Author Topic: Best laptop for me under $2000.  (Read 12781 times)

Dee18

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Best laptop for me under $2000.
« on: January 10, 2015, 07:10:55 AM »
I teach at a university. The tech manager for my department just told me I am due for a new computer.  At the office I have a large monitor and standard keyboard, so at work I dock my current laptop.  I take my laptop home most evenings and use the laptop for writing and for reviewing taped student performances that I have to grade.  I don't do anything like statistical analysis that requires great speed or power and I don't do any gaming.  The tech guy recommended a Dell Latitude, 7000 series.  He said I could get a Macbook, but the docking at work would then be plugging in wires, which doesn't seem like that much of a hassle. My teen says switching from Dell (which I currently have) to Apple would be a big adjustment...but perhaps she just doesn't want me to have the same laptop she has. :) Oh, key for me is weight as I will be carrying this around a lot, along with books, and I am a small with occasional back issues.  When I told the tech guy guy I don't really need a new computer, he said our lease program requires it. Budget is up to $1800.  I welcome any advice.

solon

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2015, 07:31:19 AM »
You are correct that plugging in a few wires won't be that bad. Having a docking port is sweet, but not having a docking port isn't horrible.

However, your teen is also correct. There is a difference between Apple and PC products. You could pick up the Mac, but there would be a slight learning curve. Just for that reason alone, I would suggest staying with the PC.

Also, where can I get a job that forces expensive new computers on me?

caliq

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2015, 07:56:37 AM »
Performance wise, the money will go farther on a PC than a Mac.  Plus the ease of dealing with student documents that are more likely to be PC compatible etc.  Everyone I see in my classes with Macs is always struggling to integrate with the university's PC-based system.

I have a 'custom built' (by the manufacturer) 13" Sony Viao that I spent around $1200 in March 2013.  It's i7, 12 gb ram, non-integrated graphics, and other non-necessary upgrades.  I originally bought it for gaming and schoolwork, but now I mostly do internet/school work/video streaming.  It handles everything well.  It's super small and light -- I think it weighs around 3 lbs.  I can fit it in my (fairly large) purse).  I love the convenience factor of that, and it is a pretty powerful laptop especially for its size.  Unfortunately I don't think they make them anymore :( 

If you go for the top end of the budget, assuming it's 100% covered by your job, and get an actual small laptop, not a netbook or ultrabook or tablet/laptop or whatever else they're making, you should be able to get a strong lightweight PC that has enough hardware to last you a significant amount of time.  If I were in your position I'd look around at manufacturer's websites (Dell, Asus, etc) and see if there's a build-your-own type feature where you can maximize performance within your budget. 

Also, Apples have metal bodies and heavier than plastic PCs  -- the 13" MacBook Pro Air weighs 4 lbs to my Vaio's 2.4 lbs.  And they're charging $1099 for an i5; like I said, two years ago I paid $1200 for an i7.  Macs are overpriced for their functional components. 

GizmoTX

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2015, 08:44:14 AM »
This is a great opportunity to expand/improve your experience on either platform. I'd take the time to do some research besides this forum.

What are your critical applications? Are they available on both platforms? If you have to buy new ones for Mac, that's an expense you also have to allow for. If they don't exist on Mac, there's your answer; you probably don't want a dual platform setup (on the same computer).

What do fellow profs use? Talk to them about what they use, why, & how happy they are.

Since you are intrigued by Mac, is there a Mac Store nearby that you can try out various models & ask questions? Also ask about moving from PC to Mac. (It's not hard.)

Plugging into a monitor from either platform is easy, & our family all use laptops for portability to do this. However, on either platform, find out what you'd have to do to keep using your current monitor. Interfaces change, so don't be surprised or assume that a PC is automatically easier.

I much prefer Macs but use both platforms. I have recommended a PC in rare situations, but usually a Mac is more fun & offers a better experience, quality, security, & ease of use.

merci001

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2015, 09:52:58 AM »
I'm a big fan of Macs. When I was in grad school I started out with a Dell. In the middle of my program my laptop died and I switched to Mac. There was a bit of a learning curve but it was not a huge issue. Macs are much more intuitive. Felt quite confident within a couple of weeks. My kids use Macs at school so they were very helpful if I had any questions. I've also never had any virus issues with my Mac. I plan to stick with Macs and have absolutely no desire to return to PC.

