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My laptop just gave up. I'm looking to buy an iPad anyway so I was wondering in addition, what would be the best laptop to buy right now?

I was thinking the Macbook Pro but with me getting an iPad anyway, I just dont think its worth spending upwards of $2k.

I'm looking to spend between $1000-1500. Would be great to hear some ideas.

Comments (106)

  • Art.Vandelay's picture

    For the love of God dont get a Mac. You could get such a great PC for the price of one of those things.

  • BoxerRebeller's picture

    Just what I was thinking but I have been using a PC for years. Maybe I need a change. I cant think of any real good Windows laptops right now anyway.

  • BTbanker's picture

    You really can't go wrong with these three laptops.

    1) SONY VAIO Z Series ($1,500)

    2) Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon ($1,100)

    3) DELL XPS 13 ($1,000)

  • wolverine19x89's picture

    I just got a Dell Precision... it's on the thick side but it's pretty powerful and built really tough. Lenovo Thinkpads and HP Elitebooks are in the same (business) class. I was using my dad's Samsung Chronos series and it was pretty nice, that's an ultrabook.

    If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

    "There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

  • In reply to wolverine19x89
    BTbanker's picture

    wolverine19x89 wrote:
    I just got a Dell Precision... it's on the thick side but it's pretty powerful and built really tough.

    Thick side? That thing is like a brief case with buttons haha.

  • Going Concern's picture

    I've had a very nasty experience with a Dell laptop (screen went black permanently), still have a bad taste in my mouth. Their quality has deteriorated in the last few years, they used to be quite solid back in the day. Maybe consider Toshiba or Lenovo. I have a high end Acer desktop and it's awesome, so maybe give their notebooks a whirl. Obviously not a Macbook, unless you're a closet hipster who wants to sit there pretending to write some garbage paper on literary theory, or an old grandma who doesn't know where the any key is.

    “A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths”

  • In reply to BoxerRebeller
    labanker's picture

    BoxerRebeller wrote:
    Just what I was thinking but I have been using a PC for years. Maybe I need a change. I cant think of any real good Windows laptops right now anyway.

    Depends on what you want to do. Watch videos? Fuck around on the internet? Take pictures? Use the mouse a lot? Mac is your scene. Use your computer for things other than fucking around? PC.

    As for which PC, there is one easy choice: Thinkpad. It costs more but its performance is unrivaled in my experience.

  • WalMartShopper's picture

    i'm a big fan of asus. quality machines.

    If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

  • In reply to Going Concern
    BTbanker's picture

    Going Concern wrote:
    I've had a very nasty experience with a Dell laptop (screen went black permanently), still have a bad taste in my mouth. Their quality has deteriorated in the last few years, they used to be quite solid back in the day.

    I've seen this affect happen across the board of computer manufacturers, HP in particular.

    The two biggest problems with laptops these days are 1) crashing hard drives, and 2) flimsy screens.

    They fixed problem #1 with SSDs, but it's hard to find a decent screen on a laptop.

  • cphbravo96's picture

    Probably go with Lenovo or ASUS.

    I've been looking around recently and haven't pulled the trigger yet, but I really like the Lenovo Ideapad U410. In my mind, it's not too big, not too small and not too heavy. It isn't the lightest of ultrabooks, but I can't bring myself to care about a few tenths of a pound. Additionally, they have a discrete graphics card, which many ultrabooks don't have, so that feels like a huge plus. The biggest drawbacks seem to be an average resolution screen, so nothing super great or HD and a keyboard that isn't backlit. Those are both things I think I can live without, so I will probably be picking one up pretty soon.

    This is a pretty good deal right now...
    http://www.adorama.com/LE59351627.html?utm_term=Ot...

    It was actually about $50 cheaper a couple days ago, but still easily falls under your expected price range. I was out of town and not able to buy it, so I missed out on the better pricing. Because I don't need a new PC right now, I'm going to wait and see if I can catch it on sale as we slowly approach Christmas.

    Regards

    "The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
    - Ronald Reagan

  • In reply to cphbravo96
    BTbanker's picture

    cphbravo96 wrote:
    Probably go with Lenovo or ASUS.

    I've been looking around recently and haven't pulled the trigger yet, but I really like the Lenovo Ideapad U410. In my mind, it's not too big, not too small and not too heavy. It isn't the lightest of ultrabooks, but I can't bring myself to care about a few tenths of a pound. Additionally, they have a discrete graphics card, which many ultrabooks don't have, so that feels like a huge plus. The biggest drawbacks seem to be an average resolution screen, so nothing super great or HD and a keyboard that isn't backlit. Those are both things I think I can live without, so I will probably be picking one up pretty soon.

