Home – New Forums Tech talk I need a new “Notebook”

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  • #995677
    Greg_M
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    I’m currently considering purchasing a new Notebook, my trusty MacAir is getting a bit sad…accelerated by a camping trip where a storm dislodged a spreader bar in the camper and it hit the screen (and me), it’s not terminal at this point (the screen that is), but I am waiting for the screen to die and would like to retire it from full time active duty.

    For the last few years I’ve only used Mac’s ( 2 MacAirs and a 27 inch iMac) but the latest OS upgrades have left me cold, the whole thing is getting too whizbang for my needs.

    In the past I have used Dell without too many complaints but a quick look on their website left me confused…seemed to be a lot of add on software bundled that I don’t want, and even though it’s supposed to be free (nothings free) I think it does add to the price, also the idea of a ‘two in one’ has absolutely no appeal.

    Here’s my spec:

    Easy to buy online (I’m fairly remote and Apple’s online process sucked when I tried it a while back).

    13 inch (or thereabouts) screen.

    8 gig RAM

    SSD hard drive (128 GIG OK)

    Long battery life (I’m used to 8 hrs plus with MacAir)

    Lightweight, but solid build.

    No crap software, that includes any fancy Windows operating system, as I’ll be ripping it out and installing Linux.

    Bonus points for one thats easy to convert from Windows to Linux. Pity you can’t buy from overseas easily (or can you?) preloaded Linux Ubuntu comes off the shelf in the States (or did).

    Because I’ve been a bit of an Apple fan boi for a few years, I’m hoping someone here can shorten my research time with a couple of hints.

    Cheers

    #1203376
    DavidChin
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    Hi Greg

    Have you considered the Razer Blade Stealth?

    https://www.cnet.com/products/razer-blade-stealth-late-2016/review/

    #1203377
    Greg_M
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    DavidChin, post: 241222, member: 81210 wrote:
    Hi Greg

    Have you considered the Razer Blade Stealth?

    https://www.cnet.com/products/razer-blade-stealth-late-2016/review/

    I’d never heard of it, but it looks like a very good notebook. I’ll check it out further.

    Thanks

    #1203378
    arrowwise
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    If not Apple the Microsoft Surface and Dell Latitude are both worth a look. They should have the highest specs available and at least 500GB SSD drive.

    Dell can win on being able to easily dock to larger screens etc, and onsite business level support can be very handy when you need it.

    #1203379
    Greg_M
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    arrowwise, post: 241234, member: 54026 wrote:
    If not Apple the Microsoft Surface and Dell Latitude are both worth a look. They should have the highest specs available and at least 500GB SSD drive.

    Dell can win on being able to easily dock to larger screens etc, and onsite business level support can be very handy when you need it.

    Dell is still on the list, they just put me off a little with the 2 in 1 thing and the bundled software on the range I looked at. Running a larger screen efficiently would be a bonus I would use, and I have found them reliable machines in the past…online purchasing was pretty smooth too.

    Most of the Dell stuff is Ubuntu/Linux certified too, just a pain I can’t get it preloaded here.

    Wouldn’t the MS Surface blow up in my face if I loaded Linux?

    Thanks for the suggestions

    #1203380
    bb1
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    Greg,
    Just a suggestion, I personally think Dell is a great product and outweighs most of the others, that comes from 20 years of corporate life, having dealt with multiple suppliers, so it’s not just based on my current business card.

    Anyhow the suggestion, ring them, I had a special requirement 18 months ago, and none of their packages on the web suited my needs, I did the old fashioned thing and gave them a call, and they soon had a bundle that suited me (well a friend anyhow). In this modern world we just assume what is offered is it, but in reality, they will cater for some odd requirements. But we need to use old fashioned approaches.

    #1203381
    Greg_M
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    bb1, post: 241262, member: 53375 wrote:
    Greg,
    Just a suggestion, I personally think Dell is a great product and outweighs most of the others, that comes from 20 years of corporate life, having dealt with multiple suppliers, so it’s not just based on my current business card.

    Anyhow the suggestion, ring them, I had a special requirement 18 months ago, and none of their packages on the web suited my needs, I did the old fashioned thing and gave them a call, and they soon had a bundle that suited me (well a friend anyhow). In this modern world we just assume what is offered is it, but in reality, they will cater for some odd requirements. But we need to use old fashioned approaches.

    Might just try that, it certainly hadn’t occurred to me to ring them.

    I have to admit I had a good run with them prior to going Apple (2 laptops, a PC and a couple of monitors). I really only converted to Apple to get the SSD drive and battery life (with a Unix OS at it’s heart), at the time a comparable spec from Dell and others was about 2K more. That’s no longer the case…

    Cheers for the lateral thinking.