NinetyFour

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2015, 10:05:00 AM »
I love my MacBook Pro.

wtjbatman

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2015, 10:42:00 AM »
For you, it sounds like trying to switch to a Mac would be much more trouble than it's worth. Stick with PC and something you are familiar with. Nothing wrong with a nice Dell Latitude for work. Also look into Asus laptops.

kudy

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2015, 10:50:11 AM »
If you're mostly concerned with weight/size for ease of transport, focus on a ultrabook; your budget should allow for a very nice, thin, & light weight Lenovo (my favorite laptop brand).

Dee18

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2015, 06:05:57 AM »
Thanks for the advice.  I'm going to try some laptops out today at the stores and see what feels best.
Solon, working for a university has offered many great benefits, most especially the three week winter break that concludes today for me. I traded a higher salary for the academic life, but for me it has been a great trade.  But if I had read MMM at 25, I might have pursued early retirement instead.

SnackDog

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2015, 06:28:16 AM »
$1800 is an insane amount for a laptop.  You can spend far, far less with no issues for your needs whatsoever.  I would definitely invest in a rolling briefcase.  Anyone who is lifting a heavy bag for any amount of time should have one.  Ask the university if it can be included in the price.

Holyoak

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2015, 08:25:10 AM »
Another Lenovo user here, and keeping with Windows may be wise.  Also, once you go to a SSD (solid state drive), it is very hard to not have one.  My Intel i5/8GB ram powered ultrabook boots up from dead cold to use in about 5 seconds, and is much faster/quieter/efficient than a std HD.  Lenovo also has great keyboards, and very good reliability.  Good luck in your search. 

PMG

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2015, 03:55:35 PM »
I have opinion and anecdote without technical savvy or hard facts.

I had a Dell Latitude for 2 years at my last job.  I used it for email, video conferencing, excel, writing and document management etc.  Basic business use, nothing too heavy.  It was fine. I had one hardware service call on it and religious antivirus updates and continuous virus red alerts from our main office.  All part of the game?

Until I bought my personal MacBook Air.

Then I realized how long the latitude took to boot up.  The Mac is ready in fractions of a second. Mac has regular updates but they don't interupt life like the Latitude did.   Once a week it took 5 to 30 minutes to update (usually when I had a deadline), maybe some of those were controlled by company settings.  It became a joke around the office. As we all had matching latitudes, we'd all let each other know that today's update was a half hour one.  Several coworkera killed their batteries by leaving them on their docking stations constantly. So, the computer was adequate but not more than that.

There was a small learning curve with switching to Mac, but it was quick. Apple offers workshops. At my current job (changed a few months ago, don't use the Latitude currently) I use windows (on an ancient desktop) and have gotten used to switching between the platforms.

I like my Mac air for being light weight, simple, fast. Virus free.  I've had it a year this month and have not had any issues with it.   I love how easy it is to organize and search for documents. (I know this is not Mac exclusive).  I love being able to scroll though multiple documents or pages simultaneously. (I don't know if that's exlusive or not, I'd not Experienced it before). I write and find this so useful to have research or drafts open next to my working document and be able to navigate both without clicking.   It's the small things in life that make all the difference. 

I've had no trouble opening or creating windows compatible documents.  I use macs pages and numbers programs but  Word and Excell are available if that is a big concern for you.

> Ten hour battery life.  It's real.  Even a year old. 

easy backup using Macs Time Machine with my external hard drive.

Good luck!

JLee

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2015, 05:23:27 PM »
If you're working with a Windows domain network, adding a Mac will add some complications. Not saying it's impossible, but it's not going to be as smooth as a Windows based PC.

