Looking for laptop computer suggestions and input

07 Dec 2011 admin In G+ Posts
Hold onto your pants I am not going to talk photography… I need some suggestions on really nice 15"ish laptops to buy.

Some items – It cannot be a Mac (I know – you do not need to tell me)
These are for business use – but they need to be able to serve well for 3 years.
Money is not a huge issue
Needs to be able to fit in a standard bag

I am very interested in peoples experience with the major hitters… I am looking at Dell and Lenovo right now.

Suggestions?

Comments: 40

  1. Ki Rin 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    I was looking at the Asus Zenbooks before I decided to get a MBA. But they are 13inch. A lot of people like Lenovo for business. I'm not a huge fan of their aesthetic though

  2. Jessi June 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    Sorry, you lost me at "It cannot be a mac…" lol. I'm new to the apple world, but these things are awesome…

  3. gerry daniel 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    ASUS makes high quality, reliable, durable laptops. I would also trust HP laptops. In both cases, you need to make sure you purchase from a series that is configured with the components that fit the requirements of the tasks the machines will be handling.

  4. evewin lakra 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    Go for dell if u want both performance and durability.

  5. If you want longevity, you're going to want to be very careful about stock brands. Lenovo you might have some chance with, but an act of God wouldn't get 3 years out of a Dell.

    The Alienware M13x or M15x are both good choices, and have a good reputation for longevity. I won't vouch for them personally but that's my next buy. The Falcon NW I/O (or really anything from Falcon NW) is an amazing computer. That's what I'm using now and it's the best I've ever owned. Very similar to the macbook air in terms of weight/size/etc just runs Windows natively and has slightly better gfx specs (not to mention a much better overall feel).

    For both of those companies you're going to pay for the quality, but it's well worth it in my opinion.

  6. Mark Whitney 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    I just got a Dell XPS 15. Second Gen I7 at 2.7ghz (turbo to 3.2), 8GB Ram, 750GB Hard drive, 2GB nVidia GeForce GT 540M graphic card, 1080p (1920×1080) HD display, Blueray drive, Soundblaster X-FI HD audio with JBL speakers and subwoofer. Whole package just over $1k. I would highly recommend them. I have had Dell for years and always been happy with what I got for the price I paid. My last Dell was 5 years old and still performed very well, perhaps being an IT guy gives me an edge on longevity 😉

  7. gerry daniel 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    For the money, I think if you compare specs, quality, and expense, a properly configured Asus or HP will do very well. I do not work for either company and am speaking from personal experience. My degree is in information systems, before I retired in 2009 to pursue photography full time, I made these type of decisions on a regular basis.

  8. Philip Griego 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    I will stay away from mentioning brands, since each have their pros and cons. If you want to last 3 years I would aim for and Intel i7 Processor, at least 4 gig ram. Those specs should get you 3 years if you treat your laptop right. They one thing that will be hard to make last 3 years is good battery life, you may have to replace the battery at least once. For screen size, all depends on how much weight you want to carry around. In the end for your desk it is always nice to have a large monitor to plug into. Hope that helps.

  9. Charlie Hoover 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    As someone who sets up thousands of machines of various types a year I can only say this: They all have pretty much the same guts (unless you hit the higher end stuff) so don't worry about who made it so much as whether the size and shape works for you…

    I've seen new machines blow up out of the box from almost every vendor and seen 'terrible' ones live long and useful lives. It's kind of a crap shoot to be honest. If you're choosing between Dell and Lenovo I would go with a higher end Lenovo only because they tend to be much hardier for travel.

    Don't be drawn in by pure specs… Most machines these days are a hundred times more powerful than what the average person needs and honestly the real bottleneck is the hard drive… You could slap an SSD into a five year old machine and it would beat a ton of newer models without blinking…

  10. Andreas Knüttel 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    I've had my HP Compaq 6710b for 4 years and I'm still rockin' it.
    I've replaced the battery like +Philip Griego said. Just with a no name battery I got form a local shop.

  11. Brent Burzycki 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    +Philip Griego +Rob Mcilroy +Mark Whitney +Gabriel Fitzpatrick +evewin lakra +Gerry Daniel +Ki Rin thanks for the replies.

    These will definitely be Corei7 – probably with an SSD – I like fast startup

    Alienware is an options but they are super pricey for non HD screens in the 14"

    +Jessi June yes I know the issue is simply that of admining 4-6 machines being used by people that do not know how to use mac's and needing to teach them all how to use Parallels etc to boot into Windows.. build quality is very nice… but I need to stick to windows or my next purchase will be a gun….well another one with more capacity…and a postal outfit…

    Keep them coming I am listening…

    I have to say I do like the quality of the Lenovo and they have some new features that are pretty nice…

    Like: Lenovo Enhanced Experience 2.0 for Windows® 7, now with RapidBoot technology, offering 20-seconds faster boot-up time and nearly immediate shutdown.†

    I have owned Dell and bought Dell's for well ever.. maybe it's time to try something else…

  12. Ben Brenner 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    get a macbook pro and install Windows 7 with bootcamp or go with some nice lenovo Thinkpads

  13. Bradley Marks 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    sony are good and reliable as are samsung… Dell I have heard about parts being regionally sourced so if that isn't an issue for you they are good.. haven't heard anything about Lenovo… I have seen toshibas and they can be a bit on the bulky side and this is from a computer animator who was using a sony 17" GRT 170… My current is a a Samsung R-45…

  14. gerry daniel 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    +Charlie Hoover makes a good point about getting a good machine or a bad machine or one that's somewhere in between. The truth is that hardware can and will fail at some point. Like an automobile, TV, or other machines, you can get a lemon from anyone. Then you are in a position of dealing with the manufacturer. When my youngest son left for college, I bought him a high-end gaming laptop from Asus. He basically put the machine through hell. At one point, he broke the display. I had purchased the extended coverage for the machine. I sent it back to Asus, no hassle. They not only fixed the display but basically replaced a large portion of the internal components as well as replacing the keyboard. It was basically a new laptop in the old shell. Your mileage may vary but that's my personal experience and I combine that with years of professional experience. No, I don't setup thousands of machines a year but that's not the point here.

  15. James ObandO 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    Why aren't you getting a MacPro?

  16. gerry daniel 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    sidebar: the Apple vs PC debate is really a matter of choice, they are tools to accomplish a task, they are not religions

  17. Brent Burzycki 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    +JAMES ObandO I answered it above.. I am not going to take a month to train my salesguys how to use them, and I do not have the time to support that…..I am the IT guy and they are not into change….

    I like the build quality of Apple stuff.. it's just not for our business…

  18. Spencer Morley 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    I've always been very impressed by the Dell XPS Line solid laptop and its very good with price vs components. I just recently bought a new XPS laptop and its a great machine.

  19. gerry daniel 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    I hate to trash any specific company but it's been my experience that the quality of Dell has steadily declined over the past 8-10 years or so. Over time, any company can experience peaks and valleys. Like i said, I don't have a dog in this fight,I'm just sharing what I've experienced. +Brent Burzycki I would say, do your homework, make an informed decision and handle the issues as they occur. No matter what you do, somebody will find a reason to question your choice. It goes with the territory.

  20. Brent Burzycki 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    +Gerry Daniel It is try… I tend to place blame where it usually belongs – on me – because I am usually the only one that can actually make a decision..

  21. James ObandO 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    +Brent Burzycki , you lost me again, a month to learn a Mac OS? It's this mentality that makes Microsoft wealthy – no offense.

  22. gerry daniel 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    +Brent Burzycki Just stay positive and don't let negativity get to you. IT is a tough game at certain levels. Do your best, treat people with dignity, accept responsibility but don't be a punching bag for anyone. Don't own their negativity.

  23. Brent Burzycki 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    +Gerry Daniel oh no worries… I like making the decisions.. I mush rather do it then many I know…

    +JAMES ObandO You do not know my guys… they have all lived in a 100% Windows World – Learning new things is not conducive to keeping them productive. All our applications are 100% windows based – they would never use the computer as a mac..

    Ever..

  24. I've been using a Dell Precision M2400 for 3 years now and it is still working fine. Hard drive failed a while back but their business line customer support is good and got me a replacement for the next day. I did also have a motherboard problem with it once, but like the hard drive, they sent someone over the next day who replaced the motherboard for me on site as well. Everything else has been fine other than that. Not sure if you need their support as well, but I would say this machine has been good overall, and their business customer support has been great. Not sure how it compares with Lenovo though.

  25. Robert Suárez 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    MBP.

  26. Brent Burzycki 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    +Tze Tuo Cheung Vivas I have a dell Precision now.. and I have to say it has been pretty much flawless… one screen issue.. replaced next day….

