I need a new laptop, but am torn between size and battery life and power

50

Platinum Member
May 7, 2003
2,717
0
0
Hello,

So I have had a Z60t lenovo for the past 3 years and have mixed thoughts about it. Here are my pro's and con's

Pro's
  • Absolute hands down best warranty I've ever had. I am still in college and people have spilled twice on my laptop and they replaced the keyboard and ANYTHING, no questions asked returned within 2 business days. This is a major factor IMO, I'm not an accident prone person, but people seem to always break my stuff.
  • I really enjoy the 90 degree sharp edge laptop. I really like the lenovo and lattitude E6400 design
  • Phenomenal keyboard, one of the best I've ever had
  • Great build quality. All of my friends are amazed my hinges are still as strong as when I first got the laptop. The laptop just feels really solid.
Con's
  • Most of these stem from my one major problem. Lenovo hardware sucks!
  • Speakers sound like crap, I'd rather they sound worse and at least be louder. Whenever my friends come over and watch youtube we have to mute everything and huddle around it to even hear a clip. My girlfriend's HP has altec lansing speakers and they sound 10x better.
  • Screen is crap. I prefer satin screens, but this thing is just bad. The screen seems to suffer from a lot of backlight bleed and the resolution is not high (1280x768)
  • Size is a little large. I think I would prefer 13.3 or 12 in screen
  • GMA 915 SUCKS! I tried vista for about 2 hours before going insane. I absolutely need a dedicated graphics card or soemthing that can handle Aero at the least
  • Battery life sucks. I have a 4 cell battery and can't even get 2 hours out of this thing. I would like something that can get at least 4

Is there a solution out there for me? So far I've liked
Macbook Air (I'm not sure I can get over the lack of connections)
Lenovo X301 (I heard the screen is crap on this though, dunno about the speakers)
Dell latitude E6400 (I'm worried about the build quality, this thing looks good from afar but I didn't try it up close).
MSI XSlim X340 (this could be perfect for me, I'm worried about screen, keyboard, and speakers)

Anyone else have any other suggestions? I'd like to keep it under $1k if possible. Thanks
 

TheStu

Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
Moderator
Sep 15, 2004
12,083
45
91
13" White MacBook for $999 or I think $949 if you are a student.

Or, for $200 more, you get a little more storage, a little faster processor, LED backlit screen, solid aluminum construction... and oh yea, a 7 hour battery (6 under Vista).

Apple's hardware is topnotch and the build quality is just about the best in the industry.

I can't speak to the speaker loudness on the new 13" MacBook Pros. I know that my (almost) 3 year old MacBook has fairly quiet speakers, at least in OS X. They get definitely louder in Windows for whatever reason, the question is if it is loud enough for you.

I think that they redesigned the speaker layout in the new 13" MBP, so they should be louder.

The BootCamp drivers for Windows work pretty well, and I have very few complaints about my MacBook's performance in Windows 7. So even if you were to just install Windows onto it, it will still be a fine machine.

Both of those systems have the nVidia 9400m chipset/GPU. It is an integrated solution, but one of the best out there right now, draws roughly the same wattage as the intel 4500HD, but is a significantly better performer.
 

IlllI

Diamond Member
Feb 12, 2002
4,927
10
81
Stu do you ever recommend anything but macs? :p

what would be your second option? hah
 

TheStu

Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
Moderator
Sep 15, 2004
12,083
45
91
Originally posted by: IlllI
Stu do you ever recommend anything but macs? :p

what would be your second option? hah

If he is looking for battery life, probably nothing.

Dell business class laptops are usually well put together. I am not bery impressed by lenovo's build quality, and the rest are all the same just with a different shell.
 

Rottie

Diamond Member
Feb 10, 2002
4,795
1
81
Get a new lenovo notebook you never know they get better than your old notebook. Forget about HP unless you plan to buy HP business notebook. Repair center fix business notebook better thsn budget notebook.
 

xSauronx

Lifer
Jul 14, 2000
19,586
4
81
Originally posted by: Rottie
Get a new lenovo notebook you never know they get better than your old notebook. Forget about HP unless you plan to buy HP business notebook. Repair center fix business notebook better than budget notebook.

thinkpads are still business laptops, as much as i love them, and hed probably be unhappy with the monitor and (likely) speakers on them when it comes to multimedia.

go to a best buy or office depot and check out some laptops, see what models you like, then hunt online for better deals or coupons. most new laptops should have at least HD video cards and power to handle aero.

my mother has been happy with the dell inspirons, and i think the studios are supposed to be good. you can check the outlet for deals on those, dont know if you can up the warranty, but any standard warranty now is pretty basic and youll want to upgrade if you want the kind of warranty you have now, so remember that when you price check things.

