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Other Cool Notebooks or UltraBooks other than Apple...What Are They??

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Nalapombu, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. Nalapombu

    Nalapombu Millennium Member

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    Hey all,

    I'd really like to have one of the new MBPro 15 inch with the Retina Display and the 768GB solid state drive, unfortunately I don't have 4 G's sitting around taking up space.

    It sure is a beauty of a laptop though, as is the MBAir 13.3 inch. But as you all know, NOTHING from Apple comes cheap.

    So other options must be looked at. Unless you are lucky enough to have one fall out of a delivery truck when you're behind him at a red light.

    I have been looking into some possible alternatives. The coolest one I have found so far is the Samsung Series 9 with a 15 inch screen. It is made almost like a MB Air. Really sleek and lightweight. Check it out and see what you think of it. They call it an ULTRABOOK.

    The others I have seen that could be possibilities are:

    1. Hewlett Packard Envy Spectre in 14, 15.6 and 17.4 inch screens. They look very nice and made out of aluminum and special glass. All come with the Solid State Drive as standard except on the 17 incher, it has an OPTION of a SSD with a regular drive up to 1 T taking up the other drive bay. They say the sound out of them is incredible with that BEATS AUDIO, I have never seen one or heard one.
    One HUGE NEGATIVE I have on these HP laptops is that HP literally jams as much bloatware onto the hard drive that it surprises me that you could store a single MP3 on it. I HATE all the garbage they load their systems up with.

    Lastly is the Toshiba Qosmio. I think this series comes with 17 inch screens. From the video reviews and pics I have seen of it and reading the specs, it looks to be a good desktop replacement. I think this is what this series is designed for, not a very portable system, but a powerful, replacement for your desktop and laptop. Gets lots of positive reviews on many of the tech sites, for what that's worth.

    That's about all I have on these alternatives to the Apple notebooks. I wish I could say that these alternatives are a LOT more affordable than the MBP and MBA, but they aren't that much cheaper. Maybe you could save $300 to $400, depending how hard you shop around and what kind of deals you can find.


    Well what do you think are decent choices for those that would like an Apple, but don't have the money to get one right now? I have been tempted to pay 1/2 on one and then try to finance the other 1/2, but I don't know about that.

    Any Notebooks or Ultrabooks coming out that we all need to know about that could be an Apple competitor?

    Thanks for the help.

    Nalajr
     
  2. Resqu2

    Resqu2

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    You will save that much by not having to buy antivirus software year after year but I'm an Apple fanboy for sure. If you do go with a windows system I'd buy a retail copy of windows and reinstall the whole system to get rid of all the junk these guys put on a new system.
     

  3. Nalapombu

    Nalapombu Millennium Member

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    One member here gave me what I thought was some pretty good advice a few months ago when I was asking about Apple notebooks and prices.

    He said I should look for a refurb 11 or 13 inch MBAir and use it for a while as I saved up money to get the one I want. Then at some point I should get the THUNDERBOLT Display, the BIGGUN', and connect it to the MBA and use it as a Great BIg Desktop. I thought that was a great idea. I still might end up doing it in the future depending on what finances look like and what kinda money I am making.
    Wouldn't it be a GODSEND for me if I was to land a good job that required everyone to have an use a MAC and then was sent to the Apple Store to pick out what Notebook I wanted and needed. I can dream for a few seconds anyway...................

    Thanks

    Nalajr
     
  4. jbutenhoff

    jbutenhoff

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    FYI, most of the ultra-books are the series that come WITHOUT any of the crap ware (new push by Microsoft to stop that)

    Plus, lets say your PC lasts 5 years. Lets forget also that there are good free Anti Virus applications both online and built into Windows. So it would be maybe $250 for renewals over 5 years on a laptop that is 1) more powerful, 2) easier to obtain parts for 3) easier to obtain software for 4) $2000 cheaper up front...

    I seem to recall that the last personal PC virus to hit the news WAS ON APPLES and it took weeks for Apple to issue a patch, where the PC guys do it in a day...
     
