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Laptop: which brand to choose?

Monu Tripathi
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Joined: Oct 12, 2008
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    1

I am planning to buy a laptop soon and am confused with the what brand to go for. Lately, I decided that I would either choose a Lenovo or Toshiba(my budget is INR 40k); not sure still though.

Then I thought why not take a survey; perhaps this would help.

Please help me by answering these questions:
1. Which laptop do you own?
2. What is the system configuration?
3. Problems that you've faced, if any.
4. Any advice, remarks you would like to give/make.

I would have chosen a mac machine, if only it were affordable.

Thank you.


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Pushkar Choudhary
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Joined: May 21, 2006
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One of my cousins recently bought a laptop from Acer. I'm not aware of the exact configuration, but it looked quite good and had something like 320 GB HD and 3 GB RAM. She also got a Licensed copy of MS Windows 7. The laptop with Windows cost her about 31-32K Indian Rupees.
Muse Ran
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Joined: Sep 17, 2008
Posts: 317
if you find check box (in multiple choice) choose all else if you find radio button (in multiple choice) - choose suitable/best one



Tomorrow will surely be a new day!!!
Maneesh Godbole
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Joined: Jul 26, 2007
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    9

I got 4 (3 personal and one from the office)

1) Personal A
Compaq Presario, with AMD Turion 64 Bit processor, 1 Gig RAM. Runs Windows XP Home. This is my very first laptop ever. Inspite of 1 Gig it is fast. Use it more as a dumping space for all my songs and code and stuff.
2) Personal B
HP Notebook 550. 2 Gig RAM with Intel Dual core. Runs Ubuntu 9.10 Currently my development machine. The mousepad keys are a bit cranky. But I rarely need to use a mouse. So there.
3) Personal C
Macbook White. 4 Gig RAM. Intel Dual core. My latest baby. Its awesome.
4) Office
Dell whatever. Windows XP Professional. 4 Gig. Bulky. Heavy. Also it uses some "Intel Task Tray Framework" which translates to 2 minutes by the clock to really boot up and connect to the network using a LAN cable. This might be optional but cant remove it.

I would recommend going for Compaq/HP. I have had a nice experience for the hardware. No problems at all. Only glitch is you need to buy the "extended life" battery if available. None of 1&2 lasts more than 2 hours (run with standard batteries). The dell lasts for 4 hours and the Mac for 7.
Get yourself a workhorse. Invest in 4 Gig RAM. Save by switching to Ubuntu.


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Muse Ran
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Joined: Sep 17, 2008
Posts: 317
are you passionate on Lap (toppies)
PrasannaKumar Sathiyanantham
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Joined: Nov 12, 2009
Posts: 110
choose apple laptop with mac os .you can install windows in it .So it will not be a problem. In terms of energy efficiency and looks choose apple.

But for work(you know for large computational problems) choose ibm lenova. Very tough (like arnold in terminator 2)


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To forgive is not company policy
Maneesh Godbole
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Joined: Jul 26, 2007
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    9

Windows on Mac is like keeping a dog and barking yourself too. Kind of defeats the purpose right?
PrasannaKumar Sathiyanantham
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Joined: Nov 12, 2009
Posts: 110
Yes what you say is true. But there are guys who like to show off their laptops.
I had a guy in college who was a real tech wiz(you know who always sits in front of computer ) a real .net guy.

He bought a apple laptop and then a original windows vista ultimate for Rs10,000 and installed in it .

The only advantage he had was that his laptop was very beautiful.

Comparing it to my laptop brings a real pain to my heart

That's why i told.
But the best there is ibm lenova laptops the greatest. Ask any tech guys who work in the server side (hardware) in software they recommend you ibm lenova
Monu Tripathi
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Joined: Oct 12, 2008
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    1

Manish Godbole wrote:Get yourself a workhorse. Invest in 4 Gig RAM. Save by switching to Ubuntu.

Hmmm...that is the idea actually; no compromises on RAM, 4GB a must. Not sure if every vendor will be comfortable trading Ubuntu with Windows - Linux would definitely save some bucks. Mac is just out of question, I do not have that much money.
Thanks for you reply.


@Pushkar:
Acer, it seems has issues with the battery and heat sink.

Muse Ran wrote:are you passionate on Lap (toppies)

had too manydrumsticks in your Sambhar mate?

PrasannaKumar Sathiyanantham
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Joined: Nov 12, 2009
Posts: 110
Well if you want it cheap and better choose dell laptops then.

I have one for the past 2 years . Really great.
Once while walking to hostel i accidently put the dell down. I really feared it broke down but voila it was there working very well.