 

TheStu

Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
Moderator
Sep 15, 2004
12,083
45
91
Originally posted by: GrantMeThePower
Acer Timeline for battery life?

That's looks interesting, I hadn't heard of it before.

Very light which is nice, and the battery life is supopsed to be quite good. But, it does lack an optical drive, and has a fairly slow processor at 1.4GHz, and since I am here I am going to mention the MacBook Pro 13.

Not that much more expensive than the TimeLine, much faster processor, about the same thickness, optical drive, aluminum instead of plastic construction, also has a huge battery.

The main points in the TimeLine's favor are:
-HDMI instead of DisplayPort (though for $10 you can get an adapter from MonoPrice) if the OP wants to hook it up to an HDTV and not have a separate sound cable.
-Thinner
-Lighter
-More RAM and larger hard drive by default
-Windows Native

The main points in the MacBook Pro 13's favor are:
-FireWire 800
-Much better GPU (9400m vs 4500HD)
-Better keyboard and Trackpad
-Might have better ethernet (gigabit over 100Mb)
-Faster default CPU
-OS X Native
-Aluminum construction

So, the TimeLine certainly does look like an interesting one to consider.

Anyone want to speak to Acer's quality?
 

50

Platinum Member
May 7, 2003
2,717
0
0
Originally posted by: TheStu
Originally posted by: GrantMeThePower
Acer Timeline for battery life?

That's looks interesting, I hadn't heard of it before.

Very light which is nice, and the battery life is supopsed to be quite good. But, it does lack an optical drive, and has a fairly slow processor at 1.4GHz, and since I am here I am going to mention the MacBook Pro 13.

Not that much more expensive than the TimeLine, much faster processor, about the same thickness, optical drive, aluminum instead of plastic construction, also has a huge battery.

The main points in the TimeLine's favor are:
-HDMI instead of DisplayPort (though for $10 you can get an adapter from MonoPrice) if the OP wants to hook it up to an HDTV and not have a separate sound cable.
-Thinner
-Lighter
-More RAM and larger hard drive by default
-Windows Native

The main points in the MacBook Pro 13's favor are:
-FireWire 800
-Much better GPU (9400m vs 4500HD)
-Better keyboard and Trackpad
-Might have better ethernet (gigabit over 100Mb)
-Faster default CPU
-OS X Native
-Aluminum construction

So, the TimeLine certainly does look like an interesting one to consider.

Anyone want to speak to Acer's quality?

Thanks for the info both Stu and GrantMethePower. I have always had the mentality about Mac's like the Windows commerical in that they are too expensive for me, but $1200 for a 13" macbook pro is amazing. I was reading more into the MSI XSlim340 and read something about an extended battery being released later that would do 8 hours but I'm skeptical. Right now I am really interested in both of these laptops. I would go for the mac hands down except I disagree on a few points with Stu being:

-I'm not sure I really like the trackpad that much on the Macbook pro's. One thing I have always hated since the begining about macs was one button. Furthermore, I'm not sure expanding the trackpad just to save room for the button was a good idea. I am the type of person that tends to tap the trackpad instead of use the click button. Can I do this with the Mac or do I have to press the whole surface down?
-Is the battery rating teh same for windows as it is OSX? Frankly I don't see myself switching over to OSX completely anytime soon and will do most of my computing on Windows 7.
-Are there any hardware issues with mac hardware in windows? I was using a non-tech savvy friends MBP 1st generation and noticed I couldn't use her optical drive in this VMWare
virtualization. Was her's just configured wrong?

I may be able to live with the trackpad and if not I'll carry a mouse, but not being able to use Windows 100% is a real killer for me. Thanks

EDIT: Just realized there has been a 13" macbook for a while now. Is there any major difference between the one on the mac site and the one just released at wwdc besides removable battery and SD slot? I may pick up a used 13" macbook pro
 

firewolfsm

Golden Member
Oct 16, 2005
1,848
29
91
HP DV2.

