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46 posts

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Topic # 68211 16-Sep-2010 20:19
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Hi guys,

I've been doing a heck of a lot of thinking recently, and have come to the conclusion that I wouldn't mind purchasing a nice new laptop in the coming months. My lifestyle is changing and I'm at a point where I need to be able to take a computer with me on-the-go.

Now I'm going to resurrect the age-old debate over which laptop brand is the 'best'. By best I mean most reliable, durable, while at the same time offering exceptional performance at a good/low price.

I want a brand that will blend performance with style and outward appeal. Preferably not an Apple machine though. I also want it to be thin. A thin, lightweight, powerful machine. Emphasis on thin.

Long-lasting battery life is of utmost importance as I will be using it out and about, away from power sockets. A largish HDD, 4-8 gigs of RAM, preferably dual-core and with some form of inbuilt dedicated graphics. Screen size is not of huge concern, however anything around 13" - 15" would be nice.

I'm sure you get the general idea by now. Hoping to spend no more then $1500. I'd be running Windows 7 on it.

It would be fantastic to hear what you techsperts have to say on this topic. I always appreciate your insight. You're a great bunch.

Cheers and thanks,

TomHax.

P.S I really like the 'Acer Aspire Timeline' series (see here) although it is a bit dated (released mid 2009).





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46 posts

Geek


  Reply # 380889 16-Sep-2010 21:22
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I've just watched several more reviews on the Acer Aspire Timeline and I am very, very impressed. Looks like it could be a winner. Check it out here. What do you think?

I like it. A lot.

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  Reply # 385249 28-Sep-2010 00:07
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I'd put Lenovo at the top, Toshiba, HP and Asus in the middle, and Acer at the bottom.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 385254 28-Sep-2010 00:25
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amorangi: I'd put Lenovo at the top, Toshiba, HP and Asus in the middle, and Acer at the bottom.

I would agree with that. Lenovo Thinkpads are great. I have an X61 and love it.

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  Reply # 385293 28-Sep-2010 08:32
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One of the software developers I work with, and who demands a lot from his hardware in terms of both performance and reliability, swears by ASUS laptops.

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  Reply # 385305 28-Sep-2010 08:42
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Come on they are all the same.

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  Reply # 385313 28-Sep-2010 08:52
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One more for Lenovo - I have tried several brands and am now back in the Thinkpad team. Great support and documentation even for models many many years out of date.

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  Reply # 385315 28-Sep-2010 08:55
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No one brand will win, each model has its own merits. Some would say MacBooks are the best, but then some can't afford them.

By reputation Acer is at the bottom of the heap, Toshiba/Dell/HP and ASUS are pretty much evenly regarded at the higher end of the respect scale. Really it depends on what bang for buck you are getting, and how well the machine is constructed. To know that you really need to be able to touch one and see how it feels.

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  Reply # 385324 28-Sep-2010 09:13
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i like my toshiba, its grunty but not thin and has a terrible battery life. but with a lot of power (and a big screen) chances are battery life wont be great.

my macbook pro is amazing and easily the best laptop ive ever used with amazing battery life, but expensive, and you dont want a mac.

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  Reply # 385327 28-Sep-2010 09:15
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gehenna: Toshiba/Dell/HP and ASUS are pretty much evenly regarded at the higher end of the respect scale.


While that may well be true, I'd add to that the disclaimer that you should definitely choose a model from the range designed to meet your requirements. My previous few work laptops have been Dells, with the first two being from the Latitude range, and were purchased for me by the company I worked for. These two worked out really well for me. 

When I switched to an independent contractor, I purchased my third Dell laptop. As I was purchasing the laptop myself, in order to get better value for money I chose a model from the consumer oriented Studio line rather from their business oriented Latitude or Precision ranges (which would've attracted a $1000 premium for a similarly specced machine). As it turns out, this was not a wise move. It was not suited to the task at all. I was getting daily BSODs, which as it turns out was because the display driver didn't like having an external monitor connected if Vistas Aero eye candy was activated. Unfortunately it took multiple MOBO replacements before I found this out myself (Dell support had no clue, but it was widely documented on the Internet). I also had the HDD replaced, and two trackpad and keyboard replacements in the two years I owned it.