  5. 686Owner

    686Owner NRA Life Member

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    I think most manufacturers have come out with ultra books or are coming out with them. Asus and Acer I think both had one,

    Apple still has the older style macbook pro. If you buy one I suggest getting a refurb, and you can add more RAM later.
     
  6. boomhower

    boomhower

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    Asus has a very nice one, the Zenbook Prime. They have a low end version at around $800 but go up quickly.


    Sent from my iPhone 4S using Tapatalk
     
  7. 686Owner

    686Owner NRA Life Member

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    That's very Apple-like for MS not to want all of the crap on it.

    Anti-virus slows down your computer, and the windows anti-virus is well known so programs know can often work around it and find holes. I agree there are some free ones that work well, especially if you use common sense. 1. PC's aren't inherently more powerful. They can even use the same components. 2. Again, same parts, or at least same standards. My RAM came from crucial. It wasn't any harder to get RAM for it than any other computer. 3. NOTHING is easier than the App store. In fact, MS has decided to try to copy it. PCs may have more software, but Mac software is now very easy to find and often well written. PC software might outnumber Mac software 10 to 1, but 8 of this are crap. 4. My laptop cost negative $500?

    Yes, the PC guys have plenty of practice getting updates out quickly. Apple did take a while to respond with an update.
     
  8. Haldor

    Haldor Formerly retired EE.

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    I strongly suggest picking an ultrabook that has an Ivy bridge chipset. Intel has made significant advances in power consumption and graphic processing power in the Ivy bridge chipset that make ultrabooks a lot more desirable.

    Laptops with these chipsets are just being introduced and should be mainstream within a month or two. This is not just marketing froth, the ivy bridge chipset should pretty much eliminate the need for dedicated graphics processors (except for very serious gamers) and should provide longer battery life compared to sandy bridge based laptops.

    The differences between sandy bridge and ivy bridge are not that big for a desktop PC, but they are meaningful for a laptop and especially so for an ultrabook.

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405360,00.asp

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405317,00.asp
     
  9. Bushflyr

    Bushflyr ʇno uıƃuɐɥ ʇsnɾ Millennium Member

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    Your entire post seems to focus on the "cool factor" of skinny laptops. If you have to even consider financing $2k you REALLY shouldn't be looking at a top of the line laptop. It's a want, definitely not a need.

    Define your mission then pick the right tool for the job. Why do you want a laptop? Desktops are cheaper, more powerful, and you can put multiple 27" displays on them easily.

    Do you NEED the portability for production? If you're only consuming data a tablet works as well as a laptop and is even lighter and smaller. And you can buy one along with your desktop and still save money over a top of the line laptop.
     
  10. Deanster

    Deanster Cheese? Millennium Member CLM

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    To your original question, there seems to be a lot of support out there for that 15" Samsung Series 9 as a truly killer Windows laptop. Thin, light weight, reasonably powerful, etc.

    If you're in one of the relatively few locations with a Microsoft store, they have a pretty good selection of the best Windows laptops, and the ones they sell there are free of bloatware. It's not the cheapest way to buy a Windows laptop, but it seems to work out pretty well if you have the option.

    I guess I'd say that your original post seems to speak to a complicated situation. You'd really like the new Apple MBPR (Macbook Pro Retina), but don't have $4K. So, the 'base model', with an i7 CPU, 8 gigs of RAM and a 256 gig SSD, plus the Retina display, is $2200. Expensive, yes, but only 55% of your quoted figure. You only pay the $4K if you max it out with 768 gigs of SSD, plus the max processor and max RAM. That's actually not a bad upgrade price for that much flash storage.

    You also mention the 11" and 13" Macbook Airs. They're great little computers, and I highly recommend them to almost anyone. My wife uses her 13" MBA with the big 27" display (the one right before they added Thunderbolt), and it's a great combo. The 11" is really the ultimate in portable power. Great machine in a killer small package.

    But the range of computers you're looking at is huge... from an 11" MBA to what is arguably the best laptop ever made (and is certainly at the absolute bleeding edge of what you can buy), with a substantial price premium attached, and then their Windows alternatives as well.

