Need a new laptop, need suggestions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by 4look4rd, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    #1
    Hello Guys!

    Since my HP Crapbook is absolutely unusable, I decided to shop for a new Laptop.

    My budget is $1200 and I get the education discount.

    This is what I need/want:

    RAM: 8 gigs is the bare minimum
    Video Card: Must be able to run indie games very well.
    Size: Has to be between 12 and 14 inches. Low weight.
    Storage: 128 SSD. Ideally it should also have space for a traditional harddrive for more storage, but this is not a deal breaker.
    Battery: 5-6 hours is the bare minimum
    Screen quality: I cant stand 720p.
    Availability: I can wait until september, after that it will be very hard.
    Reliability: My 2007 iMac is going strong, I expect my laptop to last at the vary least 5 years (I'm willing to replace HD, RAM, and battery during that period).

    Here is my typical usage:

    I take all of my classes on Monday and Wednesday, so this means having class from noon to 10PM -- all back to back with the exception of one 45-minute break-- so battery life and size are must-haves. The other days of the week I work regular office hours on my laptop. I travel short distances to attend many events during the week, which I'm required to take notes and some of these can last up to three hours.

    I use the MS Word and Excel extensively, and I'm guaranteed to have 10-15 tabs open at all times for work. Next semester I'm going to start working with statistical packages for my classes (mostly R, SAS, and Minitab).

    I really like this new MBA, but the screen resolution is a huge turn off. I really wish it had the 15 inch MPB's resolution (1600x1050). But then again I'm coming from a ****** 720p HP, so anything is an improvement.

    I found a laptop that meets all of my requirements, but I'm uncertain about the battery life since its a Ubuntu PC (I heard from many sources that Ubuntu kills the battery):

    https://www.system76.com/laptops/model/galu1

    I would upgrade it to a 120GB SSD + 1TB traditional HD and 8GB of ram, which would cost $1304.

    This is exactly what I want.

    So my question is should I go with the System 76 PC, get the 13'' Air, wait for the 13'' haswell MBP, or maybe bite the bullet and get the 13'' haswell MBP when its released?
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    B...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    #2
    Any Haswell MBP will be retina and it would be out of budget for you.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    #3
    I thought Apple would keep the 13'' non retina MBP.

    Anyway, I would be willing to bite the bullet and pay 1400 for a rMBP if the base configuration includes an i7 with Iris Pro GPU and a 256GB SSD. But ideally I'd rather have the regular MBP with some upgrades.
     
  4. The-Pro, Jun 15, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013

    macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #4
    Look in the refurbished section of the store. You might find something in your budget
    Scroll to the bottom of the store page, you will find a link to it there.

    Also, you are a student right? Do you get any special deals through your university??
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    #5
    I have to check at my book store, but I do get the regular educational discount.

    I could perhaps go up to $1400, but thats certainly the top end of my budget. The configuration on that System 76 is what I dream of, but I don't know enough about the company to commit such large amount of money. So I'd love to get a mac with similar specs.
     
  6. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6

    Get the 13" MacBook Air.You don't need a ton of RAM for you usage. You run Word with a Dozen documents open on 4GB Mac just fine. But you might just like Pages better the iCloud storage is really good for school work. Keep all you work there.

    The light wait and small size iworth the other trade off and the battery now lasts 12 hours

    I've gone back to grad school after 25+ years working, EVERY notebook I see is some kind of Apple product. There is a reason for that. I'm not kinding it is 100%. Except quite a few have the iPad in class. I can't type fast enough on one or I might try.

    I keep run Safari and Pages and a few other things open and don't use 1/2 of the 4MB of RAM. DOn't use Windows PC standards, Macs run well with less RAM.

    BTW you can always cary an external hard drive but you may not need it.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    #7
    The thing is, I'll probably have to run virtual machines to run SAS and Minitab so I think 8GBs is a must have (especially considering that I can't upgrade after the purchase).

    Yes I noticed that Apple products are the norm, both in the workplace and at school. I would probably run Ubuntu if I got a Windows laptop though (if I can manage to get good battery).

    And lastly, I do plan on using an external HD for storage in case I get a MBA so the lack of storage is not that big of a deal.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    #8
    Sure, get the air and max it out. That's more or less in budget. You won't be able to upgrade later on anyway
     

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