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WubiAR
July 25th, 2011, 11:28 PM
Hi,

I am looking to buy a new laptop for my upcoming post-secondary sessions and I would like some input from the Ubuntu community users with regards to my options and considerations.

1) I don't wish to exceed over $1,500.

2) I myself am pretty weak and light, so I wanted to complement this with a lightweight laptop. I am going into a science program and so it's highly unlikely that I will be using the machine for any graphics-related work (ie. going on photoshop).

3) It needs to last for a minimum of 3 years.

Note: I don't don't the following models are Linux-based, so I am planning to dual boot using Wubi.

Here are the models I have looked at:

a) 13.3" Sony Vaio S Series laptop
i5 Intel processor, 4GB RAM, 500GB Hard Drive, battery life claim: up to 7.5hrs. Price: 999.99
Weight: 1.6kg, which is about 3.5 pounds

b) 13.3" Toshiba Laptop
i3 Intel processor, 6GB RAM, 750GB Hard Drive, battery life claim: up to 5.5hrs. Price: 699.99
Weight: 2.1kg, which is about 4.9 pounds

c) 13.3" Macbook Pro
i5 Intel processor, 4GB RAM, 320GB Hard Drive, battery life claim: up to 7hrs. Price: 1,199.99
Weight: 2.04kg, which is about 4.5 pounds


Some questions:
1) What good does a higher i# processor do?

2) Why is having a higher RAM better?

Also, feel free to list any other laptop suggestions, because I am not limiting myself to the three options above.

sammiev
July 25th, 2011, 11:38 PM
I have 3 Toshiba intel based units up with a Dual Boot systems with win7 and ubuntu. I would go with the intel based i5 as it's only about 700.00 or cheaper likely. GL :)

More mem means faster.

i5 faster than i3.

bigger monitor would be nicer.

el_koraco
July 25th, 2011, 11:45 PM
The new Acer TimelineX series looks nice.

jeffathehutt
July 25th, 2011, 11:52 PM
For what it's worth, I had a Sony Vaio back in 2002 and it didn't even last a year. Things may be different now, and maybe I just had a bad model, but it is something to consider.

I currently have a 2008 Macbook, which I use daily and it is still running as good as the day I bought it. I can still get 3+ hours of runtime, even with a two year old battery. :)

akand074
July 25th, 2011, 11:58 PM
Out of those 3, I'd go with the sony first, macbook second. Personally, I'd go with a nice HP though. If you want light either a high end DM3 or perhaps a cheaper ENVY (if either exist).

WubiAR
July 25th, 2011, 11:59 PM
The new Acer TimelineX series looks nice.

I forgot to mention that I require an internal optical drive. Also, if I am going to use the laptop highly for word processing, surfing the web, and chatting, do I need to have an optimal processor?

jeffathehutt
July 26th, 2011, 12:15 AM
Also, if I am going to use the laptop highly for word processing, surfing the web, and chatting, do I need to have an optimal processor?

For those tasks, just about any processor will work. Gaming and video encoding would require a better processor, but if you don't plan to do either then basically anything will work. The i3 is a nice option, and AMD also makes processors that would work fine.

trollolo
July 26th, 2011, 02:32 AM
OP, this will be the first serious post I am making on these forums, so listen closely.

All of those PC's are insanely overpriced, to the point where you will openly be mocked in public when people realize that you own one of them. Please spend at least 1 hour researching the computer you will be depending on for several years to come.

WubiAR
July 26th, 2011, 02:41 AM
OP, this will be the first serious post I am making on these forums, so listen closely.

All of those PC's are insanely overpriced, to the point where you will openly be mocked in public when people realize that you own one of them. Please spend at least 1 hour researching the computer you will be depending on for several years to come.

Would you giving me your suggestion for a laptop? I really don't think $699.99 for a laptop is that bad.

nerdy_kid
July 26th, 2011, 03:03 AM
have you looked into system76 at all? They preload Ubuntu onto the laptops, but you can easily set up a dual boot.

trollolo
July 26th, 2011, 04:51 AM
Would you giving me your suggestion for a laptop? I really don't think $699.99 for a laptop is that bad.

700$ should be the absolute highest you will go. On the dell site, you can configure a core i5, 6 gigs of ram laptop for right around that price point. but bear in mind that that's a very high performance laptop, you could get by with 2 gigs of DDR3 and a first generation core i3 for like 400 dollars if you shop around, and not have any trouble with it

avoid discrete graphics and >15 in. monitors like the plague

akand074
July 26th, 2011, 11:12 PM
700$ should be the absolute highest you will go. On the dell site, you can configure a core i5, 6 gigs of ram laptop for right around that price point. but bear in mind that that's a very high performance laptop, you could get by with 2 gigs of DDR3 and a first generation core i3 for like 400 dollars if you shop around, and not have any trouble with it

avoid discrete graphics and >15 in. monitors like the plague

Uh.. have you seen the weight and battery life. Also what country is the OP in? I've noticed places like the UK have surprisingly higher laptop costs. You also don't know which i5 that model has nor the details of other hardware specs and what graphics it even has (disc player could be a factor if it's blu-ray) to be able to judge that it's too expensive. (I mean, it could be, but you can't jump to conclusions based on small amount of information).

