Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Advice on new laptop computer
Thread poster: Stefanie Sendelbach

Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:55
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Oct 15, 2012

Dear colleagues,

I am looking for a new laptop, and I was hoping for some advice from you.

My current machine is a Fujitsu Siemens Xi3650 from 2009 with a 18.4 inch screen, which is getting too slow for me (and too heavy at 4 kg). It has an Intel Core 2 CPU (T9400 with 2.53 GHz), 4 GB RAM and 32 Bit OS (Vista Home Premium). Last week, I was not able to open a 130 GB file from my client. I could open it on a Windows 7 computer, though. One of my projects comes with a TM with 500,000 entries, and sometimes my computer gets somehow locks the TM while doing a concordance search. Every now and then the graphic driver runs into problems and turns my screen black for a few scary moments. It is time to look for something newer, faster and lighter.

Power requirements: I usually run several projects in Trados at the same time, together with various tabs in Firefox and a couple of reference files open on the external screen. The usual translator setup, I guess. I do not use voice recognition yet, though I might look into it in the long run to ease the strain on my hands and arms. I do not use my laptop for listening to music, watching movies or gaming.

Size, weight and interfaces: I mainly use my computer in my home office with an external screen with a VGA plug, which I would like to continue using. I might want to get a second external screen that connects through USB. I also use an external keyboard and an external mouse, and once a day I connect my external HDD for backups. That makes 4 USB ports (but I can also get a docking station, so fewer USB ports would be ok).

Sometimes I do pack my machine for working abroad, and here is where my current laptop is simply too bulky. Size-wise, I would like to have a 16 or 17 inch screen, but I definitely want a number keypad. 15 inches might also be fine, but then I would definitely get the second external screen to use as main screen.

Battery: I usually have a power plug close to where I work, so long-lasting battery power is not very important to me.

Price: I don’t care much about the price. I’d rather spend a few hundred euros more than risking my health with a bad screen and a lousy keyboard (or my nerves with a lousy performance). This is going to be an investment for the next three years or so, and I can deduct it from my income tax anyway. On the other hand, I don’t want to buy an over-spec’d machine which I only use to 40%.

Design: A pretty machine is not one of my top priorities, but I feel that I enjoy my work more when I enjoy looking at my working tools. I actually got a Macbook Air last year, but I haven’t come around using it much yet. It is simply too different from my previous computers (all Windows). In summary: I’d probably be willing to spend one or two hundred Euros more for a well-designed and sleek (lighter!) laptop than for an “ugly” and bulky one with the same specs.

Brand: I recently got myself a Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone. I have no idea whether I would have any advantages by getting a Samsung laptop? I guess not, but I thought I’d throw it into the discussion.


The last time I looked at computer specs was more than three years ago. Therefore, I am not up to date with the latest processors, OS versions, hard drive technologies, etc. I’d be thankful for any input you may have for me.

Thanks in advance!

Stefanie


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Just a reference... Oct 15, 2012

Hi,

I know what you mean, I actually just bought a new desk top a couple of weeks ago. There are a couple of on-line stores that sell really good machines, but they're based in the US. Tigerdirect.com does ship internationally, but it can get costly.

I would suggest checking these out to get an idea of your dream computer and then you can find one a little closer to home, have some one build it (or do it yourself) or have them ship it.

I bought my desktop and my laptop from Tigerdirect and I've never had any problems with the machines and will continue to use them in the future.


Tigerdirect.com

Newegg.com


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:55
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Triston! Oct 15, 2012

Hi Triston,

Thank you for your reply! I will definitely have a look at your links when I know a little more about my ideal specs. Cnet.com and Chip.de (in German) also offer very good overviews and reviews for laptops, by the way.

At the moment I am still rather confused about what I need and what would be overkill/waste of money. Do I want an i5 processor or an i7? Do I want Windows 7 or 8? 32 Bit or 64 Bit? Do I look into the offers directed at gamers or at office users? SSD or HD (or maybe a combination of both with the OS installed on the SSD)?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Egidijus Slepetys  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:55
German to Lithuanian
Brand, Design, Warranty Oct 15, 2012

your machine is actually still very good and powerful enough.

Don't look at the specs - they are for kids.
Look at various laptops and watch reviews on you tube.
You have to fall in love with it - a computer is not just a machine!
Good look!

