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SightedNZ
15-10-2012, 08:42 PM
Hi there,

First time poster, long time Mag reader, haha

Anyway, I'm in the market for a new laptop and would really appreciate some suggestions for machines based on my requirements;

Processor: At least a 2.6GHz i7
RAM: 16GB
HDD: Either a 512GB SSD or Dual HDD capability (for RAID 0)
Screen: 15.6" (I don't want to go any larger), 1920x1080 preferred
Style: The lighter and smaller the better
Video Performance: Geforce 640m 2GB or better

Basically, I'm an IT technician that's on the road a fair bit so I want it to be light and portable. Professional looking is also a plus (eg. an Alienware or Asus Lamborghini is out of the question).

I also want to use this laptop for study. By study I'm wanting to run Server VM's in Sun Virtualbox and GNS3 in tandem. I also want to use this machine for a bit of gaming. I'd be happy if it could run Borderlands 2 well.


Now I have found 2 options:

As you may have guessed, the first is a Macbook Pro with Retina Display. The second is Dells XPS 15 found here (http://www.dell.com/nz/p/xps-15-l521x/pd?oc=v510694nz&model_id=xps-15-l521x).

Unfortunately after some extensive research on the Dell, I discovered that it suffers from impromptu shutdowns due to overheating and has a pretty flaky wireless adapter... Which lead me back to the Mac.

I'm happy to run Apples product with bootcamp but are interested to know if anyone has any other suggestions for a laptop matching my requirements?

Other than Dell, i've checked out Lenovo, Asus, Samsung, Toshiba, Acer and HP solutions. Lenovo had one machine but it was actually more expensive than the Macbook at just over 5k.

Thanks for reading and once again, any suggestions would be much appreciated :)

johnd
15-10-2012, 09:14 PM
For something completely different how about https://zareason.co.nz/Verix-2.5.html ?

SightedNZ
16-10-2012, 11:20 AM
Hi John,

Thanks for your reply. That laptop looks pretty good spec wise however I am unsure of a couple of things;

Is there any Windows driver support?
What is the after-sales support like?

Ideally, I would like somebody to come to me if there is a problem.

The Error Guy
16-10-2012, 12:00 PM
Have a look at Saeger http://www.sagernotebook.com/

gary67
16-10-2012, 12:32 PM
Hi John,

Thanks for your reply. That laptop looks pretty good spec wise however I am unsure of a couple of things;

Is there any Windows driver support?
What is the after-sales support like?

Ideally, I would like somebody to come to me if there is a problem.

I know this might sound odd but didn't you say your an IT tech in the first post? If so wouldn't you just fix your own problems if there were any?

CYaBro
16-10-2012, 12:55 PM
I know this might sound odd but didn't you say your an IT tech in the first post? If so wouldn't you just fix your own problems if there were any?

Not if the hardware itself fails :D

mikebartnz
16-10-2012, 02:28 PM
I know this might sound odd but didn't you say your an IT tech in the first post? If so wouldn't you just fix your own problems if there were any?
+1 and why would someone in IT tech need advice on what to get.

pctek
16-10-2012, 03:58 PM
Processor: At least a 2.6GHz i7
RAM: 16GB
HDD: Either a 512GB SSD or Dual HDD capability (for RAID 0)
Screen: 15.6" (I don't want to go any larger), 1920x1080 preferred
Style: The lighter and smaller the better
Video Performance: Geforce 640m 2GB or better
I'm an IT technician
I also want to use this machine for a bit of gaming.

Macbook Pro with Retina Display.

An IT tech needs advise?
An IT tech thinks laptops are suitable for gaming (without going to the likes of Alienware)?
An IT tech thinks a Mac will do all this?

The Error Guy
16-10-2012, 06:33 PM
An IT tech needs advise?
An IT tech thinks laptops are suitable for gaming (without going to the likes of Alienware)?
An IT tech thinks a Mac will do all this?

Ouch pctek! Laptops can game absolutely fine, mine does great for the odd bit I do. Runs BF3 nicely, Alienware do make the best powerhouse gamers for the consumer market hands down but for the casual/moderate gamer they can be a bit expensive, not to mention the bling the put on them. High end consumer laptops will cater nicely for the low/lightly moderate gamer.

Well, a mac isn't gonna do it. Waste of money to get one that specced and just run windows but every now and again we need advice, does seem strange based on the subject though.

johnd
16-10-2012, 07:27 PM
If you read up on what this company is attempting to do the after sales support should be good - but I do not have any evidence of this at this stage. Sometime soon my wife's laptop is due to be replaced and I indend to give them a go. As to MS Windows driver support - no idea - that is not what they are about.

icow
16-10-2012, 07:34 PM
Hi there,

Processor: At least a 2.6GHz i7
RAM: 16GB
HDD: Either a 512GB SSD or Dual HDD capability (for RAID 0)
Screen: 15.6" (I don't want to go any larger), 1920x1080 preferred
Style: The lighter and smaller the better
Video Performance: Geforce 640m 2GB or better
Now I have found 2 options:

As you may have guessed, the first is a Macbook Pro with Retina Display.