The links to the three models would be handy, as well as country/preferable stores if you'd like us to suggest outside those three models.

Syndicalist
July 28th, 2011, 08:01 AM
Im a big fan of Toshiba. Make sure it has the CPU and GPU you want to begin with....You can always upgrade the ram. You CANT upgrade the bus speed or CPU or GPU....Toshiba supports 3d vision for under 1k now, so if you go Toshiba I would go for Nvidia with 3d support. I hope this is better supported in Linux soon. The wifi cards are just recently supported.

Acer is always bang for the buck, but god forbid you need any customer service....Toshiba's are more reliable, except the keyboards which you might replace. Acers also seem like they tend towards cheap feeling keyboards, but great mother boards.

Sony would be my second choice.

hotwax
July 28th, 2011, 03:37 PM
it would depend on what you are using the laptop for. i imagine you are just using it for school purposes mainly for reading/writing documents and internet. i had an acer 3820tg which came out last year and i thought it was very lightweight in comparison to a lot of laptops at the time. it was a 13'' 4pounds laptop but i commuted to school by train and the trip was 1 hour each way. after about a month, i found that it was very heavy and it made my backpack bulky and got in the way of a lot of ppl on the train. if you live in a large city, you know how crowded public transportation gets during rush hour. over time it takes a toll on your back and puts a lot of pressure on the soles of your feet. i myself am short 5'5" 130lbs and have a small frame.

after a year i looked for a new laptop and the 11" macbook air is what i settled for and i believe i made a very good decision because it is thin, lightweight, comes with osx and has very good battery life and no heat issues because the hardware is custom made for mac os. it also fits nicely into a back pack leaving more room for books. as for the specs, i think it does everything i need: pdf, word doc, torrents, web browsing, mp3s, converting scanned doc to a editable text. the most important features on the mba is the trackpad and the gestures. i don't think windows laptops trackpads even comes close to the mac trackpad. its bigger and there more gestures and integrates well with app software and also other programs. the buttons on the keyboard are superb, dust can't get through the spaces and key spring is like a desktop keyboard, where as most laptops made by acer, asus etc have very flimsy keyboards and they feel cheap. the mba body is made entirely of metal which makes it very sturdy but still weighs less than most laptop/ netbooks. it also surprisingly has very good speakers considering its underneath the keyboard.

if you want to dual boot you can or use vmware fusion to run linux on osx. its very efficient. i myself didn't need to dual boot because the virtual machine runs very smooth with no heat issues

2011 macbook air
2 pounds and very thin (fits in a manila envelope) lol
core i5 or i7
4gb ram
ssd
5-7 hr battery and 9 hours if you turn off wifi and use only docs

mips
July 28th, 2011, 03:42 PM
I am also using Acer, this is best..
I have read all things in your post, so, suggest you to but Acer..

The problem with these threads is that people try and justify their purchasing decisions and aren't being objective.

The only peoples opinions that should count are those that do corporate buying. People that purchase 1000's of units and then report back on their findings wrt hardware reliability and company support.

From my perspective good brands would be the HP, Dell, Lenovo business line off laptops and Apple as well as Asus.

Just because I purchased a HP consumer line laptop 5yrs ago and it's still working while 1000's of other have had problems with the same model is no indication as to it's worth. Acer for me is at the bottom of the line.

So my summation to this post would be to buy whatever brand but stick to their business line of products.

Syndicalist
July 29th, 2011, 01:13 PM
Why hang out on a Linux forum if you are pimping for OSX over Linux?

If you are going to run Linux anyway, there is little justification for buying expensive Mac hardware...and its even more expensive to repair.

If you want to KNOW that everything will work out of the box in Linux, go buy yourself a System-76 laptop. You know everything is optimized for it! With support, its worth it.


Better yet, they are not shipping with Unity! You get Ubuntu with Gnome already installed properly, all the bugs tested on your specific hardware with support.


System76 is totally worth it over the competition, for what you are getting.

era86
July 29th, 2011, 05:06 PM
Out of those three you listed, I would select the MBP, BUT I would not put Linux on there. That would just be a shame. OSX is plenty fine.

Here is my most <sarcasm>unbiased</sarcasm> opinion: Lenovo Thinkpad X220

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/notebooks/thinkpad/x-series/x220

-best keyboard
-best battery life (one of the best)
-ultra-portable
-sub $1k
-Linux friendly (most of the time)

http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/18/lenovo-thinkpad-x220-review/

Edit: Sorry, it doesn't have an optical drive...