My own Laptop Thread

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Wynteriii

Puritan Board Freshman
I didn't want to hijack someone else's thread so I'm making this one to get your thoughts. For the last three years, I have been using a laptop and a tablet for my computer and internet needs. I'm trying to prepare for when I need to replace my laptop (maybe my tablet to) since it has now become vital for almost all the different things I do. I have been toying with different "computer ecosystems", one being where I would have a desktop computer for big programs but a chromebook for everything else. What I have landed on is just getting a laptop but maybe pay a little more then I did for this. Here is what I need.

1. It must have Windows. I use Windows Live Writer and I'm one of the few Zune users around.

2. It must run WORDsearch 10 smoothly. Even though the Logos software seems to be the reformed pick, I was given an entire preaching library for WS 10. Logos needs maybe needs more RAM and a faster CPU speed then WS 10.

3. I work with audio as a hobby. I do little bit of music editing but I mostly work on podcast now. My laptop can handle these asks pretty well now so it isn't a big issue.

4. This isn't important, but I also use the laptop for school as well as to write articles for a couple of sites. Perhaps this means I'm looking for a slim/thin laptop?
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
You may find this one very nice:

Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro Multimode Ultrabook | Multimode Laptops & Ultrabooks | Lenovo (US)

I have been using it (the Clementine Orange model) for a month now and cannot think of a better machine. And after working with the Yoga 2 Pro's fantastic screen every other computer screen seems like it is rendering text in something carved in stone. ;)

I run Logos Platinum, Wordsearch 10 and much more on it without a problem. The high resolution is something Microsoft and some software developers have not caught up with as yet, so there will be some fiddling required to render some software readable. That said, Logos and Wordsearch do just fine with the default Windows resolution settings.

Drop over at your local Best Buy and play with the Yoga 2 Pro. You have to see it to believe it.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
My only general advice is to go with SSD (like the one Patrick recommends). SSD vs Hard Drive is probably the most impressive increase in performance I've seen on a Windows computer.

I have a Samsung Series 7 Slate with Win 7 Professional. It is the best machine I've ever owned, and I use it as my primary computer and as a tablet. It goes everywhere I do, but is sort of out of date compared to what's out there now. In my office I use it with keyboard and an additional HD monitor. When I carry it I primarily control it with a stylus, but I also carry a folding bluetooth keyboard with me.
 

Wynteriii

Puritan Board Freshman
I will take a look at the yoga 2 pro. It just seemed a little small in the pictures I saw. I had a small issue about there being no cd drive but I realized I rarely use the one on my laptop and I could easily get an external drive.

Sidenote: Have you guys used docking stations before?
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Have you guys used docking stations before?

I considered one for my Samsung, but decided it was not worth the cost. I have a dedicated USB hub at any fixed location I normally use, and my stationary peripherals are plugged into the hub. It's a simple matter of two or three seconds to plug the USB, power cord, and external monitor in at either my office or at home. Helps to have a separate power adapter at each fixed location, too. The Samsung has a folding case that lets you prop it up on a desk. The yoga 2 looks like an updated version of that wonderful class of machines formerly known as convertibles.

I carry a spare power adapter in my case as well, plus a portable Wifi and an external DVD for those folks who think discs are still the latest in technology. Put it all in a $14 Walmart carrying case and never let it out of my possession....My office is with me everywhere.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Have you guys used docking stations before?

I use one at work. Seat it, slap it, and lock it. It really doesn't save much time over what I do at home - plug in a mouse, plug in the power, plug in the Cat 5 from the router, and plug in the external monitor.

As a practical matter, having two power cords is a big help (I actually have 3 - one at work, one at home, and a lightweight converter for travel.)
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
There is of course the touch screen laptop with the detachable keyboard. You then have a tablet and laptop in one!
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
There is of course the touch screen laptop with the detachable keyboard. You then have a tablet and laptop in one!
 

Wynteriii

Puritan Board Freshman
I don't know if I really need a two in one but I will still keep them in mind and check the yoga 2 pro.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
The Slate does look nice, I'm just a little weary that I won't be able to do everything I need it to.

It's probably not for everyone, but it does everything any other computer I've used can do. I don't know how it would work for fancy gaming or intensive video work, but I've used it for editing music, running resource intensive programs like Adobe Creative Suite, and many other Windows-specific applications.

It runs faster than any hard-drived computer I've ever used, be it laptop or desk. My version is 2 years old, and battery life is not as good as more recent ones, but performance is more than I need. I'd go for the largest SSD you can find, mine's only 128 GB, but I put all my documents, photos, etc., on a fast 64 GB micro SD card to keep the SSD free for applications.

Typically, I keep around 5 or 6 windows open with various documents, and click between them. The second monitor helps a lot.
 

Wynteriii

Puritan Board Freshman
The Slate does look nice, I'm just a little weary that I won't be able to do everything I need it to.

It's probably not for everyone, but it does everything any other computer I've used can do. I don't know how it would work for fancy gaming or intensive video work, but I've used it for editing music, running resource intensive programs like Adobe Creative Suite, and many other Windows-specific applications.

