Help me decide which new laptop to buy.
March 8, 2006 10:28 AM   Subscribe

I need a new Windows laptop but it's been a couple of years since I did the whole research thing and now I'm completely out of the loop.

I've had a quick look and certain things are going right over my head ("Intel Core Duo and Core Solo processors"?). The last time I looked Centrino was still a buzzword. The last laptop I owned was a Sony A series with a lovely 1900x1200(ish) screen. I'd like to try to keep the res but go down a notch in overall size (that laptop was very big). I owned a Samsung which I liked but somehow it was never as robust or reliable as a Sony.

Price isn't really an issue. I will be using it with Photoshop and Painter, on the road, for illustration and design projects. Any help you can offer with getting to grips with the current tech would be greatly appreciated, as would suggestions for particular machines. I'm also keen to know if any particular models are about to be superceded (aren't they always?)

Oh, and I'm sorry, but it has to be Windows. (I'll 'switch' next time, I promise!)
posted by Glum to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Jesus. Christ. http://ask.metafilter.com/mefi/32878
posted by fourstar at 10:37 AM on March 8, 2006


I have used windows laptops and mac laptops. I primarily use a pc desktop. If money is truly no object, then switch now. The Apple laptops are just so much better than windows, especially for Photpshop and design tools. Really. No question.
posted by beelzbubba at 10:49 AM on March 8, 2006


Fourstar: thanks for the abuse, er I mean link, but I did actually see that. I was looking for a little more detail with regards current tech (i.e. what sort of processors to expect - my example was pertinent)
posted by Glum at 10:55 AM on March 8, 2006


in that case:

Jesus. Christ. http://ask.metafilter.com/mefi/33498
posted by heeeraldo at 11:04 AM on March 8, 2006


Now that's more like it - heeeraldo, your blasphemy was justified!
posted by Glum at 11:58 AM on March 8, 2006


I am a long-time Mac user and if you're buying a portable computer for graphic design work, it should be a Windows PC right now. You don't want one of the old Powerbook G4 machines; they're slow. You don't want one of the new MacBook Pro machines, as the Adobe apps are not yet Intel-native on Macintosh. You definitely want a PC. You might want to look at a tablet, in fact -- see if you can get one that offers Alias Sketchbook in its software bundle or as a low-cost upgrade. (It's like $200 by itself but if you buy it with a Motion Computing tablet, for example, it's about $40.) Gateway's convertible tablet, which you may have seen advertised on TV, is actually a pretty nice machine.

FWIW, here's the lowdown on the new gibberish. Core is basically the name for the successor to the Pentium M. Core Solo = one CPU. Core Duo = two CPUs. Yes, you can get portabes with two CPUs now. You might like that. (I believe the second CPU can be disabled when you're on battery.)
posted by kindall at 12:00 PM on March 8, 2006


Centrino is still a buzz word, it just means Pentium M + built in wireless.
posted by Mitheral at 1:33 PM on March 8, 2006


actually, it means a company puts Pentium M + Intel Motherboard + Intel Wireless card in their laptops and intel gives them marketing money.

also, I should've appended a ;) to my previous posts.
posted by heeeraldo at 3:15 PM on March 8, 2006


The Core Duo doesn't actually have two processors, just two cores in one chip. Regardless, both the new MacBook Pro and regular Windows laptops have the chip and it's a very good choice.

It's the first chip to use the new 65 nanometer process (as opposed to the older 90nm processors). This lets it achieve some very impressive speeds while keeping the power usage low (so your battery will last a long time).

Both Dell and Lenovo (ThinkPad) have a Core Duo laptop. I would suggest the ThinkPad.
posted by sirsteven at 9:04 PM on March 8, 2006


The Core Duo doesn't actually have two processors, just two cores in one chip.

Which is a distinction without a difference from a user standpoint. Actually it's better than having two separate processors because they can share the on-die cache this way.
posted by kindall at 7:33 AM on March 9, 2006


You might want to check out the Notebook forum at DSL/Broadband Reports.

I've found some decent information there.
posted by Jim T at 10:40 AM on March 9, 2006


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