    This is a pretty good deal right now...
    http://www.adorama.com/LE59351627.html?utm_term=Ot...

    It was actually about $50 cheaper a couple days ago, but still easily falls under your expected price range. I was out of town and not able to buy it, so I missed out on the better pricing. Because I don't need a new PC right now, I'm going to wait and see if I can catch it on sale as we slowly approach Christmas.

    Regards


    The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is definitely my favorite Lenovo right now. I'm thinking of getting that one.
    http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/laptop/thinkpad/...

  • In reply to BTbanker
    Going Concern's picture

    BTbanker wrote:

    The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is definitely my favorite Lenovo right now. I'm thinking of getting that one.
    http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/laptop/thinkpad/...

    That looks pretty good. Approximately a billion times better than some slimy idiot box made by a company named after a fruit.

    “A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths”

  • above_and_beyond's picture

    I can give you only one advice. Stay away from Acer!

  • cogitoergognome's picture

    I'm seconding the Lenovo ThinkPad. Solid as a rock, subtle and professional, great reputation, and some serious processing power. The new X1 Carbon looks good.

  • Arpster55's picture

    Samsung ultrabook series 9. It's basically the Samsungs rip off the macbook air. But I don't care because its simply amazing. Got it for about 1100 bucks. If you go to the Microsoft Store, they remove all the bloatware that the manufacturer puts in.

    Best laptop I have ever had and I have gone through many.

  • chicandtoughness's picture

    Samsung Series 9 is sexy as all hell and durable. A similar device for slightly less is the HP Envy series. I have an Envy 15 (2011 release version) and it is gorgeous and works beautifully. Intel i7 core, 8 gigs of RAM, and the optional Radiance display is heavenly - extremely bright and pushes to 1980x1080 on a 15-inch laptop. That in itself is awesome.

    "Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself."
    Currently: saying goodbye to the financial industry... going into healthcare sector
    Previously: M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM), academic research (HBS)

  • TechBanking's picture

    I'm on my 4th straight Lenovo and haven't had any major problems. Only reason I had so many is that my last job got me a new one every year. When I left I bought another. If it ain't broke, why fix it?

  • wolverine19x89's picture

    Looks like Lenovo's are badass. I was choosing between a Lenovo W530 or a Dell Precision M4700 and went with the Dell cause I was able to talk the price down quite a bit more with Dell than I was with Lenovo.... call them when you order it and try to haggle them down if you want, I got a couple hundred off the initial price and a $115 gift card.

    If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

    "There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

  • In reply to Art.Vandelay
    lasampdoria's picture

    Art.Vandelay wrote:
    For the love of God dont get a Mac. You could get such a great PC for the price of one of those things.

    Seconded.

    "Those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."- Benjamin Franklin

  • chicandtoughness's picture

    Lenovo is hands down the most durable thing you can buy, and will be a great work laptop. That said, I can't imagine doing anything media-intensive on a Lenovo and I'm personally not a fan of their form factor. I think for 1-1.5k you can afford something slightly more flashy, haha.

    "Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself."
    Currently: saying goodbye to the financial industry... going into healthcare sector
    Previously: M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM), academic research (HBS)

  • Vyraal's picture

    Sony Vaio Z needs more love in here. Best screen hands down and don't underestimate the Integrated graphics cards these days as well. My 3 year old Z can run Starcraft 2 handily with an integrated, but on video benchmarking tests on my friends new Z, it matches up really well.

  • SanityCheck's picture

    I suggest the Lenovo W530 mobile workstation. Durable and extremely fast. You can get a fully loaded W530 for $3-4k if your work is paying for it and I like it so much I am using it as my personal computer as well!

  • captainradio's picture

    Buy something cheap for ~ $600, use it for a couple of years and throw it away.

  • BusinessSense's picture

    I would definitely suggest looking at the Sony Vaio Z series. Fast, powerful, and very sleek looking. Don't have any complaints with mine so far.

  • yeahright's picture

    While you all discuss whats good or not. You could just get an Apple Macbook Air and be done with it, knowing it will last and work well.

    Frank Sinatra - "Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy."

