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Archive 2012 · Any laptop/tech geeks in the house?
  
 
Jonathan H
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p.1 #1 · Any laptop/tech geeks in the house?


I need a new laptop, 14-15 inches, for use in software development and enterprise system implementations/deployments. I know exactly what I need, but I simply don't know what's on the market. Hoping the good folks here at FM can help.

Essentially, I need an i7 machine with a chipset that will support 16GB of RAM and comes with a mid-level graphics card. Beyond that, everything else is negotiable. In fact, I would prefer a cheaper, low-spec machine as I intend on swapping out the HD for a SSD and bumping the RAM myself to 16GB.

I would prefer light weight and good battery life as I travel for work frequently. While high quality trackpad/display/keyboard would be nice, I use external ones probably 90% of the time. Heat/fan noise doesn't bother me. I wear headphones and the laptop will sit on a big cooling pad.

I was going to buy one of the XPS 15z L511z (2nd gen i7 model) but two other guys in my shop have them and both reported it was very hard to remove the rear lid and swap RAM and HD, some unresolved BIOS issues (although that might be rectified by now?), and an unreliable WiFi card. However, there are great deals to be had on this machine right now - as low as $850 if you know where to look but I'm willing to spend up to about $1100 or so, so I'm wondering what my alternatives are. I could even spend a bit higher for something really great. Also, worth mentioning - I don't do any gaming of any sort. I'm on my computer 8-10 hours a day already, I don't want to be in front of it for a second longer if I don't have to

Any ideas?



Sep 13, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Hammy
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p.1 #2 · Any laptop/tech geeks in the house?


Unfortunately, when you get into i7 chipsets, they assume you want to game, so they'll give you a 'nice' GPU also... and a price to go along with it.

I usually use the power search option at the egg for comparison shopping as well as inquiry as to what's out there. Then I'd suggest reading reviews either on newegg or over at Notebook Review.

I have several MSI notebooks, and have worked on most of them, they are easy to manage/upgrade HDDs and memory.



Sep 13, 2012 at 06:09 PM
sic0048
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p.1 #3 · Any laptop/tech geeks in the house?


Jonathan H wrote:
I was going to buy one of the XPS 15z L511z (2nd gen i7 model) but two other guys in my shop have them and both reported it was very hard to remove the rear lid and swap RAM and HD, some unresolved BIOS issues (although that might be rectified by now?), and an unreliable WiFi card. However, there are great deals to be had on this machine right now - as low as $850 if you know where to look but I'm willing to spend up to about $1100 or so, so I'm wondering what my alternatives are.
...Show more

No offense, but you are only going to open the lid up once or twice. If the rest of the computer is what you are looking for, then pull the trigger. The wifi card can always be swapped out for something else if it is really a problem. The BIOS issue is probably the biggest issue and one that you should research further before buying.

It sounds like you know what you want. Now it is just a process of finding it I guess. I cannot help because I haven't looked at laptops in quite a while (in fact I just finished building a new desktop that will serve my needs for a long time).



Sep 13, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Jonathan H
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p.1 #4 · Any laptop/tech geeks in the house?


I think I've settled on Lenovo W530. Looks like it fits my needs perfectly, it's well reviewed, very expandable, and just a hair over my price point. I wish it were lighter though.

There are machines that do the same for 1/2 the weight, but at double the cost. I guess that's pretty much true of cameras as well



Sep 13, 2012 at 09:04 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



mmurph
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p.1 #5 · Any laptop/tech geeks in the house?


Jonathan H wrote:
- as low as $850 if you know where to look but I'm willing to spend up to about $1100 or so, so I'm wondering what my alternatives are.


You can buy a very good i7 box with some styling and the features that you want in the $850 area.

It is really just a matter of looking at enough good deals to get a fair sense for what each dfeatures ads price wise, then watching to pull the trigger.

Go look at some of the recent deals posted at Tech bBargains:

http://www.techbargains.com/

Here is one. I will look to see how it compares to the one you mentioned, $860 - $100 = $760 + tax

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

HOT! Dell Small Business has the Dell Vostro 3560 Intel Core i7-3612QM Quad-Core Ivy Bridge

15.6" 1920x1080 Notebook Computer for $859.00 Free Shipping after Coupon

BONUS $100 Dell Gift Card with purchase

15.6" 1920x1080 LED; Intel Core i7-3612QM 3.1GHz Quad-Core Ivy Bridge; 6GB RAM; 500GB HDD + 32GB mSSD; DVD burner; 802.11n + bluetooth; Windows 7 Professional; HDMI; webcam; ATI Radeon HD7670 1GB; 6-cell battery; backlit keyboard; 1yr warranty; 15mo TrendMicro Internet Security; chiclet keyboard w/ multi-touchpad



Sep 14, 2012 at 02:25 AM
mmurph
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p.1 #6 · Any laptop/tech geeks in the house?


Another,. Happens to be Dell, but a lighter 14" Ultrabook:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Dell Inspiron 14z Core i7 ULV Ivy Bridge 14in Ultrabook (500GB/32GB SSD/Discrete Graphics) $891


Dell Home has the Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook Intel Core i7-3517U Dual-Core Ivy Bridge 14" Notebook Computer for $891.74 Free Shipping after Coupon Code: "?$QNC1?HSKNR9F" (Exp Soon). Tax in most. [Compare Prices]

less than 1" thin and only 4.6lbs; 14"

1366x768 LED; Intel Core i7-3517U 1.9GHz (Turbo up to 3GHz) Dual-Core Ivy Bridge; 8GB RAM; 500GB HDD + 32GB SSD; DVD burner; 802.11n + bluetooth; Windows 7 Home Premium; AMD Radeon HD7570 1GB HDMI; USB 3.0; webcam; 6-cell battery; 1yr warranty; Adobe Elements 9 & Premiere 9 software; 15mo McAfee SecurityCenter



Sep 14, 2012 at 02:27 AM
jchin
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p.1 #7 · Any laptop/tech geeks in the house?


no matter what you decide to get, you should get something with a good quality screen otherwise it isn't worth it


Sep 15, 2012 at 04:49 AM





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