I have inspiron 1420 just Rs28000

There are good dell laptops for 35000-40000 range with 2GB ram, 250GB harddisk, 256MB graphics card . I will go for them if my father allows me to buy another laptop
Maneesh Godbole
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    9

Monu Tripathi wrote: Not sure if every vendor will be comfortable trading Ubuntu with Windows - Linux would definitely save some bucks.


Don't see any reason why they should be bothered. Contrary to what the marketing guys tell you, it is not mandatory to get an OS from the vendor. When I got mine, and I told him I would be installing Ubuntu, he knocked down the price since I was not purchasing the OS. (Initially he was trying to talk me into installing Vista, at which I scoffed. He got the message)
If you wish, I can share the contact details of the authorized HP vendor in Pune (This is the same guy I got my Mac from. Hes authorized vendor for Apple too)

Mac is just out of question, I do not have that much money.

If you are an enterprising kind of young man, the new years eve is an excellent opportunity to make money. If you can drive, offer your services as a driver. The news papers are full of news on how the police are planning to come down hard on drunk drivers. Start a one time only "dial a quarter" service. Of course you will need a permit, but hey thats what? 30 bucks? Of course you will miss your New Year's bash, but the Mac is worth it.
Anil K Chandra
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Joined: Dec 12, 2008
Posts: 44
Dell sells laptops pre-loaded with Ubuntu in the US. I bought a XPS 15" model in January. So far no issues. Not sure if Dell India offers Ubuntu laptops though.
Bert Bates
author
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Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8883
    
    5
My two cents:

- I like Macs primarily because of OS/X. It doesn't waste as much of my time as windoze does. It might cost a little more upfront, but if you value your time, OS/X will quickly pay for itself.

- Independent of OS, the two biggest factors in productivity are:
- lots of RAM - this should be the cheapest way to get better performance
- lots of pixels

Get as many pixels as you can stand to carry around! Studies show that extra pixels make you LOTS more productive. I have a 17" MacBook Pro with 1680 x 1050 pixels. It took a while to get used to carrying around a 17" notebook, but I'm used to it now, and I'm addicted to the pixels

hth,

Bert


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Vikas Kapoor
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Joined: Aug 16, 2007
Posts: 1374
Bert Bates wrote: I have a 17" MacBook Pro with 1680 x 1050 pixels. It took a while to get used to carrying around a 17" notebook, but I'm used to it now,


Should 17" notebook be considered as laptop?

Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Vikas Kapoor wrote:Should 17" notebook be considered as laptop?

Yes; and a very nice one.


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Pat Farrell
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    5

The OP has given little guidance on what he wants to do with it. It makes a huge difference. These days, a lot o folks see a netbook as just a cheap laptop. If all you want is to surf the web, send email, and watch an occasional YouTube video, one of the many $400 (US) netbooks will do fine.

There are many levels above that. My wife is a CPA, she needs something that can run real accounting packages. No netbook will do that.

My daughter is an artist, she needs to run the modeling and retouching software. That takes serious power.

I write software for a living. I hate waiting for the compiler and for Tomcat to start, and I run Apache, MySql, Tomcat, Netbeans, my application, email, browsers, etc. all the time, 10+ hours a day. I want the fastest CPUs with the most cores and tons of RAM. Its a desktop replacement.

Then there are the gamers. Those guys are nuts.
Vikas Kapoor
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Joined: Aug 16, 2007
Posts: 1374
Bear Bibeault wrote:
Vikas Kapoor wrote:Should 17" notebook be considered as laptop?

Yes; and a very nice one.


IMO laptop should be as light as possible so that you can carry it and put it on your lap.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Then you want a MacBook Air.
Pat Farrell
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Vikas Kapoor wrote:IMO laptop should be as light as possible so that you can carry it and put it on your lap.

There is a big tradeoff between light weight/mass and power. More power means bigger batteries, more cooling stuff, and more weight.

I never use my laptop on my lap. They are all too hot, I have other stuff near my lap that needs to be protected. So I use it on a table. Or in a board between the arms of my favorite chair.
Vikas Kapoor
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Posts: 1374
Pat Farrell wrote:
Vikas Kapoor wrote:IMO laptop should be as light as possible so that you can carry it and put it on your lap.

There is a big tradeoff between light weight/mass and power. More power means bigger batteries, more cooling stuff, and more weight.

I never use my laptop on my lap. They are all too hot, I have other stuff near my lap that needs to be protected. So I use it on a table. Or in a board between the arms of my favorite chair.


If you're talking about development PC then they can't compete with desktops.
Monu Tripathi
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The OP has given little guidance on what he wants to do with it. It makes a huge difference. These days, a lot o folks see a netbook as just a cheap laptop. If all you want is to surf the web, send email, and watch an occasional YouTube video, one of the many $400 (US) netbooks will do fine.

Mea culpa.