I don't buy into the "virus free" Mac thing.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/11335810/Apple-laptops-vulnerable-to-virus-that-cant-be-removed.html

Fuzz

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2015, 05:29:26 PM »
I'd get a macbook pro. They last longer than comparable PCs. For non-tech savvy users, PCs slow down over time. Tech savvy PC users can devote a lot of time to keeping their PC free of crap, and it won't slow down as much. Non tech savvy mac users, like myself, can have a 7 yr old macbook pro that still works amazingly well.

Since you're spending other people's money on the laptop, the mac premium isn't as much of an issue.

Primm

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2015, 05:45:47 PM »
I have a Macbook Air and I love it. Will be getting another one when this one gives up the ghost, but for my purposes it's currently 5 years old and imminently suitable. Won't be happening any time soon.

BUT I offer this disclaimer. I'm currently studying and assignments have to be submitted via Windows Office applications (Word, Excel etc) online. While Mac claims that their Pages (which I have) is compatible with Word, it's not. I save as a Word document, email the file to myself at work and invariably have to do at least some minor editing of line ends, references etc. before I submit. It's a minor inconvenience to me at about 12 submissions per year, but for someone who works in academia the hassle of not knowing whether your students or your computer are at fault for the dodgy formatting of their assignments would be a problem.

Of course if your workplace are happy to pony up the cost of Office for Mac, all bets are off. :)

Primm

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2015, 05:47:24 PM »
> Ten hour battery life.  It's real.  Even a year old. 

Vouch. Mine's about 9 hours still and my battery (and my computer) were purchased in early 2011 as a 2010 model.

JLee

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2015, 05:48:23 PM »
I have a Macbook Air and I love it. Will be getting another one when this one gives up the ghost, but for my purposes it's currently 5 years old and imminently suitable. Won't be happening any time soon.

BUT I offer this disclaimer. I'm currently studying and assignments have to be submitted via Windows Office applications (Word, Excel etc) online. While Mac claims that their Pages (which I have) is compatible with Word, it's not. I save as a Word document, email the file to myself at work and invariably have to do at least some minor editing of line ends, references etc. before I submit. It's a minor inconvenience to me at about 12 submissions per year, but for someone who works in academia the hassle of not knowing whether your students or your computer are at fault for the dodgy formatting of their assignments would be a problem.

Of course if your workplace are happy to pony up the cost of Office for Mac, all bets are off. :)

I am incredibly biased, have a huge dislike for Apple products (the 'omg ipod/iphone/ipad/i-allthethings' stuff), have always had Windows machines because they're faster for less money..BUT.

I love the Macbook Air. It's classy, powerful, durable, etc etc etc.

AlanStache

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2015, 06:06:49 PM »
re mac boot up time: I think the perception is mostly do to apple switching to ssd sooner than windows boxes.  ssd makes a HUGE difference in computer performance and boot time.  Note that ssd's are more expensive per gig of storage so if you do volume intensive work be careful about total disk size.

Personally I have never found Apple products to be intuitive and seem to be just as buggy as MS, YMMV.

Also have not really heard of windows virus being a problem lately with win 7/8.

As someone else said make a list of software you NEED to run, figure out if it is available on apple and if it will require a new license.

If you dont need horse power you can definitely get something light weight.  My office mostly uses lenovo laptops, generally work well for us but we are on the horsepower side of the continuum.

randymarsh

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2015, 06:08:52 PM »
MacBook Pro or latitude 7000 series hands down.

totoro

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2015, 06:26:46 PM »
Meh.  For what you are doing anything pretty much will work. 

I run a whole business from a $400 laptop I ordered online.  Some of the programs cost more than this!  In my experience, laptops have a shelf-life of 2-3 years if you travel with them a lot.  My criteria are that the computer is light, inexpensive, and good enough.

As for Mac vs. PC, I would not switch to a Mac just because of the learning curve/integration issues and the fact I'm not technical.  Might be worth it for you.

caliq

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2015, 06:27:29 PM »
Keeping a PC virus free is just as easy as a Mac as long as you're not dumb enough to click on spammy BS links/emails/etc.  There's plenty of young tech savvy types who forgo anti-virus altogether for their PCs, because they're often behind the viruses (reactive, not preventative) and can open up a big vulnerability (regular downloading of a big hunk of stuff from the internet is always a risk).  They are also very easy to "clean up" even for non-techy people, as long as you haven't actually gotten yourself a virus (and even most viruses aren't that hard to deal with). 

