Need a new laptop - nothing seems to hit the mark!

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jurassicjim
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Need a new laptop - nothing seems to hit the mark!

Postby jurassicjim » 02 Jan 2014, 13:58

I'm in the market for a new laptop, need it for work really, but also looking at replacing my desktop with it too if possible.

However, I cannot seem to find the right machine.

Ideally, 13 inch screen, as good size but still fairly portable for the train and general lugging around.

Would like a decent size hard drive, 1tb.

Smaller and lighter the better obviously.

Battery life not massively important.

And would like a new Haswell chip for a bit of future proofing and I guess better for games but not expecting much in that area.

Other requirements would be at least a 1080p screen. Often have two windows open side by side and that extra resolution helps.

I have been looking at the yoga 2 pro from lenovo, I really like the idea of a convertible, so I can change to tablet mode for lazing around with. Asides from the fact there is hardly any stock, the hard drive options are limited.

The dell xps 12 looks nice too, same hard drive issues as above. Again, I really like the form factor.

The Sony "fit" flip machines or whatever they are called look good. They have the convertible feature, but also let you spec it with a decent hard drive. I have read a couple of reviews concerned about general build quality issues with the keyboard and noisy fans.

The Asus transformer book trio looks interesting, though not sure about having just android in the tablet part of things.

Budget, ideally 600-800 mark.

I might just get a cheapo laptop and keep the desktop. But with all the fancy new convertibles I would like to try something shiny and new.

Anyone think of any other suggestions?

Thanks

J
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Re: Need a new laptop - nothing seems to hit the mark!

Postby Tappy » 02 Jan 2014, 15:08

I can't think of anything more suitable. Everything else I looked at from other brands which met the spec was either SSD, or only had a HD resolution.
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Re: Need a new laptop - nothing seems to hit the mark!

Postby jurassicjim » 02 Jan 2014, 17:11

Hmm, I think if I had to compromise it would be storage.

I suppose I can always upgrade that later and use external drive for mass storage. Really I only need my music readily accessible.

Would really need a min 256gb then I guess.

The search continues...
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Re: Need a new laptop - nothing seems to hit the mark!

Postby Tappy » 02 Jan 2014, 18:09

You said you looked at the Transformer Trio, what about the normal 13" Transformer with the keyboard dock, the TX300? It's just Ivy Bridge, but there's up to a 500GB HDD in the keyboard bit. Bit pricey though. Start at £1000 for an i5 on Amazon, the i7 is £1500 at Currys, http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computing/ ... 0-pdt.html (can be found cheaper elsewhere).
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Re: Need a new laptop - nothing seems to hit the mark!

Postby jurassicjim » 02 Jan 2014, 18:45

Tappy wrote:You said you looked at the Transformer Trio, what about the normal 13" Transformer with the keyboard dock, the TX300? It's just Ivy Bridge, but there's up to a 500GB HDD in the keyboard bit. Bit pricey though. Start at £1000 for an i5 on Amazon, the i7 is £1500 at Currys, http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computing/ ... 0-pdt.html (can be found cheaper elsewhere).


Yeah, that would be great, forgot about that model! Just a bit too expensive.

I think the Sony is looking like a good option at the moment if I can find a decent price/ spec. Or, just wait and see what happens with the Yoga 2 Pro and if they become readily available in the UK.

Any smaller websites I should be looking at to buy from apart from the obvious, Ebuyer, PC World, Amazon etc?


j
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Re: Need a new laptop - nothing seems to hit the mark!

Postby Johnmcl7 » 02 Jan 2014, 22:56

Have you had a look on the Dell outlet? It's quiet at the moment with it being Christmas but there's usually quite a lot of XPS 12's added and I've seen 512GB SSD machines for around the £800 mark. The only issue I'd say with the Yoga/XPS 12 is that they're laptops with a convertible option, I've used both but I think they're a bit too bulky to be used in their tablet form - the Vaio Duo 11 is a bit on the big side already for tablet operation and it's smaller and lighter than the Dell/Lenovo. I'm not recommending the Vaio over the Dell/Lenovo, the latter two seem decent machines but I probably wouldn't go for them if tablet operation was a priority.

I've noticed a lot of recent Sony machines in various ranges seem to have a lot of complaints about fan noise which sound genuine rather than just a few nitpickers. I find it a bit puzzling as one of the best features of the Vaio Duo 11 is that it runs almost entirely silent most of the time despite being slim and having a similar ULV processor to the newer machines. I have been considering a Vaio Pro 11 or 13 but the constant reports of annoying fan noise have put me off, unfortunately I've not been able to see one in the flesh.

I can't think of any smaller websites to even check these days.

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Re: Need a new laptop - nothing seems to hit the mark!

Postby jurassicjim » 03 Jan 2014, 11:00

Yeah, had a look at the outlet, like you say, not much going on there at the moment.

I'm not in a huge rush, so may just wait and try and pick something up there. Looking at it, the xps 12 seems like a good option.

I know what you mean about being a bit to bulky to be a tablet, but would just be a nice option to have, rather than something essential and can picture a few scenarios where it would be quite nice to use in that way.

J

Good screen, decent hard drive, good size, Haswell if I want and could be within budget depending on spec.
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Re: Need a new laptop - nothing seems to hit the mark!

