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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:18 pm 
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Location: UK
I'm away from home, using my trusty old laptop. It was high end when I got it, but that was such a long time ago! I couldn't look up when it was released, but the bios is dated 2004 and this isn't the 1st version! I've upgraded the ram and disk, and even manages TF2 at decent framerates, but I'm overdue a refresh here.

Needs:
Screen size less than 15 inch.
Screen resolution 1280x800 pixels minimum, preferably 1024+ vertical.
Matte screen not gloss, decent response and colour reproduction at wide viewing angle
CPU: If Intel, at least Core 2 at 2 GHz+ or better. If AMD, must be Barcelona (Phenom?) generation or newer at 2 GHz+.
Real world battery life over 2 hours (web usage), preferably 4+.
Touchpad. Can't stand the nipple pointers.
3D gfx capability for casual gaming. Assume integrated is not adequate. Nvidia preferred.
NOT Apple.

Wants:
4GB ram or more (don't mind fitting it myself after market)
SSD "nice to have", 80GB adequate.
Win7-64

Don't care:
optical drive

No budget. I'd prefer something off the shelf and not off a customiser. I know I have a challenging set of specs up there. I want power without the size. That's bound to jack up the cost if I can find something suitable at all...

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:52 pm 
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The Sony VAIO Z Series meets all your requirements.

This line up has been more reliable than any other brand I've tried from HP or Toshiba.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:08 pm 
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Wow... in a quick scan of the specs of one of those, it sounds like they were reading my mind when they made it! I think it ticks all my boxes, and I just need to check up on the performance of the gfx. Just as well I didn't have a fixed budget, this isn't cheap! Need to look further at the model variations and balance the exact spec and cost.

Of course I'm still open to others that may be suitable, especially if at lower cost!

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:56 pm 
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I think I'm in love :D The Vaio Z is near enough perfect. But the price... I could get a 5D2 with 24-105L for the same as the i7 model. Minus lens for the i5 one! And it'll blow away my desktop in most areas too. That helps with the justification. I can retire my desktop if I get this, only perhaps add a docking station so I can still use a bigger screen at home... the gfx... wouldn't hurt to have an update to latest generation but realistically its fast enough. And screen is not glossy according to one review of an older model. Perfect.

Now can I get one before VAT goes up and without my credit card company alarm going off? :D

(still open to others!)

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 12:16 am 
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Location: bit east of Melbourne
Personally I prefer ASUS Laptops, would be wary with Sony. Warranty, replacement parts etc.

My wife needs to update hers soon and will be looking at one. We looked at this recently http://apcmag.com/notebookhunter/asus-k52f.htm. Maybe a bit low spec for you.

here is more, not sure what you can get over your way.

http://apcmag.com/notebookhunter/search ... randID=792

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Canon Powershot S95, Canon 6D,7D, Canon 40 2.8 STM, Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC, Canon 17-40 L, Canon 15-85, Canon 85 1.8, Sigma 30 1.4, 50mm 1.8, Canon 100 2.8L Macro, Canon 70-300L +Kenko 1.4 Pro 300DGX, Canon 430EX II and RS 4 Classic


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:26 am 
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The linked Asus is too low for me to consider as worthwhile. The only item it significantly beats my 6 year old laptop on is the CPU! That's in part why I left the replacement so long. I did go high end at the time and even today it is competitive against entry level models. So I am not surprised I have to go above that to gain a significant jump up.

If anything I'd be more confident with support on a Sony than Asus. I have owned both before in the past. My current one is an Acer.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:34 am 
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Location: bit east of Melbourne
wife`s current one is an Acer travelmate some 8XXX series from memory, its been pretty good. Currently at work doing nightshift so cannot check.
A few work colleagues had really good experiences with ACUS and their after service, warranty etc. Less so with Dell, Acer and Toshiba.

Maybe support is different for your side of the world to ours, who knows how each market is looked after.