And the fast-booting thing is a result of SSDs, which are available for either OS.  If a 5 second vs. 30 second boot time is really important, you can get a small SSD that contains just your OS and your regularly used programs, and keep other things on a regular HD or external to save money.  But with your budget, you can likely afford a pretty big SSD.  My husband recently bought two 1 TB SSD's for a desktop at 50% off for $400 each; that is an excessive amount of storage and unless you carry around a huge music library or movie library I can't imagine you'd need that much.

Reading this thread has really confirmed my anti-Mac computer bias (and I have an iPhone 5 -- because Androids stopped being made in reasonable sizes for those of us without giant man hands!)  -- they're incredibly over priced and people can really only say they prefer them for silly reasons (classy? smoothly opening hinges? like really?).   I do have a pink laptop but I didn't pay a ridiculous premium for it (no extra actually)!

Also, YMMV, but I watch my professors struggle to connect their Mac laptops into our university projection systems and/or computers all the time.  While wasting 15+ minutes at the beginning of a lecture is annoying for me, I can only imagine how annoying it is for my professors.  Half the time they end up giving up and lecturing off a chalkboard, which I do find pretty annoying...mainly because I can't see but also because the lecture quality tends to diminish rapidly.

Primm

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2015, 06:30:57 PM »
Keeping a PC virus free is just as easy as a Mac as long as you're not dumb enough to click on spammy BS links/emails/etc, and neither are any of your contacts

There, fixed that for you.

My husband's work computer got a virus. His IT department suspect it happened when an external contractor whom he deals with on an almost daily basis got one on her computer, and it attached itself to the email she sent (legitimate email that he had no suspicions about opening). It's not just yourself you're relying on.

caliq

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2015, 06:57:22 PM »
Keeping a PC virus free is just as easy as a Mac as long as you're not dumb enough to click on spammy BS links/emails/etc, and neither are any of your contacts

There, fixed that for you.

My husband's work computer got a virus. His IT department suspect it happened when an external contractor whom he deals with on an almost daily basis got one on her computer, and it attached itself to the email she sent (legitimate email that he had no suspicions about opening). It's not just yourself you're relying on.

Good point, I guess.  I'm still in college, obviously, and I didn't think about the vast amount of emails that are sent around offices everyday.  I do regularly send/receive email though, and I have never had a problem.  GMail has an attachment icon that you can mouseover to see the file name/type -- I do this before opening emails with attachments.  I would be *very* reluctant to open an executable attachment regardless of who it was from and would send a separate email confirming the attachment before even opening the original email.

Spork

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2015, 07:04:35 PM »
Keeping a PC virus free is just as easy as a Mac as long as you're not dumb enough to click on spammy BS links/emails/etc, and neither are any of your contacts

There, fixed that for you.

My husband's work computer got a virus. His IT department suspect it happened when an external contractor whom he deals with on an almost daily basis got one on her computer, and it attached itself to the email she sent (legitimate email that he had no suspicions about opening). It's not just yourself you're relying on.

While that is important... the box was still to stupid to understand a virus looking like a legit attachment was an executable.

Seriously... unix boxes have (usually) relied on LOOKING at the file instead of what it's name is to identify file type since... I dunno, mid 70s.

It also sounds like he is running with admin privs.... so .. that's a problem too.

but... to the actual topic:  The last time I spent $1800 on a computer was about 1982... because computers were way expensive then.  We bought a Lenovo (high-midrange) about a month ago for about $700 (and because I am a unix nerd, I wiped it and put Linux on it.)  The laptop it replaced cost about $600 and lasted 9 years (and still works... just getting sluggish with video and such).

innerscorecard

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2015, 07:10:26 PM »
My MacBook Pro Retina was one of the best purchases I ever made. The Apple User Experience difference is no joke.

randymarsh

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2015, 09:36:49 PM »
And the fast-booting thing is a result of SSDs, which are available for either OS.  If a 5 second vs. 30 second boot time is really important, you can get a small SSD that contains just your OS and your regularly used programs, and keep other things on a regular HD or external to save money.  But with your budget, you can likely afford a pretty big SSD.  My husband recently bought two 1 TB SSD's for a desktop at 50% off for $400 each; that is an excessive amount of storage and unless you carry around a huge music library or movie library I can't imagine you'd need that much.

