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Laptop Suggestion for Study Sessions

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Killian, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. Killian

    Killian Byte Poster

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    Hi all,

    Not sure if this is really the right place to post it but I figure it's where people come for advice on training and whatnot so figure it's a good a place as any.

    Basically; I'm looking for a laptop that I can use for studying. My budget is around £600 - £700 and I'm just looking for something reasonably big (around 15 - 17) with a good aspect ratio (not a fan of the 1366 x 768 or whatever it is). I went down a similar line a few months back and ending up going with a Samsung R580 but found I regretted my decision because of the screen size/aspect ratio.

    I'm not an avid gamer nor movie watcher (have my Media Centre for that) so I'm really just looking for a good processor that can handle a few virtual sessions at a time.

    Does anybody have a similar setup that they can recommend?

    I'm currently studying Configuring Windows 7 (70-680) and messing around with Server 2008 R2, MDT, WDS, etc.
     
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  2. Darkfunnyguy

    Darkfunnyguy Byte Poster

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    You talk about using virtual assuming VMware for example therefore I definitely get a laptop with a intel quad duo core or i5 quad processor.
     
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  3. Darkfunnyguy

    Darkfunnyguy Byte Poster

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    Sorry I meant the Intel i7 Core 720M quad processor
     
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  4. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    If you want virtualization capabilities, you should make sure you've got as big a processor and as much RAM as you can afford. I'd recommend going to a laptop manufacturer's Web site that allows you to tweak components and build the laptop you want.
     
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  5. Killian

    Killian Byte Poster

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    The R580 I had ran a Core i3 2.2 (or around that) with 4GB RAM and handled 2 virtual machines at a time pretty decently (1GB to each machine).

    I've tried going on to the Dell site but find they're way too expensive for what you get. Some of the Acers look nice but can't seem to settle on whether I want a 17inch or not.

    Just figured I'd ask on here and see what people are using if they have similar setups.
     
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  6. Darkfunnyguy

    Darkfunnyguy Byte Poster

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  7. Killian

    Killian Byte Poster

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    The specs on that are pretty awesome but still on the 1366 x 768 resolution wwhich I don't feel is good enough for a 15inch screen.

    Tempted by the R780 but was hoping to find something a bit better specd without going OTT on price. Will keep looking; bound to come across something sooner or later.
     
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  8. gosh1976

    gosh1976 Kilobyte Poster

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    I've said in other threads that I really like the one I've been using for a little while now http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834157114

    I haven't experienced any issues that are known to occur with other Pavilions. It has a nice big screen and I've run multiple virtual machines at the same time with no issues. I had been wondering if the wireless card kept dropping the connection but it turns out it was my WAP.
     
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  9. ChrisH1979

    ChrisH1979 Byte Poster

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    Is there a good reason you want a laptop rather than a normal tower and screen? I only say this because you could get a computer with 8 gig of ram and plenty of HD space and a big screen for £700. If you did have another device to run the Vsphere client of you could even install esxi on the main one if you get something like a Proliant ML115 or something like that.
     
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  10. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I second that, get a desktop if you can, if you must be mobile then a 17 inch and 2.5 kgs isn't very mobile !

    Laptops simply don't do power as well as desktops, they can't dissipate the heat fast enough.

    Acer and Asus seem to make reasonable lappies for reasonable prices, would not touch Dell / Alienware myself. HP normally overpriced in UK and I don't like AMD for mobile CPU's.

    If you're definitely after a laptop I'd try and get a Core i5, 15 / 16 inch screen, 8 GB of RAM and stick in a 128 GB 200+ MB/s SSD. Maybe get an external USB HD to make up for having a small boot volume.

    SSD and extra RAM will probably blow your budget by at least £300 though...

    Processors unlikely to be your bottleneck on a laptop when running a few VM's, you could probably even get by with a Core 2 Duo if you had lots of memory and an SSD.
     
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  11. Killian

    Killian Byte Poster

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    Desktop was my initial thought but I live in a small apartment and already have a desktop/monitor combo and no real room for another tower. The room it's all in is pretty small too and tend to do most my studying on the sofa with a laptop on my lap (on a laptop cushie thing) hence the reason I was leaning towards a laptop.

    I know alot of people are suggesting 8GB Ram and SSD drives but, as dmarsh rightly said, they knock the price way over budget. I won't always be running the virtual clients either, it'll be for maybe an hour or so at a time when I'm studying and don't mind if the speed suffers a little as it's only to learn the basics.

    HP do seem to be way overpriced here in the UK too, a similiar spec to the one gosh posted costs almost the same in GB Pound Sterling as it does in US Dollars. The cost of doing business in the UK it seems. :(
     
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  12. Darkfunnyguy

    Darkfunnyguy Byte Poster

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    I think you should check the spec again as the resolution is 1920 x 1080 not 1366 x 768 resolution.
     
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  13. Killian

    Killian Byte Poster

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    Ah sorry, my bad. I saw the model number and checked that but forgot you can completely customise the Dells. May go with that as the specs are really good. Just got to hope it's still there in a week or 2. The reason I need a new one is because my old one was stolen (alongside alot of other bits and pieces!) and have to replace it with the insurance money. Just got to wait for the cheque.

    What do others think of it? Seems like it'll run really well on it's on and handle 3 or 4 vmware sessions if I need it.

    Thanks Darkfunnyguy for pointing it out.
     
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  14. Killian

    Killian Byte Poster

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    It says a 6 cell battery now? They must have changed it.
     
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  15. Darkfunnyguy

    Darkfunnyguy Byte Poster

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    No it has a 6 cell battery with it, what I meant was you can buy the 9 cell battery to last longer. I assume since you are using mostly at home the 6 cell battery is enough and you will power the laptop to the wall anyway.
     
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  16. Killian

    Killian Byte Poster

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    Looks like I'm going with the Dell. Just got to wait for the cheque to come through now.

    Any idea why they can sell them so cheap? To build the same specs directly on the Dell site it's around £1300. Their feedback is excellent though so am assuming it's legit just don't understand why it costs almost £500 more to buy direct from Dell.
     
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  17. Killian

    Killian Byte Poster

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    Thought I'd update case anyone comes across this in the future.

    I went with the Dell darkfunnyguy pointed out and it arrived yesterday. Configured VMWare with a Team consisting of Server 2008 R2 (acting as PDC with WDS and MDT 2010) with 2 client machines running Windows 7 x64.

    Each machine has 1GB ram allocated to them and the Server has 40GB space and the Clients 20GB each. Things are running perfectly and don't see any issues arising even if I add a couple more to the Team.

    Resolution is lovely and everything is nice and small :)

    Thanks for the suggestion darkfunnyguy; wouldn't even have thought it worth looking for Dell resellers as the prices always seemed way too high.
     
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  18. Darkfunnyguy

    Darkfunnyguy Byte Poster

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    I glad to be of help and service, no problem. Can you tell me is the laptop pretty lightweight and easy to carry around as I might get one at some point and what the 1920 x 1080resolution on whata 15 inch laptop?
     
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  19. Killian

    Killian Byte Poster

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    Resolution is lovely on the screen, everything fits perfectly so that when I'm running a VM I can see VMs desktop perfectly without having to make that particular machine full screen.

    It's not exactly light but I've been lugging it around and hardly feel a difference (though I'm a big guy so an extra few Kg isn't going to make much difference).
     
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