I will use it for coding, games, movies and internet. Following is the list of tools, IDEs and games that I normally use:
Tools/IDE : Eclipse Ganymede, NetBeans, MS Visual Studio 2008, Fruity Loops, Photoshop
Games: EA sports FIFA08-10.



Manish Hatwalne
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Joined: Sep 22, 2001
Posts: 2581

@Maneesh -

Could you please pass on the details of that dealer?

Thanks!
- Manish

Maneesh Godbole
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Joined: Jul 26, 2007
Posts: 10535
    
    9

http://vintechin.com/
Pat Farrell
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Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

Monu Tripathi wrote:I will use it for coding, games, movies and internet. Following is the list of tools, IDEs and games that I normally use: Tools/IDE : Eclipse Ganymede, NetBeans, MS Visual Studio 2008, Fruity Loops, Photoshop Games: EA sports FIFA08-10.


Well, at least you didn't say Crysis, Oracle and some others. But Photoshop can take everything you throw at it, and if you are doing it for something serious, it wants a Core i7 Quad with 8 or more GB of ram.

I develop software for a living, and I hate, really hate, waiting for the compile/startup for Tomcat or Glassfish/JBoss. You may be more patient than I am.

To do those things, I'd expect to pay at least $1000 for a laptop. Rather than a one computer, have you considered two? A nice quad core desktop with a fast video card can be had for $800 or so, add $300 for a netbook and have two. The netbook won't run the games or photoshop (they might walk them, but they won't run fast) and the desktop will sure run any games you want (well maybe not Crysis.)

Monu Tripathi
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Joined: Oct 12, 2008
Posts: 1369
    
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I am not into Web development or databases as of now but who knows! Core i7 Quad will cost me more than what I can afford. Maybe, I will sit on this for a while(about a month) and try to accumulate more money (also hoping that perhaps better hardware becomes cheaper). Better late than sorry.
Sumit Bisht
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Joined: Jul 02, 2008
Posts: 329

Pat Farrell wrote:

......
Then there are the gamers. Those guys are nuts.


Nice One !
Pat Farrell
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Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

Sumit Bisht wrote:
Pat Farrell wrote: Those guys are nuts.
Nice One !

Altho there are some women gamers. They drive the industry. Nearly all of the fast CPUs and amazing video cards are there only because of gamers.

So its a good kinda nuts.
Joe Harry
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Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9622
    
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The best thing for you would be to buy a laptop from Lenovo. My first laptop which I still use since one and a half years is a Lenovo Thinkpad R-61. It is simply amazing in terms of performance. I have both Windows and Linux on my machine with Linux running from a Virtual Box Ware. It comprises of the following.

Intel Core2 Duo @ 2.5 GHz
4 GB RAM
Mobile Inte 965 Express Chipset Family (guess should be the graphics card)
160 GB HDD
CD / DVD RW Drive
3*USB Ports

I think the Thinkpad prices have gone down a bit. Just check and it is worth the buy.


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Pat Farrell
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Jothi Shankar Kumar wrote:The best thing for you would be to buy a laptop from Lenovo.

I have a Lenovo Thinkpad, and I do like it. I got one with a separate video card, so the video performance is much better than with the integrated Intel graphics (which are too terrible to count IMHO). Dual core 2, lots of ram, etc. It was fast for its day.

But, its now nearly 30 months old, which is ancient in computer times. Recently, ATI has stopped supporting Linux drivers for the video card, and Ubuntu 9.10 has to use the generic video drivers which are significantly slower. Plus I can no longer run StarCraft on it. While the video card could be replaced with something more modern in theory, in practice I can't find any vendors that sell laptop video cards separately, so I can't even tell if there are models that will fit physically or connection wise.

When I was working at a company, this was not an issue, they would simply issue new laptops every 18 to 24 months. But now that I'm working freelance, every dollar counts.

My current work plan is to use my desktop more, and the laptop less. The desktop has a quad core, 8GB of ram, a wicked fast GPU, and cost only $900.
Monu Tripathi
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Joined: Oct 12, 2008
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My current work plan is to use my desktop more, and the laptop less. The desktop has a quad core, 8GB of ram, a wicked fast GPU, and cost only $900

I travel frequently and had portability not been an issue I would have gone for a desktop any day.
Monu Tripathi
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Joined: Oct 12, 2008
Posts: 1369
    
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Okay.
I have amassed just enough money to buy a MacBook Pro laptop. Apple's least expensive machine with Intel Dual core 2.2GHz CPU, 2 GB DDR3 RAM, 13" display for 53K.(I was really impressed with what I saw in the Apple Store)

For 10K less, I am getting a HP/Sony VAIO/Lenovo machine with Intel i3/i5 2.2 GHz, 4GB RAM, 512 MB GPU, 15" display

I am very confused. A part of me says buy Mac and be done with this.But then, on paper at least, macbook looks lagging behind.