  27. Niall Baird 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    One word. Asus

  28. Evan McKee 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    Big fan of the hp envy's with the upgraded processors are great

  29. Marcin Pękalski 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    Depending on the money you may want to try the Lenovo W series. They are nice and powerfull. But as I have mentioned, it depends on your founds.

  30. Alex Kowalczyk 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    Does anyone have any internet resources that can help with this decision? I'm looking into getting a laptop for my father as well, and it's really difficult trying to decide between the non-Apple manufacturers. I believe for what he uses it for, he doesn't need to spend over $1000. As said above though, an SSD is a worthy addition though.

  31. +Alex Kowalczyk You could try and take a look through http://forum.notebookreview.com/

  32. Alex Kowalczyk 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    Thanks yeah that's pretty much what I was after

  33. Chuck Jackson 7 Dec 2011 Reply

    Give Gateway a look…

  34. Harry Kikstra 8 Dec 2011 Reply

    +Brent Burzycki There is likely a newer model, but I am still using the powerful X300 from Lenovo. Light as a MacAir, about the same size, but useful instead (don't shoot me, I just like having a DVD burner, ethernet, replaceable battery, 3 USB's, fingerprint reader on top of the SSD that the macair offers 😉

    It bounced in my bicycle bag for 3+ years and still works. Would not trade it.

  35. Brent Burzycki 8 Dec 2011 Reply

    +Harry Kikstra I am looking more and more at Lenovo based on build and longevity….

    To bad their website blows so bad…

  36. Harry Kikstra 8 Dec 2011 Reply

    +Brent Burzycki I have never seen their site, but don't let that stop you from checking reviews elsewhere. I am truly amazed my machine still works after the abuse (16k miles bouncing on a bicycle and months above 13k ft altitude).

    It is also still much faster than many newer laptops including Macs. Recently I had to hook up a full HD projector + music system. My friend's brand new macbook pro could not do it (not at full resolution) and my old powerbook also refused. 4 year old Lenovo to the rescue..
    Good luck picking something, can only imagine how much is out there now.

  37. Alex Kowalczyk 9 Dec 2011 Reply

    +Harry Kikstra how much did you pay for it 4 years ago?

  38. Brent Burzycki 9 Dec 2011 Reply

    Thanks all… I went with Lenovo… +Lenovo – I have to say I had a really good customer service experience. I ran out of time last night to make the purchase so I saved my Cart and went back today to see that the savings I had yesterday were gone today..

    I chatted up their support staff and told them what happened. They not only got me the money I had back off but they even saved me more…..you would have thought….

    If the computers are as good as the service so far – I say I made a decent decision..

    Thanks for all the input here… It is nice to be able to bounce ideas out and see what others think…

  39. Harry Kikstra 9 Dec 2011 Reply

    +Alex Kowalczyk At that time it was priced to compete with the mac Air (same size etc). It depended on configuration, but my 64gb SSD model was about $2500 I think? Especially the 64gb SSD made it so expensive at the time (early 2008).

    Note that I was fortunate enough to be able to choose a laptop from several sponsors and choose this based mainly based on weight and SSD (with replaceable battery, 3 USB ports, ethernet, DVD-burner all being vital functions for me that the mac Air did not offer), so I did not pay. One tiny feature that is simple but brilliant is the built in light (not back lit keyboard, but a little LED near the webcam), illuminating the keyboard if needed. It is not the prettiest machine out there, but that is another + to me: I want to use it rather than show it and the prettiness and 'stealibility' of Mac Air is a big minus when travelling through all countries in the Americas 🙂
    Plus I simply like PC better after using Windows, Apple and Linux, but won't get into religious fights.

    Anyway, looking back (and seeing the Asus, HP's and Macs that my wife and other long-time travellers have broken) I would have gladly paid the full amount anyway.
    I work (Expeditions, photography, writing) while travelling (cycling, climbing) have abused the machine so much and am still typing on it right now.
    The only thing wrong after 3+ years was that the fan went noisy and then stopped (needed a single drop of oil), which did mean literally taking apart every little part of it, which was an interesting exercise.

    I have owned laptops from Asus, Acer, Apple Powerbook, Dell HP and this Lenovo so do not know all, and of course many brands have changed in quality over the years and new ones have entered. So it will be nice to hear recommendations from power users of newer models.

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