[RESOLVED] New Purchase Suggestions
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Thread: [RESOLVED] New Purchase Suggestions

  1. #1
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    Resolved [RESOLVED] New Purchase Suggestions

    My daughter is in the market for a new laptop, and having a hard time finding what she wants. We're here now looking for suggestions. Her problems, with her old Dell laptop, started with wildly differing free space reports (she had a thread about that), and ended with edge lighting failure. She has borrowed my laptop until she can replace her's.

    Here is her wish list of features: I5 or better, touchscreen (probably), 3GB or better processor, 8-16 GB RAM, Wireless capability, card reader, webcam, 500GB SSD drive &/or 1T drive, optical drive. Ports should include: ethernet, display or HDMI, audio headphone and mic, 3 or 4 USB. She prefers a 14 inch screen, but will accept a 15. She doesn't like W10 (her statement was a bit stronger), but is resigned to probably having to accept it.

    Here is her statement on usage. "Probably a combination of light scientific work, remote connecting to work servers (and on that side I'd see things like JMP and maybe Labview programming), MS Office, web and movies, light photo editing. I might get back into video editing and rendering at some point so it would be good to be capable of that." I think 'light scientific work' might be an understatement. She is a physicist working high tech in silicon valley. I'd go more toward mid-level scientific.

    We would appreciate any suggestions you all might offer.

  2. #2
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    Toshiba is my favorite brand, but for i7
    http://us.toshiba.com/computers/lapt...26%23153%3B+i7
    They quite a few in the i5 cpu line
    Example:
    http://us.toshiba.com/computers/lapt...40%2Fa40-c1440
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    AntiX-16, MX-16 and Win 10

  3. #3
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    Thank you, sir. I'll forward your ideas to her.

  4. #4
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    http://www.laptopmag.com/best-laptops
    Thanks to a razor-thin bezel, the Dell XPS 13 crams a vibrant and sharp 13-inch display into an 11-inch chassis, making it one of the most compact ultraportables ever. This 2.7-pound laptop also delivers fast performance, thanks to its Intel 6th Generation Core processor and SSD. The non-touch-screen version of this machine lasted nearly 12 hours on a charge, giving you plenty of endurance. Dell also sells a version with a sharper, quad-HD touch display (2.9 pounds). Overall, the new XPS 13 is the best lightweight laptop for the money.
    http://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/lap...non-touch-2015 (Review)

  5. #5
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    Mar 2015
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    Hello. I am the daughter in question. Thank you to everyone for the suggestions! To update my dad's information above:

    - Processor: I prefer an i7, generation 6. I tend to use computers until they fail, so may as well start out closer to up to date of available specs rather than starting behind.

    - HD: Either all SSD or at the least a hybrid with the boot drive an SSD. Need at least 500BG total, and a bit more would be better. My last laptop (Dell Inspiron

    - Screen size: actually, I prefer smaller than 15" if at all possible. 13 or 14" would be good. 15" displays are nice but the rest of the computer feels too big to me then. Touchscreen I guess would be nice since the technology seems to be driving that direction, though it's not a dealbreaker.

    - Optical drive - I think I am resigning myself to the fact that they are just not a common item anymore and that in order to get most of my other requirements I may need to go with an external drive. I do still use the drive on a semi-regular basis, preferring hard copies for both programs and music.

    - ports:
    - Ethernet: Likewise, I still prefer to have the option of ethernet (when faster connections are needed, and I don't really trust public hotspots/hotels), but the USB/RJ45 adapter seems inexpensive enough and I could manage with it for the times I need it.
    - Display connection: I do need some type of display connection, as I have many times needed to hook up to a projector for work or to my TV at home. I could work with either an old fashioned VGA (still common for projectors in my work) or an HDMI. The adapters for these seem a bit more pricey, and at the end of the day I don't want to be dealing with too many adapters in order to make up for the system missing everything.
    - As my dad listed, I would also need standard audio/mic headset connection as well as a decent number of USB - especially as some will sometimes be used just for adapters for missing ports.

    The Toshiba systems on the above link sound pretty good except for the hard drives. I'd like to get a SSD for at least the boot-up, but 256GB is definitely too small.

    I like the small form factor and lightness of the Dell XPS 13, and the version at Costco has a 512GB SSD drive. It's a bit sparse on regular USB ports though, given that I'll have to use them at times for an external optical drive, Ethernet AND display connection at various points; that isn't counting my standard uses for USB connections. Only 2 USB 3.0, and then 1 USB-C. Since none of my current electronics use USB-C, that would require yet another adapter. I start to get the impression that adapters and external connections will end up with as much bulk as the laptop itself.

    I do have a query regarding USB powershare ports (one of the above USB 3.0 is listed as powershare). As I understand it, the powershare feature allows the port to charge your electronics while the computer itself is off. What about when the computer is on? Will it still charge things? I ask because over the course of my research I came across one or two statements that made me think it might not, but that seems counter-intuitive to me.

  6. #6
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    SMILE
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    AntiX-16, MX-16 and Win 10

  7. #7
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    Windows 7 Pro is available on this laptop:

    http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/la...7450-ultrabook

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train View Post
    Thanks! That is actually the article which brought the uncertainty to my mind. Partway down it says:

    Note: Powershare will only power devices while the system is in a 'low power state' (Standby) mode when the system is running on battery power only.

    S1 (powered on) - USB power is on by default with either AC or battery only.
    S3 (Standby) - Battery or AC.
    S4/S5 (Hibernate/Powered down) - AC only.


    The wording on the first statement wasn't clear to me. Does it mean that it only powers when in the standby mode? Or does it mean that when in standby mode, it will only power when using battery but will always power when the system is running normally? The first statement seems to contradict the second set of guidelines, but more likely I am mi-interpreting one or the other.