  • bearing's picture

    From my personal experience don't get Lenovo. The thinkpad line is utter crap when IBM sold it to Lenovo. Back in the day I had a T61 and a T40 before that and both of the were workhorses with high battery life, great keyboard and I could play most games on ultra setting. When I got my T500 (the first thinkpads that were of Lenovo and not IBM design) it was garbage. The motherboard went bad after 5 months and had to be replaced, after a year the battery couldn't hold a charge and to compound the problem the graphics card died around the same time also. Never again.

  • In reply to yeahright
    TechBanking's picture

    yeahright wrote:
    While you all discuss whats good or not. You could just get an Apple Macbook Air and be done with it, knowing it will last and work well.

    Sounds great, assuming you don't need to use excel.

  • In reply to TechBanking
    yeahright's picture

    TechBanking wrote:
    yeahright wrote:
    While you all discuss whats good or not. You could just get an Apple Macbook Air and be done with it, knowing it will last and work well.

    Sounds great, assuming you don't need to use excel.

    What....

    Microsoft Office for Mac 2011....

    Do all college students that buy Macs not use excel then? What about all the private prep schools that now require macs? They dont use excel either right?

    Frank Sinatra - "Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy."

  • Dying's For Fools's picture

    Got a Lenovo Thinkpad back in 2008 and was very happy with it. I've moved on to a Sager now though. It all comes down to what you plan on doing with it.

  • IvyGrad's picture

    I don't understand the hate for Macbook in this thread. I have a MacBook Air and I love it. Besides, whoever said you don't have access to Microsoft Excel on Macbook is seriously misinformed... for what it's worth, I have everything Microsoft-related on my laptop, even Windows. (yes, u can run Windows as an alt option on Mac)

    At work, I use my company laptop and when I am home or when Im travelling I use my Macbook Air. It's fast, super light, easy to carry, easy on the eye, good for surfing the net, very ideal for watching movies, taking pictures, playing games, etc.

    At the end of the day, unless you are a software engineer, you really don't need something so technologically advanced. Just get a laptop that is within your budget, and the one you like the best.

  • WallStreetOasis.com's picture

    I've had a dell vostro 1220 laptop (small, easy for transport) for almsot 3 years now with no issues and it's pretty damn fast (4gb ram) and was pretty cheap at ~$700...i just hook it up to a large monitor, keyboard, mouse when I'm home.

    That being said, I think I will go with a 16GB of RAM since I now find myself running ~4-6 programs at a time and I hate closing stuff. I usually have ~20 tabs+ open and spotify playing, Word, Adobe, FF, Chrome, Skype+ random open all at the same time.

  • wolverine19x89's picture

    it may be better cost-wise to get a laptop with a little bit of ram and buy extra ram and upgrade it yourself

    If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

    "There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

  • In reply to yeahright
    Straight Cash Homey's picture

    yeahright wrote:
    TechBanking wrote:
    yeahright wrote:
    While you all discuss whats good or not. You could just get an Apple Macbook Air and be done with it, knowing it will last and work well.

    Sounds great, assuming you don't need to use excel.

    What....

    Microsoft Office for Mac 2011....

    Do all college students that buy Macs not use excel then? What about all the private prep schools that now require macs? They dont use excel either right?

    Excel 2011 has notable limitations in its VBA functionality. For my purposes, the major limitation that I've come across is its lack of the object FileSystemObject. Without it, it's quite difficult to create any truly robust applications (i.e. anything involving inputs and outputs). If someone is just using Excel for traditional data input and editing, the Mac version will serve its purpose. But if programming capabilites might be required, I think it's safer just to get the full-blown PC version.

  • Going Concern's picture

    If you're using your laptop for Internet and Media, Mac is pretty solid (disregarding the dreamy price tag). If you're using it for anything else in any serious way, you're SOL. I own a macbook.

    “A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths”

  • In reply to labanker
    BoxerRebeller's picture

    labanker wrote:
    BoxerRebeller wrote:
    Just what I was thinking but I have been using a PC for years. Maybe I need a change. I cant think of any real good Windows laptops right now anyway.

    Depends on what you want to do. Watch videos? Fuck around on the internet? Take pictures? Use the mouse a lot? Mac is your scene. Use your computer for things other than fucking around? PC.

    As for which PC, there is one easy choice: Thinkpad. It costs more but its performance is unrivaled in my experience.

    General really. I think a combination of the two. If I have an iPad, I dont think i really need a Mac. Definitely noted Lenovo as one of my choices. Thanks.

