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Mad Scientist
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  Reply # 1884657 16-Oct-2017 22:50
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The Dell XPS 13 the screen is definitely 13.3" despite being in an 11" chassis!


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  Reply # 1884707 17-Oct-2017 06:39
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The original post mentioned a Dell XPS 13 "would be OK" and didn't mention graphics card needs, so I'll make a suggestion along those lines: instead of an XPS, a Dell Latitude 13. Not new, because new Latitude prices are through the roof in NZ. Refurbished is the way to go.

 

I recently bought a Latitude 13 7370 m5-6Y57 from the Dell NZ Outlet store for $1099, and the web page shows about 10 are still available for a reduced price of $989.

 

Basic specs: 13.3 inch (1920 x 1080, non-touch) screen in a 12-inch frame, better keyboard than the XPS, two levels of backlit keyboard brightness, completely silent (fanless), 8 GB RAM (probably sufficient for Windows users, but I only run Linux on mine), 256 GB SSD, great battery life.

 

Before ordering it I thought perhaps the keyboard would be uncomfortably small, but I like it. I also thought the fanless core m5 would be inferior to an i5, but it handles bursty CPU use and even sustained single-core CPU use just fine, keeping up with i5 speeds as far as I can see. Performance only drops with sustained multi-core CPU tasks which is very rare in my day to day use - I've only ever seen it happen by deliberately invoking it with a multi-core benchmark test.

 

[EDIT] I should mention the downsides. Biggest is webcam location, just like on the XPS infinity edge displays, pointing up nostrils. Not an issue for me, no need to use that. Other downside, I don't like the page up/down keys being so close to the arrow keys but I'm getting accustomed to it with fewer accidental page up/down presses.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1884711 17-Oct-2017 06:55
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There's no need for a dedicated graphics card for typing.

 

I have to say, I am typing on the XPS 13 now and its keyboard is very good. for some reason going from keyboard to keyboard for me needs my brain to adjust and then once it's used to it seems to be fine. Mind you I have umpteen keyboards in the house including a mechanical keyboard.

 

I have the XPS 13 and it is supreme.

 

Very long battery life.

 

Very small for 13.3".

 

Very light.

 

Very fast.

 

Supremely portable powerhouse.

 

9/10.


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  Reply # 1884782 17-Oct-2017 08:47
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I use an XPS 13 for work - docked while in the office so I have a bigger screen, but it is fine for at home and out on the road.

 

A great little computer - light and fast.

 

I setup an HP Spectre X360 for a colleague last week - great notebook too. The Surfacebook from Microsoft is a nice unit as well. I haven't used the Lenovos, but have been to a raodshow or two where they were demo'd and they seem like great pieces of kit.

 

Why not a new Macbook as well - you are already using one, and presumably wouldn't need to buy new software (Office) and transferring your work over would be easier.


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  Reply # 1884817 17-Oct-2017 09:09
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Re the tired eyes issue I have found that glasses with multi-coat and an external monitor with a blue-block filter setting have helped immensely.

 

I've also switched the blue-block filter on on the phone and used an analogous setting on the TV. 

 

Took me about a week to get used to, but no more eye-fatigue.





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  Reply # 1884876 17-Oct-2017 09:35
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My eye fatigue is from bright white background of web browsing

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  Reply # 1884878 17-Oct-2017 09:40
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Another that can almost be considered ultra book is Dell xps 15. Very good screen size for those who need, in a 13-14" chassis. There is a model with huge battery for all day use. Weight about 2kg unfortunately. If i were happy with a MacBook air then I'd get another MacBook air. For typing it's ok.

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  Reply # 1884887 17-Oct-2017 09:52
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The Air hasn't been updated since 2015. In reality, it's end of life. 


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  Reply # 1885081 17-Oct-2017 13:15
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Oh i see. What a shame. Perfect for OP who only wants to type and do nothing else

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  Reply # 1887294 21-Oct-2017 11:38
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surfercdhick:.... Decent screen ...
Have you thought about screen type? Ie gloss or matte? X1 has advantage of being anti-glare.


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  Reply # 1887297 21-Oct-2017 11:41
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@surfercdhick any progress?


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  Reply # 1887323 21-Oct-2017 12:06
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I don't think you need an ultrabook. You need a laptop, or maybe a desktop, with a good quality monitor. Your current mac should be fine, do an OS reinstall and it'll be good for a few more years. I have a 6 year old desktop PC that works great on W10, I think I've replaced one or two components in that time.

 

Turn the brightness down on your monitor, go see your optometrist, and keep your money in your pocket.





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  Reply # 1888630 24-Oct-2017 14:40
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Hi again

 

No progress as (a) i've been away (extra long wknd) and (b) i'm now waiting n the next PB Tech sale - as they won't offer the discount they had on the other week outside the sale. Its about $400 so worth waiting a few weeks to see....I looked into the Dell Latitude but have been unable to see one in person which i'd like - to be able to see keyboard, screen etc.

 

I think a matte screen, but no, haven't given any thought other than that. Have found if you have too many specs you just can't find anything.

 

Timmay - thanks for your comments. You might think i don't need an ultra book but i've had one for the past 6 years and WILL be replacing it with something at least as small and light. I travel regularly for work which definitely warrants something light. My macbook even if rebooted will have a degraded screen (not sure what it is, its like some of the surface has come off) and can't be used for more than 30-45 mins unplugged. Simply not suitable for the way I work. I also MUST have reliability as clients rely on me turning stuff around quickly - and working on a machine that shuts down just because you don't use it for 15mins (even while plugged in) isn't OK in busy periods (luckily not now). the Air is also not upgradeable - so can't replace any parts like battery or RAM.

 

A desktop is useless for my purposes, I work less than 50% at my home office desk. Possibly I don't need the spec i suggested my experience has been that operating systems get bigger and do more things and if one wants to retain a machine for more than a couple of years its worth future proofing. I may be wrong on this but its what has happened to me previously.


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  Reply # 1888639 24-Oct-2017 14:52
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Do whatever you want to do man.

  

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  Reply # 1888676 24-Oct-2017 15:41
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surfercdhick:

 

 

 

Timmay - thanks for your comments. You might think i don't need an ultra book but i've had one for the past 6 years and WILL be replacing it with something at least as small and light. I travel regularly for work which definitely warrants something light. My macbook even if rebooted will have a degraded screen (not sure what it is, its like some of the surface has come off) and can't be used for more than 30-45 mins unplugged. Simply not suitable for the way I work. I also MUST have reliability as clients rely on me turning stuff around quickly - and working on a machine that shuts down just because you don't use it for 15mins (even while plugged in) isn't OK in busy periods (luckily not now). the Air is also not upgradeable - so can't replace any parts like battery or RAM.

 

 

TBH... if reliability is that important for work you don't have many options. Really only Dell or Apple as far as good support. I haven't owned Apple but as you buy direct from them I'm assuming they fix things quickly in-store, and Dell has next day on-site service.

 

I'd probably go for the new XPS 13 or 15 depending on what screen size you're used to. Next month I'll be buying their Alienware 15 for pro 3D work.

 

 


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