    IMHO, that's too much space to collapse without some more help on how you're going to be using it.

    All that said, my default answer these days is to tell people to get a refurbished 13" Macbook Air, or a refurb 11" MBA if they TRULY require portability over everything else. Getting refurbs knocks a couple hundred off the price, and you still get full warranty, etc. It's still not a cheap computer, but in exchange, you don't have to live with a cheap computer. :wavy:
     
  11. tdreis45

    tdreis45

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    I just bought the Samsung Series 9 with a 15 inch screen. So far I love it. Very lightweight, 8 gigs of ram, 128gb HD, USB 3.0, ONLY .6" thick and just over 3.5lbs. It also has the Ivy Bridge processor.
     
  12. certifiedfunds

    certifiedfunds Tewwowist

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    I'm still trying to figure out what a serious gamer is.
     
  13. Atlas

    Atlas transmogrifier

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    A friend purchased that one a couple of weeks ago.
    I had it in my hands for about 4 minutes.
    It seems like a nice machine. She likes it so far.
     
  14. CitizenOfDreams

    CitizenOfDreams

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    I always hated the finger-poking touchscreen interface and have been a fan of clamshell style pocket computers since HP Jornada came out many years ago:

    [​IMG]

    I'm currently using Viliv N5:

    [​IMG]

    ... and getting curious about this:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Gregg702

    Gregg702 Gold Member

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    A new MBA with 128gb SSD and 13" screen runs less than $1200. Not cheap, but not significantly more than most ultra books with similar specs.
     
  16. Nalapombu

    Nalapombu Millennium Member

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    Hey all,

    Made a trip over to Best Buy yesterday to check out what was on the scene. First, the Macbook Pro 15 with the Retina Display is a beautiful machine. Just awesome. Not quite the style of the MBA, but getting really close. Also NO 17 inch MBP to be seen, I suspect they are also in for a revamp to get them closer to the MBA style. The one they had was $2199 and $2499. STEEP for sure.

    I also looked at the Samsung series 9 with the 15 inch screen. It was also very nice. Looked and felt a lot like a Mac. Screen didn't seem a bright, but that may be because they had some kind of setting for it to save on power or some such. It's supposed to have a really nice and bright screen. The keyboard didn't have much travel on the keys at all, not nearly as nice as the Apple keyboards. The BIG problem I see with the Samsung is that they come out with a 15 inch Ultrabook and give you only 1 option for a hard drive, the 128SSD. They should have an option for at least a 256mb drive with a machine of those specs. As it stood the price was $1399. If that was for a 256mb version that would be a heck of a machine. Maybe they'll take notice and have an addition to the line.

    The only other machines I would've liked to seen is the new HP laptops. They have quite a few that are getting really good reviews like the ENVY.

    Naturally if I were given the choice I would definitely take the new MacBook Pro with the retina display. Just beautiful.

    Thanks

    Nalajr
     
  17. Magnus2131

    Magnus2131 Glock Gimp

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    Or just stay away from the porn sites.:tongueout:
     
  18. MasterShake

    MasterShake Brew Crew

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    :rofl:
     
  19. Haldor

    Haldor Formerly retired EE.

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    I consider a serious gamer to be someone willing to spend > $300 on graphics cards in order to get fast frame rates with all the video goodies turned on at high resolutions (1080P).

    I am more of a low-middle of the road kind of guy. I like a dedicated graphics processor in my laptop (for example, my Dell Vostro 1500 has a 8600M GPU), but I am not willing to make huge concessions to get it (Alienware).

    The Ivy bridge chipset gives you the equivalent of a middle of the road DX11 GPU without the cost or power consumption penalties. That makes every Ivy bridge based laptop/ultrabook capable of playing modern games in native resolution at acceptable frame rates (with some of the video goodies disabled).

    That is a real advantage for the Ivy Bridge mobile chipset
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
  20. jr05

    jr05

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    Asus Transformer...I think they just came out with, or are about to come out with, a newer version too.