  • In reply to BTbanker
    BoxerRebeller's picture

    BTbanker wrote:
    Going Concern wrote:
    I've had a very nasty experience with a Dell laptop (screen went black permanently), still have a bad taste in my mouth. Their quality has deteriorated in the last few years, they used to be quite solid back in the day.

    I've seen this affect happen across the board of computer manufacturers, HP in particular.

    The two biggest problems with laptops these days are 1) crashing hard drives, and 2) flimsy screens.

    They fixed problem #1 with SSDs, but it's hard to find a decent screen on a laptop.

    One of the problems on my current Dell and the only problem of my Vaio before that. Machine still works but the screen is completely dead.

  • In reply to cphbravo96
    BoxerRebeller's picture

    cphbravo96 wrote:
    Probably go with Lenovo or ASUS.

    I've been looking around recently and haven't pulled the trigger yet, but I really like the Lenovo Ideapad U410. In my mind, it's not too big, not too small and not too heavy. It isn't the lightest of ultrabooks, but I can't bring myself to care about a few tenths of a pound. Additionally, they have a discrete graphics card, which many ultrabooks don't have, so that feels like a huge plus. The biggest drawbacks seem to be an average resolution screen, so nothing super great or HD and a keyboard that isn't backlit. Those are both things I think I can live without, so I will probably be picking one up pretty soon.

    This is a pretty good deal right now...
    http://www.adorama.com/LE59351627.html?utm_term=Ot...

    It was actually about $50 cheaper a couple days ago, but still easily falls under your expected price range. I was out of town and not able to buy it, so I missed out on the better pricing. Because I don't need a new PC right now, I'm going to wait and see if I can catch it on sale as we slowly approach Christmas.

    Regards

    Thanks! Looks great. You reckon it may be even cheaper come Christmas?

  • In reply to chicandtoughness
    BoxerRebeller's picture

    chicandtoughness wrote:
    Samsung Series 9 is sexy as all hell and durable. A similar device for slightly less is the HP Envy series. I have an Envy 15 (2011 release version) and it is gorgeous and works beautifully. Intel i7 core, 8 gigs of RAM, and the optional Radiance display is heavenly - extremely bright and pushes to 1980x1080 on a 15-inch laptop. That in itself is awesome.

    I like the Envy too but I feel I am getting too much of the Mac in it. And considering the prices of the Envy range, its probably best to get a Mac.

  • In reply to BusinessSense
    BoxerRebeller's picture

    BusinessSense wrote:
    I would definitely suggest looking at the Sony Vaio Z series. Fast, powerful, and very sleek looking. Don't have any complaints with mine so far.

    Had a Vaio before, was a great machine. Just worried about the screens. Mine gave up and I've heard thats a problem with their new products too.

  • In reply to bearing
    BoxerRebeller's picture

    bearing wrote:
    From my personal experience don't get Lenovo. The thinkpad line is utter crap when IBM sold it to Lenovo. Back in the day I had a T61 and a T40 before that and both of the were workhorses with high battery life, great keyboard and I could play most games on ultra setting. When I got my T500 (the first thinkpads that were of Lenovo and not IBM design) it was garbage. The motherboard went bad after 5 months and had to be replaced, after a year the battery couldn't hold a charge and to compound the problem the graphics card died around the same time also. Never again.

    What are you using now?

  • In reply to Dying's For Fools
    BoxerRebeller's picture

    Dying's For Fools wrote:
    Got a Lenovo Thinkpad back in 2008 and was very happy with it. I've moved on to a Sager now though. It all comes down to what you plan on doing with it.

    With my ignorance, I've never heard of the Sager..shed some light?

  • In reply to WallStreetOasis.com
    BoxerRebeller's picture

    WallStreetOasis.com wrote:
    I've had a dell vostro 1220 laptop (small, easy for transport) for almsot 3 years now with no issues and it's pretty damn fast (4gb ram) and was pretty cheap at ~$700...i just hook it up to a large monitor, keyboard, mouse when I'm home.

    That being said, I think I will go with a 16GB of RAM since I now find myself running ~4-6 programs at a time and I hate closing stuff. I usually have ~20 tabs+ open and spotify playing, Word, Adobe, FF, Chrome, Skype+ random open all at the same time.

    I'm exactly the same. I hate closing stuff and constantly leave it on sleep. I think bigger RAM then my current 4gb is a definite.

  • BoxerRebeller's picture

    Thanks everyone for their help. I'm likely getting one of the new Vaios, the X1 or a Macbook. I need something with a bigger RAM and speed. I dont envisage needing a laptop for work so the added bits is unnecessary for me.

    Another Dell is out of the question and something small (i.e. 12-inch) isnt really practical for me although I do like the fact that its light and portable. I think the Lenovo's are pretty sweet but something about them screams avoid. the X1 does look great however.

    What does everyone think about the Envy series? I do like them but they are pretty pricey for essentially a Macbook rip-off? Anyone with Windows 8 at the moment? Never tried so interested in views. Also ASUS seems decent value.

  • In reply to BoxerRebeller
    cphbravo96's picture

    BoxerRebeller wrote:
    Thanks! Looks great. You reckon it may be even cheaper come Christmas?

    Honestly, it's really hard to say. Truth is, I should probably just buy it at the current price, since it's only $50 higher than the 'sale' price last week, but when I went to the Lenovo website and saw what the similarly spec'd version sells for retail, I realizes this was deeply discounted already.

    In the month leading up to Black Friday, the U410s were selling for $600-$650 at a few places, but those were i5 processors, not i7 and they were all running Windows 7 Pro, not Windows 8 Home Premium. In theory you would be paying an 'extra' $100 bucks for the updated version of Windows and the better processor, which is probably a steal compared to the difference you would have to pay if you built it that way.

    Microsoft was offering upgrades for $15 from Windows 7 to Windows 8...which I believe would work with the equivalent version of what you had, so 7 Pro to 8 Pro, or 7 Home to 8 Home. Interestingly enough, the cost to go from Home to Pro is about $60.

    Additionally, one of the deals was through the Microsoft Store which, as some else pointed out, removes all the extra crap that manufacturers put on there. Not having that isn't going to be a deal breaker for me, but that mixed with the fact that I don't need a new laptop right now and the potential for sales in the coming weeks has convinced me to wait it out and see if I can snag a better deal. Chances are it will only be $50 or so but what can I say, I got a little IP in me.

    Regards

    "The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
    - Ronald Reagan

  • In reply to IvyGrad
    TechBanking's picture

    IvyGrad wrote:
    I don't understand the hate for Macbook in this thread. I have a MacBook Air and I love it. Besides, whoever said you don't have access to Microsoft Excel on Macbook is seriously misinformed... for what it's worth, I have everything Microsoft-related on my laptop, even Windows. (yes, u can run Windows as an alt option on Mac)

    At work, I use my company laptop and when I am home or when Im travelling I use my Macbook Air. It's fast, super light, easy to carry, easy on the eye, good for surfing the net, very ideal for watching movies, taking pictures, playing games, etc.

    At the end of the day, unless you are a software engineer, you really don't need something so technologically advanced. Just get a laptop that is within your budget, and the one you like the best.

    Umm, no...you are misinformed. Excel on Macbook is lacking in a number of ways that annoy the crap out of any legit power user. It isn't the same program with the same level of functionality. Yes, you could run full Windows through a virtualization service, like VMware, but that seems like a bit much to just get Apple hardware.

  • In reply to BoxerRebeller
    chicandtoughness's picture

    BoxerRebeller wrote:
    I like the Envy too but I feel I am getting too much of the Mac in it. And considering the prices of the Envy range, its probably best to get a Mac.

    I don't think there's anyone who believes that the Envy didn't totally rip off the Mac. They redid the line, though, so it's a little less Mac-looking (I still have people who think otherwise). Still think it's a bit more robust than a Macbook, but my primary reason for favouring HP's high-end line (it's actually now the Spectre, and the Envy has dropped down to a ugly-as-hell line that looks like it time travelled from 2007) is my refusal to use OS X. Nope, I will never like it and don't want to take the effort to 1) reinstall an OS, and 2) strip a laptop of one of the things that makes it so damn expensive in the first place.

    "Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself."
    Currently: saying goodbye to the financial industry... going into healthcare sector
    Previously: M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM), academic research (HBS)

  • IBanker2015's picture

    I'm thinking about getting a mac book air. I know people say Macs are overpriced but I see them as a worthwhile. just my .02

  • BanditPandit's picture

    Nerd time.

    My rec:
    Lenovo Y580

    Hard specs: 8gb RAM,1TB HDD + 32GB SSD, GTX660M, IB i7
    Soft specs: backlit keyboard, 1920x1080 15.6", JBL speakers

    Pros: With above specs, it's easily one of the top of the line models at the $1k-$1.1k budget
    More important pro: with these specs you can beat off to models in style (Excel and female)
    Cons: 5400RPM, i7-3630 and GeForce great but not fantastic

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