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Looking To Buy A Laptop.  
User currently offlineFighterPilot From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 1418 posts, RR: 22
Posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1096 times:

So I'm looking to buy a laptop. I've always used desktop computers but I'm looking for something to bring with me on the go. My main use would probably be for Music and Photos. I'm looking at getting into DJ'ing using programs like Traktor or PCDJ to DJ on the go. Also as I travel I'd like to be able to edit photos and post them/upload them here on the go. I'd like to keep the price range under $1000 CAD, but could maybe squeak $1500 CAD.

Any help would be appreciated.

Cal   


*Insert Sound Of GE90 Spooling Up Here*
11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJetsGo From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3086 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1083 times:

I swear I'm not a Mac fanboy, I don't even own a Mac. But, my brother did just get the 13 inch MacBook Air and the portability, of it just can't be beat. It also has a much higher build quality than similar products from HP, Dell, ect. Not sure about the price in CAD though. Given what you are asking for out of your laptop though, I can't stress enough how important it is to make sure you have enough RAM.


Marine Corps Aviation, The Last To Let You Down!
User currently offlinegeezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1062 times:

You're going to freak out when I say this, but...................

A few months ago, my fiance' was wanting to get a new laptop to replace the little el cheapo Acer she had that just "gave up"

Anyway, it seems she watches QVC now and then, and they sell a TON of computers; so a day or so later she really started checking them out, plus checking prices all over; she ended up getting a Dell 17 inch ( great big thing ) Thing has 500 GB HD, 4 GB Ram, dual core processor ( forget the exact specs, but pretty decent ) battery holds up great, although it doesn't get out of the house that much. And the price was very competitive, something just under $1000.

Here's something else to think about; no one device is good at everything. or is suitable for everything; as she is a very avid reader, she decided she wanted a new Kindle Fire for her birthday; we happened to be returning home from a Thanksgiving visit, and I stopped off in Champagne, Ill at a big Best Buy to pick up a new keyboard for my iMac; when we went in, they had the new Kindles and we got to looking at the thing; ( they sell for $200; ) The guy says, "you can get it for $100, if you buy a Verizon portable hot spot ($50), and sign a 24 month contract for 3G /4G service; We bought the Kindle, had two weeks to decide on whether to keep the hot spot; she did a lot of research, tried the thing out in town, decided to keep the hot spot. Now.......beforehand, I had zero knowledge about any of this; I'm always wondering, why people want to read books on a electronic gadget; I now know. Before the Kindle, she ALWAYS took a laptop when she flies, as she goes non-rev, standby; you really need to have access to the Airline's reservation computer, to check flights, seats available, etc. She has that; but the laptop is BIG; (which is GREAT at home on the couch, not so great on Airplanes, airports. The Kindle does it ALL ! And it's half the size of an iPad, and cost $100 !

She hasn't put the thing down since I bought it ! Uses it for everything; in town, she gets a 4G signal, you can do stuff in seconds that takes minutes to hours with 3G or wi-fi ( which is what the Kindle operates on without the hot spot )

As I mentioned, sll of this electronic stuff has different appeal to different users, all depending on what you need it for;
Myself, I'm something of an artist; I have a bunch of my work on a website; I can email someone a link, they can be looking at my stuff in seconds; it looks absolutely great on the little kindle ! Now that I know about all this, instead of getting a laptop, I'm going to get an iPad, only because of the large screen size. People don't realize it, but laptops are great, but they also put you in kind of a bind when you're "on the go"...........you have to concentrate on protecting this valuable piece of gear; the Kindle you can carry in your pocket ( if you have on pants with "cargo" pockets ! ) No one even knows you have anything they can steal.

In any case..........there is one heck of a lot of "stuff" out there, and there is probably more stuff "needing a buyer" than there is buyers with bucks...........so you can definitely find some DEALS, ( if you look hard enough )

Lots of Luck !

Charley



Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
User currently offlineALTF4 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1214 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1016 times:

Check out the new "ultrabooks" that are coming out, which Intel is promoting quite a bit. Along the lines of a MacBook Air, but cheaper and typically better specs. I got the Asus Zenbook, which is pretty nice (screen is higher resolution than most, but it is a crappy screen color-wise). If you can wait for CES, there will be a crap load of new products released/announced then and you can take your picking from that.

