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Old 02-03-2013, 07:16 PM   #1
Paratus
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Default Does this laptop exist?

I'm looking for a laptop for my son to take notes in school. Since this for elementary school I need it to be small and have good battery life. I'd also like it to be fast to boot.

My wish list would be

Sub 13.3 in screen - any resolution
Ivy Bridge processor
SSD or SSD/HD hybrid
Greater than 6 hour battery life for note taking
Sub $900

I can't find many sub 13.3 laptops that meet these requirements. Either they're more expensive, missing the SSD or lack battery life.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:37 PM   #2
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Your best bet may be to get a Lenovo x230 (12.5 inch) and a third party SSD and install it yourself.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:10 PM   #3
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A laptop for ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ? What happened to good old paper and pencil?
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by CoachB View Post
A laptop for ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ? What happened to good old paper and pencil?
Relax there.

My son has some issues with writing. Which we're finally getting a handle on and I'm not going to go into here. The school is allowing him to type instead. This is 5th grade btw.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by crab0 View Post
Your best bet may be to get a Lenovo x230 (12.5 inch) and a third party SSD and install it yourself.
I'll check that laptop out. I saw that AT basically did that in their Acer v5 review.

Anybody know what the least expensive laptop that meets those criteria is? Asus zen book ux21a maybe?
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:37 PM   #6
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The Lenovo Thinkpad Twist has all the specs you're looking for $899 after using coupon code TWIST90.

3rd Gen i7
7 hours advertised battery life
24GB SSD in addition to 320GB
12.5" screen

http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/c...0025:000034FA:
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:44 PM   #7
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The Lenovo Thinkpad Twist has all the specs you're looking for $899 after using coupon code TWIST90.

3rd Gen i7
7 hours advertised battery life
24GB SSD in addition to 320GB
12.5" screen

http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/c...0025:000034FA:
Wow that looks damn interesting.

Only thing that looks a little sketchy is the lack of dual channel ram. Apparently it's one 8gig DIM. Now to find some reviews.

Thanks!
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paratus View Post
I'll check that laptop out. I saw that AT basically did that in their Acer v5 review.

Anybody know what the least expensive laptop that meets those criteria is? Asus zen book ux21a maybe?
Up front, it does not have a SSD, but best buy has a Asus 11.6 in touch screen on sale this week for less than 500.00. I have seen it in the store, and I like it a lot. It has 4gb of ram and a low voltage i3, so it should be much more competent than a netbook.

Is an SSD really that necessary, especially for someone in elementary school to use? Please dont be offended, I had a grandson that had issues writing and still does somewhat (he is 15 now) so I understand the point of the laptop, I just dont know if you need an SSD, considering how much cost they add.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:04 AM   #9
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I would think the ssd would be more for shock protection
a kid in elementary school isn't always going to be the easiest with a laptop

Try looking in the Dell outlet at the xps 13's
http://www.dell.com/us/dfh/p/d/campa...deals_dfh.aspx

Looks like you can get the one with the third gen i5 for 595 right now

I have the second gen one myself and it has been great
only downside is that you are limited to 4gbs of ram but that should be more than enough
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:32 PM   #10
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Why does it have to be a laptop? Why not get a tablet and a keyboard case? Like the Nexus 7 or iPad mini or something?
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:15 PM   #11
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Why does it have to be a laptop? Why not get a tablet and a keyboard case? Like the Nexus 7 or iPad mini or something?
Any kind of keyboard case for a 7" tablet is bordering on a crime for teaching good typing skills.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frozentundra123456 View Post
Up front, it does not have a SSD, but best buy has a Asus 11.6 in touch screen on sale this week for less than 500.00. I have seen it in the store, and I like it a lot. It has 4gb of ram and a low voltage i3, so it should be much more competent than a netbook.

Is an SSD really that necessary, especially for someone in elementary school to use? Please dont be offended, I had a grandson that had issues writing and still does somewhat (he is 15 now) so I understand the point of the laptop, I just dont know if you need an SSD, considering how much cost they add.
The SSD is mostly for boot/wake up speed. I don't want him waiting a minute or two for the thing to wake up when he needs to take notes or do an assignment. I maybe colored a bit my work laptop which takes forever to wake up.

