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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    A light, high powered laptop?
    I'm looking for a windows laptop with 500GB of disk and 8GB of RAM that is 4 lbs or less. Does anyone have any ideas? Ultrabooks seem to mostly have 256GB SSD's. That isn't quite enough disk space for my purposes.

    I frequently have to recompile my website while I'm traveling for whatever crisis arises and I don't think 256GB is going to be enough space.

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Have you considered just swapping out for a higher capacity SSD? It looks like 512GB is about $250 and 1TB is about $450.

    Do you necessarily need/want SSD? I've considered it myself, but it's so much more expensive than a standard drive. Certainly tempting for the reliability and speed, though.

    FWIW, my most recent laptop (about a year old, but just recently started transitioning to it) is a Dell 15.6" with a 1TB HD and 6GB of RAM with a 2.5GHz i5. It was around $550. It's heavier than 4 lbs (although probably not by much -- just looked and it's actually double that at 7.9 lbs), but I've never worried much about size or weight. I used to prefer 17" laptops. Screen space, RAM and HD have always been my focus.
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  4. #3
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    That 4 lbs or less is a killer. HP has some 5lb units that are great, though...
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  5. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I've had horrible luck with HP laptops. I think I've had three or four, and every one has had lots of problems.

    You pay a pretty big price (both in cost and features) for a light weight. But if that's an important factor for you, that's just the way it is.
    Michael Coley
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  6. #5
    Affiliate Manager Kush@VMInnovations's Avatar
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    Recommend Asus brand for reliability when it comes to Windows machines. The new Zenbooks might do the trick:

    Notebooks & Ultrabooks - ASUS ZENBOOK UX302LA
    http://www.asus.com/Notebooks_Ultrab...NBOOK_UX301LA/

    If you don't mind getting used/refurbished, I use one of these and they go for about 600 on eBay: https://www.asus.com/Notebooks_Ultra...ENBOOK_UX32VD/

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  8. #6
    Outsourced Program Manager TrishaLyn's Avatar
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    Is the 4lb limit a deal breaker? I have to second Michael's Dell recommendation. Sounds like I have a similar model.
    Trisha Lyn Fawver

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  9. #7
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Upgraded a Toshiba laptop that was five years old with a SSD drive as I love its display and didn't have the money to get the latest laptop I wanted. Have to say it screams now.

  10. #8
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrishaLyn View Post
    Is the 4lb limit a deal breaker? I have to second Michael's Dell recommendation. Sounds like I have a similar model.
    You all are right, sticking to the 4 lb limit was too limiting. I ended up getting a 4.4 lb one from Dell. An Inspiron 14 7000. Most of my machines are Dell. I guess I have a bit of loyalty considering I'm in Austin.

    Inspiron 14 7000 Series Thin & Light Touch Screen 1080p Laptop | Dell

    I have a 6.5 pound dell laptop and that sucker is way too heavy, especially when you factor in the monster power supply. When I'm on a long trip, I get really tired of lugging it around.

    I have a 3.1 pound 11.6 inch Acer laptop and it is wonderful. The only problem is the keyboard is too small for my fingers.

    Hopefully a 4.4 pounder will be "just right". I was seriously interested in the ASUS, but I got scared away after reading the reviews. A lot of people complained about LCD/Screen problems. I was worried that if I got "unlucky" I would end up with a poorly manufactured one. It so hard to know.... All the negative reviews could be fake. There were just a lot of them.

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  12. #9
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Not a bad value, but they don't say what the pixel density is. That was a major factor in my choosing a retina display. It makes a world of difference in web development. For example the "Quote", "Thanks" and "Post Reply" buttons here just scream low-resolution to me. It really helps pick up these details so I don't make the same mistake on my own sites.
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  13. #10
    Outsourced Program Manager TrishaLyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib View Post
    Not a bad value, but they don't say what the pixel density is. That was a major factor in my choosing a retina display. It makes a world of difference in web development. For example the "Quote", "Thanks" and "Post Reply" buttons here just scream low-resolution to me. It really helps pick up these details so I don't make the same mistake on my own sites.
    I don't have a retina display on my current monitor, but I'll agree with you all the same that those buttons aren't quite as crisp as everything else on the page for sure, so I see your point
    Trisha Lyn Fawver

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  14. #11
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    To be honest, I don't do much with the laptop except read e-mail, surf the web, and remote into my servers. I seem to have at least one mini-crisis every year while I'm on the road, but I can typically resolve it with about 20 minutes or less of coding. I used to buy laptops for R+D too, then I would get the 17 inch screens. Now I value light and portable above all else.

    I bought a Dell PowerEdge T620 server last year for home and that's what I currently use for R+D and number crunching. I actually went for about 3 years without the ability to do a complete test run of my datafeed crunching because the hardware was too expensive. Its nice to once again be able to re-create my production servers and run tests/verify the results.

  15. #12
    Outsourced Program Manager TrishaLyn's Avatar
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    Perhaps a dumb question for you, isellstuff, but if the light laptop is only for mini-crises and then general stuff, could you not do that with an iPad or other tablet? I'd imagine they'd be much lighter and you could still do everything you needed. I understand coding on a touch screen is a pain, but those cases with built-in bluetooth keyboards have come way down in price, and the total weight is still less than a laptop.