Which one would you suggest?
Joe Harry
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One of my colleague has a MacBook Pro and I got inspired by his machine and wanted to desperately get one for myself. But I felt it a bit heavy to carry. On the other side, I already own a Lenovo R61 CTO and it is almost two years old and it has an amazing performance with a solidly built body. I have dual booted Ubuntu 9.10 alongside Windows 7 and I find it to be working good without a single problem even after two years. I just upgraded the HDD and it got even better. So my advice here is get yourself a Lenovo R-series or a T-series (T series are really expensive). Just check with some of the Lenovo dealers.
Ankit Garg
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I've never been a fan of MacBook myself. I feel that apple's gadgets are expensive, whether its MacBook or iPod or whatever. I myself have a Dell laptop and except for battery life (which is around 1:15 hrs at balanced settings) it has been working with no problems at all for the past 1 and a half years...


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Pat Farrell
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Monu Tripathi wrote: A part of me says buy Mac and be done with this.But then, on paper at least, macbook looks lagging behind.

Going over to the Mac side after asking "which is best?" is like asking if being Hindu, Buddist, Muslem or Christian is best.

The Mac world has some nice features, the gear is pretty, but more expensive than other religions. Some people love Macs, god bless them.

I was talking to a buddy yesterday who picked up a "free" mac tower, it needed some cables reinstalled. He has had other Macs in the past. He commented that if you don't want to use Windows, and want something different, why go Mac when you can go Linux? Its different, and cheaper.

I'm typing this on a Lenovo T-series laptop. Its a fine box, I've had it more than two years and its still fast enough to do serious development. It was, however, expensive.
Jesper de Jong
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Monu Tripathi wrote:1. Which laptop do you own?

MacBook Pro (bought July 2009).

Monu Tripathi wrote:2. What is the system configuration?

2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB harddisk, two graphics cards (nVidia 9400M and 9600M), 15-inch 1440 x 900 LED backlight screen, etc.

Monu Tripathi wrote:3. Problems that you've faced, if any.

None.

Monu Tripathi wrote:4. Any advice, remarks you would like to give/make.

The best laptop I've ever had, looks much nicer than my previous Dell, does not get hot like my Dell, is thinner, lighter and faster than my Dell, battery life is great (upto 6 or 7 hours), Mac OS X boots and works much quicker and smoother than Windows. After having used OS X for a while I notice how heavy and slow Windows feels.

The only thing I'd like to be improved on the Mac is a higher screen resolution, I would have liked to have a 15-inch 1680 x 1050 screen but that's not available.

I like Mac OS X also because it's a Unix-like OS, which feels less messy to me than Windows.

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Joe Harry
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Jesper Young wrote:
I like Mac OS X also because it's a Unix-like OS, which feels less messy to me than Windows.


Why not Linux. Ubuntu 9.10 looks awesome on my Thinkpad. I see the Thnikpads as real business class machines intended for office and as well as home.
Pat Farrell
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Jothi Shankar Kumar wrote:Ubuntu 9.10 looks awesome on my Thinkpad.

I run Ubuntu 9.10 on my Thinkpad. This is the first release that automatically supported my Thinkpad's Bluetooth system.
Bear Bibeault
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I love Linux, or perhaps the idea of Linux, but I find it needs just as much care and feeding as Windows, just of a much different type.

The reason I like OS X so much is that I spend all my time doing stuff, not screwing around with the OS.
Pat Farrell
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Bear Bibeault wrote:I love Linux, or perhaps the idea of Linux, but I find it needs just as much care and feeding as Windows, just of a much different type.

I agree in spirit. If @bear was using Winders, I'd suggest trying the latest Ubuntu, its very good. But since he's in the gravity attraction field of Sir Steve, he can't reach escape velocity.

When I did professional development using Windows, I would always do a format c: and complete reinstall every 6 months. Whether I needed to or not. I don't have to do that with Ubuntu, but I have not used Win 7 as a full time tool.
Bear Bibeault
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Pat Farrell wrote:I agree in spirit. If @bear was using Winders, I'd suggest trying the latest Ubuntu, its very good.

I used Ubuntu in my previous job. I vastly prefer it over Windows, but still too much care and feeding necessary for my taste. As a server, where all I have to do is ssh to it, I love it!

But since he's in the gravity attraction field of Sir Steve, he can't reach escape velocity.

You may dismiss me as an Apple fanboi if you wish, but my opinions are molded from a lifetime career of using many many operating systems. The ones I prefer are those that let me do my thing without fuss and bother. I still mourn VAX/VMS. Windows failed miserably.
 
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