_________________
Canon Powershot S95, Canon 6D,7D, Canon 40 2.8 STM, Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC, Canon 17-40 L, Canon 15-85, Canon 85 1.8, Sigma 30 1.4, 50mm 1.8, Canon 100 2.8L Macro, Canon 70-300L +Kenko 1.4 Pro 300DGX, Canon 430EX II and RS 4 Classic


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 4:59 pm 
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Customize your Enhanced ThinkPad W510 with discrete graphics?

It's only got a 2MP camera, though! :lol:

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:36 pm 
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Thanks Bob, I've been looking at relaxing the screen size requirement to bring the cost down, so been looking at the Alienware X15M series. Not cheap still once spec'd up a bit.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:40 pm 
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Location: The Netherlands
Sidenote, they come with a 30-day trial of Norton, and you can choose for a McAfee 2009 subscription... :?

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- Wout -
Lowepro Nova 200 AW filled with Nikon D90 + MB-D80
18-70 DX, 70-300 VR, 35 1.8 DX, SB-700


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:46 pm 
I'd look at the Vaio, Lenovo's thinkpad (more business use than gaming though), and Alienware, I read a survey (danish site) from support people, and those all get good reviews as in easy to fix/don't break too often etc.

You could get all of those specs and some more if you decided to upgrade your desktop PC instead, and probably save money in the end.

Buuut, I know what it feels like once you start studying specs, and the geeky part of your brain takes over - you just end up wanting the best on offer. I'm just not looking forward to buying my first car once I'm done at university haha.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:12 pm 
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The software is the least of my concerns at this point. As long as I get some version of Win7-64 I can sort the rest out myself.

If I go Alienware 15 over the Vaio Z 13, that does get me a little higher spec for similar money, but I lose on the size... haven't gone through the Thinkpad in detail yet...

I know I can get similar or higher spec in desktop form at lower cost, and that was on the plan for a while too. But I'd still need a laptop and don't want to cut the spec down. If the laptop is desktop replacement spec, I'm "saving" on the desktop upgrade. Or is that just a bad justification?

Well, due to various driving commitments, I haven't had any alcohol in over 48 hours and that's probably affecting my judgement... I even had enough sleep!

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:28 am 
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Location: The Netherlands
I was in the same pickle, should I upgrade my desktop, and buy a laptop for just traveling around, or buy a laptop that can do what my desktop already did, but better.

I ended up buying a laptop replacing my Desktop. It is not the highest spec possible, but it does the trick for me. I love the ability to work on stuff on the go, instead of having to wait for being home again. It handles Capture NX2 and Photoshop CS3 without problems.

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- Wout -
Lowepro Nova 200 AW filled with Nikon D90 + MB-D80
18-70 DX, 70-300 VR, 35 1.8 DX, SB-700


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:25 pm 
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After much contemplation, I just can't justify to myself splashing out 2k on a laptop. Scaling back, the Sony Vaio EA3S1E seems to be fit the bill. There are some compromises though...

On plus side: It's 14 inch, with ATI HD5470 Mobility graphics.

Negatives are: Screen vertical resolution is slightly lower than target at the common 1366x768, and it is glossy but on the only review I've found so far it sounds like a relatively good one. Slightly annoyingly Sony website configurator offer an upgrade to 1600x900 for an extra £40, but the various laptop options are just plain unavailable. The overall price difference would be worse though, since Amazon have it a fair bit below Sony's list price. Battery life is on the shorter end, rated at 3 hours but it'll do.

I'll probably put the order in through Amazon affiliate link unless there's any other suggestions before then.

Edit: I've played about some more with the configurator and got around the out of stock component, so I can go for it after all. The custom build has a higher gpu in it too, so that explains the cost difference.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:10 pm 
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It might be worth waiting a few days before you commit to see what new announcements are made during CES. For example, it looks as though MSI has some new notebooks on offer if this blogger is to be believed. The only problem is that you'll end up paying 20% VAT if you do. :?

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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