Work laptop that looks "good"??

Discussion in 'Mobile Computing' started by VulcaN, May 19, 2010.

  1. VulcaN

    VulcaN [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,909
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2001
    I know everyone hates recommendation threads so I hope this is the only one I will ever post; I dont know much about the latest mobile tech :confused:

    I need to buy my wife a laptop, but she hates the way the IBM thinkpads (lenovo t400) look. She doesnt like the "looks like a tank!" look, boxy look etc.

    Last time we got her a cute pink dell inspiron laptop that had rounded edges and was okay for a while but after 6 months of use it started to have all kinds of problems that even an OS reinstall wouldnt fix. I want to get something of higher quality than the "inspiron" line this time.

    • She doesnt game at all, so no need for impressive graphics, but she needs to run semi-intensive applications quickly such as mathcad, autocad, and other development software.
    • I was also tossing the idea of a tablet PC around because she takes a lot of notes, but they still kind of seem like a unneeded gimmick to me. I was considering the Fujitsu T4410.
    • Our current laptop weighs 6 lbs , and she complains about that, that all her friends laptops are lighter.
    • Is it a waste of money to add a SSD to a laptop instead of installing it yourself? We need SSD, just not right now, and I've read of some laptop manufactures limiting the SATA to slower speeds (not SATA2) if you dont order a SSD with the laptop, and then when you go to install one later it runs at slow sata1 speeds! I would definitely not buy a laptop with only sata1.

    Unfortunately we cant afford a macbook pro or I'd just buy that and put win7 on it; max budget around $1500.
    I have a unresolved hate for HP even though they seem to have come a long way since years past.

    Thanks for all suggestions :)
     
  2. pxc

    pxc [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    33,064
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2000
    Dell Studio XPS is in that budget and weight (6.4lbs). You can get a quad core in it if you want.

    http://www.dell.com/us/en/home/notebooks/laptop_studio/ct.aspx?refid=laptop_studio&cs=19&s=dhs

    Sometimes a SSD from the manufacturer is a cheaper option. Most of the time it is not, just like many other parts.

    I'm weird, but I like tablet PCs. For note taking, I'm not sure it's overall better unless you need to draw diagrams or use symbols a lot.

    edit: this Studio XPS 16 config is $1448

    Software & Services
    Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
    Intel® Core™ i7-720QM Quad Core Processor 1.6GHz (2.8GHz Turbo Mode, 6MB Cache)
    1 Year Basic Service Plan
    4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3 at 1333MHz
    Edge-to-Edge FHD Widescreen 15.6 inch WLED LCD (1920x1080) W/2.0 MP
    128GB Solid State Drive
    Dell Wireless 370 Bluetooth Module (2.1+EDR)
    Intel® 5300 WLAN Wireless-N (3x3) Mini Card
    8X Slot Load CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)
    Obsidian Black High Gloss Finish
    Microsoft Works
    McAfee SecurityCenter, 15-Months
    Dell Online Backup 30GB for 1 year
    ATI Mobility RADEON® HD 4670 – 1GB
    85 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
    Soundblaster X-Fi Hi Def Audio - Software Enabled
    Studio XPS 16 Notebook
    Integrated 10/100 Network Card
     
  3. VulcaN

    VulcaN [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,909
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2001
    Yeah I was looking at that one earlier, it seems to fit the needs well. I guess right now I'm going between the studio XPS line and fujitsu's lifebook series
     
  4. vapb400

    vapb400 Gawd

    Messages:
    786
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Consider taking a look at the Dell Vostro V13
     
  5. Mr. Wolf

    Mr. Wolf [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,162
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    You could score a new 13" MacBook Pro for $1200 (with the updated graphics chip). Apple's refurbished store has some excellent deals well under your $1500 limit.
     
  6. 450

    450 [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    20,983
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    I agree with everything above.
     
  7. VulcaN

    VulcaN [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,909
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2001
    The more that I think about the macbook pro, it seems like it might not be such a great idea as the two operating system will take up a large chunk of the 64 / 128GB ssd (as I cant afford a larger SSD disk)
    Space will already be tight as it is with all the applications, etc. We do have an external storage drive.

    I also wanted to get off the core2duo platform as thats what her insprion has now. I want to move to i5 / i7 territory and it doesnt look like they have refurbished macbook pros in that range.

    I think the vostro / studio XPS line and the fujitsu lifebooks (the new t730) are amazing... I just cant decide which one!
     
  8. Sycraft

    Sycraft [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,421
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    I'd do the Dell just because of support. Reason is Fujitsu support is an unknown to me, but I know Dell support to be adequate.
     
  9. EGM92

    EGM92 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,065
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Stay the hell away from the Studio XPS 16, that series is riddled with problems that dell has no plans on fixing. I've had 3 of them from all their sereis, 1640, 1645, 1647. All of them throttle, get way too hot (poor fan design) and have shotty built quality where glue in some places can make it just fall apart thanks to the heat it generates.
     
  10. pxc

    pxc [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    33,064
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2000
    wat? There was the i7 + hd 4670 problem which was fixed months ago by including/swapping out a smaller for a larger capacity ac adapter.

    I've had none of the problems you describe on my 1645, which I purchased almost 2 months ago, and I use it daily. Maybe your problem was just bad luck schleprock. :p
     
  11. Serpico

    Serpico [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    8,425
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2000
    Skip the Macbook Pro and consider the new updated Macbook, $1000. Light, excellent keyboard and trackpad, insane battery life, and Windows 7 runs great on it.

    The main reason it uses Core 2 Duo CPUs is the spat between Intel and nvidia and integrated GPUs (discreet GPUs are not an option in such a tiny enclosure). It was either use an i3 or i5 CPU with slower integrated Integrated graphics than the 9400M in the old Macbook, or update with a faster Core 2 Duo with a much faster integrated nvidia GPU. An i3 or i5 CPU would have been a step backwards in terms of overall performance because Intel won't let nvidia make integrated GPUs with the Core i CPUs. Its a drag but it makes sense given how much the OS X desktop utilizes the GPU, and the Arrandale IGP sucks. The more horsepower the better.

    What is your wife using the computer for? It would help make a recommendation. I think all the suggestions so far (Vostro, etc) have been good. Shame she doesn't like the Lenovos, those are good too. :)
     
  12. mustang_steve

    mustang_steve c[H]ewbacca

    Messages:
    9,968
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Get a smaller Dell Precision or Latitude with CompleteCare warranty. Their looks are good looking in an industrial kind of way. The CompleteCare will handle the random mishaps....just keep in mind adapters are not covered in that so be nice to those (read the fine print....those that had a swap over adapter damage, an agent was being nice to you and put his neck out over it)
     
  13. VulcaN

    VulcaN [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,909
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2001
    Thanks guys, went with the fujitsu after all, under 4lbs for a core i7 tablet, should run photoshop cs5 well.
     
  14. pxc

    pxc [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    33,064
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2000
    I thought the Fujitsu T4410 was a Core 2 model. Anyways, it looks a lot better than my HP 2500tx tablet.
     
  15. VulcaN

    VulcaN [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,909
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2001
    I actually got the latest revision on that line, its the T730