Even my newer home laptop, vaio sandy bridge i7 takes a bit to wake up.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post
Any kind of keyboard case for a 7" tablet is bordering on a crime for teaching good typing skills.
Basically this and I'm not sure how the school intends to have him print his assignments.

I figure a small x86 windows box is more flexible than an iPad or even a Surface RT
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoturtle View Post
I would think the ssd would be more for shock protection
a kid in elementary school isn't always going to be the easiest with a laptop

Try looking in the Dell outlet at the xps 13's
http://www.dell.com/us/dfh/p/d/campa...deals_dfh.aspx

Looks like you can get the one with the third gen i5 for 595 right now

I have the second gen one myself and it has been great
only downside is that you are limited to 4gbs of ram but that should be more than enough
This looks really good.

I also checked my local Frys and they have a Lenovo u310 Ultrabook for $548

Decent battery life
i5 and a 24GB/500GB hybrid drive.

It's 13.3 but for the price it or the dell refurb might be the best compromise.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paratus View Post
Basically this and I'm not sure how the school intends to have him print his assignments.

I figure a small x86 windows box is more flexible than an iPad or even a Surface RT
Well, he could e-mail it to your computer and print it from that, assuming no issues with whatever office program the tablet is running.

I am not recommending a tablet though, I have a 7" acer, and find it decent for surfing the web or watching netflix, but pretty much useless for anything productive. I would much rather have the small asus laptop I mentioned earlier than the tablet I have.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post
Any kind of keyboard case for a 7" tablet is bordering on a crime for teaching good typing skills.
Well, the OP's budget is $900, it could be a full size iPad in that case and still come out under budget. But for a young small person, with small hands, using a small keyboard should be a more natural fit.

But, as the OP pointed out, printing is an issue. And just getting files to and fro. I wasn't sure exactly what his kid is using this for. Just notes, everything involving writing, there's lot of use cases that don't involve having to have the files exist off of the tablet.

Stick with the laptop then, it cuts down on compatibility issues.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:22 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paratus View Post
Relax there.

My son has some issues with writing. Which we're finally getting a handle on and I'm not going to go into here. The school is allowing him to type instead. This is 5th grade btw.
My friend had this. Its understandable.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:23 PM   #18
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So we eventually decided to try and pick up the refurbed Dell above. However i couldnt get the coupon to work. This meant the cheapest XPS 13 was $849.

Instead we decided to go with the Lenovo 310u which out local Fry's had on sale for $548. However when I went to buy it the sale had rolled and it was now $745.

Frys had a single Acer S3 (i3 128GB SSD) left in stock for $699 and I bought that. When I got home my wife wasn't sold on the Acer so she suggested I try to call dell and get the coupon to apply.

The next day I called the Dell outlet store but they were closed on Saturdays. After being transferred around 4 times finally ended up talking to somebody from the regular Dell.com. He checked the coupon and confirmed what I thought was the problem. The $250 dollar off coupon was only good on XPS 13s that cost $845. The cheapest they had was $849. :/

So I told the sales rep it was just a ploy to get customers to check the prices and I was going with the Acer for $699. The Dell guy said he too couldn't believe the coupon and was sorry he couldn't do the refurb deal. He did say that he could cut a deal on a new XPS 13. The deal was $699 and free two day shipping. So I took it and returned the Acer unopened to Frys.

XPS 13
13 in 13x7 display
Ivybridge i5
4GB Ram
128GB SSD
Win 8
Battery life should be around 7-8hours.
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Last edited by Paratus; 02-13-2013 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:07 AM   #19
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Nice deal

Glad you found something that would work
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:15 AM   #20
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Good choice, even though it didn't get the best reviews from most sites I found the XPS 13 t be a very nice system and I'm very demanding when it comes to laptops. That's a really good deal on it too.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:37 PM   #21
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Good choice, even though it didn't get the best reviews from most sites I found the XPS 13 t be a very nice system and I'm very demanding when it comes to laptops. That's a really good deal on it too.
Thanks,

In this price range it's all trade offs
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