Looking for a laptop...

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nomis
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Looking for a laptop...

Postby nomis » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:07 am

Hello all,

So I'm planning to get a new work laptop this year, ideally in Feb/March time. I'm looking for a 15" ultrabook, at least an i5 ~8GB ram and an SSD (128, ideally 256).

Here's the problem... The OS. I don't want this to turn into a debate, but I've tried Windows 8 and I don't like it.

So my problem is, I fear by the time I'm in a position to pull the trigger, Windows 7 laptops will be non-existent - they're few and far between already... Currently, the Samsung Series 9 is at the top of my list while it's still available.

Windows 8 has annoyed me to the point where I would actually consider jumping ship and getting a MacBook Pro...

I've been looking longingly at the retina display and I was beginning to lean towards that, but after doing more research it seems lots of people have been having issues with ghosting, dead pixels and pot luck on whether Apple were willing to fix them or not. I thought maybe I could get the non-retina MBP, which doesn't have these issues, but that actually works out more expensive for a lower res display once you factor in the SSD upgrade.

I hear rumours of a MBP refresh this summer, so maybe if they are refreshed, and we get to v2 of the retina fabrication process that the panels will be less flaky?

So... Do I;

1. Get a Win7 Samsung Series 9 for almost half the price of a MBP while they're still around
2. Get a current Gen retina MBP and hope for the best
3. Get an overpriced non-retina MBP
4. Wait until Q3 to see if the MBPs get a refresh and see if the panels have improved
5. Or any other suggestions (other than make do with Win 8)

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Re: Looking for a laptop...

Postby Blak » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:53 am

Over the past year or so I have became a full-on convert to Mac for dev work. Windows is utter rubbish in comparison. This is likely related to me finally learning the awesome that a good terminal CLI can bring, so rocking Ubuntu on my 5 year old lappy is a respectable free substitute for home (all that's missing is a multi-touch trackpad and a bit of processing grunt).

As such if I were to go buy a machine for dev it would be of the appley persuasion, though I'd probably go buy a 13" Macbook Air as they're a bit more friendly on the pocket than the pros for a smaller screen size. I'd bump it up to 8GB of RAM for my VMs though.

The last-gen MBPs aren't worth it, once you slap an SSD in there (and optionally the higher res matte screen) it's not worth paying the same as for a current gen MBP. So slap option 3 off the list.

I'd go with either buy a current MBP or wait till their v2 if you can afford it.

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Re: Looking for a laptop...

Postby siteguru » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:46 am

Check out https://www.cyberpowersystem.co.uk/ ? They have some decent grade lappys and you don't even need to buy an OS. But if you do then Win7 is an available option.

https://www.cyberpowersystem.co.uk/syst ... _Notebook/ is an example ... an SSD is an optional selection.

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Re: Looking for a laptop...

Postby Ekona » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:49 am

If the Samsung laptop has everything you need, then I'd get it now. Chuck it on a credit card and be done with it, better that than discover you cannot get anything you want in a months' time or wait for the MBP refresh that doesn't come. Given the price differential, it's a no-brainer IMHO.
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Re: Looking for a laptop...

Postby nomis » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:13 pm

Thanks for your input guys.

So thats one vote for mac, one vote for the samsung and one vote for something else...

I think I've ruled out 'something else'. Those cyberpower systems, while really configurable, aren't exactly pretty and don't really meet my idea of an ultrabook.


This leaves me with basically the Samsung series 9 vs a retina MBP

The Samsung just came in stock again on amazon for a lower price of £899, which is relatively cheap. But lower res, less powerful CPU, no discrete GPU and a small HD.

The MBP would be closer to £2k but with a crazy awesome (if somewhat risky) screen. A better CPU, a proper GPU and twice as much disk space.


I don't know what to do :(

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Re: Looking for a laptop...

Postby Savara » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:36 pm

Definitely another vote for the Retina MBP. One of my friends at uni has one and it lasts all day on a charge without blinking. Genuine 6-7hr battery life. And the screen's fucking gorgeous...

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Re: Looking for a laptop...

Postby RB » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:53 pm

Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A.
Only 13 inch but better screen than retina and thin as fuck and sexy as hell. I love mine.
My top of the range i7 with 256GB SSD was less than £1500.
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Re: Looking for a laptop...

