on, i have got it to last 8 easly. and the battery extension module is rated for 12 hrs+ :eek:

They are remarkably well thought out and built. things you begin to take for granted, silly things like being able to mute before the os finishes loading, the headphone jack NOT being next to a usb jack so you dont accidently short out a usb port, 'yellow' usb jacks that support crazy current even when the laptop isnt on. solid metal frame that easly passes the 'can you twist the frame' test. titanium hinges, and so on. solid build contributes to there indestructability. My campus issues lenovo's to the engineers and apple machines to the architecture folks, i've seen ppl drop the lenovo's down flights of stairs on accident, pick it up and use it like nothing happened, and countless apple laptops with completely bent/messed up frames
 

PurduEE

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+1 to the X220. Just ordered mine this week taking advantage of my work discount and 12% off coupon. I don't see an issue with getting a aftermarket SSD since the Intels will fit fine once the spacer is removed and personally Intel is the only brand SSD I would get.

if the one I have was actually 'mine,' I'd agree.
 

Deimos

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Thanks everyone, I ordered the x220 elite, spec'd it out like this:


Intel Core i7-2640M
12.5" Premium HD (1366x768) LED Backlit Display, IPS, Mobile Broadband Ready, 2x2 Antenna
8 GB Memory (2 DIMM)
Hard drive Intel 160GB Solid State Drive, Serial ATA
Mobile media base ThinkPad Series 3 UltraBase
Media base bay devices DVD Recordable
9 Cell Li-Ion Battery
Power cord Country Pack New Zealand with Line cord & 65W AC adapter
Integrated mobile broadband Integrated Mobile Broadband (Ericsson F5521gw) with 21Mbps D/L

They had some sweet specials, for example the mobile broadband add on only cost an extra $10, plus they had specials on a cover and bluetooth mouse for $1 each, I got the utlrabase and an extra power adapter, all up the whole package was only $80 more than the zenbook I was looking at.
 

Deimos

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I wasn't too concerned with discreet graphics, I doubt I will be playing many games on it, plus I have my gaming rig (specs below), the intel graphic will be good anough for casual gaming while I'm on holiday so its all good.
 

AQ_OC

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+1 to the X220. Just ordered mine this week taking advantage of my work discount and 12% off coupon. I don't see an issue with getting a aftermarket SSD since the Intels will fit fine once the spacer is removed and personally Intel is the only brand SSD I would get.


Samsung 830 fits too with no mods whatsoever.
 

trick0502

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i have a hp dm4-2191us that i just picked up from staples ($400). it is telling me 7 hours of batter left at 92%. i bet if you put an ssd in it would easily get 6+.
 

Vengance_01

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That x220 looks super sweet. Remember even though it carry's the I7 name, its only a dual core chip with HT.
 

elchorizo

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I <3 my x220. I'm sure you'll love yours too. The keyboard is soooo nice. The screen quality is just sick too with the IPS, so good thing you got that.

The computer is powerful as hell for how small it is. I have even played some SWTOR on it while I was on a vacation.

My only gripe is the screen resolution, which feels way to cramped when I'm using Eclipse and Visual Studio.

Grats!
 

heatlesssun

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Congrats! Good choice I believe. I've had my x220t convertible tablet PC since June and overall it's a great machine, best convertible tablet PC I've ever had without doubt, probably the best laptop I've ever had as well.

My only gripe is the screen resolution, which feels way to cramped when I'm using Eclipse and Visual Studio.

I agree but given the size of screen I really wouldn't want it to be that much higher resolution. I don't do much in Eclipse these days but Visual Studio can be configured to help mitigate lower resolution screens and it's not too bad, it's works well enough to be productive.
 

Deimos

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That x220 looks super sweet. Remember even though it carry's the I7 name, its only a dual core chip with HT.

Yeah, I was juuuust about to place my order and I though I better check out that CPU first, then was like WTH only dual core? what is the Asus? dual core as well? oh well f*** it then *clicks place order*
 

heatlesssun

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Yeah, I was juuuust about to place my order and I though I better check out that CPU first, then was like WTH only dual core? what is the Asus? dual core as well? oh well f*** it then *clicks place order*

My x220t has the i7-2620M, the 2640 didn't exist when I bought mine but the performance is great. Unless you have some highly threaded workloads you're not going to have any performance complaints I would think.
 

AQ_OC

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Yeah, I was juuuust about to place my order and I though I better check out that CPU first, then was like WTH only dual core? what is the Asus? dual core as well? oh well f*** it then *clicks place order*

Dual core...but probably clocked higher than a laptop quad core.....

I have a Sony F-series laptop from 2010 that has a quad core i7 with HT that is clocked lower than the one in my x220t (which is dual core, with HT). Tested them both with a linpack benchmark and they produced about the same performance in terms of Gflops. Of course, the much bigger Sony can dissipate heat much better than the smaller X220t. And both chips get smoked by my desktop i5-2500k. I don't get intel's scheme for naming chips at all. Mis-leading almost to the point of being criminal, IMO.

But, the x220t is still a fast laptop, which I guess is really the point. I just think it hurts their brand to say "core i7" on a laptop when it means a very different level of performance than on a desktop. Some people will buy expecting similar levels of performance, clock for clock.
 

shurcooL

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Remember even though it carry's the i7 name, its only a dual core chip with HT.
i3/i5/i7 are just a brand names. They work as a general relative indicator of performance, but don't tell you anything specific like core count.

i7-2620M, on the other hand, tells you it's a 2nd generation Sandy Bridge mobile Core i7 CPU with 2 cores. If it had a Q in the model name, that Q would indicate quad core.

It's just like Nissan and Infiniti are brand names, even though it's the same company. So while in the general case Infinitis have more horse power (e.g. G37 vs. Maxima), it's not a rule (e.g. Nissan GTR has more bhp than any Infiniti).
 

jeremyshaw

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Well, there is not much reason to get an Infiniti vs a normal Nissan (IMO), it's not like Lexus/Toyota, where there is some difference beyond tuning, trim, and asthetics (though I did read up Toyota does have a domestic-only model that is reportedly much more luxurious than any Lexus)..
 

Taikero

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While it looks like you've already ordered, for others who might see this thread I'd like to give another plug for the x220, but I'd personally recommend the x220t if going into a STEM or art major. The digitizer is invaluable for math/chemistry/biology/engineering courses. I use a similar tablet (HP 2730p) with the slice battery and get 10-12 hours of battery life.
 
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AQ_OC

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While it looks like you've already ordered, for others who might see this thread I'd like to give another plug for the x220, but I'd personally recommend the x220t if going into a STEM or art major. The digitizer is invaluable for math/chemistry/biology/engineering courses. I use a similar tablet (HP 2730p) with the slice battery and get 10-12 hours of battery life.

+1. This laptop (and any of the other convertibles) and a copy of OneNote is a powerful tool for any college student.
 
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