Thin and light powerful laptop

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Serg, Dec 26, 2012.

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  1. Serg

    Serg Nowhere - Everywhere

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    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    Up to $1200, can dish $1300 if really worth it.

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    a. Netbook; 10” screen or less
    b. Ultraportable; 11" - 12” screen
    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen <- I'm tired of carrying with a 15.6" laptop.
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen

    3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.
    USA, through the Interwebz.

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like: HP, Dell, Sony, ASUS
    b. Dislike: MSI, Acer, Gateway, Fujitsu
    c. Indifferent: Apple, Toshiba, Samsung, Lenovo

    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    No. Looking for a new laptop.

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Word processing, light 3D modeling, light gaming, heavy web surfing, reading.

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    I'd like it to be mobile, yes. Has to be able to withstand traveling.

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?
    Darksiders II
    EVE Online
    Roller Coaster Tycoon II
    The Sims 3

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    Need? 3ish. Want? 5+

    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?

    Reviews, pictures and videos should do it. No need to touch it, mostly.

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista or Windows 7), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
    Windows 8, preferably. Can get Windows 7 and upgrade. Both 64 bit versions.

    Screen Specifics

    12) From the choices below, what screen resolution(s) would you prefer? Keep in mind screen size in conjunction with resolution will play a large role in overall viewing comfort level. Everyone is different. Some like really small text, while others like their text big and easy to read. Click here for Screen resolution information.
    WXGA+ 1600*900 or 900p
    WUXGA FHD if possible.

    13) Do you want a Glossy reflective screen or a Matte/non-glossy screen?
    I'm indifferent to this. Got a glossy one and works well.

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    Hardware and build quality are more important, but it is important that it is somewhat appealing.

    15) When are you buying this laptop?
    In the next month or two.

    16) How long do you want this laptop to last?
    3+ years before I look for a refresh or an update.

    Notebook Components

    17) How much hard drive space do you need? Do you want a SSD drive?
    500GB is pretty much standard. Prefer it to be 7200RPM at least. Hybrids and SSDs are preferred as long as they're within price range.

    18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?
    Haven't had an ODD for 3 years, and I've only used the external less than 20 times in those years.

    Basically, the Sony VAIO S 13 Premium is the best option. For $1194.99 I can get an i7-3520, the GT640M LE with 1GB GDDDR3, 12GB of RAM and the 900p screen in a very thin and light laptop. Build quality looks decent enough.

    What else is out there, capable of matching or passing this VAIO S 13 Premium?

    I'm fully aware that NVIDIA mixed with SolidWorks 2012 or CATIA is not the best option ever, but for the light stuff I do, it's OK or capable of handling it (mostly).

    Thank you for your replies and efforts!
  2. RefinedPower

    RefinedPower Notebook Deity

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    I would suggest getting the I5 and using the money you save to upgrade the hard drive to an SSD. they are worth every penny of their relatively high cost. If you can pick up a W7 version of the S13p from it gives you the option of nearly doubling the clocks on the 640 LE putting it near 650m performance level.

    your other option is to get a Lenovo X230 and then make an eGPU via the express card slot. this would give you the option of using a professional card in the eGPU which will boost your Solidworks performance significantly. the intel GPU performs about the same as the 640 LE with solidworks so you could still work on smaller projects in class and stuff.
  3. Ellatan

    Ellatan Old Timer

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  4. Terran1212

    Terran1212 Notebook Consultant

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    Acer Timeline U M5 is what I use. It is pretty decent for pretty much everything you have listed except lower screen quality. And it is of course slightly lower build quality than some of the super stuff out there
  5. Serg

    Serg Nowhere - Everywhere

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    I've looked into the Gigabyte N2442. It looks quite interesting, now I have 2 options, the Gigabyte and the Sony.

    What else should I consider?
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