Selecting a new work laptop

MaxBurn

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Getting excited that I may have some input on my next work laptop but getting frustrated with lenovo T series. The combination I want with 256gb or larger SSD, no optical drive bay (for smaller size) and Intel integrated graphics 4000 (for battery life & smaller size) doesn't seem to be offered. Basically trying to come close to a mac air 13". Also thinking 1600 x 900 ideal or 1440 x 900 minimum on the screen.

Would very much prefer to get something complete and not have to do swaps when I get it. This will not be a desk warrior, will be out on job sites every day so a little durability is desirable but light and small 14" maximum is what I am thinking at the moment.

Thoughts?
 

Mercutio

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It sounds like you want some kind of ultrabook form factor, since you're actually against the idea of having the optical bay.

In Lenovo-land, that suggests the T430u or whatever the current X-series. I don't think Dell is doing small form factors in Latitudes and HP's Envy Pro doesn't have the screen resolution you want. You could look at an Asus Zenbook. The UX32VD has a 1080P screen but no SSD. You could also look at a Samsung NP900X4C, which has both the SSD and the screen resolution, but might be something of an unknown quantity for reliability and support.
 

MaxBurn

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Very nice, I missed that X1 Carbon. I was also looking at the T430s but it is a bit bigger than what I wanted.

I'm just thinking how nice it would be to have something smaller without the optical drive bay. I only use an optical drive maybe once a year and if I specced the hard drive around 256 I wouldn't really need to do a second hard drive in the optical bay like I am doing now on a Latitude E6410. After that the USB3 included with ivy bridge makes an occasional external optical drive and HDD a snap if needed.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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I alternate between an ultrabay battery and a third hard drive in my T420. Neither of those things seems like wasted space to me. I really, really like having the mSATA drive but hardly anything supports them besides some Thinkpad models and a few HPs.
 

MaxBurn

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Hmm, a mSATA drive wasn't even on my radar. I am assuming you can boot from it? Seems you can't purchase a T420 with one though?
 

CougTek

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Have you considered an Asus UX31A-DH71? It has a 13" FullHD (1080p) screen, 4GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. No optical drive. Weights less than 3lbs.
 

MaxBurn

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I think I want to limit it to something I can get local repair support with. Even if it means I have to take it into a store and can't get the preferred on site.

Is the memory upgradeable on the ASUS? I either want to start with 8gb or have the option.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Hmm, a mSATA drive wasn't even on my radar. I am assuming you can boot from it? Seems you can't purchase a T420 with one though?
I promise you that I boot from mine. The only Thinkpads I've bought with SSDs came with Intel 2.5" drives though, so I guess they're all installed as after market devices.

Asus is supposed to have fantastic reliability, but that's been counter to my personal experience. Granted that's mostly with crummy netbooks and gaming notebooks, which aren't paragons of stability to begin with, but I'm still hesitant to lump it in with business machines I see as a known quantity.
 

MaxBurn

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Starting to think the ultrabook thing might be taking it a bit far. Even on the lenovo carbon the network adapters are USB or some sort of dongle.
 

MaxBurn

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Seems like the Dell E5430 is the winner on price but I'll push for the T430 I think. They are primarily a dell shop though.

256gb SSD
8GB system memory
i5 ivy bridge 3rd gen
Intel integrated 4000 graphics
Display 1440 x 900 minimum
13-14" form factor
Windows 7 with XP mode
3 year warranty, local support


X1 Carbon $2,253.00
Thinkpad T430 $1,657.00
MacBook Air 13 $2,115.00
Dell E5430 $1,435.00
Dell E6430U $1,801.00

All prices include office and 7, some include a separate SSD as they aren't configurable with one. I was quite disappointed with the base price of the X1 carbon considering it is almost identical to the Mac Air 13" hardware with a different enclosure. Similar when I bought my 15" MBP, similar specked PCs were same or higher in price.
 

mangyDOG

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This is what I am getting for myself: http://www.asus.com/Notebooks_Ultrabooks/ASUS_Transformer_Book_TX300/
Yes it is limited to 4Gb, which is dissapointing, but I only use the notebook for office type applications, network trouble shooting and occasionally downloading photos, but not editing. So the RAM limitation is not really an issue for me.
The real bonus is the tablet part. I am really looking forward to having a tablet with a real CPU. Opening a 100Mb+ PDF file on my existing Transformer Prime tablet is an exercise in fultility!
Cheers,
mangyDOG
 

MaxBurn

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I guess I'd be okay with starting at 4 gigabytes but I didn't want to cap the maximum memory at 4 gigabytes forever. My current laptop has 4 gigabytes and I do hit the cap once in a while.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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I have to say that 8GB is feeling limiting on my T420. I almost always have a couple VMs open at this point and Thunderbird and Firefox probably eat 2GB in total. The RAM is there to be used, but when I see that I'm somewhere over 6GB used on a notebook I do have a momentary freak-out over what I still see as an unthinkable amount of memory.
 

MaxBurn

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Yeah I could see using one VM at a time plus the base application we use and SQL. All that and opening word or outlook is too much for my current 4gb machine.
 
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