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Michael

15" Laptop for work

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Hey all. A friend of mine, lets call him R, wants to drop > 3K$ on a mac book pro with retina display.

I told him to wait a bit and let me consult the gurus from TI before he does.

R's list of requirements :

  • 14-15"
  • Great Hi-Res screen
  • Around 2 kg (that's around 4.5 pounds to the metrically challenged)
  • Good CPU performance (no ultrabook CPUs)
  • SSD
  • Good battery life
  • International warranty support

Suggest away :)

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There's the Dell Precision M4700 which can be configured with an RGB LED panel if I'm not mistaken. It's 15.6 inch though, but regular i7 CPUs, MXM capable and buisness quality with NBD service.

That's the best choice for a 15 inch business laptop in my opinion.

I don't know anything that's between 14 and 15 inch and has 1080p though... the sony Vaio SV-S1512 series comes with 1080p as well, quad core CPU, but the soldered on version. Has an IPS panel, which is a nice feature, won't beat the RGB LED though. I don't like the keyboard there.

Asus UX51VZ comes with a 15.6 inch 1080p IPS panel, I assume it's similar to the panel in my ultrabook, so should be really good. Soldered on quad core i7, Nvida GT 650m, 2x128GB SSD in Raid 0. Don't like the keyboard though.

It's the lightweight in this category, with merely 2.1kg.

The Asus and Sony are at a more or less reasonable price, but with a budget of 3k and more I'd go for a Dell Precision with a RGB LED screen, and some more extras. Definitely the best screen there is as far as I know, and the keyboard is superior the other to machines, but it's probably too heavy (2.8kg). Will kill any Macbook easily though. Upgradable, and as mentioned, business style and quality.

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The m4700 was actually the only laptop I did recommend him :-)

Thanks Marco, I'll pass that info along to him, hope he comes to his senses. Doubt it though, he's really sold on the whole apple thing.

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You're welcome! I thought you'd come up with the Precision as well :D Might be hard to convice him, but hi-res screen of the Apple machine isn't actually that great, the M4700 is a much more versatile machine, also unique, especially compared with a MacBook. If I'm not mistaken there's a docking station available since it's a business notebook, which can be really useful.

Besides, MacOS is crap. :D

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+1 for the Dell M4700. Just note, the IPS LCD option for the M4700 disallows Optimus from engaging since the iGPU can't run a 10-bit LCD. So if battery ife is important option it with the TN panel instead. It has a 97Wh 9-cell battery option if want to again extend battery life plus an mSATA slot so can keep the primary + optical drives. If he wants to cheap out then can get a Dell Latitude E6530 with FHD LCD. They can be had for great prices from the Dell Outlet.

A big problem with the 15" MBPr is it can't have the iGPU engaged in Windows. Meaning, battery life will be pretty poor there. The iGPU however can be engaged in MacOS. The battery is a sealed 60Wh unit on a MBPr, So overall, not a good unit to meet the OP's battery life requirements. A 13" MBPr does have the iGPU enabled, though it misses out on the quad-core GPU and GT650M dGPU. A better unit for battery life.

If wanting the smallest, most powerful unit in a ultrabook-thin chassis, then look at a 13" Sony SVZ. FHD LCD, quad-core, raid-0 SSD storage, PMD with external BD and HD7670M.

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Razer Blade.... Sorry couldn't resist.

tLQOG.gif

HP Elitebooks 8560w or 8570w is pretty decent too as it can (could have?) be configured with the DreamColor display. I've no clue about the price and the weight since I currently don't have 3 hours to even attempt to navigate through their website to find this out.

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I'd go for this: XPS 12 Convertible Tablet & Ultrabook I might grab one when it hits outlet. It's not 15" but it can be transformed into a tablet which is nice. Another really good one (better than Dell IMO) is this http://www.asus.com/vivo/en/transformerBook.htm since it's got a bigger display that is detachable and is IPS HD @ 350 nits..drool.

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It's worth noting that Macbook Pros are essentially overpriced ultrabooks. They are all built around the same CPUs and chipsets (Intel Core i5/i7) with Intel HD integrated GPUs. If he's looking to avoid ultrabooks, he's already failed.

As far as a recommendation, here's mine. I ordered a Lenovo Y580 just recently (Newegg.com - lenovo IdeaPad Y580 (59345717) Notebook Intel Core i7 3630QM(2.40GHz) 15.6" 8GB Memory 1TB HDD Blu-ray Combo NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M). It doesn't come equipped with an SSD hard drive, although I ordered a 128 GB mSATA SSD HD for $100 (Amazon.com: MyDigitalSSD 128GB BP3 Bullet Proof 3 mSATA III (6G) SSD Solid State Drive - MDMS-BP3-128: Computers & Accessories) to use as a system drive. The only flaw thus far is the lack of support for dual band wifi cards, although there have been some custom bios files released in this forum to address this issue. You can even buy the dual band wifi cards Lenovo installs in their other machines (Amazon.com: Adpt 6205 Half Height Minicard (bulk) By Intel: Computers & Accessories) for $13. The system does slightly exceed the weight requirements though, weighing in at 2.8 kg.

Overall though, for $1113 you get the following -

CPU - Intel Core i7-3630QM Quadcore 2.4GHz with dynamic overclocking up to 3.4 GHz

GPU - NVIDIA Geforce GTX 660M and Intel HD 4000

RAM - 8 GB DDR3

SSD - 128 GB mSATA III system drive

HDD - 1TB 5200 RPM HD data drive

Optical Drive - A blu-ray combo drive

Wifi - Dual band (pending a successful custom bios flash)

Display - 1920 x 1080 LED backlit, 15.6"

Performance wise, it's better than any Macbook Pro available and much much cheaper for any of the Macbook Pros that are even close.

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Thanks guys, I'll make sure he gets all that info! Although I am quite sure he will ignore all this and end up with the apple...

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That's how these things go. Good advice often falls on deaf ears.

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