PS:
- definitely SSD - this is a gift from heaven! For more space you can attach an external HDD.
- i5 is enough (I have i7 and don't know what to do).
- 64 bit processor and operating system. Windows 7 is very good.

[Redaguota 2012-10-15 18:56 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:55
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Love's not everything... :) Oct 15, 2012

Hi Egidijus,

Well, I'm in love with my Macbook Air, but it's simply not working out for me as a translation machine. Its design is beautiful, and I love watching movies on it with its stunning image and sound quality. But not for translation.

And, as I mentioned, I am having problems with my graphic driver and with large files. I reinstalled the OS on this machine in April this year, but that didn't improve things for very long. Of course I could invest in a new Windows version and install it on my old machine. But that would also cost me money. And the old laptop is too bulky to carry around anyway.

Egidijus Slepetys wrote:
PS:
- definitely SSD - this is a gift from heaven! For more space you can attach an external HDD.
- i5 is enough (I have i7 and don't know what to do).
- 64 bit processor and operating system. Windows 7 is very good.


Ah, this is exactly the kind of information I was hoping for. Thank you! My Macbook has an SSD, which I love. It switches on in no time! It is my first Mac ever, though, so I cannot really compare.

I read in other threads that i7 is only necessary for gaming or subtitling. Or for voice recognition, which I might consider in the nearer future. What do you think?

Great to hear that Windows 7 is good. Do you frequently use it with SDL Studio? Which version of MS Office do you use?

Thanks!

Stefanie

[Edited at 2012-10-15 19:08 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lennart Luhtaru  Identity Verified
United States
Member
English to Estonian
+ ...
Lenovo or Dell business class Oct 15, 2012

I would recommend buying something from Lenovo Thinkpad T- or W-series or anything from Dell Latitude series. Also, they have the best keyboards and other business class laptop benefits (better warranty, better build quality, docking capabilities, much quieter etc.)

- Get at least 8GB of RAM to not have computer slow down when multitasking (Studio + Acrobat + Outlook + Browser + Skype + Word documents with large pictures take up a lot of RAM quite easily)
- Get a matte screen and with the highest resolution you can
- Processor doesn't matter much, but don't get the weakest, anything from i5 is sufficient
- Get a docking station, so you would not have to hook up all the cables every time you want to use a larger screen and external keyboard. It also adds a couple of USB ports for other peripherals like USB-HDD, printer, scanner etc.
- Get SSD as main drive and also get a hard drive caddy for ultrabay as most business class laptops support adding extra hard drive instead of DVD-drive. And if you need to use the DVD drive, you can always pop out the second HDD and swap it with DVD drive.
- Definitely get 64-bit Windows. Difference between Professional and Home Premium versions is that Professional supports XP mode and hence can run some legacy software that works only in Windows XP.

Some models I recommend:

- Lenovo ThinkPad T530 (15.6" screen; keyboard does not have numpad (but you can get a USB keypad from Lenovo), supports docking, better build quality than Dell)
- Lenovo ThinkPad W530 (almost exactly the same as T530, but supports more than RAM and has a better graphics processor. If you don't do DTP, then no need to get it over T530, unless the price is cheaper for some reason.)
- Dell Latitude E6530 (15.6" screen; keyboard has a numpad, supports docking, standard warranty is a bit better than Lenovo's)

These are all solid machines and built to last. Anything larger than 15.6" would probably be in the same weight class as your current machine.

I also would recommend the new Macbook Pro for its build quality and specs, but as Mac laptops do not have DEL and INS keys, you would lose quite a few shorcuts in Trados. If this is not a problem for you, then any MBPro is also definitely an option. They look nicer and have better touchpads, but no docking and no DEL and INS keys.

[Edited at 2012-10-15 19:35 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Egidijus Slepetys  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:55
German to Lithuanian
SDL Studio Oct 15, 2012

Studio is not my main CAT tool.
I'm afraid, even the fastest computer won't make it run really fast. But I'm not an expert with it.
I am using MS Office 2010 - it is very good!!!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:55
Finnish to French
Agree about ThinkPad business models Oct 15, 2012

Lennart Luhtaru wrote:
I would recommend buying something from Lenovo Thinkpad T- or W-series or anything from Dell Latitude series. Also, they have the best keyboards and other business class laptop benefits (better warranty, better build quality, docking capabilities, much quieter etc.)