    Just a thought
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  16. #13
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrishaLyn View Post
    Perhaps a dumb question for you, isellstuff, but if the light laptop is only for mini-crises and then general stuff, could you not do that with an iPad or other tablet?
    Unfortunately, just recompiling and testing my website requires quite a bit of compute power (and the ability to run IIS). I took a long vacation a couple of years ago and setup one of my servers for compiling, but I had to suspend whatever the server was doing until I was done with the fix. You know, maybe someday I will have a hosted "scratch" server that I just use for remote testing, R+D, and number crunching.

  17. #14
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff View Post
    Unfortunately, just recompiling and testing my website requires quite a bit of compute power (and the ability to run IIS). I took a long vacation a couple of years ago and setup one of my servers for compiling, but I had to suspend whatever the server was doing until I was done with the fix. You know, maybe someday I will have a hosted "scratch" server that I just use for remote testing, R+D, and number crunching.
    That's what I'd do. I don't use my personal computers for any production activity. I prefer to keep all of that in the cloud for security and stability purposes.
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  18. #15
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Got my laptop yesterday. The look is nice, very sleek and thin. I can carry my 11.6 inch laptop around with one hand with the screen open, no problems. I think this Dell is just barely a two hander. Still much lighter than my old 17" Dell.

    The new Dell has backlit keys which are pretty cool. The i7 processor is zippy. Screen resolution could be a little better, as Snib hinted. Keyboard is nice and big, good for me. Overall I think I like it. It definitely gets points for style. I think they are copying the Macbook pro's case. Ha, I was setting it up for a couple of hours yesterday and just realized that I NEVER tried the touch screen.

    The OS is windows 8.1. There were a couple of unexpected things, including the tight integration with Microsoft cloud backup and Microsoft Live. I currently log in with my live e-mail and password, that's unexpected. I have disabled the cloud backup.

    Now my daughter owns the 11.6 inch laptop. Good thing, she has started to install minecraft mods that seem to come along with all kinds of adware. I really didn't want to share a laptop with a nine year old :-(
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  19. #16
    Outsourced Program Manager TrishaLyn's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback! I think I'll be waiting until the next version of Windows before I get a new machine. I don't like the look of 8. Or, I might switch to Mac. One never knows
    Trisha Lyn Fawver

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  20. #17
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    I love 8.1 - just saying...
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  21. #18
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff View Post
    Now my daughter owns the 11.6 inch laptop. Good thing, she has started to install minecraft mods that seem to come along with all kinds of adware. I really didn't want to share a laptop with a nine year old :-(
    Nice, do you play as well? I run a vanilla server, but I haven't had much time to play lately. Every once in a while I'll log in to view the builds. It's like a modern day ant farm. Seems a new city cropped up over the past few weeks.
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  22. #19
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snib View Post
    Nice, do you play as well? I run a vanilla server, but I haven't had much time to play lately. Every once in a while I'll log in to view the builds. It's like a modern day ant farm. Seems a new city cropped up over the past few weeks.
    Nah, I'm not really a gamer. I am amazed at how crazy popular minecraft is with kids.
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  23. #20
    Full Member Lanny's Avatar
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    Dell Laptop Workstation
    I wish I'd seen your thread before today. Hopefully, the Dell Inspiron you received will make you a "happy camper". That's a line for Consumers. My stepson has a Dell Inspiron. On March 24th, on Amazon, we bought a Refurbished Dell Latitude E6400 (Enterprise class laptop) with Windows 7, from Blair Technology Group in Kentucky, on Amazon. BlairTG.com is their web site. They have a one year warranty (except for the battery) in the USA. We are extremely happy with the laptop we received and with Blair and we plan to buy another E6400 from them, ASAP.

    If you need something more powerful, that is portable, consider a Dell Precision, the portable Workstation line. That's a step up from the Dell Latitude line.
    Dell Precision M4400 Laptop - Intel Core 2 Duo 2.9ghz, 8gb, 250gb, DVD, Windows 7 Professional - Laptops & Notebooks - BTG - Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher

    They are showing 7 pounds for the weight and if that's correct, it is a lot heavier than what you were looking for, but it does have a 15.4" display

  24. #21
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Well, I've been using this Inspiron while on vacation for a few weeks, so I can give a review. Can't say I'm overly pleased.

    Inspiron 14 7000 Series Thin & Light Touch Screen 1080p Laptop | Dell

    The issues.... The mouse pad isn't good. There is a bug with the "sleep" function where if the laptop is plugged in it will not awake from sleep without a hard reboot. There is no Ethernet port.

    On the plus side, the battery life is outstanding, the case looks good, and it is pretty light.

    I don't know, if you pay this much for a computer, you don't expect serious bugs like the problem with sleep mode, which isn't fixed with the latest firmware updates.
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  25. #22
    ABW Ambassador Bob Lawrence's Avatar
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    Just my own opinion from being in computers since way back when.
    Dell would have been my last choice.
    order of choice for me on Laptops...
    1) Toshiba - Have had no problems with them.
    2) Acre - Work great, but I hate to repair them in the shop. Way to many little screws.
    3) HP only because of price.
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  26. #23
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    Stay away from HP My girlfriend has one and the keyboard turns off when using it and she has to shut the screen and wait a few minutes. Found on HP forums that thousands have the same issue and it's hardware issue. I have had a Samsung for a couple of years now and it has travelled well around the world, never missed a beat. The only thing I don't like is the glossy screen & skin. next time I would always go for a matt screen.
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  27. #24
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Had trouble with Toshibas although I am working on one now, new keyboard, mouse pad quit, USB port contention. Upgrading the OS helped and the hard drive to SSD. That's said it has a great monitor but is heavy. Ran a Dell before for five years until it finally wore out.

  28. #25
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    Dell continues to be the best

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