I also found that the hardware wasn't really designed for the usage I was throwing at it, and had some very annoying design decisions. FI, I couldn't screw the external monitors VGA cable into the port on the laptop, and as a result the monitor would lose connectivity a few times during the day. 

In summary, I'm sure it would've made a fine consumer level laptop, but I couldn't really recommend it as a programmers workhorse machine. 

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  Reply # 385329 28-Sep-2010 09:18
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reven: my macbook pro is amazing and easily the best laptop ive ever used with amazing battery life, but expensive, and you dont want a mac.


FWLIW, I love my Macbook Pro too. I know the OP stated they didn't want a Mac, but for others who may be considering one, I find it to be the most robust laptop I've ever owned (ironically though it did take two replacements before I got one with no screen issues; the first two had stuck pixels). 

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  Reply # 385332 28-Sep-2010 09:21
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I would say Macbook Pro, then Toshiba, then the rest.

I have had a really bad experience with 2 Acer's. The plastic casing on them lasted only 1 year before starting to crack/chip.

I have owned a Toshiba M9 for years, and it is still my main laptop, have had no problems. I also bought my wife a Macbook Pro, and it is amazing -there is no cpu fan too as it uses the aluminium body as a heat sink.

Price wise, my Toshiba was much more expensive than the Macbook Pro. 

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  Reply # 385333 28-Sep-2010 09:24
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dclegg:
gehenna: Toshiba/Dell/HP and ASUS are pretty much evenly regarded at the higher end of the respect scale.


While that may well be true, I'd add to that the disclaimer that you should definitely choose a model from the range designed to meet your requirements. My previous few work laptops have been Dells, with the first two being from the Latitude range, and were purchased for me by the company I worked for. These two worked out really well for me. 

When I switched to an independent contractor, I purchased my third Dell laptop. As I was purchasing the laptop myself, in order to get better value for money I chose a model from the consumer oriented Studio line rather from their business oriented Latitude or Precision ranges (which would've attracted a $1000 premium for a similarly specced machine). As it turns out, this was not a wise move. It was not suited to the task at all. I was getting daily BSODs, which as it turns out was because the display driver didn't like having an external monitor connected if Vistas Aero eye candy was activated. Unfortunately it took multiple MOBO replacements before I found this out myself (Dell support had no clue, but it was widely documented on the Internet). I also had the HDD replaced, and two trackpad and keyboard replacements in the two years I owned it.

I also found that the hardware wasn't really designed for the usage I was throwing at it, and had some very annoying design decisions. FI, I couldn't screw the external monitors VGA cable into the port on the laptop, and as a result the monitor would lose connectivity a few times during the day. 

In summary, I'm sure it would've made a fine consumer level laptop, but I couldn't really recommend it as a programmers workhorse machine. 



I agree that with laptops price does talk.

$1000 consumer laptop, marginal build quality,
$2000 business laptop, will last for years. 

fab

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  Reply # 385336 28-Sep-2010 09:31
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HP consumer laptops = bad (blown motherboard, anyone?)

HP business laptops = good

Tosh business range - excellent, low failure rates, good alrounder.

Asus home range = good

Acer home range = good

IMOA

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  Reply # 385359 28-Sep-2010 10:15
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I would go with ASUS or Lenovo, or Dell for budget option.

 




helping others at evgenyk.nz


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  Reply # 385361 28-Sep-2010 10:26
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Gateway is also an Acer brand so that would put Acer at the top of the list for malfunctions.

Personally i would go for a Toshiba or Asus, Toshiba has great support services




PC: 3.3ghz Core i5-2500, 8gb DDR3, ATI Radeon 5850, 27" QHD IPS Monitor

Mobile Phone: iPhone 5 32gb Graphite.


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