Postby Matius » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:02 pm

I use a Dell XPS 15Z laptop for work - dual booting Windows 7 and Fedora. It's a bit big and heavy if you're going to be carrying it around a lot (fortunately I don't), but its got the power of an ultrabook.

Personally, whilst Mac's are nice enough I wouldn't touch one for work. That's not a knock against Apple, it's just that most of the software I require for my work will not run on them. Fedora will run all the smaller tools nice and quickly, but the big grunty tools only play nicely with Windows. Windows is the easy option if compatibility is an issue.

A colleague of mine has one of the Samsung Series 9 laptops - he's a big fan. So much so that there was even a discussion around whether to buy some at work! Unfortunately we didn't in the end - our budget manager decided that ugly Dell Latitudes would be more appropriate... :(

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Re: Looking for a laptop...

Postby kingweed » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:22 pm

Ekona wrote:If the Samsung laptop has everything you need, then I'd get it now. Chuck it on a credit card and be done with it, better that than discover you cannot get anything you want in a months' time or wait for the MBP refresh that doesn't come. Given the price differential, it's a no-brainer IMHO.

This.

I'd always wanted a sexy mac before hand and would have just installed windows on it. Now they're not even that much smarter to justify the extra monies.

I like the asus that RB mentioned as well tbh

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Re: Looking for a laptop...

Postby Ekona » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:39 pm

Is a MBP more than twice as good as the Samsung?

That's the question you need to answer, really. For work use, I can't see it.
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Re: Looking for a laptop...

Postby Joe » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:59 pm

If your plan is to stay with Win7 and skip Win8 entirely then you should buy the best laptop you can afford now, otherwise you're going to be facing the same dilemma again in 18 months when your cheap laptop starts feeling very old and very slow. For me, that'd be the MBP running OSX 10.8 with VMs for Win7 and Win8.

If you do go with the MBP option you should wait a bit for the next gen. You'll have saved more money, they'll likely have dropped in price (or increased the spec) and you'll be safer knowing the panel issues are likely resolved in the new gen models.

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Re: Looking for a laptop...

Postby nomis » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:05 pm

Joe wrote:If your plan is to stay with Win7 and skip Win8 entirely then you should buy the best laptop you can afford now, otherwise you're going to be facing the same dilemma again in 18 months


This is exactly what is stopping me pulling the trigger on the Samsung.

I think I'm going to try to hold for for later in the year, and am leaning slightly towards a MBP

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Re: Looking for a laptop...

Postby Tinlad » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:36 am

I can't comment on the Samsung; all I can offer is my own experience with MPBs (albeit non-Retina):

Excellent build quality (Retina panel lottery aside)
Great battery life
A trackpad that doesn't make me want to claw my eyeballs out
Nice keyboard, for a laptop, and the backlighting is very useful

From a development POV:

Run Windows in a VM or via Boot Camp (or get the best of both worlds and use Parallels or Fusion to run your Boot Camp partition in a VM)
Great availability of *nix utilities
Assuming you're still doing web dev., OS X is much closer to the Linux servers than Windows is, and comes with Apache and PHP already on the machine

So my vote would be to wait for the next rMBP refresh when most of the wrinkles should be ironed out. Skipping the first generation of any of Apple's product lines is generally recommended.

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Re: Looking for a laptop...

Postby Tinlad » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:40 am

PS. With the rMBP being something of a flagship model, I wouldn't be suprised if it will be one of the first models to get Intel's Haswell CPUs, which should start appearing from around March IIRC. I'd wait for that.

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Re: Looking for a laptop...

Postby nomis » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:54 pm

@RB - If ASUS did a 15" version, with the high res screen and windows 7, I would be very tempted

@Ekona - It's probably closer to twice as good than you'd think. When I say I need it for work, I don't mean general office work - I'm a web developer. The extra screen resolution, CPU/GPU grunt and twice as much HD space would be incredibly valuable to me. I work in similar fields to Blak and Joe, and also an area Tinlad knows well and so their recommendations are hard for me to ignore.

I've never been tempted by a Mac before - they always seemed over priced by a huge margin, and so out of my price range.
Now, the rMBP is actually not much more expensive than other similarly spec'd laptops, and I'm in a period of my life where I can afford it, so I'm thinking I might give it ago.

I think I'm going to hold out for the next rMBP revision, unless some other spectacular 15" ultrabook, that I can stick Windows 7, on appears in the mean time...

Thanks everyone.


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