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Portable What portable device?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by okenobi, 24 Jul 2011.

  1. okenobi

    okenobi What's a Dremel?

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    1) Wanna type i.e. need a keyboard (and a decent one, not a netbook)
    2) Want it to be portable (i.e. been thinking at around a 15" max but probably 13ish, I'm guessing number one puts the min at 12)
    3) Some gaming would be cool, but is not the be all and end all. Discrete graphics would be nice.
    4) 1080p capable (not screen res, just playback) is a must for output purposes and future uses.
    5) Battery life. Lots of it. Optimus switching would be cool, or equiv.
    6) USB3 because, well I just want it mmmkay?!

    So far, looked at Tosh R830 which is pretty bang on except for lack of discrete graphics. Also the Dell XPS 15z is a little too big, but perfect in every other way. Although I don't really wanna spend £900!

    Who knows the portable market better than me and can suggest some ideas?
     
  2. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    You are asking way to much for the price tag.
    Nvidia Optimus is not necessary. My laptop has a bit over 10 hours (wireless ON, 5400 RPM HDD (I picked the slower one for reduce system noise, and increase battery), with my 9-cell battery, and I don't have Optimus, despite having an Nvidia med-low range Quadro inside (great overclock-er, thanks to the excellent cooling engineering of the laptop... something you find in good laptop). My system was seriously powerful at the time, apart from the GPU, but still good. It was using the latest P series Core 2 Duo.

    I have the Dell Latitude E6400, which is about 3 years old, and still looks like new.. then again I paid a bit less than a Mac Book Pro, with a 3 year warranty and 3 year next business day onsite service.

    All laptops and desktop computer today, are full 1080p playback ready via Display Port or HDMI, so you don't have to worry about anything (Display Port is back ward compatible with HDMI with a simple converter, and also to DVI, which is really cool)

    Don't forget to look at business class systems (That's what I have). Usually they are more expensive as you have less junk installed on the system, and better warranty service (like for Dell, it's local (same country) during business hours, and offer a service which you can get, called Next Business Day on site service... so that mean they come the next business day at your place at the time you want, to fix your system in front of you. This assures you that the job is done right, and that you always have the laptop in hand). Lenovo, I believe has similar service (i don't know if the warranty service when you call is local).

    Also, if you can order from the manufacture do so. Not only you get real warranty with the manufacture, insuring yourself that every part used is genuine to your laptop, and that the work is done properly, but also, you get to customize the laptop the way you want, and finally, be able to negotiate a price and/or free upgrades over the phone. Oh and you can try and request the OS disk (even if you might pay a couple of dollars more, based on the company you order from), and not get these stupid recovery partitions or disks.

    Toshiba system are uber filled with junk, quality is not good, and battery life is usually not impressive. It's not as bad as HP, or Acer, but quite close.

    Remember that battery life reduces over time. If you need 5 hours.. within 6-8 month it will be ~3hours, and possibly less depending on the quality of the battery. Even if you don't use it, the battery ages.. that's an issue with all Lithium based batteries. Levasing the battery at 100% for long periods of time, also harm the battery, and emptying down to 0 usually breaks the battery entirely. Batteries do have a protection system including Windows, but if it fails or your force it down by turning back the laptop on, when it turned off on you due to low battery, while still being on battery and not plug-in, you essentially will break it.

    As battery max battery life deteriorates over time, I always recommend getting the larger battery (one that doesn't lift the laptop in an angle (oh so terrible design)), so that the laptop fit your needs longer, as laptop batteries aren't cheap, and you can push it 2 and possibly 3 years.

    For laptops size: My personally recommendation is 14inch. 12 and 13 inch are too small to provide power. If you only watch videos and web surf, they are fine (but also expensive). 15 inch way to big and heavy. 14 inch, provides you with good performance, good cooling, good selection of ports, and perfect size to work. I highly recommend to get a screen resolution for a 14inch laptop above 1366x768 (this resolution is too low to be able to do work on it, and on a 15inch, you won't get nice sharp text).
     
  3. okenobi

    okenobi What's a Dremel?

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    Ok, interesting post. My current machine is the Dell XPS M1710 and I know what you mean about quality. It's lasted well, but cost me £1500 new (direct from Dell business).

    I know about batteries and my current one has done well, so that's not an issue. With regard to 1080p playback, I meant I need sufficient grunt to play it with CPU and/or GPU. I wasn't talking about cable standards. From what I've read, HD3000 might not be enough for me.

    Can I assume that you prefer Dell over everyone else? I'm never used a Lenovo, but I did have an E6400 myself once, for work. I looked awful, but worked very well and I liked it a lot.

    I have a friend who works for Tosh tech support and he speaks highly of the recent stuff. The Porteges have been winning awards for over a year in the "thin & light" space.

    The XPS 15z has been very well reviewed and were it availably in a slightly smaller size, I would definitely look at it.