I agree with the ThinkPad recommendation (specifically the business models).
Lennart Luhtaru wrote:
Some models I recommend:
- Lenovo ThinkPad T530 (15.6" screen; keyboard does not have numpad (but you can get a USB keypad from Lenovo), supports docking, better build quality than Dell)
- Lenovo ThinkPad W530 (almost exactly the same as T530, but supports more than RAM and has a better graphics processor. If you don't do DTP, then no need to get it over T530, unless the price is cheaper for some reason.)
- Dell Latitude E6530 (15.6" screen; keyboard has a numpad, supports docking, standard warranty is a bit better than Lenovo's)

I'd add the Thinkpad T430s and, above all, X1 Carbon, for someone who prefers thinner/lighter machines, if money is no issue.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Wolfgang Vogt  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:55
English to German
+ ...
- Oct 15, 2012

Hi Stefanie,

As far as I see you're already quite well informed and seem to have a pretty precise idea of what you want, so there's not much to add. If you buy a 15" or a 17" really depends on your preferences, but if you use it mostly with an external screen a 15" will probably do just fine.

As far as my experience goes I can only recommend Samsung. I bought myself a inexpensive Samsung laptop in January and it works perfectly well. One of the most important aspects for me is it's "silent mode" - it is really something I wouldn't want to miss. The Acer notebook I had before could have passed perfectly well as a hairdryer (loud and hot)...

Egidijus is right about the SSD, it really improves performance a lot and in my opinion is more important than a faster processor (e.g. I would buy an i5+SSD instead of an i7+normal HDD). If you don't store movies or music etc. on your laptop you probably won't need much space anyway and could live with 64GB or 128GB.
Windows 7 is much better than Vista or XP and Trados Studio 2009 works perfectly well with it (so do older versions, too). I can't say much about Windows 8, though.

Concerning MS Office... I usually work with Office 2010, but I'll give OpenOffice a try again as soon as I can get the Duden Korrektor 9. But probably I won't have much choice in most cases and will have to keep using Office...

Anyhow, good luck with your search!

(Forgot to add: the Samsung laptop I mentioned has 3 USB ports and a numpad)

[Edited at 2012-10-15 19:47 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:55
German to Spanish
What I did Oct 15, 2012

Instead of paying a few hundreds more for just 2 inches more, I decide to buy a good Monitor.

So my new system consists of at MacBook Pro 13" (i7 2,9 Hz) + U2711 DELL (27" mat!!) + external Keyboard and Magic Pad. At home the laptop is close, I "just" use the 2560x1440 pixel monitor

Small for traveling and perfect for home (Mountain Lion + XP in VMware). I am happy.


Regards


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:55
Finnish to French
Requirements for running two external displays off a laptop Oct 15, 2012

Stefanie Sendelbach wrote:
Size, weight and interfaces: I mainly use my computer in my home office with an external screen with a VGA plug, which I would like to continue using. I might want to get a second external screen that connects through USB.

It's more than likely you won't be able to run two external displays in addition to the laptop's own display, unless you get something like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Targus-Docking-Station-Ultrabooks-ACP70USZ/dp/B005YR1PV2


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:55
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Trados and Mac Oct 15, 2012

Hi Fernando,

Thank you for your input!

Do you use Trados a lot?

After seeing your post, I might actually re-consider finding my way around on the Macbook Air that I already have lying around. I was thinking of selling it, but maybe I should give it another chance before declaring it as unusable for my needs.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:55
German to Spanish
I don't know... Oct 15, 2012

Stefanie Sendelbach wrote:

Hi Fernando,

Thank you for your input!

Do you use Trados a lot?

After seeing your post, I might actually re-consider finding my way around on the Macbook Air that I already have lying around. I was thinking of selling it, but maybe I should give it another chance before declaring it as unusable for my needs.


...If the Air is powerful enough. It is made for easy travel, not to work. Anyway, If you use Snow leopard (or Mountain Lion), for "the rest" you only need a "small" Windows XP, why waste power + RAM in Windows 7 or 8?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:55
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Lenovo or Dell Oct 15, 2012

Lennart Luhtaru wrote:

I would recommend buying something from Lenovo Thinkpad T- or W-series or anything from Dell Latitude series. Also, they have the best keyboards and other business class laptop benefits (better warranty, better build quality, docking capabilities, much quieter etc.)