  9. #9
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    If you have it plugged in, it will charge and low power mode, I read to mean on the battery and computer set to low power mode, which may mean the ECO mode that other laptop makers list.
    This old 2002 Dell D630 does not have that. Nor is it running Windows either.
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  10. #10
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    Dec 1999
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    If you haven't already decided, you might want to take a look at this one: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/acer-asp...&skuId=4503200
    Here is the link at the Manufacturer Website: http://us-store.acer.com/aspire-r5-471t-71w2-laptop

    Acer Aspire V5 573P-6896 ultraslim Laptop
    Intel Core i5-4200u 1.6GHz - 2.6GHz
    12gb G. Skill DDR3 RAM
    256gb Crucial M550 mSATA SSD Drive (Operating System and Office Package)
    500gb WD Black Hard Drive 7200rpm (Storage)
    Intel HD Graphics 4400
    15.6" FHD ultraslim IPS Touchscreen
    Atheros Qualcomm WiFi a/b/g/n/ + BT 4.0
    USB 2 x 2.0 - USB 1 x 3.0
    SD Card Reader
    Lighted Keyboard
    Webcam/Microphone
    Windows 10 Home
    Brother MFC-9440cn AIO
    Brother MFC-845cw AIO
    Brother QL-570 Label Printer

  11. #11
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    Mar 2015
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    Thank you for all of the suggestions. It took me a while, but I actually ended up picking up an Asus UX303U the other night. I am giving it a test drive, so to speak, to see how it goes. I had the good fortune to meet a knowledgeable sales person and we had a lengthy discussion regarding hardware reliability, construction materials, factors controlling computer performance and technology development.

    The system has most of the specs I wanted and a small, light form factor:
    i7 6500U CPU
    12GB DDR3 RAM
    500GB SSD drive
    13" screen
    2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0
    HDMI
    mini-display
    audio jack
    SD card reader


    What is the general consensus on Asus systems? Do they have a good reputation?

    I've also been wondering, what are people's opinions on the extended warranty idea? I don't typically get them, having the impression that most electronics follow a "bathtub" reliability trend, ie higher amount of failures early on due to bad parts (but within 1 yr warranty period), followed by leveling off at a lower failure rate for a while (probably >2-3 yrs), and finally followed by an increase in failure rate as electronics wear out. Is this about right? If so, does that mean it doesn't make sense to spend $200-300 on a 2-3yr extended warranty, or is it something to consider?

  12. #12
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    I have older equipment 2002 and newer still perking along just fine. Here lately, I have replaced the hdds with SSDs is about all.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train View Post
    I have older equipment 2002 and newer still perking along just fine. Here lately, I have replaced the hdds with SSDs is about all.
    Thank you for your feedback. Wow, that is impressive! My Dell Inspiron 1420 lasted just 6-7 years before running into both the backlight failure and slightly earlier the unsolved disappearing HD space issue. Having systems still going strong from 2002 is great. If I might ask, what manufacturer has given you such reliability?

    Based on your experience and on what you know of others' experience, would you agree then that there is a lower probability of failure during the 2-3 year old time frame? Is it worth it to purchase the extended warranty (2 or 3 years) for a laptop these days, or is it more of a gimmick for the seller to make more money? Or is such an evaluation very manufacturer-specific?

  14. #14
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    Build my own desktops.
    For BETA work, I normally use Dell Optiplex refurbished desktops.

    I do use a Dell D630 laptop, AntiX-15 is the OS on it
    That old Compaq laptop, will have Antix-16 Beta 386 [IE 32 bit} on it in a few days.
    Got a HP laptop, came with XP on it now running Linux and of course several Toshibas, my favorite laptop, with Win 7 or win 10 on them.
    Still Beta testing Win 10 on a Dell Optiplex 755.
    Most of the desktops and the D630 are all refurbish.

    Main desktops, I built them.
    Toshiba #1 I bought in Dec 2007, this one #2 , I bought last Dec.
    All the other laptops are refurbished from various sources.
    SMILE
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    477
    I've been using Asus Motherboards in my Build for many years!
    I can't say as I've used any of their other products.
    A few years back I know their Transformer Tablets had a very good rating.
    I have an Asus M4A79 Deluxe Motherboard in my current Desktop (it's around 8-9 yrs old now)(still a decent computer).
    Can't say as I've used this computer a lot since I built it 8-9 yrs. ago, been using my Tablets and Laptops!

    Warranties: IMO, Extended Warranties are just a way to get more money from you.
    I do occasionally have a feeling that something may go wrong with a certain product and then take out the extended warranty.
    There have been quite a few times where it has paid off for me.
    My wife always ask me if she should get the warranty or not, she knows my track record with this!
    Last edited by bugspop1; May 5th, 2016 at 12:11 AM.

    Acer Aspire V5 573P-6896 ultraslim Laptop
    Intel Core i5-4200u 1.6GHz - 2.6GHz
    12gb G. Skill DDR3 RAM
    256gb Crucial M550 mSATA SSD Drive (Operating System and Office Package)
    500gb WD Black Hard Drive 7200rpm (Storage)
    Intel HD Graphics 4400
    15.6" FHD ultraslim IPS Touchscreen
    Atheros Qualcomm WiFi a/b/g/n/ + BT 4.0
    USB 2 x 2.0 - USB 1 x 3.0
    SD Card Reader
    Lighted Keyboard
    Webcam/Microphone
    Windows 10 Home
    Brother MFC-9440cn AIO
    Brother MFC-845cw AIO
    Brother QL-570 Label Printer

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