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Researching a new laptop





Ankhanu
I haven't been very present ion Frih over the past week and a half or so... That's because my MacBook's logic board (likely video adapter(s)) crapping out, I may have to look into replacing the system.
Given Apple's move towards non-upgradeability and exorbitant prices for spec upgrades, I may be forced to walk away from their products... Which is a shame because I really like their OS and chassis ergonomics. I suppose I've got to start doing some research, and I'm looking to you for suggestions.

I want a laptop, 15" probably, maybe 17", that I can also used for a bit of gaming, and handles multitasking well. The dying MacBook is an i7 2.2GHz quad core w/ 8Gb RAM and Radeon 6750M , and I'll be looking to get at least that, likely more. A good quality, crisp screen, and well built key bed are a must. Bluetooth would be convenient, but it's not a deal breaker.

Current Windows and Linux distros don't really handle 2, 3 and 4 finger gestures, do they? I've gotten quite used to the convenience of my track pad gestures over the years. While I like my gesture control, it's not imperative; I can adapt to new systems.

I suppose I'm willing to pay up to about $2000 on a system. My MacBook Pro was about $2600 all said and done. I'm going to be using this thing multiple hours a day almost every day, if I get something low quality I'm just going to get mad with the purchase.
StriderVM
Would it be best if you could show us a link or two to be able to say if it matches your preferences in computing? Smile
Ankhanu
Here are the specs on the dying MacBook - http://support.apple.com/kb/sp620
Would like something at least as capable, preferably better, and key bed quality and overall housing design/comfort are also important.

Video capability to run games like Neverwinter, Skyrim and Fallout titles is an important consideration.
william
How important is battery life to you? That's one thing Apple's systems have going for them. To obtain similar performance with a comparable battery life, your only choices are business class notebooks (eg. Latitudes and Thinkpads) and a couple, somewhat dated, Samsungs. The Samsungs, though, aren't brilliant for upgradability either, with soldered CPUs, non-modular GPUs (which is the norm, but nevertheless), partially soldered RAM, etc. You can add another stick of RAM and upgrade the hard drive, but it pretty much ends there. I don't particularly like the direction most laptops are taking these days, aiming to be slim and stylish with little hope for upgradeability. So, choices become limited.

Anyway, at $2000 you can get a pretty decent business class notebook or an upper end gaming notebook. It all boils down to if you prefer excellent keyboards and a long battery life or straight out performance, particularly in the graphics department.

As for gestures, I'm pretty sure it depends on the touchpad drivers. The laptop I'm using now has at least 3 finger gestures on Windows, and it might have 4. I don't use them much, though, so I'd have to check. Linux does support 4 finger gestures with an application called TouchEgg. There's no GUI, but it works pretty well once it's set up (and probably has more use for the gestures than Windows).
Ankhanu
Thanks.

Battery life is a moderate priority. It's not something required most of the time, I'm usually plugged in, but I need it when I need it, ya know? Wink
Yonohikari
According to your required specifications, i see that you are looking for a laptop that matches the performance of Apple's MacBooks. I personally recommend the brand Toshiba because based on my experience, my laptop is more than 6 years already but still works good (no marketing intended). Here's a specific model recommendation:

Toshiba Satellite P50-BBT2G22
    Processor: 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-4710HQ Processor (6M Cache, up to 3.50GHz) with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
    Display: 15.6" FHD TruBrite® LED Backlit Display (1920 x 1080)
    Memory: 8GB DDR3L 1600MHz (4GB + 4GB)
    HDD: 1TB (5400rpm, Serial ATA)
    Optical Drive: DVD SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) drive
    WLAN and Bluetooth: Intel® Dual-Band Wireless-N 7260 2x2 AC + Bluetooth 4.0 (867Mbps)


However, you might want to look in to other models, you can use their Laptop Finder. At the panel on left you can filter laptops according to your desired specifications. Moreover, depending on your location, some laptops might not be available. In some cases, feel free to look at other brands because they also have laptop finder tool. Good luck with your choice! Smile[/list]
Ankhanu
Thanks for the suggestion.
I have somewhat mixed feelings on Toshiba; I've had one in the past that lasted for years on years, but I've also recently been selling them (about a year ago and a bit before that) while working retail, and I found their quality had dropped significantly, though the prices remained high. That could also be an artefact of the specific models we sold.

The problem was kinda "solved" in the spring, when a friend was able to acquire a quite cheap Dell Latitude E5430 for me (i5, 6Gb RAM). I mean, the video isn't anything special and can't handle games, but it gets the general job done. That said, I still miss OSX quite a lot (I'm running Win7 and Elementary OS (Ubuntu derivative)).
Yonohikari
I see, then you must try other manufacturers like Lenovo or MSI or something similar. I won't recommend Asus or Asus due to bad airflow. I've been thinking of some model that would match the performance of your mac, that being said, when choosing a model you must prioritize processor and graphics because other components like memory and hdd size can be easily upgraded by purchasing separate parts. But hey if you're running linux that's good. Using popular distros like Ubuntu can do the job too. You can search for other "shell" that mimics OSX's GUI and functionality like dashboard and so on. That feeling of nostalgia with your previous system ^_^
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