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Choosing a new laptop - any recommendations?
Thread poster: Arianne Farah

Arianne Farah  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:44
Member (2008)
English to French
Mar 7, 2013

Hello!

I'd love if the more technologically-inclined, or anyone who actually owns one of these laptops, could weigh in and help me make my choice!

I need a powerful laptop because I work exclusively on one now (no desktop), but I need something portable since I like to move around when I work. I'm a petite woman so anything over 6lb is difficult to carry around for an extended period of time (ie. if I'm walking to a café 45-minutes away) but I don't want to sacrifice screen size (15" & up).

So, ultimately, I'm looking at the ultrabook category - I love the solid state drives and think that it could really help with TM querying (some of my TMs are over 2GB and don't play well with other programs).

My two contenders are the HP Spectre XT TouchSmart 15-4010nr Ultrabook and the Asus ux51vz ultrabook. The prices however are very different (about 1200$ for the HP, 1900$ for the Asus) - the biggest difference is in the hard drives - the HP has a SATA 500GB hard drive + a 32 GB solid state and the Asus simply has a 256GB solid state. Otherwise, the Asus has a slightly faster clockspeed and a better graphics card & the HP has a touch screen.

The last HP I had I completely destroyed in about 3 years but I feel I got my money's worth. My last Asus, I'm currently using but it's dying and won't last another month, I also feel I got my money's worth on this one. The only brand I will not consider is Sony because my last Vaio broke down 3 times in an 8-month period - I've since given up on having it fixed.

I've also looked at the Samsung np900x4c, the Dell inspiron 15z and the Mac Pro but have ruled them out.

Does any one have a HP Spectre or an Asus ux51 and care to tell me how they handle?


 

Vladyslav Golovaty  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 10:44
Member (2010)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
Windows 8? Mar 7, 2013

Risking to seem off topic, if OS is important, then pick a touch screen for W8 - faster & more social

 

Haluk Erkan  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 11:44
German to Turkish
+ ...
ThinkPad Mar 7, 2013

If I were to buy a laptop today, I would choose one of Lenovo ThinkPad models (T or X) in very good quality & performance

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ThinkPad


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:44
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Shopping bag on wheels? Mar 7, 2013

Arianne Farah wrote:
I'm a petite woman so anything over 6lb is difficult to carry around for an extended period of time (ie. if I'm walking to a café 45-minutes away) but I don't want to sacrifice screen size (15" & up).


An object that is carried is always heavier than one that is dragged, particularly if you drag it on wheels. So my suggestion is to get yourself a nice, big, heavy laptop, and lug it around in a wheeled shopping bag. To ensure that you don't accidentially forget your laptop somewhere, tie a strap around your wrist and around the bag's handle. Don't get one with fold-away wheels -- they're rubbish. Try to get a bag that closes with buckles and straps (e.g. the click-in plastic variety) instead of the tiny velcro strip that usually comes as standard.





[Edited at 2013-03-07 07:14 GMT]


 

esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:44
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Asus Mar 7, 2013

I’d definitely choose an Asus. I don’t have any experience with the particular model, but generally Asus offers better displays and keyboards. Actually, when I was buying my current notebook, I was choosing between an HP and an Asus. The HP one badly impressed me with its far from clear display, which I found totally inappropriate for that price tag. I never regretted about buying my Asus.

 

Afew  Identity Verified
Kazakhstan
Local time: 14:44
English to Kazakh
Definitely Asus Mar 7, 2013

I have owned two Asus highend laptops and I became a fan of Asus. They are very reliable and powerful. So they fully replace desktops. The only part which is not that good on latest Asus laptops is their keyboard. Since Asus ux51vz is their best laptop/ultrabook in their lineup, I would definitely recommend that. But be aware that there are many configurations of this model. You should try them out before buying. Especially pay attention to the screen, cheaper configurations tend to have worse viewing angles.

 

CorbettAM  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 08:44
French to English
+ ...
ASUS something I was looking at too Mar 7, 2013

Hi there,

I`m pretty sure a Mac, which you say you have ruled out anyway, will not be compatible with most TMs, especially Trados. Even if it is a Pro (I just have a basic Macbook and much as I love it, it`s not compatible with most TMs).

I am considering buying a PC laptop for work only and I think the ASUS /Le Novo ones look good for heavy duty work.

As for carrying it around, I know what you mean. Regardless of the size of the laptop, you`re bound to find a nice bag somewhere which won`t put too much pressure on your shoulders, and won`t be too cumbersome with whatever your usual choice of handbag/shoulder bag is.


 

NataliaAnne  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:44
Portuguese to English
Dell Mar 7, 2013

I’ve had great experiences with Asus laptops in the past but I currently have a Dell. I have to say that their customer support is fantastic and was what won me over in the end. For example, I have peace of mind in knowing that if anything major happens, they will come to my house and repair the notebook within 24 hours; no running around like crazy, arguing about whether it’s the store’s responsibility or the manufacturer’s, waiting for parts and/or having to send my laptop off. Using my laptop for work every day means that reliability and fast, effective support are the most important factors for me.

 

Martina Fink  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 21:44
German to English
Asus is more reliable Mar 7, 2013

Here's a study about laptop reliability: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/most-least-reliable-notebooks-laptops,9102.html

It's a few years old, but still interesting. Out of 9 brands, Asus and Toshiba come out on top while HP is shown as the least reliable.

