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laptops - what to buy?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by lancis, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. lancis

    lancis Elite Member

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    Hey guys,

    Time has come to replace my PC with something smaller, and after spending a few hours on choosing a good laptop i realized that I'm lost. :)

    Obviously, I could choose the most expensive one and hope that it fits my requirements, but something tells me it wouldn't be the best thing to do.

    I'm looking for a laptop capable of those:
    - Multi-core layout (2 is max for laptops, am I correct?)
    - Capable to run WAMP + MySQL server
    - Capable to cope with the bloated Microsoft's products, such as Visual Studio 2010
    - Capable to run Photoshop in parallel
    - Capable to run Matlab in parallel
    - Good keyboard layout (e.q. with keypad inside)
    - Built-in DVD
    - Large HD
    - Many USB ports
    - a docking station
    - Screen size is not an issue as I will connect it to an external one
    - no Apple logos :)

    Any suggestions? Or the laptop industry is not there yet? :)

    Cheers,
     
  2. trustedfire9

    trustedfire9 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    i like the laptops from acer , have what you need and quality industry ........
     
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  3. V

    V Elite Member

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    Check for Dell (XPS series is good) and Sony (Vaio S series is kinda decent) laptops. Another choice is to go for HP , i think dv6 is a good one. Also check out Acer aspire V5-571G.
     
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  4. xTiger

    xTiger Junior Member

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    MSI GT70 one of the most sick laptops out there.
     
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  5. Laughing-Man

    Laughing-Man Regular Member

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  6. lancis

    lancis Elite Member

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    Whoa, that one looks like a work horse!
    By the way, whats up with Lenovo? As I remember they were used to be popular as work stations, did they change for bad?
     
  7. judson

    judson Power Member

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    How much do you want to spend?

    I have had loads of joy with Dell. The Precision M6600.

    The M6700 just came out. Not much difference in the chassis, but these have the new 3xxx Intel CPUs.

    The M6600s are still really good machines, and you can get a refurb with really good specs on Ebay. You are looking at about $1.5k+$2.5 for a good one. Factory refurb, so as good as new, with factory warranty. The improvements (performance wise) from the M6600 to M6700 is going to be marginal, so save your money and get a good M6600. Aim for the 28xx and 29xx CPUs, and don't skimp on the RAM. 16Gb minimum. Also, you might want to look into getting an SSD.

    Another good thing about the Dells too, is that you can have 2HDDs (before swopping out your DVD player). So you can have an SSD for the OS and apps, and a big cheaper drive for your documents.

    I also recommend the Thinkpads (not Lenovos), or the HP8xxx series.

    I stopped mucking around with consumer grade machines a while ago. Go with a pro machine, and you'll wonder how you ever survived without one.

    Hope that helps.
     
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  8. judson

    judson Power Member

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    The Dell
    Code:
    http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/precision-m6700/pd
    The HP
    Code:
    http://www.hp.com/united-states/campaigns/workstations/8770w_features.html
    Look for something with 'Mobile Workstation' in the name. The battery is not going to be amazing, but the performance will be second to none.

    Also, there is no need to fully kit out the options on the manufacturer's site. The RAM + HDD can *usually* be upgrade aftermarket for much less than the 'upgrade' prices. And I know that with Dells, upgrading both is trivially easy, and more importantly, does *not* void the warranty.

    Happy shopping.
     
  9. lancis

    lancis Elite Member

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    I don't want to overpay, for example I'm not going to play games. So any extra features that deal specifically with this are not relevant. However, i do run a lot of 'heavy' programs in parallel and would like the laptop to be able to cope with that. I assume, we're talking about $800 - $1500 price range given the above.
     
  10. steelballs

    steelballs BANNED BANNED

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    Good thread as I am looking too thanks for opening OP :)

    I see on second look someone mention HP never ever buy - the last i had paid around $1300 for and never worked well and frequently overheated and stopped - took it to HP service they could not fix as they said manufacturers fault - threw it in the bin after 6 months - $1300 bucks down the tube - WTF!
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
  11. joejo

    joejo Registered Member

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    Per your specifications?

    CPU: Intel Core i5 2.8 GHz or faster (a Core i7 is better/faster/has more cores but more expensive)

    RAM: 6 GB (minimum), 8+ GB preferably since you plan to use Photoshop with other apps simultaneously

    HD: Old style SATA HDDs are super cheap in price now. Anything 750 GB or more should do it for you. But if you are willing to throw down an extra $200+ for awesome performance then get a laptop with an ?SSD? + normal SATA HDD. (Do research on "SSD laptop drives")

    Graphics: Get the standard Intel HD (2000. 3000, 4000) graphic card. You said you are not going to be gaming so no need to

    DVD: Built-in DVDs are standard on all 14?+ laptops that I have seen.

    Docking Station: There are a few 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] party companies that sell generic USB docking stations. No need to look for an ?HP? laptop that has a special ?HP? docking station. Save your money

    As the lead tech for the organization I work at, I have purchased a few thousand laptops for various departments. There have been various brands and specs (crappy low end to very expensive, super fast laptops). Also in my personal life unfortunately I am the first one that is called when the laptops of my friends and family does anything even remotely off. Here are the brands that I have worked well from experience?.

    HP
    Acer
    Asus
    Lenevo
    Dell
    Sony

    There may be other brands that are kick ass but I have not worked with them as much as the ones I mentioned above. I am not trying to sell you anything so I will not post any links. Just look at the specs I listed and search on Amazon, NewEgg, Tiger, HP and other sites. See what place gives you the best deal.
     
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  12. Em][n3m

    Em][n3m Power Member

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    im using HP and is pretty good :D
     
  13. 0_00_0

    0_00_0 Senior Member

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    I've had my 2 Sony vaio laptops for 5 and 2 years now. They handle everything no problem. I run MSVC, games and whatever else on them. I'm happy with them my toshiba laptops never lasted more than a year haha.
     
  14. Laughing-Man

    Laughing-Man Regular Member

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    Yeaa there's some cases like that, but a lot of people dont have some of those problems. One thing i always do just in case is buy the warranty
     
  15. judson

    judson Power Member

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    In which case, go for the Dell M6600s on ebay.

    You will get a very good mobile workstation (designed for heavy duty apps) for the price. Again, the difference for most folk between the 3xxx and 2xxx generation CPUs is going to be marginal.

    Lay off the shiny, nice looking consumer grade machines. Seriously. HP dvXXX machines are rubbish. But their 87XXw ones are amazing. Ditto with Lenovo. Their Lenovos are pretty rubbish, but the ThinkPads are very solid.
     
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  16. compton13

    compton13 Junior Member

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    I have this laptop, I am on it currently and it handles everything I throw at it. I have so many apps running at the same time and it never even hiccups.