Author Topic: Laptop advise  (Read 504 times)

Offline marshie

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Laptop advise
« on: July 29, 2017, 01:39:58 PM »
Any opinion on which to get? I am torn between buying a macbook air 2016 or dell laptop inspiron 5000 2 in 1.  Both are i5 and almost the same price as they are both in sale.  Before tax prices are $750 for macbook air and $680 for dell.  I will use it for internet surfing, downloading, work (when I am working from home - mostly excel, access, and syatems).

Any insight is appreciated.  My friend has been telling me to get the mac as this is lightweight and really durable.

Offline Lee2

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Re: Laptop advise
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2017, 07:52:33 PM »
When carrying around a computer a lot, weight is a deciding factor, also the Macbook Air units that I have seen usually have a smaller hard drive, the dell units usually have 500GB, that would be a deciding issue for me only if I was intended to store a lot of photos or other downloaded items on it but external hard drives and thumb drives nowadays are not that expensive, yet then an additional cost if you do not have one already that would be compatible. The amount of ram would also be something to consider when comparing computers.
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Offline marshie

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Re: Laptop advise
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2017, 10:44:55 PM »
^Both have 8Gb ram while macbook air have 128gb solid state drive and dell have 256gb.  I do have an existing external hard drive.  I have to check though if it is compatible with macbook air as this is via usb.  :)

Offline JoeLP

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Re: Laptop advise
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2017, 12:45:30 AM »
Tina has the Mac and I have an Acer.  My Acer has zero issues for what I use it for.  The boys use both of our laptops.  Tina's Mac does well, but, due to over use the battery swelled and now just a little too much excess use and it swells and the mousepad is worthless.  The battery is located right under the mousepad.

Apart from that it is par for course as far as what we use them for when compared.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 07:23:54 AM by JoeLP »
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Offline lost_in_samoa

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Re: Laptop advise
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2017, 05:21:28 AM »
lightweight and really durable.

IMO,  Hard spec to meet.

I use "off lease" Lenovo Thinkpads, ( endearingly called the Stinkpad).  They are tanks.  And they weigh as much.  Full service manuals with step by step picture instructions are available from the support website.

You can pick them up in almost new condition by the small lot.  Last lot I purchased cost me $400 something for 5.  The they came with 4gb ram and no hard drive.  10 minutes of musical parts and I had two with 8gb, one with 4, and two running spares.  Moved my old hard drives to the new laptops.  People usually over estimate how much drive space they need.  Unless they are multi-media heavy.

Loaded those with Linux, Virtualbox, and VNC.  All of those are free, supported better than the paid stuff on security updates which are available 24/7 from mirror servers on UP.  You can set Linux to have a Mac or Windows feel to it through the theme. 

Virtualbox is a "computer within a computer"  It allows you to boot up and run an operating system inside another one.  For instance MacOS 10 inside Linux.  Or Windows XP inside Linux.  This lets me use my legacy office processor and other applications that I have become dependent on, without the learning curve of "how do I change the damn FONT!"

VNC is a application that allows you to pull a "thin" desktop to just about any other operating system.  In our case I have it set up to serve up to my tablet which runs IOS.

So whenever I go on the road, which is never.  I can jump onto some wifi hotspot and pull a remote desktop off of my laptop onto my tablet or the phone.  I can then work using the horsepower of the laptop and not the horsepower of the phone. 

Only screen geometry and change refreshes travel the line.  Those are encrypted to whatever security level appeases the sense of paranoia.  Anything I change or save never leaves the home laptop.  Unless I specifically pull it down to the phone.  Best of both worlds.

Hope this helps.



Offline M.C.A.

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Re: Laptop advise
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2017, 08:27:18 AM »
Marshie you said you'd be working from home so why not ditch the Laptop and focus on a desk top, Laptops once they fail or start to have problems will be nearly impossible to fix similar to cell phones, you can have a desk top put together here, I also wouldn't buy a branded desk top.
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Offline marshie

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Re: Laptop advise
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2017, 06:18:34 PM »
^M.C.A.,
The work from home that I'll be doing is 3x a month at most and is thru thin client.  I prefer laptop for convenience of bringing it. 

Lost_in_samoa, I wish I am as able and knowledgeable as you are with laptops and all.  I do not even know how to do stuff that's why my expected usage is only on thin client when working from home so I can access my files/systems and all that is in cloud, browsing online and simple tasks. :).
You do a pretty good job at spending $400 for 5.  Value for money and you know how to maximize by using thin client/desktop.

JoelP, yeah, looks like Macbook air is on the losing side now.  Plus I found an additional discount which would make it to $600 with tax for the dell I was referring to.  My box was balikbayan box was already shipped so I am now thinking if I should buy here instead or still buy from US.