You can get a Macbook pro with a Retina display, but you'll only get your 512gb flash storage, no other HDD. The non-retina macbook pro will have room for another drive (iirc you can swap out the optical drive) but you won't get a 1080p screen. I feel like only so many tasks can be benefited by an SSD which is why I'd personally go with a ssd + hdd combo (in a desktop at least, don't know if I'd even bother with a laptop). SSD's are damn expensive and I personally don't think large ones are worth it. If money is no object and you can afford a 512gb SSD then go for it.

Had a look at this? http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/notebooks/componentview.asp?r=p&partid=16930 I doubt you'll find many options that aren't either dell, apple or alienware (is dell basically) that are in the 15" range with the specs you're after.

SightedNZ
16-10-2012, 08:44 PM
Thanks for all your advice guys.

I know I'm an IT tech and it's odd I should be asking for suggestions but I've found that what I'm after simply isn't available in NZ for any sort of reasonable cost.

Even moderately priced notebooks here have limited upgrade potential without throwing considerable sums of money at them to bring them up to spec.

The one laptop I have found that is perfect for my needs can be custom built in the States.

It's a International RTB warranty I know. But in saying this, I also know that the build quality and reliability will be superb.

Check them out at ****

mikebartnz
16-10-2012, 09:29 PM
Three posts and a IT tech guy wanting advice then posting a link seems very much like a spammer to me.

icow
16-10-2012, 09:40 PM
OP is far too literate to be a spammer.

SightedNZ
16-10-2012, 09:45 PM
Sorry if I gave that impression Mike but I am legitimately after a decent laptop. I posted out of frustration because I was having a hard time finding my close-to or perfect laptop.

The Falcon thing was mentioned because I took a bit more initiative today and looked abroad. That brand from what I've read is one of the best (Known) in the world

It's a pity more companies in NZ don't do custom builds like this. I suppose it's a pretty niche market and NZ has a low population so business would suck.

mikebartnz
16-10-2012, 11:00 PM
Sorry if I gave that impression Mike but I am legitimately after a decent laptop. I posted out of frustration because I was having a hard time finding my close-to or perfect laptop.

The Falcon thing was mentioned because I took a bit more initiative today and looked abroad. That brand from what I've read is one of the best (Known) in the world

It's a pity more companies in NZ don't do custom builds like this. I suppose it's a pretty niche market and NZ has a low population so business would suck.
Sorry about that then.

Chilling_Silence
17-10-2012, 12:56 AM
Most Kiwis are the same as you:
Want everything, don't want to pay anything

Laptops can't really be upgraded for the better part beyond replacing the standard HDD (Perhaps with a bigger one, or SSD) and then there's the likes of the RAM.
Otherwise, you're stuck with the CPU, GPU, motherboard, screen etc. Maybe if you're lucky there's a mini-PCI slot you can muck about with.


Processor: At least a 2.6GHz i7
Why? What are you running? Will a 2.5Ghz i7 really not suffice?


RAM: 16GB
Geez son you're either doing a ton of video editing or running a LOT of VMs on that system!


HDD: Either a 512GB SSD or Dual HDD capability (for RAID 0)
Seriously? 2x HDDs for RAID in a "Light and portable" laptop? Not gonna happen. Looking at most mid-range laptops, they're around 3KGs. Larger more powerful ones can still weigh significantly more.
Macbook Air? 1KG. Or something like the Acer Aspire S3, same weight. That's portable.

Also, GNS3 doesn't need much requirements at all, so focus purely on the VM's you're *actually* going to use. You MAY be better off splitting your investment, getting something small light and portable to use "on the road" and having a Desktop PC at home that's basically just a dumb box with a couple of larger HDDs, a ton of RAM and a decent CPU. Then, remotely connect to it over the internet when you need to do your studies. That way you can also properly virtualize them too using something like VMWare or Hyper-V if you're into Windows VMs.

Coz otherwise if you're trying to run a couple of server VMs outta VirtualBox, they're not gonna run anywhere near as fast as they could on a spare PC that's properly virtualizing them...

SightedNZ
25-10-2012, 04:56 PM
Most Kiwis are the same as you:
Want everything, don't want to pay anything

Sorry, been on Holiday.

This is a bit unfair given that I AM prepared to spend the $$$

As mentioned, NZ doesn't have the extended range of notebooks that are available offshore. Thats my problem and has been been made perfectly obvious in this thread by the lack of thoughtful responses (The Error guy, you are the exception here of course, thanks for your suggestion).

My query was genuine and didn't deserve the negative feedback it got. Are these the sorts of responses I can expect from the PC World forums?

Thanks anyway

Alex B
25-10-2012, 05:03 PM
More likely to get a decent answer on Geekzone to be honest. No need for the holier-than-thou attitude you have got here. More people actually in the business over there too.

Zara Baxter
25-10-2012, 05:15 PM
Have you considered one of Dell's Precision Workstation models? My testing of them (when I was in Australia, haven't had one to try out since I came to NZ) found them to be robust and powerful, but they use Firepro or Quadro graphics, so not ideal for gaming.

Otherwise, MacBook Pro would be my rec. Lenovo make really solid laptops, but the workstation models are pricey (though it's worth customising as much as possible on their website, too).