Reading this thread has really confirmed my anti-Mac computer bias (and I have an iPhone 5 -- because Androids stopped being made in reasonable sizes for those of us without giant man hands!)  -- they're incredibly over priced and people can really only say they prefer them for silly reasons (classy? smoothly opening hinges? like really?).   I do have a pink laptop but I didn't pay a ridiculous premium for it (no extra actually)!

Also, YMMV, but I watch my professors struggle to connect their Mac laptops into our university projection systems and/or computers all the time.  While wasting 15+ minutes at the beginning of a lecture is annoying for me, I can only imagine how annoying it is for my professors.  Half the time they end up giving up and lecturing off a chalkboard, which I do find pretty annoying...mainly because I can't see but also because the lecture quality tends to diminish rapidly.

The benefit of SSDs isn't just boot time. Programs launch much faster. Everything is snappier.

Mac hardware is better designed than 90% of what PC manufacturers offer. It's aluminum and that makes a difference compared to cheap plastic crap you get from lower end Dells.

I don't know what trouble there is connecting Macs to a projector. I plug my Macbook pro into an external monitor all the time. Mac  display port > DVI adapter > Monitor. No problems at all. OSX has had better multi-monitor support than Windows for a while. Windows has caught up, but my Mac has always been plug and play with extra displays.

powersuitrecall

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2015, 03:11:19 AM »
The only anecdote I can add, is that while the purchase price of the MacBook may be more, it's value holds well if you should decide to sell/upgrade.  When upgrading to our 15" MBP, we sold our 4 year old white macbook for $400 (bought new for $900), which seemed insane to me.  It was comical to me at the time since I was also selling a 1 year old "dream spec" desktop pc at the time and got about 50% cost.

BarkyardBQ

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2015, 12:58:46 PM »
I love my Macbook Air with 500Gb HD and 8Gb of Ram. It's lightweight and fast.

ScroogeMcDutch

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2015, 01:13:51 PM »
My MacBook Pro Retina was one of the best purchases I ever made. The Apple User Experience difference is no joke.

Often cited as a reason to buy Apple. I disagree with the Apple User Experience - I have a lot of trouble to get some standard features like Bootcamp working correctly on my Mac Mini. It's causing me a lot of headaches and I have decided to just run W8.1 on it. I also had a lot of problems managing files, which is pretty important for my digital archive, and I had quite some problems working in Office for Mac.

That said, running W8.1 on Apple hardware can be a good alternative, either with Bootcamp or not. Apple makes undeniably some of the best hardware out there, the macbook airs and pros are really good machines with a good resale value. Especially the last part you will find difficult with other vendors. Sony, Samsung (although both are getting out of the laptop market I believe), Dell and Lenovo each make very good laptops as well.

If you are thinking about an Apple machine I would suggest waiting a bit if you can. Intel has just released the first processors of their new generation, which should have much better battery life. Some are already appearing in windows laptops, and I would expect a macbook air refresh with those same processors quite soon. The macbook pro refresh is probably a little longer out, but I wouldn't be surprised if it happens within the next 6 months. See http://www.macrumors.com/2015/01/05/intel-broadwell-chips-macbook-air-13-pro/ for more details.

Seņora Savings

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2015, 02:27:10 PM »
I don't see anything that would make it hard to adjust to a Mac.  You might have to carry your own dongles if you use it for presentations (you did not indicate that you do), but it would take a pretty serious Luddite to have trouble with word processing and creating and watching videos. 

I also don't see any need for a high powered computer.  I suspect that you'll be looked on favorably if you under spend your budget.

