Next laptop?

gonna be used mainly for browsing and just editing documents. don't need anything too grunty. was looking at a macbook air but way too expensive. any opinions appreciated thanks

geek_bushyy4, Apr 8, 10:22 pm

It depends on your budget. You can spend $500 on a laptop that will be powerful enough to do the basic tasks you want, but the build quality, display and hardware will be average.

The Macbook Air is a very good machine. You can pick it up for less than $1200 which isn't a bad price.

But if that's still above your budget, then I'd still recommend spending no less than around $800-1000. For that, you'll get something with decent hardware, although it will likely still have an average display and plasticy build. The best thing you can do is go into a shop like Noel Leeming and try out what they have on display.

Look for something made by Asus or Toshiba with an Intel i3 or i5 processor and at least 4GB of RAM.

An example would be something like this:

geek_suicidemonkey, Apr 8, 10:28 pm

ASUS makes an ultrabook that compares favourably with the Macbook Air. It is about half the price.
Update: found it.
Update: It says Macbook, not Macbook Air, but sounds very thin and light. Much difference?

geek_r.g.nixon, Apr 8, 10:39 pm

That is not a Macbook Air, in US$ MBA is $1099 and has an i5 processor, totally different. My MBA is now 5 years old and never missed a beat, worth it just for OS X and the track pad.

geek_remmers, Apr 8, 10:48 pm

Yes the laptop in the comparison is the "New Macbook" which uses an Intel Core M processor. Very nice machines but they don't perform anywhere near an Intel i5, or even an i3. Good for basic tasks though.

As for the Asus UX305, also very nice machines (also Core M), but you're looking at $1400+ to buy them here, which is more than a Macbook Air.

geek_suicidemonkey, Apr 8, 11:00 pm

Carefull now that one has AMD graphics, your "employer" may not like that.

geek_honeysacat, Apr 9, 9:11 pm

AMD is uncompetitive in the CPU market (especially where power usage is an issue like on a laptop). It's unfortunate but at the moment its the truth.

The graphics are less of an issue in that regard as realistically you're always going to nees to be plugged in when using the GPU anyway.

geek_vtecintegra, Apr 9, 9:14 pm

Sure, you can get a cheapie with a slow Intel Celeron or some crappy low-end AMD CPU. But why not pay a few hundred more and get a laptop that will actually perform well and last a few extra years?

As for your AMD graphics comment, nothing wrong with AMD if you buy the right one (plus in this case the graphics really don't matter - if it was for a gamer I'd recommend an Nvidia chip).

Oh and my employer (myself) says that's ok.

geek_suicidemonkey, Apr 9, 9:29 pm

Remember, most browsers use a fair amount of GPU power now days (and will keep increasing use as more change over to HTML5), so don't dismiss GPU even for basic usage or you will get choppy scrolling and slow redraws.

I too would suggest i3/i5 as a minimum, the entry level AMD/intel CPU's are a joke.

geek__drdee_, Apr 10, 9:35 am

You can often find the Air for $999 or so on the refurb store. There aren't any there this morning but stock changes almost daily.

geek_tillsbury, Apr 10, 9:42 am

Completely different. The new Macbook (released tomorrow) is further up the foodchain than the Macbook Air. It goes for tiny and light and retina screen (rather than the different Pro route which goes for larger and more powerful instead).

Comparisons with i3 and i5 are difficult to make at the moment, as no-one has released the benchmarks. The Core M processor is highly dependent on the engineering of the heatsink, and so comparisons with the Yoga 3 and Asus (both of which have a chip from the same family in them) isn't necessarily appropriate. They are likely to be slightly less powerful than the current Airs, but perhaps not a great deal.

geek_tillsbury, Apr 10, 9:46 am

OK go for the i5 as its totally necessary for web browsing and editing documents.
Just make sure you run super pi every time you use your laptop so you can justify all the extra $$ you spent on it.

geek_honeysacat, Apr 10, 3:41 pm

You're obviously trolling but I will bite.

A 14 or 15.6" laptop starts at around $400-450, and for around that price you get a low-end AMD or Celeron CPU. The low-end AMD processors are n't great - even compared to a low-end Celeron, they struggle to keep up. And that's not saying much for the Celeron, which are also very slow.

Sure, they'll handle web browsing and document editing, but they won't do it quickly. And in a couple of years when the next OS is out, they'll probably not meet the system requirements.

So, move up to around $600-700 and you'll get yourself a laptop with an i3 or an i5. That's $150-250 more than the cheapest on the market, and you're getting something that will perform well and that will last.

But if you want to get a cheap, slow laptop that will open a webpage and that's about it, go for it. I won't, and I'll never recommend that anyone else does.

geek_suicidemonkey, Apr 10, 3:58 pm

I highly recommend if you buy a laptop look for something with an i3 minimum. If you can find something AMD based with an A10, it'll be pretty decent too.

Also don't always look at the speed of the CPU. You can have a dual core running at 3.2Ghz and sometimes it'll be worse than a quad core at 1.8Ghz.

Something like this would be good IMO

Really good specs and decent price! Nothing wrong with future proofing a bit.

geek_thusisperfectio, Mar 4, 5:01 pm

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