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Suggestions for buying a new laptop for translator
Thread poster: Grace M
Grace M  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:31
English to Italian
May 27, 2013

Hello, I need to buy a new laptop for my translation job. I saw some previous tips, but they are from some years ago, so in the meanwhile laptops have been changing.
I need something very fast (as you know, sometimes one needs to research on 10 sites at the same time), reliable, comfortable to use while traveling, fairly large screen, with a lot of memory, and not too expensive. Any recommendations? Thanks, Grace


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Mehdi Adlany
Morocco
English to Arabic
+ ...
price range May 28, 2013

If you can tell me your price range, I can help you make a good choice. However, I recommend buying Lenovo laptops, reliable and have excellent keyboards if you are a typist.


[Edited at 2013-05-28 00:51 GMT]


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Grace M  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:31
English to Italian
TOPIC STARTER
price range May 28, 2013

I could spend around $800.
Grace


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felicij  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:31
German to Slovenian
+ ...
Unfortunately May 28, 2013

what you described is rather more expensive than $800. I bought my new laptop Asus last year in June and it cost me €1,100. It has an 18" screen, 8 GB Memory, 1 TB HDD and is very fast. In the price range under 1k € there was no similar (fast with large screen) product...

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
Anything but a Mac May 28, 2013

I swear by Toshiba laptops. I usually get whichever is on special end-of-season offer, then get my IT mechanic to strip out all the useless bundled-in commercial software or dodgy OS that usually comes with PCs from large retailers like media markt, and install the software I actually need.

I don't think I spent more than 500 euros each on my last two, which I've bought in the past 2 years (not because they only last a year, but because I wanted a backup laptop for friends to use when visiting).


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
Horses for courses May 28, 2013

Grace M wrote:
...(as you know, sometimes one needs to research on 10 sites at the same time),


Not in my case. I never have more than 3 or 4 windows open at the same time...


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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:31
Member (2008)
French to English
Thinkpad May 28, 2013

I'm happy with my Lenovo Thinkpad E530. It was less than $1000.

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:31
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Just out of curiosity May 28, 2013

neilmac wrote:

I get my IT mechanic to strip out all the useless bundled-in commercial software or dodgy OS that usually comes with PCs from large retailers like media markt, and install the software I actually need.


Just out of curiosity -

1. How much do you pay your "IT mechanic"?
2. Do you know what he actually does?
3. How often do you need him?


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DLyons  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 08:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thoughts May 28, 2013

Grace M wrote:

I need something very fast (as you know, sometimes one needs to research on 10 sites at the same time)


That's largely a function of the internet connection rather than computer. Used wired rather than wireless connections. Turn off Shockwave Flash (and other Add-Ins).
Use Task Manager to kill off processes you don't need.


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:31
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
More Toshiba experiences May 28, 2013

neilmac wrote:

I swear by Toshiba laptops.


I bought a Toshiba laptop last December (from MediaMarkt) for my son. It has "broken" twice in 5 months - once with an errant vertical line across the screen and more recently with battery charging problems (it discharged and charged correctly but the software didn't reflect the right percentage.)
Thank goodness it wasn't my work laptop.


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:31
French to English
+ ...
Something's gotta give. Focus on screen size and battery life. May 28, 2013

At the price you mention, I think you need to hone down your expectations slightly to what your actual needs are.

Try to see things in terms of an *adequate* machine for working with Word files on the move, otherwise whatever you get you will be disappointed. For editing basic documents on the move, I would personally focus on screen size and battery life, and then try to find a model whose other specs don't look too terrible, perhaps taking into account the keyboard too as others have said.

I remember looking a couple of years ago at the Acer Timeline series and being quite impressed. In the end I had to go for another model because of availability issues, but I think they're worth a look. Maybe somebody else here might have tried one?


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:31
French to English
+ ...
@neilmac May 28, 2013

neilmac wrote:
I swear by Toshiba laptops. I usually get whichever is on special end-of-season offer, then get my IT mechanic to strip out all the useless bundled-in commercial software or dodgy OS that usually comes with PCs from large retailers like media markt


I guess it's horses for courses -- my experience with Toshiba machines is that I swear never to touch one with a barge pole. On the other hand, I've also had abysmal reliability out of Dell and HP machines.

Incidentally, I wouldn't per se rule a Mac out. Other than it's beyond the stated price range, I'd say quite the opposite. One of the things I like with Mac OS is precisely that it's easy to navigate between lots of things open at once, and the Retina display is excellent for working with text documents for extended periods of time. Overall performance also seems much slicker than PC's I've used (admittedly this may be because of the solid-state disk, and I haven't used a PC with a solid-state disk so far). I also migrated one of my Windows machines to it with Parallels, and the Windows installation actually runs faster on the Mac than on the original PC. But... I admit that it was a fairly expensive machine (one of the new Mac Book Pros) so it's not really a fair comparison.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:31
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Size isn't everything May 28, 2013

Neil Coffey wrote:

I wouldn't per se rule a Mac out. ....


You may not want a Mac (mine is a MacBook Pro 13" + a very old, and still very good, 20" Apple Cinema Display plugged into the MBP, which runs with the lid shut) but I find the combination of small laptop + big screen very effective.

If you expect to working away frequently from your home base, I would therefore suggest a laptop with the smallest possible screen, so that you can use it on tiny aeroplane seats, fold-down train tables, etc, and one that has a socket for plugging in a big display when you're at home and that will run with the lid shut ("clamshell mode")

I have a colleague who sometimes travels on the train with me. He bought himself the biggest laptop he could find - and it's too big to use on the train !


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
Strictly confidential May 28, 2013

Tom in London wrote:

...

Just out of curiosity -

1. How much do you pay your "IT mechanic"? I threw out my last receipt last week, but he's cheap and cheerful - I think I paid him around 30 euros last time for re-installing the OS etc and other SW.
2. Do you know what he actually does? He's a cop in the IT department and does the other things on the side. Yes, he gives me a detailed breakdown of everything. I even sometimes get him to strip down my PCs and clean out the dust etc
3. How often do you need him?
. Usually only when I get a new machine, or if I want new SW installed. The last time was when I was infected by a nasty virus and had to reinstall the OS.


(For some reason half of the text in my original reply wasn't visible on my screen.

[Edited at 2013-05-28 17:10 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-05-28 17:10 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
Just yer Donald May 28, 2013

Emma Goldsmith wrote:

neilmac wrote:

I swear by Toshiba laptops.


I bought a Toshiba laptop last December (from MediaMarkt) for my son. It has "broken" twice in 5 months - once with an errant vertical line across the screen and more recently with battery charging problems (it discharged and charged correctly but the software didn't reflect the right percentage.)
Thank goodness it wasn't my work laptop.


It's a funny old world. Don't you get a standard 1 or 2 year warranty with purchases from MM?


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