You can get one with a dual core AMD Neo and a dedicated 3410 for around 600-650. It's fast, the battery lasts a long time and it's under 4lbs.
 

TheStu

Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
Moderator
Sep 15, 2004
12,083
45
91
Originally posted by: 50
Originally posted by: TheStu
Originally posted by: GrantMeThePower
Acer Timeline for battery life?

That's looks interesting, I hadn't heard of it before.

Very light which is nice, and the battery life is supopsed to be quite good. But, it does lack an optical drive, and has a fairly slow processor at 1.4GHz, and since I am here I am going to mention the MacBook Pro 13.

Not that much more expensive than the TimeLine, much faster processor, about the same thickness, optical drive, aluminum instead of plastic construction, also has a huge battery.

The main points in the TimeLine's favor are:
-HDMI instead of DisplayPort (though for $10 you can get an adapter from MonoPrice) if the OP wants to hook it up to an HDTV and not have a separate sound cable.
-Thinner
-Lighter
-More RAM and larger hard drive by default
-Windows Native

The main points in the MacBook Pro 13's favor are:
-FireWire 800
-Much better GPU (9400m vs 4500HD)
-Better keyboard and Trackpad
-Might have better ethernet (gigabit over 100Mb)
-Faster default CPU
-OS X Native
-Aluminum construction

So, the TimeLine certainly does look like an interesting one to consider.

Anyone want to speak to Acer's quality?

Thanks for the info both Stu and GrantMethePower. I have always had the mentality about Mac's like the Windows commerical in that they are too expensive for me, but $1200 for a 13" macbook pro is amazing. I was reading more into the MSI XSlim340 and read something about an extended battery being released later that would do 8 hours but I'm skeptical. Right now I am really interested in both of these laptops. I would go for the mac hands down except I disagree on a few points with Stu being:

-I'm not sure I really like the trackpad that much on the Macbook pro's. One thing I have always hated since the begining about macs was one button. Furthermore, I'm not sure expanding the trackpad just to save room for the button was a good idea. I am the type of person that tends to tap the trackpad instead of use the click button. Can I do this with the Mac or do I have to press the whole surface down?
-Is the battery rating teh same for windows as it is OSX? Frankly I don't see myself switching over to OSX completely anytime soon and will do most of my computing on Windows 7.
-Are there any hardware issues with mac hardware in windows? I was using a non-tech savvy friends MBP 1st generation and noticed I couldn't use her optical drive in this VMWare
virtualization. Was her's just configured wrong?

I may be able to live with the trackpad and if not I'll carry a mouse, but not being able to use Windows 100% is a real killer for me. Thanks

EDIT: Just realized there has been a 13" macbook for a while now. Is there any major difference between the one on the mac site and the one just released at wwdc besides removable battery and SD slot? I may pick up a used 13" macbook pro

-The entire trackpad is a tracking/clicking surface, and you can enable tap clicking with the latest BootCamp drivers in Windows.
-It is not the same, Vista is harder on batteries than OS X. However, according to Anand's test here on this site, the laptop can get up to 6 hours of life in Vista.
-No hardware issues that I am aware of. VMWare and Native installs are different, and your friend probably didn't have it configured incorrectly as I have never had a problem with my first gen macbook.

The first MacBook was a white or black 13" plastic model. Late last year they upgraded it to an aluminum enclosure (but kept 1 white plastic one since they could sell if for $999). The newly introduced 13" aluminum is a MacBook PRO, not a true macbook. The advantages of the MBP13 over the Aluminum MacBook are:
-Little bit faster processor
-SD Card slot
-MUCH Better screen
-Firewire 800 port
-40% higher capacity battery

It is probably a better bet to get a new MBP13 instead of a refurbished Alu MacBook. But Apple's refurbs are as good as new. My mother got a refurb, and my friend got a refurb as well, and they both are in perfect condition, both internally and externally. Apple refurbs are as good as new, you just don't get the new box. If you can wait to score a MBP13 refurb, then that would definitely be the way to go.
 

VinDSL

Diamond Member
Apr 11, 2006
4,869
1
81
www.lenon.com
Hrm...

Well, I'll have to say - personally - battery life doesn't mean shit to me!

If you haven't noticed, there's an AC outlet on every wall in America - so, this is hardly a major concern! ;)

If you're worried about battery life - carry 2-3 batteries - that's all...

