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Purchase Template: Need Advice for a new laptop for New Job & Position


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#1 mju1965

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 12:02 PM

Hello,

 

I'm considering to buy a new laptop. I will appreciate your suggestions!

 

My budget for the new computer is: 

- Up to $900

What are the primary uses for this computer (IE: mail, web browsing, programming, games, etc)?: 

- Generating drawings (2-D electrical) in MS-Visio, spreadsheets & word documents, viewing pdf's of vendor catalogs & instruction manuals. plus the usual e-mail, calendars, web-browsing, music streaming (Tunein Radio). 

What software do you intend on using on the computer?:

- Windows 8.1, MS-Office (probably professional edition), MS-Visio (possibly switching to ACAD Lite), Adobe Pro,  Kaspersky Total Security, PLC programming software

Do you play games? If so, what type of games?:

- No, none at all. 

Do you tend to have a lot of programs running at the same time, or do you close every program when you are done using it?: 

- I tend to have Outlook, Excel ( a couple sheets open), Visio, Adobe, and Windows Explorer, all while listening to music (from Tunein).

Do you store a lot of pictures or music on the computer?: 

- I anticipate approximately 80-100 per month. 1000-1200 per year.

Will you be overclocking?: 

- No, not that I anticipate.

Location for online shopping/shipment/prices?: 

- No preference. Probably online purchase via Tiger Direct, Amazon or similar

How many monitors are you planning to use?:

- 2 in the office for sure ( a necessity). 3 if I can swing it. Would I need a system with dedicated graphics to run 2 or more monitors?

Do you need peripherals? OS?:

- OS: Windows 8.1

- Docking station for the 2-3 monitors, standard keyboard & mouse, external HD (500 MB or greater)

Any particular reason why you are upgrading?: 

 

I presently have Dell 660 Inspiron desktop. It has a Core i5-3340 @ 3.1 GHz, 8 MB of RAM, 1 TB hard drive and a AMD Radeon HD 6450 running graphics. I'm running 2 monitors. I travel about once/month for a few days each time. The first trips I did not take a computer with me. The last trip I needed one, so I took the whole system with me. I've even took it home a couple times to do work over the weekend without coming back to the office. What a logistical pain!

 

 

At my previous employer, I had a Dell 630, docking station, 2 monitors, that seemed to work well, although it had hiccups every now and then.

 

In my non-work life, I've had ASUS products and liked them a lot. Friends of mine also have ASUS and like the products as well. I understand Lenovo is quite good but the whole Superfish issue puts me off a bit.

I've had my eye on the ASUS Flip 2-in-1 Convertible TP500LA-DS71T 15.6-Inch Laptop in that it can function as a tablet. I see this feature allowing me to take the machine down to production and make changes to my working drawings right on the shop floor while being able to show the electrician and others the change.

 

Another ASUS product is the X550JK DH71. It is an i7 machine, with 1 TB of HD, 8 MB of RAM, with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M graphics card. I kind of like this machine, too.

 

What do you recommend, think of the mentioned machines, or am I asking too much for that price range?

 

Thanks in advance for considering my questions and concerns.

 

I look forward to your thoughts.



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#2 YeahBleeping

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Posted 10 March 2015 - 07:32 PM

If I were to purchase a laptop I'd either buy from amazon or xoticpc.com so I could pick and choose some parts.  It seems to me that a low end gaming laptop or multimedia laptop should do you just fine.  If you can narrow down a few choices and post links to them we can critque them for you and give you our opinions.



#3 Kilroy

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Posted 10 March 2015 - 08:57 PM

Do you have a docking station?  If not does that count as part of the $900?

 

I'd recommend looking for either an i5 or i7 Intel process, 8GB of RAM, and an nVidia graphics card.

 

From how you want to use this machine I'd recommend going with a Solid State Drive (SSD).  I recommend a minimum of 120GB in size.



#4 mju1965

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Posted 11 March 2015 - 10:09 AM

Thanks for the replies.

 

Kilroy - The up to $900 does not include a docking station. I have the go ahead to add a docking station and a laptop bag to whatever is chosen. I probably need to add MS-Office pro to it, too.