FarmerPete

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2015, 07:42:58 AM »
I'm pretty shocked that your university will give you cash to get whatever you want.  That's very atypical.  Especially since they seem to be leasing them.  My guess is that your choice is more between preconfigured model A, preconfigured model B, and possibly preconfigured model C.  In Academia, I'd be SHOCKED if an Apple wasn't one of those choices, but I doubt they just hand you a check for $1800 or let you submit a receipt for whatever you want.  Not unless it's a BYOD situation.

kristof

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2015, 10:14:56 PM »
If the budget is really $1800 and carrying it around is an issue, could you get them to buy you two laptops, or a desktop and a laptop, so you don't have to lug one back and forth to/from your office? For example, the Dell Latitude 3540 costs $550 new, you can do everything you listed on it quite easily, and two of them still leaves you at under 2/3 of the budget. Or if you want one with an SSD, the E5540 is just under $800. The only thing that might be mildly tricky would be sharing the video files you mentioned between the machines so you can watch them at home, but if they're emailed to you or stored somewhere remotely then that's not a problem, and otherwise you can take five minutes to set up something like Dropbox.

ScroogeMcDutch

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2015, 02:33:12 AM »
That's also the setup I use - a desktop PC at home, a laptop for on the go, and a NAS to sync files between the two (as well as OneDrive and DropBox).

It's a really nice workflow and no plugging in cables all the time (which I found annoying)

mwulff

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2015, 02:35:50 AM »
Retina Macbook Pro, the screen alone makes all the hassle worth it. Also in my experience the aluminum shell of a macbook pro will stand up to a lot of beatings and abuse.

My advice, go see on at a store and try it out for a few minutes. And don't worry about os x, you'll get the hang of it quickly.

And Apple support has some free help: https://www.apple.com/support/macbasics/pctomac/

GizmoTX

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2015, 12:01:04 PM »
I'd much rather plug in a cable or two than have to take the time to keep two computers in sync & updated.

I use a 15" Retina MacBook Pro with a 30" desktop monitor, with VMWare Fusion for running a few Windows apps.

ScroogeMcDutch

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2015, 11:30:36 AM »
With the different cloud systems (DropBox, OneDrive, and private cloud) I am not having bit troubles keeping things synchronized. I can pick up where I left off on my desktop computer

iamadummy

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #36 on: January 17, 2015, 11:49:35 AM »
Get a chromebook for around $200

GizmoTX

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #37 on: January 17, 2015, 05:33:44 PM »
The cloud is making synchronization much easier, & I use it for calendars & email, but it's not free over a couple GBs. I also don't want sensitive or financial information in the cloud unless encrypted, yet another task.

Left

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #38 on: January 17, 2015, 05:41:17 PM »
Why not a tablet? Those newer Windows tablets that function as a laptop seem nice. Even the older toshiba tablets have a functional usb port that a mouse can be plugged into and a hdmi port for a monitor.

something like this http://www.toshiba.com/us/tablets/encore2-write if not a microsoft surface tablet (I didn't like the surface personally but that's me). There's other companies for windows tablets too, more for android
« Last Edit: January 17, 2015, 05:46:12 PM by eyem »

dang1

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #39 on: March 27, 2018, 02:10:53 AM »
what's a dock? lol. anyways, check out a Chromebook

jeroly

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #40 on: March 27, 2018, 02:36:51 AM »
There isn't a huge learning curve to switch from PC to Mac any more - the way the operating systems work is similar enough these days.  The bigger issues are the difference in cost (not a big problem with your budget) and the fact that programs don't interoperate across systems - you'll need to purchase all new versions of whatever programs you use, and many PC programs aren't available for Macs.

There are new Dell laptops that are very stylish.  Look at the XPS 13 and XPS 15.  Make sure that the model you get has an SSD and a touch screen. You should be able to get a nearly top of the line model for that budget.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2018, 08:03:30 AM by jeroly »

asosharp

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #41 on: March 27, 2018, 03:45:36 AM »
Honestly for what you do, you just need to spend a few hundred dollars on a basic computer. Apple is mostly about the brand and even with the specs you're paying much more money just for their marketing. In the past few years, in terms of the specs and value Apple has actually fallen (just like their phones are not as popular because there are so many better options these days but people will buy them cos they are essentially sheep).