Offline David690

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Re: Laptop advise
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2017, 12:04:24 AM »
Marshie, it all boils down to whether you are a Mac person or not.  Have you used a MacBook before?  Spec wise there will not be much between them and will depend on how you specify the device.  Price wise Apple products usually cost a little more.  Not everybody gets Apple Mac devices and prefer Microsoft.  Personally I am a Mac fan, I have always had Mac devices, including MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.  I love them and have never had a single issue with them.  In earlier times I have had a Toshiba and a Sony laptop, both gave me problems, on the Toshiba the hard drive died losing me all of my pictures from a holiday in Brazil, on the Sony the battery died and the replacement was more than the value of the laptop.  Basically, if you are  Mac person, for sure you will choose the MacBook Air, if not you will go with a Windows device.
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Offline marshie

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Re: Laptop advise
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2017, 06:15:35 AM »
^If I am not gonna faftor in the price, I am looking forward for it to last long because I've always been an iphone user and my friend told me that her mac lasted her good 10years. Never had any issue with my phone.  I just had to retire it last year since iphone 4 is no longer supported with new OS updates.  Going back to the laptop, I have never used a mac. Haha.  Maybe I have typed here and there but that's it.

Offline codefreeze

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Re: Laptop advise
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2017, 07:51:53 PM »
Any opinion on which to get? I am torn between buying a macbook air 2016 or dell laptop inspiron 5000 2 in 1.  Both are i5 and almost the same price as they are both in sale.  Before tax prices are $750 for macbook air and $680 for dell.  I will use it for internet surfing, downloading, work (when I am working from home - mostly excel, access, and syatems).

It depends on your preference really. You say you mostly use the computer for Access and Excel, so I'm guessing you are a Windows user normally. You can get those products for Mac, but if you are more familiar with Windows stick with that. However, if you are not really a power user I would go with the Mac as it is probably less susceptible to security issues (viruses, malware etc.)

Slightly off-topic:

I am a long time professional Mac user. On my current contract gig I have to use a company laptop and they gave me a Thinkpad Ultrabook. It's very impressive. A lot lighter and thinner than my MacBook Pro. A ton faster too. For the first time in over ten years I'm thinking of switching back to a Windows laptop. I install Ubuntu in a VM anyway for "real" work. Just so impressed with this Ultrabook. I've found Windows 10 to be stable and fast despite my misgivings.

Unless Apple get their act together on MacBook Pros I'm heading back to a Windows-based machine.


Offline lost_in_samoa

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Re: Laptop advise
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2017, 03:01:50 AM »
I'm thinking of switching back to a Windows laptop. I install Ubuntu in a VM anyway for "real" work.


A Linux VM inside a Widows 10 host ???

That's like asking Mr. Bean to give a piggy-back ride to Dorian Yates
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Offline FastWalk

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Re: Laptop advise
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2017, 10:12:01 AM »
I install Ubuntu in a VM anyway for "real" work. Just so impressed with this Ultrabook. I've found Windows 10 to be stable and fast despite my misgivings.


This is a great way to configure it.  Using the Ubuntu as the dev environment.   another plus is if you get a gig where the client needs you to use a specific OS to connect..  can likely still run the same dev environment on the(a) vm.  I know many that have this exact setup,  but with a variety of different hardware.

Offline codefreeze

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Re: Laptop advise
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2017, 11:22:31 PM »
A Linux VM inside a Widows 10 host ???

That's like asking Mr. Bean to give a piggy-back ride to Dorian Yates
.


Haha, yeah it is a bit. However, there are a few advantages. 1) Everything just works - sound, network, graphics, etc. Very little messing around with drivers, which you might have to do on the same machine. 2) It's very fast. I can actually run multiple Linux VMs at the same time - something I can't do on my MacBook Pro. 3) The company on this Gig has a lot of applications that can only be used via Windows. 4) If you screw up a Linux config it's easy to boot a copy of a bare VM.

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Offline codefreeze

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Re: Laptop advise
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2017, 11:29:16 PM »
This is a great way to configure it.  Using the Ubuntu as the dev environment.   another plus is if you get a gig where the client needs you to use a specific OS to connect..  can likely still run the same dev environment on the(a) vm.  I know many that have this exact setup,  but with a variety of different hardware.

Exactly right. It sounds horrible but works really well in practice. Most of my work right now is done in the VM - it's Python coding, documentation in TeX and using various Bash shell scripts and so on for automation. We are using Mercurial too with various scripts and so on that only work in Linux. I only really go back into Windows to access company apps that will only allow connection from Windows. The Edge browser works pretty well too for accessing company email and so on.

I have a similar setup on my MacBook Pro too. Sure Mac has a full Bash shell from Terminal, but it's quite nice to have your dev setup in a VM, you can install everything there without disturbing the default set up of the Mac - good as when you leave a company you can just delete that VM and you are back to your personal config again.

 


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