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The Laptop Debate

The Laptop Debate

Postby Shinigami » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:14 am

I'm often asked from experience what's a recommended laptop to buy. Here's what has my eye.

The Lenovo Ideapad U300
http://shop.lenovo.com/us/products/laptops/ideapad/u-series/u300s/index.html

Here's why, first I have to hand it to Apple's Mac Book Pro with it's aluminum uni body chassis that is not only sleek, stylish but most importantly sturdy, and unfortunately extremely expensive. Until now I couldn't find a PC equivalent, Panasonic Toughbooks had come close in the past, but all to often in a heavy and cumbersome package. Now a computer manufacturer that incorporates an aluminum uni-body design on a PC platform. One could point out that Lenovo is a Chinese based company and has copied Apple. Putting nationalism and fanboyism aside on how it happened or why, I don't care. Lenovo delivers what I want. Moving past the clam shell logo, I must state that today's laptops are still either the 1st or 2nd Computing devices, and it's not the operating system or Graphical User Interface that dictates what needs and wants but what software is supported. Unfortunately Windows 7 is still my primary operating system of choice and many others, specifically due to number of supported software that I'm require to run.
Examples: Microsoft Visio's Professional, Network Monitoring Software (SolarWinds), Steam, Hardware MIDI support for musical Instruments, and Programming Interactive Development Environments just to name a few.

Apple's OS X is still lagging Windows all areas of Hardware support. Period.
Five or six years ago I might have recommended a Sony Viao, who's X-Brite laptop screens were above the competition but with a steep price tag. For the budget conscious a Toshiba multimedia laptops that suffered from poor battery life, and power, and heating issues and a pain in arse to service. But never Dell, who closed out it's North Carolina shop in 2010, outsourcing all it's manufacturing to Asia, and essentially becoming marketing company for Taiwanese and Singaporean products, also it's high failure rate on many of components (LCD invertors, nuff said). But Today? Lenovo. For those who still are colored unimpressed: Lenovo is currently the number 3 PC maker in the world, double it's profits in Q1 of 2011. Whose Chief Operating Officer has jump ship to become AMD's Chief Executive Officer and has placed Intel squarely in it's crosshairs. This Chinese powerhouse is the fastest growing PC company right now.

For those who want to know, what I run now. A custom built desktop PC at home, a Lenovo Thinkpad T510 for work, and a cheap $300 Walmart special Acer laptop for mobile computing. A change that will come this November.
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Re: The Laptop Debate

Postby bob_rx2000 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:55 am

I've switched to a Lenovo desktop unit at work, and a Lenovo netbook for going to meetings and such. At home I have a an older Lenovo T61 for doing class work and my general things, a Dell for Mrs-Bob_Rx, two netbooks for the kids, and several Nooks.

What I'm waiting out is the tablet computer revolution. Mrs-Bob_Rx wants an iPad. Right now the iPad isn't quite what I have in mind for a working mobile device, although it is coming close. I know this is well nigh unto heresy, but using the iPad with Google Docs and Apps would be close to what I need. I'm just unwilling as of yet to dump the $500 or so into the iPad to experiment. I do know that many of the students returned this year with Macs, versus Windows-based machines. This year, for the first time, more than half the students returned with Macs.
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Re: The Laptop Debate

Postby bdcbbq » Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:47 am

I have been hearing lots of good things about Lenovo. I bought a Toshiba laptop about a year ago. In general I'm happy with it. I really don't have complaints about the computer but the idiot who bought it made the mistake thinking he would like a 17" screen. He does like the screen but that is outweighed by how heavy it is to haul around. I looked at Lenovo at the time but with a coupon I went with the Toshiba. Sometime in the next couple of months I"m going to make the Toshiba laptop a home computer for my wife, get my a smaller laptop, and join the wireless revolution with the 3 computers I will have.
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Re: The Laptop Debate

Postby Shinigami » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:10 am

Bob_Rx2000 in my view tablets are Tablets are perfect for reading ebooks, online sites, social networking and enjoying multimedia. Which isn't by any means a short list. Yet, you won't see me cranking out my latest report or spreadsheet on one. As cool as paperless sounds, we still have to kill trees and print stuff out every once in a while. Finally, I also like to use CDs and watch my DVD movie collection, a tablet won't do that for me. Sure, Netflix streaming is great but it doesn't have everything, yet.

Sure the tablet has it's uses but it won't replace the laptop or desktop, but perhaps the netbook. For those parents confused on which to get their student The tablet is a toy meant primarily for entertainment, students will not be more efficient at writing a 15 page paper on a touch screen than on laptop's keyboard, no matter how much your progeny would try to convince you otherwise.

To be honest are tablets, a Web addicted, feature crippled, and under powered productivity killers quite worth it yet? Drop it under $150 and then well talk.
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Re: The Laptop Debate

Postby raycyrx » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:30 pm

As cool as paperless sounds, we still have to kill trees and print stuff out every once in a while.

My experience is the more paperless we go, the more paper we use.
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Re: The Laptop Debate

Postby backstagedee » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:20 pm

Shinigami wrote:
To be honest tablets are a Web addicted, feature crippled, and under powered productivity killers quite worth it yet? Drop it under $150 and then well talk.


Ahh, but they have really useful apps for pilots. My charts, approach plates, E6B, custom checklists, airport directories, weather information, flight planning and logbook applications are all conveniently available on the Ipad and some are available on other platforms. The Ipad replaces at least 30 lbs of paper that expires and must be replaced every 56 days. The size and single slab construction fit well in the cockpit. I am sure there are many specialized situations where the tablets are just as handy, but in most cases a notebook is the tool of choice.
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