Postby Johnmcl7 » 03 Jan 2014, 14:29

The outlet has been dead since before Christmas so I assume the staff that man it are on holiday as it seems to run differently to the main store. I would assume there's going to be a lot of machines on the outlet after Christmas although in general XPS 12's seem one of the most common machines on the outlet and most others are fairly rare.

Sony have a similar store but their laptop prices seem to be poor right now, sometimes there are bargains but frequently the machines are a similar price to the brand new ones on the main store.

As long as you see the tablet side of it as occasional use I think that's fine as that's how the machine is intended to be, I was just didn't want you to buy the machine and find it's far bulkier than intended.

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Re: Need a new laptop - nothing seems to hit the mark!

Postby EviL Ras » 03 Jan 2014, 14:47

Take a look at the Gigabyte P34k? 14" ultrablade laptop with i7 2.4ghz processor, upto 16gb ram, upto 512mb Msata, 1tb hdd. Plus a GTX 760m for some descrete gaming. Its 21mm thick and weighs 1.8kg.

i'm personally looking at the gigabyte P35k. 15.6" screen, i7 2.4, 16gb ram, upto 2 tb HDD (one is hot swappable with the disk drive), 2x 256mb Msata, GTX 765m, and still around 21mm thick.

but the MSI GS70 stealth looks great too! 17" with similar specs! and still ultra thin!

Alas, all are over your budget! But you cant put a price on style..
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Re: Need a new laptop - nothing seems to hit the mark!

Postby Johnmcl7 » 03 Jan 2014, 17:06

Dell Outlet is finally updating again with new stock, only seen a single XPS 12 though and wasn't particularly great - refurbished, Ivybridge i5, W8, 8GB ram and 256GB SSD for around £700 delivered. Scratch and dent machines are usually a fair bit cheaper and the couple I've seen have very minor cosmetic blemishes, I could barely see it on one and couldn't find it on another so I think they're worth a shot particularly when you're wanting higher spec.

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Re: Need a new laptop - nothing seems to hit the mark!

Postby jurassicjim » 04 Jan 2014, 11:51

I had a play around with the ivy bridge yoga ideapad, I really liked it! Even though the older version still very thin and light. Seems the hard drive is a fairlybeasy upgrade. So I can fix that going forward. Amazon have it for £630 at the moment.

The xps 12 doesn't have an SD card slot or HDMI which is a bit a annoying. May have to rule that out for now.

Been looking more into the Sony flip machines, there are some really good deals on the outlet. On paper has everything I want, 1080p screen, Haswell, back lit keyboard, convertible, decent hard drive options. Reviews are a bit hit and miss with build quality, and I can't afford the 13 inch one, leaving me with a pretty large 14/15 inch.

Will wait for the ces show next week and see what is announced and go from there. Will keep checking the outlets too, as you say John, seems to be populating with products now.

J
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Re: Need a new laptop - nothing seems to hit the mark!

Postby Johnmcl7 » 04 Jan 2014, 13:55

The lack of ports on most lightweight machines is one of my big gripes and it's one of the reasons I bought the Vaio Duo 11 as it has standard ethernet, VGA and HDMI ports as well as an SD card reader. Annoyingly the Vaio Pro machines don't have all the ports which is annoying because the Duo 11 is thin and light so it's clearly possible to do without compromise. The ports are also handy as when I'm squeezed down the back of a network rack testing ports, the small size of the Duo 11 is handy plus I use it a lot for testing AV equipment.

I'm quite fancying a Venue 8 Pro at the moment so hoping one of those will turn up on the outlet, I'm also fancying an X51 if one comes up cheap enough. This Asrock case looked good with a PCI-E riser for the graphics card keeping it more console sized but the cost seems a bit crazy:

http://www.ebuyer.com/613392-asrock-m8- ... -pc-m8-d45

You get the case, motherboard, power supply and optical drive I think but nothing else so £431 plus delivery makes the Outlet X51's look not so bad value for money.

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Re: Need a new laptop - nothing seems to hit the mark!

Postby scarbunny » 04 Jan 2014, 16:14

Also very tempted by an X51, they look really nice, but I really can't by more games hardware just now. Although I could do with putting the my PC into a more usable position.

The only machine I can think that would fit Jim's needs is a Retina Macbook Pro, but they are far too expensive for the budget.
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Re: Need a new laptop - nothing seems to hit the mark!

Postby robbo » 05 Jan 2014, 19:12

I too might be on the look out for a new laptop. I suppose I could just go back to using W7 on my laptop but will look into new laptops all the same.

Also looking at the 13" sized machine. Suppose I don't really need an optical drive anymore so can look into some of the ultrabooks and convertibles with a fast ssd (and I don't know of anything with a bluray drive in a 13" laptop at the moment).
Last edited by robbo on 05 Jan 2014, 21:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need a new laptop - nothing seems to hit the mark!

Postby jurassicjim » 05 Jan 2014, 19:22

Hmm, well, I just pulled the trigger on an XPS 12. Not sure it is the right machine for me, but was a pretty good deal.

Main specs, Core™ i5-3337U, 128gb ssd, 4gb ram.

Main benefits of this over the yoga. Slightly smaller, 1080p screen, backlit keyboard and a bit cheaper.

Need to find out if ram and hard drive are user upgradable...

J

PS I assume I have 7 days to return?

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