The Mac thing not getting any viruses is ridiculous. I used to work in cybersecurity, and it is a hilarious joke that people actually believed that that the FBI could not access an iPhone. All devices can get malware (malicious software) and viruses is just one of the subsets of what makes up malware. You should note that Macs do need anti-malware programs, and that according to a 3rd party antivirus lab test, about half the mac AV programs genuinely fail to protect Macs from a virus.

Buy for what you really need, not to look 'cool' or over specs especially when you don't really do much with a computer.

IMO the Dell XPS range has been coasting on its excellent reputation since it first came out. It is considered a better laptop than an Apple, and for a cheaper price. The most annoying part about the XPS is that it has a webcam at the bottom of the screen. However for the specs (and price) it is excellent value. Personally I am not a fan of Dell but I know many offices have it because it is generally cheaper and ok quality.

I haven't looked it up but I think the Dell Latitude is a convertible 2 in 1. You can pay extra for convertibles so it really depends whether you want a convertible or not.

Daley

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #42 on: March 27, 2018, 05:29:07 AM »
This thread is from January 10, 2015.

JLee

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #43 on: March 27, 2018, 07:17:25 AM »
Honestly for what you do, you just need to spend a few hundred dollars on a basic computer. Apple is mostly about the brand and even with the specs you're paying much more money just for their marketing. In the past few years, in terms of the specs and value Apple has actually fallen (just like their phones are not as popular because there are so many better options these days but people will buy them cos they are essentially sheep).

The Mac thing not getting any viruses is ridiculous. I used to work in cybersecurity, and it is a hilarious joke that people actually believed that that the FBI could not access an iPhone. All devices can get malware (malicious software) and viruses is just one of the subsets of what makes up malware. You should note that Macs do need anti-malware programs, and that according to a 3rd party antivirus lab test, about half the mac AV programs genuinely fail to protect Macs from a virus.

Buy for what you really need, not to look 'cool' or over specs especially when you don't really do much with a computer.

IMO the Dell XPS range has been coasting on its excellent reputation since it first came out. It is considered a better laptop than an Apple, and for a cheaper price. The most annoying part about the XPS is that it has a webcam at the bottom of the screen. However for the specs (and price) it is excellent value. Personally I am not a fan of Dell but I know many offices have it because it is generally cheaper and ok quality.

I haven't looked it up but I think the Dell Latitude is a convertible 2 in 1. You can pay extra for convertibles so it really depends whether you want a convertible or not.

This thread is 3 years old..but "ok quality" is understating it a bit.

Dell XPS 13 review - "Still the best Windows laptop"

Dell XPS 15 review - "For today, though, the XPS 15 is still clearly one of the top dogs of the 15.6-inch laptop pack"

Trying2bFrugal

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #44 on: March 27, 2018, 07:53:21 AM »
Edit: just saw the thread was too old to waste bandwidth.

ketchup

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #45 on: March 27, 2018, 08:08:40 AM »
This thread is from January 10, 2015.
Thanks for the heads up, Daley.  I was about to write a response almost as long as the one you were about to write. :)

Dee18

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #46 on: March 27, 2018, 09:47:29 AM »
I was the OP on this thread...I got a Dell and now the lease is almost up.  Just for fun, this time I am going with a Mac. 75% of my students now use Macs.

Scrapr

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #47 on: March 27, 2018, 11:26:51 AM »
I was the OP on this thread...I got a Dell and now the lease is almost up.  Just for fun, this time I am going with a Mac. 75% of my students now use Macs.

Perfect circle.

We can still argue Mac vs PC!

PMG

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Re: Best laptop for me under $2000.
« Reply #48 on: March 27, 2018, 01:03:59 PM »
I keep ignoring this thread but it won't go away. I haven't read through all the new posts but I'll add to the anecdotal evidence I have three years ago. I am still very happy with my MacBook Air. On my fifth year with it. I expect it to last several more. Battery life has degraded a bit but I have had no other issues. It still handles my huge image files and editing software quickly and easily.