I don't know what to say about your choices - I wouldn't buy any of them! I won't bore you with why not...

Originally posted by: 50
Anyone else have any other suggestions?
My next lappy is going to be a Clevo/Sager. To hell with the rest... :D

A little out of your price-range (I know) but you can always dream:

http://www.avadirect.com/produ...gurator.asp?PRID=13880
 

50

Platinum Member
May 7, 2003
2,717
0
0
Hello all,

So I am still on the search for a new laptop. I am really torn between the Acer Timeline and 13" Macbook pro still...Here are my gripes about the Timeline in order of precedence
1. Not sure about the processing power. I really need help with this, my current laptop is Pentium-M 2GHz. So for $600 I can get a Core 2 Solo SU2700, for $50 more SU3500 and for $900 Core 2 Duo 1.4GHz. I don't game, but I do watch a LOT of flash/silverlight video and want to make sure my processor can handle it. The only other things I do is watch ripped dvd's and listen to itunes. Will the 2700 cut it? Can it handle these things simultaneously?
2. No Bluetooth (I tether a lot and promised myself I would get a new laptop with BT integrated, I don't really want an adaptor stealing my usb port, is there a way to hack it to integrate bt?)
3. No optical drive (not a huge deal but it is annoying when I have to install stuff)

Can anyone give me any comments on the processor? I really screwed myself with my current laptop because I got a shitty graphics (GMA915) and I don't want to make a similar mistake with the CPU. Thanks
 

Emulex

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2001
9,759
1
71
how about awesome acer support compared to apple :)

give the mac store a call after lunch on sunday; then call acer. see which can handle your system that day.

silverlight now has GPU 3D acceleration so i'd get the mac with the dual video (on-board nvidia + SLI nvidia).
 

EJ257

Junior Member
Jul 21, 2009
21
0
0
How much more battery life would you get if you have a LED vs LCD display (lets say both are same size and set to same level of brightness) or SSD vs regular HDD? How about using 1x4GB module vs. 2x2GB modules?
 

Harvey

Administrator<br>Elite Member
Administrator
Oct 9, 1999
35,052
30
86
Following is an edited repost of my reply in another thread looking for a good machine under $800.

This week, Staples has the HP dv7-1451nr on sale for $650.

Listing on staples.com.

Specs from HP.

Shortened list of specs:

Processor: AMD Turion X2 Ultra ZM-82 Dual-Core Mobile Processor
Memory (RAM): 4GB expandable to 8GB
Hard Drive Size: 500GB
Optical Drive: LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVDñR/RW with Double Layer Support
Display Size: 17.0"
Display Type: WXGA+ High-Definition HP BrightView Display
Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit with Service pack 1
Battery Type: 8-Cell Lithium-Ion
Network Card: 802.11b/g WLAN
Video Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 3200 Graphics RS780M with up to 1918MB
Other ports: 5-in-1 integrated Digital Media Reader
Extra Features: HP Webcam with integrated digital microphone

I've seen this machine. It's gorgeous. Staples previously offered the same machine at the same price with a 320 GB hard drive. This time, it's up to 500 GB. 4 GB of RAM should be enough to start. You can bump it up to 8 GB if/when you reach that barrier.

It's got onboard shared memory video that can take up to 2 GB of RAM, but the machine can take enough RAM to overcome a lot of that limitation.

The 17" screen is killer and about as big as they come in a laptop, the 8 cell battery will give you longer battery life, and the keyboard includes a full numeric keypad.

I agree with you about the importance of good tech support. HP's tech support is excellent. They've helped me with my laptops, including free help through their online chat with one that was out of warranty. I recommended this machine (with the 320 GB drive) to my apartment manager. When he tried to burn the Recovery DVD Disk set, the burn failed. I told him to phone HP's toll free support. They sent him a Recovery Disk set FedEx overnight and phoned the next morning to make sure it had arrived, and they assured him that if the problem continued when he tried to burn other disks, they they would replace the machine.

I design electronic products, and I know that, no matter how hard you try, there will always be some field failures. The question then becomes how well the company deals with them to protect the customer. HP is kewl beans. :cool:

For your own convenience, this deal is at Staples, which means there's probably one near you where you can see it and decide for yourself whether you like the look and feel of it compared to others you're evaluating. At the sale price, your budget may allow you to include any extra warranties you want such as full screen replacement, etc.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY