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4/28/14

I am currently a college undergraduate and use a MacBook Pro for pleasure and the occasional word document. However, I am a finance undergrad and the Mac excel is impossible for model on. Which laptop do you recommend for financial modeling?

Thanks in advance.

Comments (230)

4/28/14

Any windows laptop with microsoft office 2003+ will be much better than a mac

Financial Modeling

4/28/14

There have been threads on this before, please use the search bar.

4/28/14

The Dell XPS is by far the best for modeling. It can index match in 0.002ms and handle volatile functions better than the lenovo.

In all seriousness, any PC will do, just upgrade the RAM if your models get >10MB.

4/28/14

I am using MacBook Pro as well off work but I have the bootcamp installed so I am able to access the Windows version of Excel.

Modelling works the same - formulas etc but some missing functions in the keyboard can be annoying, and you cant delete everything in your selection with the 'delete' button.

I would instead spend money on buying relevant books/course for modelling (even those can be saved) since starting out you will hardly be a modelling whiz that can skip the mouse entirely.

Just my 2 cents

The heights by great men reached and kept were not obtained by sudden flight. But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night. -Thomas S. Monson

4/28/14

Excel is one of few programs that can genuinely benefit from quad core processors. But not if the cells are involved in a circular loop (iterations). See http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff700514(v=office.14).aspx#xl2010PerfImp

gl

4/28/14

Buy a PC. You will need to learn the shortcut keys. I have both Mac and PC and the keyboards are different and muscle memory for shortcuts is crucial to saving time.

"Everybody needs money. That's why they call it money." - Mickey Bergman - Heist (2001)

4/28/14

I know that I want a PC. The model is what I'm wondering about

4/28/14

It depends on how heavily you are going to use it. RAM and Processor speed are way more important than just about anything else when it comes to crunching excel workbooks. Get as much of both as you can afford. Too many brands to really provide an answer, you'll need to research the specifics you care most about: durability, warranty issues, etc.

"Everybody needs money. That's why they call it money." - Mickey Bergman - Heist (2001)

4/28/14

run windows off bootcamp and put excel on there. no point in getting a separate laptop. I use windows excel off bootcamp on a mac and there's basically no difference. If you really want, invest in an external monitor + keyboard with num pad

4/28/14

MacBook pro. Done.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

4/28/14

I agree with the colored gentleman above me.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

4/28/14
happypantsmcgee:

I agree with the colored gentleman above me.

LMAO

I am not cocky, I am confident, and when you tell me I am the best it is a compliment.
-Styles P

4/28/14

Fuck that noise. You won't find a better deal than this brand new Windows 7 laptop for $279.
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtool...-Main--WEM2710-_-tigeremail

Don't let anybody give you any shit about Acer, either. I have a 4gb Acer that I bought from Tiger Direct for $450 and the thing is a goddammed beast. Never had a single problem with it, it's fast as shit, has HDMI hookups for my big screen, 320gb hard drive, and I run my whole life on it.

Take the money you save and buy beer. You're welcome.

4/28/14
Edmundo Braverman:

Fuck that noise. You won't find a better deal than this brand new Windows 7 laptop for $279.
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtool...-Main--WEM2710-_-tigeremail

Don't let anybody give you any shit about Acer, either. I have a 4gb Acer that I bought from Tiger Direct for $450 and the thing is a goddammed beast. Never had a single problem with it, it's fast as shit, has HDMI hookups for my big screen, 320gb hard drive, and I run my whole life on it.

Take the money you save and buy beer. You're welcome.

Wont knock Acer, but AMD sucks dick.

4/28/14
FinancialNoviceII:
Edmundo Braverman:

Fuck that noise. You won't find a better deal than this brand new Windows 7 laptop for $279.
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtool...-Main--WEM2710-_-tigeremail

Don't let anybody give you any shit about Acer, either. I have a 4gb Acer that I bought from Tiger Direct for $450 and the thing is a goddammed beast. Never had a single problem with it, it's fast as shit, has HDMI hookups for my big screen, 320gb hard drive, and I run my whole life on it.

Take the money you save and buy beer. You're welcome.

Wont knock Acer, but AMD sucks dick.

Then get ASUS - they use Athlon and are almost as cheap as ACER.

Get busy living

4/28/14
UFOinsider:
FinancialNoviceII:
Edmundo Braverman:

Fuck that noise. You won't find a better deal than this brand new Windows 7 laptop for $279.
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtool...-Main--WEM2710-_-tigeremail

Don't let anybody give you any shit about Acer, either. I have a 4gb Acer that I bought from Tiger Direct for $450 and the thing is a goddammed beast. Never had a single problem with it, it's fast as shit, has HDMI hookups for my big screen, 320gb hard drive, and I run my whole life on it.

Take the money you save and buy beer. You're welcome.

Wont knock Acer, but AMD sucks dick.

Then get ASUS - they use Athlon and are almost as cheap as ACER.

You mean an AMD Athlon processor?

4/28/14
Bobb:
UFOinsider:
FinancialNoviceII:
Edmundo Braverman:

Fuck that noise. You won't find a better deal than this brand new Windows 7 laptop for $279.
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtool...-Main--WEM2710-_-tigeremail

Don't let anybody give you any shit about Acer, either. I have a 4gb Acer that I bought from Tiger Direct for $450 and the thing is a goddammed beast. Never had a single problem with it, it's fast as shit, has HDMI hookups for my big screen, 320gb hard drive, and I run my whole life on it.

Take the money you save and buy beer. You're welcome.

Wont knock Acer, but AMD sucks dick.

Then get ASUS - they use Athlon and are almost as cheap as ACER.

You mean an AMD Athlon processor?

shhhh, I'm on AMD's payroll

Get busy living

4/28/14
Edmundo Braverman:

Fuck that noise. You won't find a better deal than this brand new Windows 7 laptop for $279.
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtool...-Main--WEM2710-_-tigeremail.

Thanks for this. My sh*t hard-drive just crashed on me. About to order it tonight.

4/28/14

Thinkpad x220 - ~12hr battery life with 9 cell battery, i7 processor (latest & greatest from Intel) and you can get it for ~850 with a special American Express Deal for the next couple days.

Oh and its ~3lbs.

4/28/14
Aspirant:

Thinkpad x220 - ~12hr battery life with 9 cell battery, i7 processor (latest & greatest from Intel) and you can get it for ~850 with a special American Express Deal for the next couple days.

Oh and its ~3lbs.

+1

Still I Rise

4/28/14

macbook pro! you will never want to go back on a PC after having an apple...I've done this and it wasn't pretty.

4/28/14
oldmansacks:

macbook pro! you will never want to go back on a PC after having an apple...I've done this and it wasn't pretty.

This, is so true in so many ways.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

4/28/14

I am a PC, I may be slow...but I'm no homo.

4/28/14

PC all day everyday, even on holidays.

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

4/28/14

Midas is funny

Beast

4/28/14

macs suck only thing theyre good for are graphic design and music stuff, otherwise youre just an overpaying noob who cant keep their computerdick away from the porn sites with viruses
REALTALK

4/28/14
shorttheworld:

macs suck only thing theyre good for are graphic design and music stuff, otherwise youre just an overpaying noob who cant keep their computerdick away from the porn sites with viruses
REALTALK

And what else to do you do on your personal computer? Exactly.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

4/28/14

Love my Macbook Pro. If I had to get a new computer now, I might even think about the Air. Shit is hot fire.

4/28/14
TheKing:

Love my Macbook Pro. If I had to get a new computer now, I might even think about the Air. Shit is hot fire.

really an air after an Macbook Pro, I've heard bad things about the air

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

4/28/14

Just never get a Sony.

Valor is of no service, chance rules all, and the bravest often fall by the hands of cowards. - Tacitus

Dr. Nick Riviera: Hey, don't worry. You don't have to make up stories here. Save that for court!

4/28/14

Do you have an Amazon Student account? If so, if you buy a laptop from Amazon, you can get a 4GB Xbox 360 for free. Here's the promotion:

http://www.Amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&ref_=amb_link_356432962_3&tag=te0d0-20&docId=1000676291&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957

4/28/14

play video games and not spend a 3x multiple just to have apple stamped on the outside.

go to dealnews.com passwird.com or any deal site and find something good on sale

4/28/14

Anyone going into finance and choosing Apple should be shot, the excel is HORRENDOUS.

I had a macbook for a while, and until they fix the excel i am more than happy on my Dell.

4/28/14
derivstrading:

Anyone going into finance and choosing Apple should be shot, the excel is HORRENDOUS.

I had a macbook for a while, and until they fix the excel i am more than happy on my Dell.

this is very true....I don't use excel on my macbook though. esp after using it for 15hrs/day.

4/28/14

Derivstrading, that is why you dual boot Windows. If you are going into banking, the $200 that it costs to purchase Windows 7 is pocket change. On a side note, I think Excel 2011 for Mac is an improvement over the previous one, but as you can guess, still not as good as the Windows version.

4/28/14

gotta go with the macbook pro.

4/28/14

Agreed on mac excel. I've got two macs and literally all i use my computer for: internet, word, excel. I'm boutsta arb that xbox deal.

People tend to think life is a race with other people. They don't realize that every moment they spend sprinting towards the finish line is a moment they lose permanently, and a moment closer to their death.

4/28/14

best laptop advice i can give, get a chillmat. i know my pc hardware back to front, and heat kills laptops. its 20 bucks that will give you massively increased life. Acers are known to overheat, but are great power/price. add in the chillmat and you've got yourself a great laptop

4/28/14

Mac all the way. I will never use a PC again for anything other than work. I have an Air and the thing is a fucking champ. Excel blows, but other than that it is a way better computer. Any PC laptop I've ever had has crapped out after 2 yrs and the Air still runs like the day I got it 3.5 years later. Don't get it cause it's an Apple, get it cause it's way better for battery, performance, virus control, and media.

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."

Theodore Roosevelt

4/28/14

Who keeps a laptop longer than two years anyway? Totally disposable item. Go cheap and replace often.

4/28/14
Edmundo Braverman:

Who keeps a laptop longer than two years anyway? Totally disposable item. Go cheap and replace often.

Come on Eddie, replacing shit for shit everyday doesn't make it stop being shit. It's just a better product for the things we use personal computers for these days. Virtually no viruses, better media, and way better OS than Windows. Outside of work, you just don't need Windows. I kept hearing how great Mac's were and finally got the Air to check it out. I honestly cannot imagine having a PC laptop again. Once you go Mac, you never go back.

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."

Theodore Roosevelt

4/28/14

Great thing about macbooks is that they don't depreciate in value as fast as PCs. I've had 5 macbooks since senior year in high school....I usually end up selling my macbooks/macbooks pros after one year to morons on craigslist for $100/200 less than i buy them for and end up buying the newer models directly from the Apple store for an extra $100/$150 not including the free ipods/printers they throw in during the summer season.

So I basically spend $300-400 a year for a new macbook per year (around a dollar a day) and get to keep up with the new apple technology. Just bought the new model last week with 12 month interest free financing.

4/28/14

http://www.newegg.com/Store/Notebook.aspx?name=PCs...

Newegg is great, they often ship out of Edison, NJ so if you live in NYC you'll get your shipment QUICKLY. You'll also be hard pressed to find better deals. Good luck!

Patrick Bateman would eat Eddie Morra's lunch (and probably his brains).

4/28/14

so what do people use when they want to access work/excel from home? install windows on mac?

4/28/14

If you buy a windows 7 computer and you are "going to college" you get a free xbox 360

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

4/28/14

what are you going to be using it for? school? work? if you are going to be doing anything trading related stay away from macs. I think macs are more marketed towards art and music type users rather than IBers.

4/28/14

Eddie, have an Acer laptop as well. Great computer. Would recommend it to anyone..

You have to be "special" to get a mac..

4/28/14

http://www.woot.com/

This is not a bad deal. Check it out.

1 Asus K52F-BBR9 Intel Core i3-370M, 4GB, 500GB, 15.6" HD LED, 802.11n, WiMAX, Webcam, SRS, Win7HP

4/28/14

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2...

as such mac is best left to women. Also apple fanbois can now be lumped together with the religious nutjobs.

As a reasonable rational human being you should not buy a mac.

If you ever have to do any work on your mac you will want to take a rusty nail and scratch your eyeballs out with it.

4/28/14

Bought an Asus U36J (13", 500GB, 3lbs, legit 9hr battery, about $900) last month as spilled coffee on my Sony.

Like it better than the Vaio after all.

  • SpencerMakesBank
  •  4/28/14

Thinkpads or Macbook Pros. Best laptops on the market. Thinkpads are (usually) way cheaper but they are WAY less sexy.

4/28/14

Thinkpad X220. Done.

Still I Rise

4/28/14

sony vaio z series

great performance, very good battery life, solid-state-drive, lightweight

4/28/14
NuevoBanker:

sony vaio z series

great performance, very good battery life, solid-state-drive, lightweight

++

Best laptop you can get for your money.

1080p resolution screen in a 13 inch form factor. Great if you need to work on models or browse websites without scrolling every 2 seconds. Doesn't run too hot, great keyboard.

You pay a premium, but it's worth it.

4/28/14
Tracer:
NuevoBanker:

sony vaio z series

great performance, very good battery life, solid-state-drive, lightweight

++

Best laptop you can get for your money.

1080p resolution screen in a 13 inch form factor. Great if you need to work on models or browse websites without scrolling every 2 seconds. Doesn't run too hot, great keyboard.

You pay a premium, but it's worth it.

vaio Z is a solid laptop but its super expensive for the specs. SSD is nice sure but you can add an SSD to any other laptop for around $200

4/28/14

I have the most generic, average laptop ever--the basic Dell one that you see verywhere. Four years plus of solid use. Can't complain. But since you're probably going to be using Excel on it a lot, it would definitely be helpful to go with PC just to minimize the issues between Mac Excel and PC Excel. Same thing with Powerpoint. Plus, I don't feel like paying a several hundred dollar markup for a computer just because someone has stuck an Apple logo on it. (I'm sure IlliniProgrammer would agree...)

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

4/28/14

I am an honorary computer repair nerd, driven through frequency and necessity of self honed repair skills, hardware replacement, and OS utility issues, brought on by the three Dell machines owned over 5-7 years that crashed or malfunctioned within a week or days of the warranty going out. Old school built in obsolescence campaign from the auto industry.

On the bright side, I can now fix about anything and do it for less than a pc repair shop or a new machine.

No one advacated as of yet, so it's probably already assumed as a given... DON'T BUY A DELL!!!

4/28/14

MBP is a great laptop and macosx has a lot of awesome built in features, however excel sucks and if you're going t get bootcamp/win7/msoffice then why don't you just get a PC ...

Apple products durability is shit btw, they selfdestruct within 2 years. And the replacement pieces and services are expensive.

Get a PC, you will get laid...

4/28/14

Get the new Thinkpad X1, stuff is nuts
( http://shop.lenovo.com/us/products/laptops/thinkpa... )

On another note, don't you all have to use Citrix when working remotely to access your office computers? In that case having a mac for working from home shouldn't really be a problem since you are running Excel on XP remotely either way, right?

4/28/14

Unless you're trying to go cheap, Macbook Air all the way.

4/28/14

I have to say I'm surprised at all the fanbois on here. I know your firms don't use Apple products. What gives?

4/28/14

Have you ever used one? The stability, speed and ease of use adds to an incredible number of avoided headaches. Windows is finally closing the gap with Windows 7 but the two are still world's apart. I've never met a single person who's regretted making the switch and I'm by no means an Apple fanboy. It's nice to have desktop PC for finance-related stuff but unless you plan spreading comps on your laptop, I don't see any reason to get a PC. I even know a kid who backtests tons of stuff on his Mac Excel, works just fine.

4/28/14

Agree with GB. I was anti Apple too until my brother gave me his (month old macbook air) after getting a brand new one. I will never go back. Use one and I think it will help you understand.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

4/28/14

Maybe you guys are right. But all I do on my computer is work. It's literally a typewriter with a TV screen as far as I'm concerned.

4/28/14
Edmundo Braverman:

Maybe you guys are right. But all I do on my computer is work. It's literally a typewriter with a TV screen as far as I'm concerned.

What's a typewriter?

Consultant to a Fortune 50 Company

4/28/14

Macs are by far better computers, and the price argument is moot. When I can run OSX on a PC, then we can start talking about price (and when you take into account quality of components, quality construction, etc. you're not really overpaying by as much as you think even if you disregard the difference in OS).

Yes, Excel on Macs sucks, but you can run Parallels or VMWare and run Windows and OSX simultaneously (if you're going to be doing this a lot, make sure you max out your ram and processors to the most you can afford).

I use my mac for work, and run Windows 7 in Parallels. Being able to run both OS's at the same time is amazingly convenient and productive. I just use Windows for the Office suite. If Microsoft made their versions of Office 100% identical for Mac relative to PC, well then they'd lose so much market share so fast it would make people's heads spin...

Consultant to a Fortune 50 Company

4/28/14

another vote for the x220. Best laptop screen in the market (one of only ones out there with an IPS screen) and can be had with i7 and 9 cell for ~$900 if you find the right discount.

If you want to go the mac route, id recommend the macbook air but wait a few months for the new model to come out which will have sandybridge processors

4/28/14

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/products/laptops/thinkpa...

+1

This is the only PC that I would buy over a macbook. I'm thinking about getting one next year and running a 2nd OS...OSX on it if I ever get macbook sick...:)

4/28/14
oldmansacks:

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/products/laptops/thinkpa...

+1

This is the only PC that I would buy over a macbook. I'm thinking about getting one next year and running a 2nd OS...OSX on it if I ever get macbook sick...:)

why would you go for the X1 over the X220? x220 has the ips matte screen vs glossy TN on the X1 and x220 battery life crushes X1 battery life. sure its a little thinner and sexier but imo not a reason to choose it over the x220.

  • SpencerMakesBank
  •  4/28/14

^Sheeeit is the X series better than the T series? I just dropped 1200 on a t420...

4/28/14

X series is a lot more portable than the other Thinkpad series - 3lbs versus 4+

The x220 has two downsides though - no optical drive & no option to get a discrete graphics card. However, you can get an external drive for $40 online if you ever need it. The lack of graphics card sucks - limits gaming if you're gonna use your laptop for that. Especially when the laptop has such good options for CPUs & harddrive.

I don't like the old school look of the computer - but the battery, the screen and the weight are great for portability. At home, you can hook up the laptop to a big screen TV for true 1080p viewing in anycase (Also great for working on excel).

You can still get the American Express deal on Slickdeals .. just search for X220 and use the code / link provided.

Another computer I was thinking about - Toshiba Portege - slightly larger 13.3 screen and it has an optical drive - older 5400 rpm hard drive & slightly lower i5 sandy bridge processor versus the i7 and 7200 rpm drive on the x220. That costs around $800 as well - I decided to pay the extra $100 or so for the 15hr battery, the i7 cpu and the lighter computer.

4/28/14

The best bang for your buck is Sager Notebooks (with performance in mind). A $1400 Sager goes for $2300+ on Dell, HP, etc.

They're not designed for portability. They're performance laptops, and easily the best quality:price you can find on the market.

I bought a Sager NP8690 - Core i7, Ati 5870 for $1400 on a 15" laptop back in August. The only way to get a better deal is to build a desktop (you can get much better performance for that price - laptops aren't meant to be powerhouses).

If you're looking for amazing performance for a low price, check them out. I went through XoticPC and haven't had any issues or complaints.

4/28/14

ASUS ftw

4/28/14

I have had terrible experiences with sager, btw

4/28/14
eyeofthundarra:

I have had terrible experiences with sager, btw

Oh really? What happened? I didn't buy through sager - I went through XoticPC & their service is awesome.

4/28/14

Am I the only one who uses Linux? I have been a computer geek since the 7th grade and have been using Linux ever since. Linux is far faster than apple.

I am not cocky, I am confident, and when you tell me I am the best it is a compliment.
-Styles P

4/28/14
eokpar02:

Am I the only one who uses Linux? I have been a computer geek since the 7th grade and have been using Linux ever since. Linux is far faster than apple.

I converted my old Dell laptop to Linux, and I like it a lot. Wouldn't take much to convert me to full-time Linux use.

4/28/14

I have a MacBook Pro at home for internet browsing / audio engineering, but as everyone else has said, it sucks for excel / other work-related stuff.

That being said, you'll get plenty acquainted with your work computer (which will probably be a Windows if you're in finance/consulting) so it's always nice to have a change when you come how.

Just to throw a wrench in everything --- I managed to get my hands on one of the new Google Chrome laptops. Honestly, if all you use your home computer for is browsing / email / word and other basic tasks, definitely give the Google laptops a look. They're ridiculously fast, sleek, and hassle free, with automatic updates to pretty much everything. I have a MacBook Pro now, but my next set-up is definitely going to be iMac (for audio engineering) + Google laptop (for day-to-day stuff)

4/28/14

For a forum about Wall Street and finance, you guys sound like a bunch of fucking hippies. Anyone who knows jackshit about computers will tell you that a high-end Windows laptop is a better value than a Macbook Pro. Thinkpads, the high-end HP Pavilions, Sagers, and Clevos will run laps around a Macbook Pro. Plus Windows 7 is pretty equivalent to OS X, except that it's not gay.

4/28/14
Chillguy:

For a forum about Wall Street and finance, you guys sound like a bunch of fucking hippies. Anyone who knows jackshit about computers will tell you that a high-end Windows laptop is a better value than a Macbook Pro. Thinkpads, the high-end HP Pavilions, Sagers, and Clevos will run laps around a Macbook Pro. Plus Windows 7 is pretty equivalent to OS X, except that it's not gay.

Didn't know your opinion was the end all be all. Thanks Zeus

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

4/28/14
blackfinancier:
Chillguy:

For a forum about Wall Street and finance, you guys sound like a bunch of fucking hippies. Anyone who knows jackshit about computers will tell you that a high-end Windows laptop is a better value than a Macbook Pro. Thinkpads, the high-end HP Pavilions, Sagers, and Clevos will run laps around a Macbook Pro. Plus Windows 7 is pretty equivalent to OS X, except that it's not gay.

Didn't know your opinion was the end all be all. Thanks Zeus

No problem, I'm just glad to enlighten all of you. Sure I overreacted a bit, but I think the OP needs to do a bit more research before he jumps on the Apple bandwagon.

4/28/14
Chillguy:
blackfinancier:
Chillguy:

For a forum about Wall Street and finance, you guys sound like a bunch of fucking hippies. Anyone who knows jackshit about computers will tell you that a high-end Windows laptop is a better value than a Macbook Pro. Thinkpads, the high-end HP Pavilions, Sagers, and Clevos will run laps around a Macbook Pro. Plus Windows 7 is pretty equivalent to OS X, except that it's not gay.

Didn't know your opinion was the end all be all. Thanks Zeus

No problem, I'm just glad to enlighten all of you. Sure I overreacted a bit, but I think the OP needs to do a bit more research before he jumps on the Apple bandwagon.

The apple bandwagon is comfortable and if he doesn't care about price (as many in finance don't within reason) then Apple is a great out of the box solution for someone who doesn't know about computers.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

4/28/14
Chillguy:

For a forum about Wall Street and finance, you guys sound like a bunch of fucking hippies. Anyone who knows jackshit about computers will tell you that a high-end Windows laptop is a better value than a Macbook Pro. Thinkpads, the high-end HP Pavilions, Sagers, and Clevos will run laps around a Macbook Pro. Plus Windows 7 is pretty equivalent to OS X, except that it's not gay.

For a chill guy you sure get awfully worked up about nothing.

People tend to think life is a race with other people. They don't realize that every moment they spend sprinting towards the finish line is a moment they lose permanently, and a moment closer to their death.

4/28/14

Thinkpad X1, T420S, T420

http://ayainsight.co/ Curating the best advice and making it actionable.

4/28/14

I love my macbook pro but I hate that Microsoft screwed over MS Office for Mac with a version of Excel that cant do macros and No Access. Yes, I like full function bash away. I'd say Sony has some good stuff and windows 7 is great from the few times I have used it.

Or you can be retro (thats still in I think) and get a Dell. "Dude, I'm getting a Dell"

Also, is gateway still out there?

"Ambition and education is first and talent is second"- T.I.

4/28/14

Gateway is still there but they have pretty poor build quality. I suppose you get more for your money through gateway (cheap), but theres a huge chance of hardware failing.

4/28/14

disclaimer: been using macs since hs. as far as work related apps are concerned, nothing will beat a windows computer. sure you can dual boot a mac, which i considered, but the money i'd blow on new software (finding reliable cracked keys is a bitch) woulda cost pretty close to a new laptop.

i must must say something about the build quality of my macbookpro though. it dropped from 4 ft on its side and there's a huge dent on it (dumbass i know), but everything still works and can still burn discs. if that happened with my plastic lenovo im sure the chassis wouldve shattered.

4/28/14
Dream Shake:

i must must say something about the build quality of my macbookpro though. it dropped from 4 ft on its side and there's a huge dent on it (dumbass i know), but everything still works and can still burn discs. if that happened with my plastic lenovo im sure the chassis wouldve shattered.

That's because it's a shoddy consumer Lenovo notebook and not a Thinkpad

http://ayainsight.co/ Curating the best advice and making it actionable.

4/28/14

Get busy living

4/28/14

Team high-end Windows laptop. By the way: Vaio comes loaded with crap-ware, the removal of which is rather hairy. I use a small business laptop from Dell. It's got a solid-state drive, is a speed demon, and if one prefers, can weigh as little 3-4lbs.

I always felt that Dell was a terrible brand - the regular brand laptops always fizzled out within a year - but then some geeks directed me towards the small business section. If you don't want to spend the extra cash and are willing to give up certain customizations, there is also a refurbished section.

4/28/14

I recently bought a Lenovo Thinkpad W520 + screen and discrete graphics upgrade after a couple months of research and waiting for the sandy bridge refresh.

I switched away from Macs after 9 years of loyal overpaying. Fact is, lack of dedicated page up/page down/ home/end keys is a dealbreaker if you work in excel, bootcamp and parallels not withstanding. Yeah you can hook up a keyboard to a macbook pro or an extra keypad but that's dumb if the point is portability.

For a long time OSX had a clear edge over Windows XP/Vista - but with Windows 7, quite frankly the gap has closed. If you are trained to navigate files / folders completely with keyboard, Windows is far more productive.

Vast majority of windows laptops skimp on build quality in order to bring down costs, which is why they don't compare well with Macbook pros. I'd say Lenovo thinkpad series is the exception here - designed for the business pro, overall build quality is very high and you'll still come in 20-30% cheaper than a comparable mac. Great for work, good enough for semi-serious gaming.

I wrote a more in depth review here a couple weeks ago:
http://forum.notebookreview.com/lenovo-ibm/573550-...

4/28/14
hungryman:

I recently bought a Lenovo Thinkpad W520 + screen and discrete graphics upgrade after a couple months of research and waiting for the sandy bridge refresh.

I switched away from Macs after 9 years of loyal overpaying. Fact is, lack of dedicated page up/page down/ home/end keys is a dealbreaker if you work in excel, bootcamp and parallels not withstanding. Yeah you can hook up a keyboard to a macbook pro or an extra keypad but that's dumb if the point is portability.

For a long time OSX had a clear edge over Windows XP/Vista - but with Windows 7, quite frankly the gap has closed. If you are trained to navigate files / folders completely with keyboard, Windows is far more productive.

Vast majority of windows laptops skimp on build quality in order to bring down costs, which is why they don't compare well with Macbook pros. I'd say Lenovo thinkpad series is the exception here - designed for the business pro, overall build quality is very high and you'll still come in 20-30% cheaper than a comparable mac. Great for work, good enough for semi-serious gaming.

I wrote a more in depth review here a couple weeks ago:
http://forum.notebookreview.com/lenovo-ibm/573550-...

Dude, was just about to come here and post the same model. Great post.
I was surfing for a new laptop earlier this week, and Lenovo has this student model @1600x900 with i7, 320GB, NVIDIA (forget the name but its decent), 4GB ram for under $1100. I was blown away. Best deal I've seen in a long time, and its a Thinkpad to boot.

4/28/14

Buy a Macbook Pro, stick Windows on that bitch and you're set. Easy as shit and you can be a Starbucks hippie or actual businessman whenever you need to.

Equities are for chumps.

4/28/14

What size laptop do you guys own? I think price wise 15.6" seems to be the sweet spot...where you find the most deals, but I was thinking I would prefer a smaller 13.3"-14.5" notebook since I would use it mostly on the couch watching tv, laying in bed, etc...not at a desk.

What are your thoughts on size vs. cost?

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

4/28/14

i havent had anything bigger than 13.3 in years. the 15.6" are too heavy and uncomfortable if not used on a desk. 13.3" is great and pretty standard and ive recently moved to the 12.5" thinkpad x220 which im happy with

4/28/14

Financial Modeling

4/28/14

lenovo

4/28/14

Thinkpad. It's what the better organizations use.

http://tradingevents.blogspot.com/2011/12/lenovo-t...

4/28/14

I just bought the HP Envy and I think it is fantastic. HP allows you to choose the components you want which should allow you to only pay for performance in areas that are important to you. I made sure to get a SSD which obviously makes a big difference. Consider looking into it -- HP doesn't appear to have made your list though I think it meetes your criteria.

CompBanker

4/28/14
CompBanker:

I just bought the HP Envy and I think it is fantastic. HP allows you to choose the components you want which should allow you to only pay for performance in areas that are important to you. I made sure to get a SSD which obviously makes a big difference. Consider looking into it -- HP doesn't appear to have made your list though I think it meetes your criteria.

Had an HP for travel - epic fail! Highly unreliable. Drives IT support nuts. Ended up replacing it with a Thinkpad. Never looked back.

http://tradingevents.blogspot.com/2011/12/lenovo-t...

4/28/14

have you looked into acer? Less $$$ same performance IME

Did you fly over my helmet?

4/28/14

Have you thought about the toshiba portege? Nice thin and light with good build quality and quite cheap. Too many people getting on lenovos now they seem to be becoming the new apple of laptop computing overpriced for the inefficient marketing gimmicks.

Toshiba is a quality laptop built in Japan.

4/28/14
jktecon:

Too many people getting on lenovos now they seem to be becoming the new apple of laptop computing overpriced for the inefficient marketing gimmicks.

It's about reliability. You don't want to travel 20 hours on a plane and not have your laptop work once you land. I had HP and Dell at work and have had a great deal of problems with them. My IT department prefers Thinkpads. It's a lot less problematic. Lenovo Thinkpad X-series is the best solution for business travel. It's light, fast, and powerful. Would rather spend extra $100 or 200 to have the thing work.

http://tradingevents.blogspot.com/2011/12/lenovo-t...

4/28/14
jktecon:

Have you thought about the toshiba portege? Nice thin and light with good build quality and quite cheap. Too many people getting on lenovos now they seem to be becoming the new apple of laptop computing overpriced for the inefficient marketing gimmicks.

Toshiba is a quality laptop built in Japan.

comparing a lenovo to inferior shit such as apple?

lenovo is in another league by themselves, bro.

had one when i was 11. kept it until i was 16 until it broke down from the massive porn dl and abuse i put it through.

bought a vaio that sucked massive balls for the one after and it was very very very bad.

my latest one is another lenovo and it's literally as powerful as my gaming rig.

8gigs ram/ 750 GB, you may ask what i need 8 gigs ram for, and it's probably for the 50+ fap tabs that i leave open.

+1 for lenovo.

And my brother has a Toshiba, it's a good laptop as well. thing's a beast for how old it is.

Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor. -Dr. Alexis Carrel

4/28/14

A little more info:

Had an hp for a while, and I wasn't too big of a fan. Envy weighs around 5lbs, which is a little more than I want as well. But you're right, Envy is a solid laptop.

I had a chance to borrow a friend's Toshiba Portege for several days. Very thin, light and powerful, but wasn't a big fan of the keyboard and how the screen freezes once in a while. I'm not sure whether it was a laptop-specific problem, but it was a huge dealbreaker.

Thanks for the suggestions so far, guys.

4/28/14

Lenovo hands down

4/28/14

I have a Samsung and it has caused me more problems than any other computer I have ever had. After the first 4 months I started having issues with the screen. Could be a one off event but I will never buy another Samsung

4/28/14

if you would be willing to consider HP, you should check out their EliteBooks. i use one for work and heavy travel and they are awesome. really portable and lots of power. pricey, though. i don't think they really advertise these computers as they are more for professional environments and not marketed to normal consumers (sort of like thinkpad).

below is a link to the model i'm thinking of. 12.5'' screen. you can customize with a SSD. i would buy one for myself, but I can't justify the price when my employer gives me a laptop and I only use my personal comp for internet and downloading
http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF25a/3219...

4/28/14

all this shit is horribly overpriced. put the specs of whatever youre trying to get not just the name of the laptop.

4/28/14
shorttheworld:

all this shit is horribly overpriced. put the specs of whatever youre trying to get not just the name of the laptop.

Alright, I've edited the post.

4/28/14
shorttheworld:

all this shit is horribly overpriced. put the specs of whatever youre trying to get not just the name of the laptop.

The thing is you still need to look at sub-components, which are never given out. They can make the difference. I had a higher-end fully loaded Dell and the tech told me the fan uses cheap bearings which don't last as long as metal ball bearing. Fried the CPU, graphics card, and motherboard. The motherboard chipset and things like that are important. Think of the following analogy, is a Ferrari faster on a race track or a pot-holed dirt road?

Look into an LED screen, you'll wonder how you lived without it. It's also supposed to use less battery power.

http://tradingevents.blogspot.com/2011/12/lenovo-t...

4/28/14
DarkPool:
shorttheworld:

all this shit is horribly overpriced. put the specs of whatever youre trying to get not just the name of the laptop.

The thing is you still need to look at sub-components, which are never given out. They can make the difference. I had a higher-end fully loaded Dell and the tech told me the fan uses cheap bearings which don't last as long as metal ball bearing. Fried the CPU, graphics card, and motherboard. The motherboard chipset and things like that are important. Think of the following analogy, is a Ferrari faster on a race track or a pot-holed dirt road?

Look into an LED screen, you'll wonder how you lived without it. It's also supposed to use less battery power.

http://tradingevents.blogspot.com/2011/12/lenovo-t...

yes and no -- youre talking about a sleeve fan vs a double ball bearing which yes lasts longer and is better. but overall most 9-9-9-24 1600 ram is gonna be the same as others, branding doesnt matter terribly much (quality of construction maybe but for corsair vs gskill etc top brands are 'better' vs no name).

4/28/14
shorttheworld][quote=DarkPool:

yes and no -- youre talking about a sleeve fan vs a double ball bearing which yes lasts longer and is better. but overall most 9-9-9-24 1600 ram is gonna be the same as others, branding doesnt matter terribly much (quality of construction maybe but for corsair vs gskill etc top brands are 'better' vs no name).

It's all ball bearings nowadays

4/28/14

macbook pro

4/28/14

I have an old school IBM X series and love it. Like the comp is old as shit and I still love the thing. Lite, solid build, thing is a tank. I am going to throw a SSD in it and bring the mem up to 4 gigs and milk another year out of it.

Outside of that I am in love with the Samsung/Toshiba ultra lite and the Mac Book Air. It is so hard to decide if I want to fully join the Cult of Jobs or stick with Windows.

4/28/14

Did you fly over my helmet?

4/28/14

Thinkpad T420s / Thinkpad X220

There is no substitute for a Thinkpad if you aiming to actually get shit done

4/28/14

Lenovo's are great. There are often great sales, so keep scanning the deal sites.

Also, Acer Aspire's are pretty solid (both the 15 inch laptop and 13 inch ultrabook). They aren't of Lenovo's build quality, but the specs are nice. The ASUS UX31E also looks pretty fantastic.

If you are going for a full laptop, get something with switchable graphics. You will appreciate the battery life on long flights.

Also, netbooks are a good option if you have no intention of gaming. Just about anything sold these days is fast enough for streaming video and office applications.

4/28/14

Would wait until after CES in January as many of the laptop lines are refreshed afterwards. You can either buy the new and improved models or the older models on sale

4/28/14

Lenovo Thinkpad X series...only one I'll ever buy again.

4/28/14

ASUS

Get busy living

4/28/14

Get a cheap Mac and install Windows on it. It's better than any PC brand you can buy, guaranteed.
http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals...

Refurbished Apple computers are basically brand new but with a price reduction. I guarantee you won't get any better value.

If you're dead set on buying shit, I suggest you get a Lenovo.

Equities are for chumps.

4/28/14

I've heard the thinkpads are great computers. I have had a mac for a long time and will certainly move back to PC when I can

XX

4/28/14

HP elitebook mobile workstations. Absolutely amazing. They come in a bunch of sizes and if you have had a HP machine before chances are it was shit. Their business models are made by the former Compaq (even though they use the Compaq brand on consumer stuff).

Never owned one but have heard only good things about thinkpads

4/28/14

Get over your "not interested in a mac" attitude. I clung to that for years because I hate hipsters, so I stuck with Windows and Linux. I finally broke down and bought a mbp last year, and it is now my favorite possession.

4/28/14

You can still stay away from macs and get along well with your PC, look into Sony. I switched two years ago from HP, best move ever, and super satisfied with it. Use it on a daily basis, 10+ hrs for work and at home and it's still doing well. Wasn't top of the line either, BC at the time i just needed one to finish out the school year.

4/28/14

HP

its one way or the other: hate me or admire.

4/28/14

Are Sony Vaio's actually good laptops or just fancy looking?

While we're on the topic- where to buy the laptop? Best Buy with an extended warranty?

4/28/14
Banker88:

Are Sony Vaio's actually good laptops or just fancy looking?

While we're on the topic- where to buy the laptop? Best Buy with an extended warranty?

VAIOS are good IMO as far as running your basic functions... I use it for work heavily so browsing, multiple windows open, PPT, Excel, Adobe, Word etc. For home use like storing, viewing, hi resolution pics and watching movies, it does great, and also has HDMI output which makes it awesome if you want to hook it up to an HD TV. Battery life is pretty consistent, just started having trouble about 6 mos ago, otherwise, i could stay on for just under 2-2.5hrs... i probably need to replace it now. If you get top of the line, like the Z-series i think you may end up liking it. I sorta buy into the mac craze but personally, I'm not ready to make that switch yet.

4/28/14

I have a Lenovo ThinkPad T520 and this thing is a BEAST. It's not too portable though so if you need a light one go with the X series.

-MBP

4/28/14

I have a toshiba ultrabook. Battery life is great. Super portable. Because of its size, the lid is a little flimsy so if you're the type to just throw things around, I'd go with something more durable. HP Elitebook is nice, I didn't like it b/c it doesn't have HDMI.

4/28/14

Second the Thinkpad, if you don't care much for style and over-value performance, can't go wrong with a Thinkpad. X-Series are amazingly portable, 12.5 - 13.3 size screens are pretty decent. 14-15 in screens are great for desktop replacement.

Used to be a Dell user, but gave up after every one of their lines crapped out on me, even the XPS.

4/28/14

I've got a Macbook Pro running Windows on parallels (do a google search on it, or PM me if you have any questions re: parallels).

Granted that I spent quite a bit on my macbook pro (installed a 3rd party solid state HDD which can take advantage of the new SATAIII ports (6GB/S transfer speeds) and I swapped out the disc drive for a 2nd HDD which I have partitioned partially for storage, and partially for time machine...

Windows runs great in the virtual machine that I've setup for it (probably due to the SSD) - it boots up in less than 10 secs and runs alongside my mac. I can copy files seamlessly between both platforms, with 0 compatibility issues (files/drivers etc). Also, no lag, no crashes, nothing.

In fact, I've got a good custom built desktop as well (i7, 8gb ram, good graphics card etc) and I've actually had more problems with windows on my desktop than on my mac (0 problems with windows on my mac so far).

I do realise that I'm sounding like a crazy apple fanboy at the moment but I'm just sharing the experiences I've had with my mac.

Hope it helps!

btw here's a screenshot of it running windows concurrently with mac.. and excel of course http://grab.by/bX9c

4/28/14
j3r:

I've got a Macbook Pro running Windows on parallels (do a google search on it, or PM me if you have any questions re: parallels).

Granted that I spent quite a bit on my macbook pro (installed a 3rd party solid state HDD which can take advantage of the new SATAIII ports (6GB/S transfer speeds) and I swapped out the disc drive for a 2nd HDD which I have partitioned partially for storage, and partially for time machine...

Windows runs great in the virtual machine that I've setup for it (probably due to the SSD) - it boots up in less than 10 secs and runs alongside my mac. I can copy files seamlessly between both platforms, with 0 compatibility issues (files/drivers etc). Also, no lag, no crashes, nothing.

In fact, I've got a good custom built desktop as well (i7, 8gb ram, good graphics card etc) and I've actually had more problems with windows on my desktop than on my mac (0 problems with windows on my mac so far).

I do realise that I'm sounding like a crazy apple fanboy at the moment but I'm just sharing the experiences I've had with my mac.

Hope it helps!

btw here's a screenshot of it running windows concurrently with mac.. and excel of course http://grab.by/bX9c

Hi Jeremy =), when did you start singing beautiful a capella?

-MBP

4/28/14
manbearpig:

Hi Jeremy =), when did you start singing beautiful a capella?

Ahaha that's part of a remix I was working on. Glad to send you a download link if you're interested :)

4/28/14

The Macbook Pro is great as far as the UI and never having to worry about viruses, but even if you install parallels to use Windows you still have a Mac keyboard which removes a lot of shortcuts and usefulness if you're used to working on Excel with a PC keyboard layout. I have a Macbook Pro, but I bought a Lenovo Thinkpad mainly just for using Excel and PowerPoint. I would suggest the Lenovo over the Mac only if you are getting it for the purpose of using it for business-related tasks. If you are getting it for keeping your music and everything else that is non-work then I would go with the Mac.

4/28/14
Rupert Pupkin:

The Macbook Pro is great as far as the UI and never having to worry about viruses, but even if you install parallels to use Windows you still have a Mac keyboard which removes a lot of shortcuts and usefulness if you're used to working on Excel with a PC keyboard layout. I have a Macbook Pro, but I bought a Lenovo Thinkpad mainly just for using Excel and PowerPoint. I would suggest the Lenovo over the Mac only if you are getting it for the purpose of using it for business-related tasks. If you are getting it for keeping your music and everything else that is non-work then I would go with the Mac.

Only thing i miss is pg up and pg down keys actually.

Apart from that, I use F1-F12 keys as standard keys (instead of apple function keys).

But all in all, I'll still have to agree that a native windows computer is a better bet for business-related use.

4/28/14
j3r:
Rupert Pupkin:

The Macbook Pro is great as far as the UI and never having to worry about viruses, but even if you install parallels to use Windows you still have a Mac keyboard which removes a lot of shortcuts and usefulness if you're used to working on Excel with a PC keyboard layout. I have a Macbook Pro, but I bought a Lenovo Thinkpad mainly just for using Excel and PowerPoint. I would suggest the Lenovo over the Mac only if you are getting it for the purpose of using it for business-related tasks. If you are getting it for keeping your music and everything else that is non-work then I would go with the Mac.

Only thing i miss is pg up and pg down keys actually.

Apart from that, I use F1-F12 keys as standard keys (instead of apple function keys).

But all in all, I'll still have to agree that a native windows computer is a better bet for business-related use.

cant stand having no proper delete key, as well as home and end. this is the main reason i will never get a macbook

4/28/14

Got this sweet deal just now. For $400 seems pretty good.
http://slickdeals.net/permadeal/69050/staples-50-o...

4/28/14

Bought one of these (Sony VAIO S Series) last year and it's performed beautifully, even better factoring that it's only $900. And better connectivity than ultrabooks...barely any thicker. Only weighs 3.8 lbs too so pretty light. A good laptop even for heavier usage...handled some hefty games pretty well. As much as Macs are beautiful and all, (1) price, (2) can't replace the parts myself, (3) Excel for Mac? lol...I'd rather take the extra money and build a great desktop.

4/28/14

MBP ftw. Mine wasn't $2,200 though.

4/28/14

MB air

4/28/14

It depends on the product ecosystem you already have (ios or android). If you have Apple products, the integration is really what keeps me from buy anything other than Apple. That being said, the android phones and ultrabooks have really stepped up and many argue are even a bit better. Integration of other products on mac is often not as good and many complain. So it really comes down to what you have or what other products you plan on buying. I'm only a college student and would love to drop 2200 for a retina display, but of course will not. LOL. Thats a steep price increase for a display. I will be getting a new mac, but it will most likely be the higher end 13 inch pro.

4/28/14

It depends on the product ecosystem you already have (ios or android). If you have Apple products, the integration is really what keeps me from buy anything other than Apple. That being said, the android phones and ultrabooks have really stepped up and many argue are even a bit better. Integration of other products on mac is often not as good and many complain. So it really comes down to what you have or what other products you plan on buying. I'm only a college student and would love to drop 2200 for a retina display, but of course will not. LOL. Thats a steep price increase for a display. I will be getting a new mac, but it will most likely be the higher end 13 inch pro.

4/28/14

ThinkPad

4/28/14

Crucial question is what'll you be using it for - if movies/pics editing/music, mac all the way. For business (Excel, PPT), or games, probably go PC.

I've had a macbook pro since summer 2010 and it runs perfectly with no signs of slowing down. Excel is a pain but doable, I've peaked out on speed and it's nowhere near as fast as on a PC even after putting in alot of good shortcuts etc. Call it 70% as fast as on a PC.

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it

4/28/14

Use boot camp. That way you have your mac and can use Windows whenever you need to. If you have parallels it's even easier. Actually, I'm on windows right now...

Forgot to suggest something lol. OP, I can't vouch for any computer on the market right now except the Apple computers. You CAN replace parts yourself (HD and RAM), and it's extremely easy. They have little levers and buttons that make it so you don't even have to use a screwdriver.

As for price, get one of the lower-end models. I've had my current Macbook for over 3 years, and I can see myself using it for the next year, at least. Take this from a computer guy: I've built my own linux distribution and know what it's like to deal with hardware and software fuck-ups.

In short, get the BMW, not the Civic.

Equities are for chumps.

4/28/14
FSC:

Use boot camp. That way you have your mac and can use Windows whenever you need to. If you have parallels it's even easier. Actually, I'm on windows right now...

Forgot to suggest something lol. OP, I can't vouch for any computer on the market right now except the Apple computers. You CAN replace parts yourself (HD and RAM), and it's extremely easy. They have little levers and buttons that make it so you don't even have to use a screwdriver.

As for price, get one of the lower-end models. I've had my current Macbook for over 3 years, and I can see myself using it for the next year, at least. Take this from a computer guy: I've built my own linux distribution and know what it's like to deal with hardware and software fuck-ups.

In short, get the BMW, not the Civic.

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/06/opinion-app...

The Retina MacBook is the least repairable laptop we've ever taken apart: Unlike the previous model, the display is fused to the glass, which means replacing the LCD requires buying an expensive display assembly. The RAM is now soldered to the logic board -- making future memory upgrades impossible. And the battery is glued to the case, requiring customers to mail their laptop to Apple every so often for a $200 replacement. The design may well be comprised of "highly recyclable aluminum and glass" -- but my friends in the electronics recycling industry tell me they have no way of recycling aluminum that has glass glued to it like Apple did with both this machine and the recent iPad.

You know what...at the end of the day I just want ctrl, Windows, and alt on my keyboard. I don't define how stylish I am by my comp. Your car analogy is comparing apples to oranges.

4/28/14
Nabooru:

Your car analogy is comparing apples to oranges.

Nice pun.

4/28/14

man, i gotta say the new mac pro with retina display is so hot even though i hate apple.

if it were cheaper i would buy it just for the display.

4/28/14

Macbook Pro.

Have had one since 2008, probably upgrading to this new Retina Display one (old one is starting to act up on me).

Most people do things to add days to their life. I do things to add life to my days.

Browse my blog as a WSO contributing author

4/28/14

i personally use the Dell XPS 14z which has been great for me (it was a gift)..but if I didn't have this laptop I would probably purchase the 2011 Macbook Pro and use Parallel's software on it (lets you virtually run Windows and OSX at the same time: http://www.parallels.com/products/desktop/ )

I recommend the 2011 edition because I take laptops apart for random repairs and upgrades all the time for my friends and co-workers, and having replaced parts in the old MacBook is already impossible let alone this new bullshit they pulled this year. (see nabooru's comment above)

4/28/14

In looking for a new laptop, I recommend one with a Solid State flash drive. It's going to be able to be used while in transit, be able to handle a dropping or two, not needing switching off every time you want to walk into the next room to show someone something or move desks. You can use it on your lap too.

I sold a number of Samsung Series 9 Ultrabooks last year (working retail over summer during college), and have had an Mac Air or about 4 years, so I'm a little bias, but if you're going for a Mac, make sure it has a Samsung hard drive in it. It will be either a Toshiba and Samsung harddrive, and Samsung run about twice as fast, and you pay the same amount for it.

Generally where we worked, we got very very few Samsung's back, because they are the only company (besides the cheap chinese ones) that make every part in the factory themselves. Generally unless you want a touch screen, which you might be able to get in the sony's, I'd recommend Samsung. The Series 9 also have the Duralumin finish which is a lot stronger than the Alloys on the ASIS and the Macs (we saw a lot of dents in the ASIS and Macs, after we dropped the display laptops, but the Samsung Series 9 survived the drop almost unmarked).

Personally I wouldn't touch HP or Dell or Acer. HPs are known for having a high recall rate, Dell I just don't like personally, (they aren't great value), and Acer were pretty plastic. The toshiba keyboards are fiddly and uncomfortable, and the screens were too fiddly for me. The Sony's are good, but I personally think Samsungs are better.

If it was me, I'd make a choice between a Mac Pro and a Series 9 Ultrabook dependant on whether you want performance or portability, as the Ultrabooks may not come with a CD/DVD player (I use my external DVD drive once a year, if that). A mac pro can run photoshop and video-editing, an Ultrabook, not so much (it can, but slowly if it's it's a Solid-State flash drive).

One other reason I like the samsung, is the Matt Screen. You only get this with the Macs and the Samsung's I think. Makes it a lot easier to work when you have florescent lights overhead to not have them reflecting off the screen.

4/28/14
Aimez:

In looking for a new laptop, I recommend one with a Solid State flash drive. It's going to be able to be used while in transit, be able to handle a dropping or two, not needing switching off every time you want to walk into the next room to show someone something or move desks. You can use it on your lap too.

Yes SSD are superior to their running counterparts in every way. I would buy one if I had the money but unless you have the money, need the speed, or are really paranoid of breaking the normal hard-drive I wouldn't suggest it. You make it seem like normal running hard-drives are glass eggs...I have a Macbook Pro and have dropped it more than once, used it in transition, ran with it, held it upside down, and spilled on it multiple times...

Not to mention I spilled coffee on my old Macbook, machine completely died. It was unresponsive, black screen, dead. Year later, turn it on and works perfectly minus a sticky keyboard.

They're delicate machines, yes, but they can certainly take a beating.

4/28/14
SirBarney:
Aimez:

In looking for a new laptop, I recommend one with a Solid State flash drive. It's going to be able to be used while in transit, be able to handle a dropping or two, not needing switching off every time you want to walk into the next room to show someone something or move desks. You can use it on your lap too.

Yes SSD are superior to their running counterparts in every way. I would buy one if I had the money but unless you have the money, need the speed, or are really paranoid of breaking the normal hard-drive I wouldn't suggest it. You make it seem like normal running hard-drives are glass eggs...I have a Macbook Pro and have dropped it more than once, used it in transition, ran with it, held it upside down, and spilled on it multiple times...

Not to mention I spilled coffee on my old Macbook, machine completely died. It was unresponsive, black screen, dead. Year later, turn it on and works perfectly minus a sticky keyboard.

They're delicate machines, yes, but they can certainly take a beating.

I fall asleep with mine while I'm studying, then have on occasion accidentally hit it to the ground during the night. It's a 70cm Drop, so with an Aluminium shell, it just crumples, and though it still works perfectly, it made claiming my warranty difficult when the hinge broke because they didn't design it with enough space [the engineers wanted an extra mm in it, but marketing said no]. I suppose these are more limited to early Generation Mac Air/Ultrabook concerns though, and I guess most people don't have these problems.

Plus I find my laptop slow, and it's a SATA drive, so I couldn't imagine swapping back.

But yeah, money is always consideration, particularly if you can't write it off on tax or bill it to a company. If you've got a Mac Pro with a Plastic shell, it should be no problem. :) I haven't seen the new ones though.

4/28/14

You need to ask yourself the three fundamental questions :
1. What OS do I want?
2. What do I want most out of my laptop
3. How much do I have?

I will personally recommend Lenovo until I die but I'll kick you some unbiased advice.

1. Windows or Mac, simple as that. This goes back to how you were brought up as a kid to how you view the software now. I've always been a fan of Windows and have never really craved the catchy features that apple OS has. Windows is the universal OS right now and is compatible with just about anything you can stick into a USB slot (Everything). Mac is great in the way that it keeps it's other apple products very streamline. Mac has a lot of cool features but keeps them within the mac community, leaving windows out of the picture and you feeling like an outcast among mac folk.

2. You need to ask yourself what you're going to be using your laptop for before you start shelling out custom ordered rigs off of Newegg. Certain brands have their perks; Mac has premium hardware, a sleek design, an edgy OS, and a display that would blow the pants off your grand dad. Some of top Windows producers like Samsung, Toshiba, Sony, and Lenovo also offer flush looking laptops, very nice hardward with a familiar face OS at a price cheaper than Mac. You can fall into some of the niche markets like :
Ultra Thin (Mac Book)
Tablet + Laptop (Samsung)
Netbook (Toshiba)
If you choose one of the niche laptops, keep in mind you will sacrifice on performance and durability.

3. The last thing you gotta ask yourself is how much do you want to pay. Let's rule out all lower end laptops because I'm a firm believer they will cost you more in the long run. Laptop manufacturers I would stay away from are Dell, ASUS, ACER, HP, etc... Always blow the extra change on the brand name, the parts that they use are much higher quality. You're going to find yourself in a range of about 600 for a base model Windows Laptop and upwards to 2000 for the high end shit. With apple you're going to start at 2200 for a MBP and work your way up from there, probably around 2800 would be my guess for their top of the line.

Choose wisely and choose quality.

4/28/14

This is a little on the 'heavy' side, but could get the job done...
http://www.samsung.com/us/computer/laptops/NP700Z3...

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

4/28/14

8 was released to much chagrin, supposedly there is a 'blue' version coming out but i personally enjoy 7. i'm a fanboi of asus as they are great quality. troll around best buy/fav store and grab the highest-end laptop floor demo for 2/3 price.

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

4/28/14

I'd stay away from Windows 8, I hear it is still a disaster. Macbook Pro/Air are always awesome, but if you need a PC, my friend got the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Ultrabook, he says it's fantastic.

Please don't quote Patrick Bateman.

4/28/14

DBCooper:
my friend got the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Ultrabook, he says it's fantastic.

Personally, I think that's the best laptop made to date.

I'm going to get the new one with they upgrade the display to IPS, maybe swap the display port for an hdmi, then hopefully they drop the price a bit. By then, I hope Microsoft has made a more desktop-friendly Windows 8, because it's really only for tablets.

4/28/14

Definitely get Windows 7. I would consider myself pretty tech savvy, and Windows 8 is definitely not intuitive for someone coming straight from Windows 7. Not to mention the host of issues people are having with it. I would recommend getting a Macbook Air and setting aside a partition for Windows. Best of everything - great quality, light weight, aesthetics, Mac OSX, Windows 7, etc.

4/28/14

Thanks for all the input. I was definitely inclined to stay with Windows 7 because I'm familiar with it. Everything I've read was pretty negative on 8.

4/28/14

I have a Thinkpad X1 Carbon running Windows 8. Highly recommended.

I don't understand the negative perceptions around Windows 8. They basically just replaced the nested folder start menu with a start screen. If you choose to just work in the desktop, everything is identical to Windows 7. I would say the speed gains with Windows 8 (wake from hibernate, boot time, etc.) are completely worth it. Most of the new stuff of the OS is built for tablets, yes, but it's not like they took the normal desktop environment away.

What issues are people having with it or is everyone just parroting talking points from Mac-dominated tech blogs?

4/28/14

SpacemanSpiff:
I have a Thinkpad X1 Carbon running Windows 8. Highly recommended.

I don't understand the negative perceptions around Windows 8. They basically just replaced the nested folder start menu with a start screen. If you choose to just work in the desktop, everything is identical to Windows 7. I would say the speed gains with Windows 8 (wake from hibernate, boot time, etc.) are completely worth it. Most of the new stuff of the OS is built for tablets, yes, but it's not like they took the normal desktop environment away.

What issues are people having with it or is everyone just parroting talking points from Mac-dominated tech blogs?

Most of what I have read has come from a blog or user reviews. Would definitely like to hear more positive feedback on 8. Easy to adapt to?

4/28/14

Ben Shalom Bernanke:
SpacemanSpiff:
I have a Thinkpad X1 Carbon running Windows 8. Highly recommended.

I don't understand the negative perceptions around Windows 8. They basically just replaced the nested folder start menu with a start screen. If you choose to just work in the desktop, everything is identical to Windows 7. I would say the speed gains with Windows 8 (wake from hibernate, boot time, etc.) are completely worth it. Most of the new stuff of the OS is built for tablets, yes, but it's not like they took the normal desktop environment away.

What issues are people having with it or is everyone just parroting talking points from Mac-dominated tech blogs?

Most of what I have read has come from a blog or user reviews. Would definitely like to hear more positive feedback on 8. Easy to adapt to?

It took me about 15 minutes to figure out some of the gestures in the Metro interface (e.g. top left corner for quick switch between programs, right corner for settings bar). Other than that there really was no adapting. If you're not intelligent enough to figure out that the start button on the bottom right corner is now a start rectangle that only pops up when you put your pointer in the corner, then I really don't know what to say. If you don't want to interact with the metro interface, click the desktop tile. Done.

I spend 95% of my time on the desktop, which operates exactly the same as the Windows versions of yore. You pin any programs (excel, outlook, firefox, etc.) you need to the taskbar and can basically choose never to see the Metro interface if you don't want to.

On the laptop I only use Metro for
1. Searching for infrequently used programs (Windows key + type program name, same as the old start menu search)
2. Reading through WSJ / NYTimes / Economist (etc.) metro apps, which I find has a better content layout than the websites and are easier to just sit back and read

That's it. Windows 8 is simply a much faster Windows 7 with a tiled start screen instead of a folder-based start menu. I've really only heard negative comments from people who haven't even used it. Ask yourself how much time you spend digging around in your start menu - that's how much time you will spend in Metro (unless you find some of the apps useful in which you'll spend more time).

Let's put it this way: my parents, who are practically amish with flip-phones and hunt-and-peck typing, can navigate Windows 8 on their home computer just fine. I would hope anyone proficient with technology would be at least at their level.

Just FYI regarding the speed: I installed Windows 8 on an older laptop running Windows 7 and the bootup / resume time was cut by 2/3.

4/28/14

Work doesn't provide you with your own laptop?

4/28/14

Not sure if you're interested in a tablet/laptop but I just bought a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (switched from a MacBook) and I love it. As powerful as a laptop, can run full excel etc, but also works as a tablet and has the awesome pen which makes it great for taking notes etc (if you can't just use paper) as well as great for art if that's relevant

4/28/14

Hi, Are you still using the Surface Pro 3 for remote working and Excel/Powerpoint functions? Do you think this is much better than a Lenovo/Dell traditional laptops?

Thanks,

4/28/14

Can't say because I don't know what using a Lenovo/Dell is like. However I like my SP3 a lot

4/28/14

I just switched from my MacBook to a PC for excel purposes etc. Wanted a physical laptop so I stayed away from the surface but I got a Dell XPS 13 touchscreen ultrabook. Runs really smooth and a great buy well under $1k from microsoft.

4/28/14

I second Dell XPS 13 Touchscreen. For the price, it is hard to beat.

4/28/14

What are you going to do with it? That is the first question you need to ask.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

4/28/14

I am looking to get a surface pro 3

4/28/14

adapt or die:

I am looking to get a surface pro 3

Good call. Don't get an i3 if you want to run full excel etc I heard, but an i5 is enough. I have a 128g i5 and it's plenty. Pro tip: I read it's cheaper to get an i5 128gb and buy a 128gb card separately vs. buying the 256gb if you want that much.

4/28/14

notthehospitalER:

adapt or die:

I am looking to get a surface pro 3

Good call. Don't get an i3 if you want to run full excel etc I heard, but an i5 is enough. I have a 128g i5 and it's plenty. Pro tip: I read it's cheaper to get an i5 128gb and buy a 128gb card separately vs. buying the 256gb if you want that much.

The SP3 looks like a beast. The only thing that annoys me is that it has the split up down arrow keys (half keys). That is the worst. Not the end of the world though since I usually crank on my work PC.

4/28/14

You can always hook up a full size keyboard and mouse if need be.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

4/28/14

I feel the same way. As said above, you can hook up a keyboard and mouse - I am considering getting a dock, which basically turns it into a desktop pc

4/28/14

Lenovo yoga pro 2, Dell XPS 13, or Samsung ativ book 9 plus.

Basically any of the top ultrabooks with 4th Gen processors.

4/28/14

Easy answer. Lenovo W540.

- i7 processor up to 3.9 Ghz (futureproof'ed)
- Up to 32 gigs RAM (super futureproof'ed; you can double your ram TWICE during your ownership period)
- Dual hard disk bays (one can be a CD-ROM drive)
- Powerful graphics card (Quadro K2100M, up to K5100M if you pay a vendor extra)
- 2 M-PCie slots for swap-able wireless cards and up to 128GB M-PCie storage
- Support for Wireless WAN, in case you want to stick a SIM card and have LTE on the go
- Screen supports 2880x1680 resolution (3K), has a color-sensor in case you have any graphics applications
- Fingerprint reader
- Solid build quality (not Macbook-level, but very solid)

Cons:
- Trackpad does indeed suck
- You're not carrying this around like a Macbook. It's heavy

In terms of specs and the amount of future-proofing you get with regard to price, I'm certain that this is the best investment one could make in a laptop. I previously owned a 2008 Macbook, and I agonized for months over which computer to buy (I can be a computer nerd at times). This is by far the winner in almost every category sans weight/sexiness.

Competitors to this machine:

- Macbook Pro: most balanced machine; high res screen, great performance/specs, suffers from being overpriced and having a lack of upgrade paths (ie, you'll need a new one in 3-4 years, and that's assuming you buy the most expensive configuration); keyboard support for MS Office is meh; Windows support is not-native and not guaranteed (Apple's Bootcamp drivers cut off machines after a certain age).

- Dell M6800: absolute beast, potentially higher performance than the Lenovo; suffers from lack of mobility (weighs almost 8lbs); screen isn't as good; keyboard isn't as good; configuration options not as numerous as Lenovo.

Everything else is a non-factor. If you want a workstation machine, these are your 3 options: Dell if you're preparing for war, Lenovo if you want a slightly less-bloody war, and a Macbook if you want to support the front line from back home.

Equities are for chumps.

4/28/14

I also looked at the W series and found it to be a good price for the machine, but I feel like the industry is moving away from giant do-all laptops. The fact that the surface 3 is an extremely viable option means people no longer need a 15-17 inch laptop capable of 32 gigs of RAM. You are absolutely right as far as futureproofing in the sense of specs, but maybe not in the sense of form factor.

4/28/14

lenovo carbon x1

4/28/14

I like Lenovo

4/28/14

+1 for Dell xps 13, I've got one and I love it

4/28/14

Just learn how to vm

4/28/14

lenovo y40 series (small cheap powerful), usually on sale

4/28/14

If you absolutely HAVE to buy Lenovo, then buy the Y-Series for the power. If not, then buy something else. Lenovo is only moderately reliable and everyone I know that has one (especially the ones designed for business) complains about how bad they are. Keys coming off, speakers that barely work, poor display quality, Wi-Fi that fails to work when you need it to...As far as I'm concerned, Lenovo is prime example of how you get what you pay for. Yes, it works and might last longer than Dell or HP, but that still doesn't mean that it's good.

4/28/14

Very biased, but the 15" MacBook Pro will run Windows better than most actual PC laptops. And it's very thin & light...also more powerful than you'll need. I'm biased, I hate using Windows unless I have to, wouldn't give up my MBP for anything. If you like portability, the 13" is great too. With the Retina screen, you can scale the screen up to the point where you have a huge workspace.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

4/28/14

Just bought a Lenovo B570 i3 at a pawn shop for $225. I bought it mainly for excel purposes so I could improve my modeling. It's a tad slow but it was exactly what I was looking for in my price range.

Listen, here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker.

4/28/14

Acer Aspire is cheap, fast, and not too bad looking either.

4/28/14

I'm thinking of going with the Surface Pro 3 after finishing up with my current Macbook Air.

4/28/14

Yeah I'd second Lenovo. They have a new laptop with a flipback I think it's called the Yoga or Yoga II, so it can act as a tablet too, and a very powerful one at that. Obviously, PCs are better for Excel.

4/28/14

Heard many good things about SP3 from some of my closest engineering friends who have done extensive research before buying their next laptop. Go for it.

4/28/14

I sold out and got a Macbook pro. I love it. I definitely did not see this decision coming, but I believe I made the right one.

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