I've had an Acer laptop and a Gateway laptop. The first one failed within the first few months and the second one started failing as soon as it was out of the warranty period. I was also tossing up between HP and Asus for my next laptop, but am now leaning towards Asus!


 

Arianne Farah  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:44
Member (2008)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Wow! Thank you! Mar 8, 2013

Asus seems to be the consensus decision. Darn it - I could have gone on a short trip with the extra 700$ or splurged on a nicer hotel in HK (already got 5th row tickets to see Russell Peters... it's going to be an expensive weekend!!)icon_wink.gif

To answer a few questions/comments:

They both come with Windows 8, but only the HP has a touchscreen.

For the Mac I was just comparing specs/price - technically I could have just run Windows 8 on it if I had come to conclusion it was the best option.

Even though Dell has wonderful customer service, and it's the brand I recommended to my mother, I'm not sure it extends out of country (I'm going to Hong Kong to purchase my laptop as electronics are cheaper there than in Mainland China where I live). The last 2 times the Vaio broke where in Malaysia and Cambodia... I just need something that will survive power fluctuations and rough handling.

@Samuel - I can't... I just can't... I like to trot around in high heels and pretty purses.

In the same vein, I don't find Lenovos 'pretty' and as shallow as it is, I need a pretty computericon_wink.gif

Bar a last minute change of heart, it seems as though I'm going to be shopping for an Asus!


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 10:44
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
How about this one? Mar 8, 2013

http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Laptops/HP-ENVY/C2H77UA

I could not make out the weight, but it looks good. I have always been satisfied with HP laptops. I have used laptops exclusively for 7 years.


 

Rachel Fell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:44
French to English
+ ...
Appearance Mar 9, 2013

Arianne Farah wrote:

@Samuel - I can't... I just can't... I like to trot around in high heels and pretty purses.

In the same vein, I don't find Lenovos 'pretty' and as shallow as it is, I need a pretty computericon_wink.gif

Bar a last minute change of heart, it seems as though I'm going to be shopping for an Asus!

I have a ThinkPad in a nice lilac-pink shade and it isn't very heavy - though went for Windows 7 rather than 8icon_wink.gif


 

Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:44
Finnish to French
ThinkPad - me too Mar 9, 2013

Haluk Erkan wrote:
If I were to buy a laptop today, I would choose one of Lenovo ThinkPad models (T or X) in very good quality & performance

I second this recommendation. If money is no obstacle, I would specifically go for the X1 Carbon, which is an amazing piece of engineering.

Check Lisa Gade's Mobile Tech Review channel on YouTube, it features detailed reviews of ultrabooks by Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo etc.

Here is her review of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon:

http://youtu.be/lShEJBuk94Q?hd=1


 

Grzegorz Gryc  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:44
French to Polish
+ ...
Asus... Lenovo... Mar 12, 2013

Arianne Farah wrote:

(...)

In the same vein, I don't find Lenovos 'pretty' and as shallow as it is, I need a pretty computericon_wink.gif

So did my daughter few months ago icon_smile.gif
She refused all Lenovo professional machines I suggested because they're black, edgy and not enough fancy, the same for Dell Precision M4xxx series (brown and ugly).

Bar a last minute change of heart, it seems as though I'm going to be shopping for an Asus!

Yep.
Finally she chose some Asus NVsomething, I don't remember exactly.
Not so expandable (the Dell Precision series is incredible here...) but really good and far cheaper.

The core features is an i7 (four cores), a pretty good nVidia GPU and a 1920x1080 15 inch screen.
A monster for a nomadic architecture student or for a demanding mobile translator, although a little bit heavy.
You can select something like that, your Asus ux51vz is lighter, it seems a good choice and it looks really pretty (recently I bought a smaller Asus like that for my wife, she appreciated a lot... icon_smile.gif ).

Personally, I think HP lost its edge and the quality is generally getting poor, it's better to avoid 'em.
5 or 6 years ago I switched to Lenovo X and T series.
I never regretted it.

PS
Check thoroughly the keyboard before you buy.
A bad keyboard is a PITA for a translator, the Lenovo ones are simply incredible, at least for me.

Cheers
GG

[Edited at 2013-03-12 19:44 GMT]


 

Arianne Farah  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:44
Member (2008)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Update :-) Mar 25, 2013

They don't sell the 15" Zenbook in HK, only the 13" (even checked the Asus HK website).

I ended up getting a (much cheaper) Asus S500CA but with a few upgrades : 500GB SATA HD + 24GB SSD; i7 processor; 8GB RAM. The whole thing weighs 2.1kg, has a 15.6" touchscreen (the zenbook had no touchscreen) and a 2-year worldwide warranty for less than 900USD.

I have also discovered Windows 8 and have already had to go play in the registry to get rid of the useless lock screen... my friends tell me I'll get used to it (the interface)... I'm not quite so sure - already figured out how to put google chrome & skype on the desktop rather than have them run as apps - I wouldn't mind apps so much if I could resize them but you can't use several of them at once. I like to work in Trados on the desktop, research terms in Chrome and chat with friends in Skype all at the same time, I don't want to waste time switching from one app to another...


 
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