Laptop and first post

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Laptop and first post

Postposted on Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:42 am

Hi,

After reading TR for many years i thought i would join the community and start off by asking for some advice.

I am after a performance laptop for my development work (I write C#, ASP.Net, VB, SQL and low level drivers and code for ARM micro controllers). The specification I am looking for is as follows:

• CPU: i7
• Screen: 17.3” (ideally greater than 1080p, as the integrated development environments like Visual Studio and Eclipse can take up loads of screen space)
• RAM: between 12GB and 16GB as I would like to run some VM’s for testing
• Backlight keyboard, so I can do some coding / testing / general computer use whilst watching TV in a darkish room.
• HDD: SSD drive 128GB and a secondary 500GB mechanical (could use a USB 3.0 instead)
• GPU: not sure on this would like an Nvidia 860/870M as I do some Direct x programming and would like the ability to play the odd game, plus need to be able to connect to at least two external monitors.
• Battery: 2 hours on low power is fine.
• Price: max around the $2,000 mark (or £1,300 as I am from the UK )
• Weight / Dimensions: Light and thin as I need it to be more of a laptop and less of a desktop replacement, for onsite work.

All I can find that matches most of my specification is either the MSI GS70 2PC-074UK Stealth or the
MSI GS70 2PE-421UK Stealth Pro, can anybody suggest anything better that is available in the UK?

EDIT: Found it on the main page
"NOTE: Where do I go to make a donation / become a member, as I have read a few articles regarding this and feel that the site and podcast is more than worth a donation / subscription."

Thanks,
Xplosiv
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Re: Laptop and first post

Postposted on Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:04 am

For the screen resolution unless you go to a gaming laptop you are stuck to 1080 for your budget (even most gaming machines will be over your budget). Get something that can easily drive a second monitor and you would be better off.

As to the subscription just go to the main page and there is a gerbil just under the header with a banner saying subscribe.
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Re: Laptop and first post

Postposted on Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:19 am

The whole idea is to able to do my programming etc without attaching an external monitor.

i guess a 15.6" inch 1080p may be OK, i ended up selling my 15.6" Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 as the screen was only 1366 * 768 which is useless for programs like Visual Studio and Eclipse, and it was rubbish in terms of build quality and performance.
Xplosiv
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Re: Laptop and first post

Postposted on Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:52 am

Welcome!

Here's a newegg search for all laptops with resolution > 1920x1080:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... erSearch=1

I see a Lenovo with an 860M and 4k screen for less than $1400. But mostly it's the MSI's that look the most promising. E.g. MSI has a "GS60 Ghost" with a 3k (2880x1620) screen and a 870M for $2000. There's even the GT60 with an 880M for $2300 if you wanted to stretch a bit All 15.6" screens. The Lenovo has a 256GB SSD, the MSI's have dual SSD/HDD. The GS60 Ghost looks pretty promising; it's also only 4 and a half pounds.
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Re: Laptop and first post

Postposted on Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:33 pm

If you don't need to be colour accurate, you can get the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro as well, but I believe you would want to be >15" as well to be practical with the crazy 3200x1800 resolution. Plus using the Intel IGP may not be good enough?
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Re: Laptop and first post

Postposted on Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:17 pm

Discrete GPU requirement is going to pretty much force you into a gaming laptop, of which MSI and the occasional Lenovo are the only cost-effective choices right now. I would definitley say get 1080p+, not so much for the games but because these days many applications simply expect everyone has at least that much display and fail bad on anything less.

One other advice I would give is to think long and hard on the 17.3" size, and maybe take a look at some in stores and verify that the extra size/weight over a 15.6" is something you can deal with when traveling. YMMV but my experience has been that big notebooks are great around the house or office but sacrifice a lot of portability.
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Re: Laptop and first post

Postposted on Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:59 pm

Here are the two options.
Dell Precison (http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/preci ... bsd&~ck=mn)
System76 (https://system76.com/laptops/) You would need to supply your own Windows license though.
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Re: Laptop and first post

Postposted on Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:55 pm

The System76 models seem to be all just 1080p?
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Re: Laptop and first post

Postposted on Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:59 am

As much as I hate Apple, the closest thing I can think of (that isn't a garish, overweight plastic tank) would be a the 15" Retina Macbook Pro

i7, Geforce 750M, QHD display, 16GB RAM, keyboard backlight, nice and portable as a laptop.
The only downside is that it's a 15.6" not a 17.3 and you only get 1 drive bay (though it does come with a 500GB SSD). Oh, and you have to purchase and install Windows yourself ;)
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Re: Laptop and first post

Postposted on Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:43 am

Thanks for everyones feedback, yes i was looking at an Apple especially considering i can get 0% finance and have a free Windows 8 licences i could use.

The other option is the following:

Gigabyte P35W Intel - only issue is that it is 1080p but i think that should be OK, this costs around £1,100 ($1700) the equivalent apple would be £2,000 ($3,200)
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Re: Laptop and first post

Postposted on Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:17 am

Yeah, the Gigabyte P35W is good, as is the Asus G750 series, but they're only 1080p.

1080p is pretty low-res for productivity, and there are many cheaper/lighter options that will fill the role of 1080p laptop if that's all you want.
It depends on your workflow but I use both 1080p screens at work to code and use two 1440p screens at home. A single 1080p screen feels like a media consumption, web-browsing resolution these days.
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Re: Laptop and first post

Postposted on Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:26 am

Flying Fox wrote:The System76 models seem to be all just 1080p?


They are, and they are laptop like then desktop replacement.

Most other laptops max out at 1920x1080 as well, if we're lucky. For the longest time, Apple was the lone exception in screen resolution limits, but Dell has started playing as of late.

The M4800, M3800, and M6800 Precisions have the option for 3200x1800 screens. This is a rather recent development for the M4800 and M6800. Previously, they were limited to 1920x1080 too.
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