    #1203382
    gingerbeardhs
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    I keep getting ads for the sexy HP Spectre dealios. Is something like that what you are after?

    http://h20386.www2.hp.com/AustraliaStore/Merch/offer.aspx?p=spectre-13

    #1203383
    Greg_M
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    gingerbeardhs, post: 241267, member: 84763 wrote:
    I keep getting ads for the sexy HP Spectre dealios. Is something like that what you are after?

    http://h20386.www2.hp.com/AustraliaStore/Merch/offer.aspx?p=spectre-13

    That’a seriously pretty piece of engineering. I’m not so sure I’m out to make a style statement with a notebook though…got the impression a lot of the $’s might be in the gold hinges. They did have some others that look more suitable for a working class peasant like me though.

    Thanks

    #1203384
    JohnTranter
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    Well? I was waiting to see what you ended up with because our requirements are pretty similar. I too would prefer to run linux on a semi decent machine with good battery life.

    I have toyed with just getting a cheap Chromebook and “telneting” into my Desktop as a cheap alternative, but that obviously has limitations.
    Then the 13 inch Dell Inspirons also look pretty nice, and are certified to work with Ubuntu.

    Did you end up buying something?

    #1203385
    Greg_M
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    Ha ha…been procrastinating on this one, nothing purchased yet but Dell looks like winning. Still need to give them a call as per Bert’s suggestion…slack

    #1203386
    JohnTranter
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    Cool, let us know how you get on.

    #1203387
    Greg_M
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    Got off my bum and made a decision this morning…Dell XPS13…8 gig RAM…256gigSSD (no touch screen).

    They have a deal atm on one of the models for $1599, but I’ve just realised I’m away for a week or two next week so won’t be home for delivery…so no actual purchase till I’m back, hopefully they’ll still have some sort of deal going (they normally have something).

    I did try to phone, so far no luck with a live voice, so whether I can get Ubuntu pre installed is still a mystery. A bit of research shows the XPS13 is Ubuntu certified and worst case a dual boot install is easy with Ubuntu the default boot.

    There’s a couple of Windows software apps I like to use so maybe the dual boot may be OK, especially with the 256 SSD (I don’t typically use much HD space).

    I haven’t used Ubuntu for a while and reading up this a.m. I’m looking forward to getting back into it.

    https://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/developers

    The stuff I like to use for work is a lot simpler to deal with on a Linux/Unix type OS, but Apple are starting to irritate me with all the bells and whistles and frequent OS upgrades. I know with Ubuntu I can tailor it to how I want it…not how someone thinks it should be set up.

    I’ll report in when it arrives and I’ve had a play.

    #1203388
    JohnTranter
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    Greg_M, post: 241358, member: 38207 wrote:
    Got off my bum and made a decision this morning…Dell XPS13…8 gig RAM…256gigSSD (no touch screen).

    Very nice!

    There’s a couple of Windows software apps I like to use

    Yeah, I can’t give up Photoshop just yet, GIMP doesn’t quite handle psd files properly and designers will tend to send me a psd rather than individual images. Otherwise I’d be tempted to make the full jump. (and I’ve had some painful experiences with WINE)
    I have a Windows Desktop with 16Gb of Ram and I run Ubuntu Virtual Machines with 8Gb Ram allocated. I spend 99% of my day working in a Virtual Machine and barely notice I’m actually on Windows.

    #1203389
    Greg_M
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    JohnTranter, post: 241362, member: 20554 wrote:
    Very nice!

    Yeah, I can’t give up Photoshop just yet, GIMP doesn’t quite handle psd files properly and designers will tend to send me a psd rather than individual images. Otherwise I’d be tempted to make the full jump. (and I’ve had some painful experiences with WINE)
    I have a Windows Desktop with 16Gb of Ram and I run Ubuntu Virtual Machines with 8Gb Ram allocated. I spend 99% of my day working in a Virtual Machine and barely notice I’m actually on Windows.

    Funny how one piece of needed software can lock you in. When I was doing contract admin and estimating I found some Windows software that was (I thought) the answer to my prayers…spent a fortune installing Parallels, Windows 10 etc etc plus the software…3 months in, Windows had done my head in and I went back to licensing some Cloud stuff that worked on Mac.

    I’m a bit luckier than you with clients (perhaps), mine tend to be digital also rans, most don’t even know what a PSD is, and yes I’ve always had issues with Wine…don’t think I’ve ever made it work properly yet.

    Spent a bit of today running Ubuntu in a VM to refresh my memory and so far I’m enjoying being back in the environment.

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