GIS/R

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by ksamantha12, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. ksamantha12

    ksamantha12 Newbie

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    Hi there! Looking to buy a new computer (my dog spilled water on my MacBook Air), and I wanted something that I can use in graduate school. The program I'll be trying to get into uses a lot of ArcGIS and R (wildlife biology), so I need a laptop that will work well with both of those. I loved the look and feel of my Air, but am looking for something a bit more practical for heavy programs like ArcGIS. I am leaning towards Lenovo (maybe a ThinkPad Yoga or just a Yoga?), but I honestly know very little about specs and have never previously shopped for a laptop that used the programs I need. I still want a relatively lightweight, slim laptop if possible, and was hoping for something with SSD as I've heard that that's better for GIS (maybe?). I'm hoping to snag something in the $600 - $900 range. If anyone has any recommendations, I would greatly appreciate it!
     
  2. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    Hi there and welcome. The system requirements for ArcGIS are minimal according to their website; most computers sold today would be able to run it. The recommendations emphasize having enough memory (RAM), so I'd suggest no less than 16GB. Storage-wise, the only way to go today is with a solid-state drive (SSD). Most computers in your price range will have one.

    You might want to fill in our FAQ so we can provide targeted recommendations. Off-hand, if you're OK with a Windows machine, a Dell Latitude 7300 or 7400 can be had from the Dell Outlet for under your budget. They're around the size of your MacBook Air, well-built, and come standard with a three-year warranty. Look for ones that have the 1920x1080 screen resolution; the base 1366x768 screen is garbage.

    Charles
     
  3. ksamantha12

    ksamantha12 Newbie

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    1) What is your budget?
    $600 - $900

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    a. Ultraportable; 10" - 12" screen
    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen
    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?
    USA
    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like: Lenovo, Dell (maybe)
    b. Dislike: N/A
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    Not without a good warranty.
    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Web browsing, photo editing, data crunching (GIS/R/Presence/Mark/etc)
    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    Transporting it
    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?)
    N/A
    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    8+ would be great
    10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?
    Either one!
    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
    Windows, likely (for compatibility reasons)

    Screen Specifics


    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? (See further below for explanations.)
    Whatever is best for ArcGIS, although photo editing is also important.
    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.)
    Whichever is cheaper - I like my Macbook Air screen.

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    Yes - I like slimmer notebooks.

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?
    8+ GB ... SSD card necessary

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity


    16) When are you buying this laptop?
    Within the week.
    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop?
    For school, work, and personal use (web browsing/streaming)
    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?
    Not very long at all - I need it for work every day.
    19) Would you be willing to pay significantly extra for on-site warranty, or would it be acceptable to you to have to ship the laptop to the vendor for repair with perhaps a week or more outage?
    I would prefer not to pay much extra - student budget.
     
  4. ksamantha12

    ksamantha12 Newbie

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    Hi again,

    Do you think that the Lenovo IdeaPad 730s 13" would be a good option? They have a 16 GB option, and either 256 or 512 GB SSD.

    Thanks!
     
  5. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    I think you'd be best served with a business-class Dell Latitude. Specifically, look at the Latitude 7300 or 7400 from the Dell Outlet. Use our guide here. Avoid the ones with the crap 1366x768 screens.
    The Latitude 7000 series comes standard with a 3-year warranty and you can upgrade the memory and storage aftermarket to save money.

    There's also the Dell XPS 13 to consider, though the memory in those is not upgradeable. Only look at the ones that have 16GB from the factory in that case. The XPS line in general has very nice screens.

    Charles
     

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