 

YeahBleeping - Here are links to the two machines I had my eye on

 

ASUS Flip 2-in-1 Convertible TP500LA-DS71T

http://www.amazon.com/Convertible-TP500LA-DS71T-Touchscreen-Laptop-Broadwell/dp/B00S44ADQU

 

 

X550JK DH71

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=9268202&CatId=4935

 

OK, so they aren't links. Sorry. Hectic morning here.



#5 YeahBleeping

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Posted 11 March 2015 - 08:49 PM

Okay .. The Tiger Direct one is MUCH better than the convertible.  Also have a look here at the MSI Apache.  It is very well priced and the base model has everything you need as well.  The 860m is almost twice as fast as the 850m and you can add or remove an SSD if you want in the config system.  Or just stick with the base model is still better than the two you suggested.



#6 mju1965

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Posted 12 March 2015 - 12:14 PM

Thank you for the MSI recommendation, Yeah Bleeping. I had a look and really like what I see. I like the 17" screen, dedicated video, hard drive & RAM options, optical drives, just to name a few features. I never knew about MSI before this.

 

When you said the base Apache model would be adequate, were you referring to the GE70 Apache Pro-061? I see that's an i5 and the others are mostly i7's. Would the pro-061 still be a quite competent machine for what I described? I would probably bump my RAM up to 12 or 16GB just because it's available.

 

Also, for multiple external monitors, I assume I would need to add the something from the "External Video Display Adapters" section, correct?

 



#7 YeahBleeping

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Posted 12 March 2015 - 04:16 PM

Well it looks like I have some egg on my face.. I saw the 860m and the i7 right next to it and didn't realize that the one I pointed out is only an I5.  You probably do want an I7 if nothing more than to future proof your system a bit.  You would then need to go to the MSI Phantom which has a bit smaller screen.  Since I am not sure what applications you run and if they take advantage of 4 cores it is kinda hard to tell which one would be better for you.  Obviously the I7 will be a bit faster but is a bit over your stated budget.  I still think the much faster 860m is the better way to go because usually it is the video card that starts bottlenecking system performance.



#8 mju1965

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Posted 12 March 2015 - 04:23 PM

YeahBleeping, I'm definitely sold on at least an 860M graphics card. I've been looking at benchmarks for video cards. i would love to get into an 960 or 970, but those systems are outside of my range. As far as RAM goes with laptops like this, can I start with 8GB now and add later in an effort to keep the initial price down?

Also, would I need that "External Video Adapter" for multiple monitors, or could I do that through that ASUS docking station I saw offered in the options.



#9 YeahBleeping

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Posted 12 March 2015 - 04:28 PM

I don't believe you need that external adapter you probably have what you need.  They are just trying to upsell you some things that you probably don't need and if you do you can get it from a local best buy or something.  As for the memory yes 8GB is just fine in most cases.  Most people do not max out their memory unless your doing some hard core video editing because that requires the system to hold a lot of info in memory while you edit.  I guess I should ask .. do you plan on using two monitors?  In which case the cable might come in handy.


Edited by YeahBleeping, 12 March 2015 - 04:31 PM.


#10 mju1965

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Posted 12 March 2015 - 04:46 PM

I'd like to use this computer as a replacement for my present desktop Dell i5. with that in mind, I would be using the two existing monitors I have when I'm at my desk in my office. Without all those extras, I think I'll be able to get an i7.



#11 YeahBleeping

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Posted 12 March 2015 - 05:18 PM

If you plan on using a docking station I don't believe you need the cable.  I apologize as I am not really familiar with using multiple monitors on a laptop.  Maybe someone else here can chime in or possibly start another thread to get some extra eyes.



#12 mju1965

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Posted 12 March 2015 - 05:24 PM

I really do appreciate the advice and recommendations I've gotten so far. Thanks so much. 

 

What kind of cable are you thinking about?



#13 YeahBleeping

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Posted 12 March 2015 - 05:36 PM

I believe that if you already have the monitors you probably already have the cables you need I was thinking these were special cables that split the feed but it looks like these options are simply cables that you probably already have to feed to your existing monitors.



#14 mju1965

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 05:38 PM

I still haven't moved ahead with the purchase, but I'm inclined to get the i7. I do appreciate the thoughts, opinions, and enlightenment by exposing me to MSI.



#15 YeahBleeping

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 06:01 PM

Your welcome.. be sure to come back and let us know what you ended up with and if your happy with what you have gotten !






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