Thank you for your input, Lennart! I must say that I find Lenovo laptops very unsexy, and I don't think I would want one even if they come cheaper than a machine with comparable specs. I'll have a look at Dell machines, though.


- Get at least 8GB of RAM to not have computer slow down when multitasking (Studio + Acrobat + Outlook + Browser + Skype + Word documents with large pictures take up a lot of RAM quite easily)
- Get a matte screen and with the highest resolution you can
- Processor doesn't matter much, but don't get the weakest, anything from i5 is sufficient
- Get a docking station, so you would not have to hook up all the cables every time you want to use a larger screen and external keyboard. It also adds a couple of USB ports for other peripherals like USB-HDD, printer, scanner etc.
- Get SSD as main drive and also get a hard drive caddy for ultrabay as most business class laptops support adding extra hard drive instead of DVD-drive. And if you need to use the DVD drive, you can always pop out the second HDD and swap it with DVD drive.
- Definitely get 64-bit Windows. Difference between Professional and Home Premium versions is that Professional supports XP mode and hence can run some legacy software that works only in Windows XP.


Ah, thank you for this list! I wanted to get 8GB of RAM anyway, but I know it's not only about the amount of GB. Performance also depends a lot on the combination and the fine-tuning between the single components of a computer (processor type, clock rate, hard drive U/min, etc.). Would you see any reason why one would need more than 8GB RAM? I can imagine it's like modern digital cameras, where manufacturers have started to reduce the amount of megapixles because nobody needs it.

Why the matte screen? Will that be good if I occasionally want to work outside in direct sunlight? My current screen is difficult to read outdoors, even in shade.

I already have a J5 Newport Station. I just haven't used it much since I only move the computer once every few months.

Ok, SSD it shall be. I have filled about 75 GB of my main partition, and another 150 GB of another partition with work from previous years. So I might install my OS on the SSD and save my files on another HDD. The caddy option might be a very good idea here.


I also would recommend the new Macbook Pro for its build quality and specs, but as Mac laptops do not have DEL and INS keys, you would lose quite a few shorcuts in Trados. If this is not a problem for you, then any MBPro is also definitely an option. They look nicer and have better touchpads, but no docking and no DEL and INS keys.


I already experienced exactly these problems (and others) when I tried to set up my Macbook Air as my main translation machine. Everything is so different! When I hooked up everything (external screen, mouse, external keyboard) through the docking station, the external screen would suddenly scroll in the opposite direction. And I couldn't use the key combinations in Studio that I had gotten used to.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:55
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, Wolfgang! Oct 15, 2012

Wolfgang Vogt wrote:

As far as my experience goes I can only recommend Samsung. I bought myself a inexpensive Samsung laptop in January and it works perfectly well. One of the most important aspects for me is it's "silent mode" - it is really something I wouldn't want to miss. The Acer notebook I had before could have passed perfectly well as a hairdryer (loud and hot)...

Egidijus is right about the SSD, it really improves performance a lot and in my opinion is more important than a faster processor (e.g. I would buy an i5+SSD instead of an i7+normal HDD). If you don't store movies or music etc. on your laptop you probably won't need much space anyway and could live with 64GB or 128GB.
Windows 7 is much better than Vista or XP and Trados Studio 2009 works perfectly well with it (so do older versions, too). I can't say much about Windows 8, though.

Concerning MS Office... I usually work with Office 2010, but I'll give OpenOffice a try again as soon as I can get the Duden Korrektor 9. But probably I won't have much choice in most cases and will have to keep using Office...

Anyhow, good luck with your search!

(Forgot to add: the Samsung laptop I mentioned has 3 USB ports and a numpad)


Thank you, Wolfgang! I had a look at some Samsung models yesterday, and I quite liked their design. I am still figuring out what differentiates their various series, though. But it might well be that I decide for a Samsung model in the end. They are actually offering an upgrade to Windows 8 for only EUR15 if you buy a new laptop until the end of January 2013.

I am glad to see that everybody seems to be so happy with their SSDs.

I use SDL Studio for almost all my projects. Therefore I think I will have to stick to MS Office for the spellcheck within the Studio environment. Or can you integrate the Duden Korrektor spellcheck into Studio?


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Fernanda Rocha[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Advice on new laptop computer

Advanced search






SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »
memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search