    The other thing that's in the back of my mind is that the market is changing and the way we access the internet is changing and despite my requires of a keyboard and media playback, there might be an alternative way to do that with a cheaper device.

    Maybe, it's time I looked at Apple...
     
  4. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    That is what I was talking about. 4500XHD is the minimum Intel GPU, that I recommend for perfect smooth playback.. but I can't recommend this Intel graphic solution, well for one.. it's a Core 2 Duo chipset... not a Sandy Bridge. But second, this chipset causes a lot of problems linked to overheating or if it was not disabled by the manufacture, throttling issues, mainly due to the piss poor implementation to the North bridge.

    Yes and no. I don't like the new Dell system... it's not the time to buy Dell products, except for the Dell U series monitor (as it was released at a time before Dell went down hill as it is now). Except the new U model: U2412M (very disappointing monitor)

    Dell laptops design, to me looks like from the early 2000's. They all essentially look the same, the keyboard isn't as good as the XPS laptop that you had, no the E6400. The quality is a less then before, no more OS disk (I don't know if you can request them at extra charge over the phone, but by default, including Business class system, they don't), No more slim line PSUs like the E6400, and not even the old Dell PSU's... it's the super generic, super fat, and heavy, PSU... no more cable wining system (like the Lenovo, HP, or Toshiba PSU's.. very basic stuff)
    [​IMG]
    Yes it's shorter, but so fat... now image putting the cables around it to make it compact... it's going to be even bigger. And junk software and trial software installed. It's not drastically lower quality... but expect it to be lower.

    Really? I like the E6400 look a lot... (not so much the E6410, due to the gray color) yea, it did show grease, so a nice wipe is needed every now and then to make it look nice, but I think, in a non-business environment, and in personal usage (as you can take care of it, easily), it is very nice. The look was simple, but not too bland, is what I like the most about it. Oh and non-glossy, so it won't show scratches easily.

    Lenovo is well Lenovo...
    The looked never changed, you don't if you have a new one or one from the 90's. They are all identical in looks. (only minor design changes, which is seen by the company as ultra risky and major). Lenovo system are solid systems... but they are like Dell... Low end is not so good quality, and the high end systems.. is well very solid.

    I am not impressed with these "Awards". The laptop does look very nice. But what about quality, does the keyboard flex, and can stop the disk form spinning if pressed hard (was a problem in some HP laptops) and so on, and well warranty service. I look more for a review. I don't care if my laptop got a xillion design award... the question is will it last minimum 3 years?

    I am looking now at the Protegee, and what I don't like about it is:
    -> The inside is like any laptop: Core i3, Intel graphic solution, 4GB of RAM, standard resolution for 16inch display.
    -> If you remove the battery for storage, then you have a big whole under the screen on the palm rest.
    -> No Display Port (then again Toshiba is part of companies that developed HDMI)

    Beside those downsides, it looks good., especially the eSATA port. Now it comes down to what reviews are saying about it, and battery life.

    Trust me, no.
    I got some class mates with iPads to web surf and take notes. The general consensus from my questions, is that they hate it. They say it's really cool at first... but difficult to use at the end. Ultimately they all concluded that it is nice and convenient for casual internet usage and casual note taking.. but typing notes in 1 class at the end, you wished you had a keyboard. Not to mention low web page support, and no Flash support.

    Maybe it will change, and we will have exiting new products with Windows 8, which will support ARM chip, so very long battery life. And thanks to the identical Windows API codes, all a developer needs to do is set Visual Studio to compile for ARM processors, and voila the program is available for ARM's processors.. possibly some tweaking here and there might be needed for more advance programs, and re-optimizations for larger programs, but nothing like a complete restructure. Imagine Tegra 3 powered laptops with a touch screen.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p92QfWOw88I
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBvaDtshLY8 (and yes, like the Tegra 2, it will provide long battery life, and 1080p playback, of course)
     
    Last edited: 24 Jul 2011
  5. rollo

    rollo Modder

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    the problem you will have is getting a laptop that can output hd without spending a fortune aka the £900 you listed. Anything below that is either gonna be too bulky or old tech and they still likely wont do what you want

    hd3000 is not on a list of 1080p supported graphics hardware.

    cheapest macbook pro for reference is £900.
     
  6. okenobi

    okenobi What's a Dremel?

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    Rollo, I looked at Apple earlier and the Air was similar money. But no ethernet port (and not gigabit compatible when you do get the adapter) no USB3 and a change of ecosystem count against it - even if I could stomach the cost (knowing the crazy amount of margin on those things).

    Goodbytes, when I say "winning awards" I mean the reviews have been awesome. My main problem with Tosh is the lack of a discrete graphics solution. Everything else seems to be bang on. As for keyboard flex and other build issues, no mention of them in reviews.

    What is it about Dell specifically that you "don't like" atm?

    And what laptop are you aware of that when you remove the battery doesn't leave a giant hold in the bottom. My XPS does that now. That said, living overseas, more and more, I'm making use of the battery and not sat at a desk.
     

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