It runs faster than any hard-drived computer I've ever used, be it laptop or desk. My version is 2 years old, and battery life is not as good as more recent ones, but performance is more than I need. I'd go for the largest SSD you can find, mine's only 128 GB, but I put all my documents, photos, etc., on a fast 64 GB micro SD card to keep the SSD free for applications.

Typically, I keep around 5 or 6 windows open with various documents, and click between them. The second monitor helps a lot.

So can it run programs like WORDSearch 10 and Logos?
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
So can it run programs like WORDSearch 10 and Logos?

I'm sure they would. If they run on a Windows computer, the Samsung or the Yoga 2 Pro would run it, no problem.

But make sure you have enough SSD space. I see Logos wants 20 GB of room on an internal drive. If you run a 128 GB SSD (usually having 30 GB as a back up partition) you end up with only 90 GB to play with. Install MS Word, Adobe, Logos, and maybe a few others, and you start running out of room. That's why I suggest a 256 GB SSD.
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
I have a 256GB SSD on my Yoga 2 Pro with Logos Platinum and extra libraries, WordSearch 10, and SwordSearcher. Also have Office 365, a bunch of other programs, and over 20Gb of personal files. At present I have about 90Gb of empty drive space. My Lenovo 520 had a 128Gb SSD and I was constantly moving files around, tweaking, etc., to avoid the low disk space warnings. Get as large a SSD as you can stand for it will determine how happy you will be over the years of use. Also get a disk imaging tool (I use ShadowProtect backing up to a 1TB USB drive) or at least use the Windows imaging tools, to backup the complete contents of your hard drive. SSDs do not yet have the reliability of the old platter drives, so when they fail, you pop in a new SSD and restore your machine using one of the image backups. If you backup daily you will not lose but the work between backups and you will not have to reinstall dozens of programs, drivers, and re-tweak everything. Just backing up personal files is not the way to go in these days of huge hard drives and complex software.

One more thing: Buy the longest maintenance and accidental coverage service plan the manufacturer offers. You will likely need it and it will save you real money. I have had fans, screens, and hard drives replaced on my laptops over the years. Most work was done in my home under a home maintenance plan, too.
 

Wynteriii

Puritan Board Freshman
I have a 256GB SSD on my Yoga 2 Pro with Logos Platinum and extra libraries, WordSearch 10, and SwordSearcher. Also have Office 365, a bunch of other programs, and over 20Gb of personal files. At present I have about 90Gb of empty drive space. My Lenovo 520 had a 128Gb SSD and I was constantly moving files around, tweaking, etc., to avoid the low disk space warnings. Get as large a SSD as you can stand for it will determine how happy you will be over the years of use. Also get a disk imaging tool (I use ShadowProtect backing up to a 1TB USB drive) or at least use the Windows imaging tools, to backup the complete contents of your hard drive. SSDs do not yet have the reliability of the old platter drives, so when they fail, you pop in a new SSD and restore your machine using one of the image backups. If you backup daily you will not lose but the work between backups and you will not have to reinstall dozens of programs, drivers, and re-tweak everything. Just backing up personal files is not the way to go in these days of huge hard drives and complex software.

One more thing: Buy the longest maintenance and accidental coverage service plan the manufacturer offers. You will likely need it and it will save you real money. I have had fans, screens, and hard drives replaced on my laptops over the years. Most work was done in my home under a home maintenance plan, too.

How often do you use the tablet form of the ultrabook? Do programs still work fine when in tablet form?
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
How often do you use the tablet form of the ultrabook? Do programs still work fine when in tablet form?
I use it from time to time and some programs behave well, some do not, as they were not developed with a touchscreen user interface model being anticipated. I have fat fingers so I use a narrow tipped capacitive stylus and things work out well enough. That said, the high resolution of the Yoga 2 is painful for some programs, even some Windows 8.1 Pro dialogs that will appear very small even when using the default 250% typeface magnification. For example the Kindle PC reader app's menus are all tiny and squished together, but selecting or reading the books are no problem. Another example is the Chrome browser, which requires some internal flag settings and registry hacks to render text clearly. Even Explorer 11 has some menu issues with high resolution.
 

Wynteriii

Puritan Board Freshman
So, it looks like I will be saving up for a custom Toshiba laptop. I think this one.

Toshiba Satellite L70-BBT2N22 Laptop

I'm just curious about a few things.

1. Intel I5 0r I7?

2. Noob question: How much ram? I'm leaning towards 12 gigs just to be safe and comfortable. I always think I'm going to do video editing but I never do. I have four gigs of ram now and really need more.

3. Also if you want to look at the other options, tell me what you prefer.
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
The page in question shows I3 (sigh)

  • 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i3-4025U Processor (3M Cache, 1.90 GHz)
Get at least 8Mb of RAM. The more the better, In my humble opinion.
 

Wynteriii

Puritan Board Freshman
You can customize the laptop and put in either an i3, i5, or i7. The last thing I need is an i3. I don't think that would work well with Wordsearch 10
 
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