The ultrabooks are very light, thin, great battery life, typically very fast with a solid-state drive, and all-around excellent for portable use.

I'm in the same boat as you; I have a desktop I use whenever I am home but also have the ultrabook for on the go.

Due to my job I have 5 or 6 other computers as well, but I mainly use the desktop and the ultrabook.

Check them out... they're pretty cool.



The above post is my opinion. Don't like it? Don't read it.
User currently offlineBN747 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5620 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 992 times:

Since this is for 'on the go'...

Be patient and GET TWO used laptops, one for home and one for travel (because the latter is either gonna get damaged or stolen - count on it). And if the used market where you are is as thriving as it here in SoCal area, even small places like San Luis or Santa Barbara have deals to be found - on Craigslist. That's if you can get over 'having to have 'something new'..

MacBooks and MacBook Pros are being had for 500 or less. Sure, you can back up your files and sort of put everything back together after a theft..but nothing beats reaching and grabbing your spare which will be already up to speed as if nothing occurred in the 1st place. And all the contents in their place and the proper order.

Do not get a MacBook AIr - no matter what, the interface capabilities leave a lot to be desired.
This is a huge pain for interface and networking with a tower or desktop unit. Plus it'll make you cloning of computers a cinch and done in a flash. If you're gonna expand on the task you're embarking on..the interface advantage of various ports become a huge advantage.

No Firewire 400 or 800 ports nor an Optical drive which you'll need to rip music or burn CDs or DVDs. We still have reached a point where everyone is walking around with a spare flash drive in their pockets.

The best creative apps for the things you're looking for will be aimed at Mac usage.

When buying used, bring a CD and DVD to test the optical drive.

Test the internet access speed.

Launch about 5, 6 or 7 apps at the same time to see if the computer balks, chokes or beachballs it. See if it can handle the pressure. Put it to sleep and wake it up several times. The MAC profiler will tell you the battery life and status as well as the start up diagnosis evaluation. If passes this, it's most likely a great machine.


Good luck which ever way you go.

BN747



"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
User currently offlineklaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (2 years 12 months 19 hours ago) and read 951 times:

Quoting BN747 (Reply 4):
Do not get a MacBook AIr - no matter what, the interface capabilities leave a lot to be desired.

Not any more, really. The addition of Thunderbolt has made it more expandable than any existing non-Mac portable, actually.

Much of that expandability is currently visible with the Thunderbolt Display, which is effectively a high-Performance docking station built into a monitor (which also supplies and charges the MacBook). External PCIe expansion boxes and other peripherals are either already available or expected.

In effect the MacBook Air is an ultraportable and a pretty capable desktop machine at the same time if you use the Thunderbolt Display. Pretty cool, actually.

Apple - Thunderbolt Display - More pixels and more possibilities.
Apple - Thunderbolt: Next-generation high-speed I/O technology.

Intel has just announced the start of Thunderbolt release for PC manufacturers as well in April (as co-developer of Thunderbolt, Apple had exclusivity for a year); And it is expected that Intel will eventually build Thunderbolt right into their CPUs or chipsets. So it is to be expected that it will become standard, effectively making the big old tower enclosures with their large PCIe slots largely redundant.


In the short term a machine with more cheaper-to-use USB ports but without the capabilities of Thunderbolt will be cheaper. But also much more limited now and especially down the road.

(USB3 is still in its infancy – there is no actually specification-compliant USB3 port or device in existence yet, so the preproduction stuff that's already out there may or may not work reliably or compatibly. Intel is expected to provide the first proper USB3 ports next year, at which point Apple is also expected to start using them.)


One thing to look out for in a notebook computer is definitely screen real estate and resolution. I'm not aware of any notebook manufacturer apart from Apple who is still using 16:10 format displays (only the 11" MacBook Air has a 16:9 display like effectively all PC notebooks). Except when you're just watching movies all the time, the vertical resolution will have a big impact on how much you can see at a time, how much scrolling you need and how well the machine works for anything text-related (such as the web).

Especially in the compact formats the MacBook Air 13" is pretty unique with its 16:10 format and its 1440*900 resolution (the MacBook Pro 13" still has a lower-resolution display – I wouldn't recommend that any more before it gets its upgrade).

16:9 displays have only one redeeming(?) quality: They are cheaper. That's it. They provide a false appearance by having the same nominal diagonals while actually having a smaller screen area: A 16:9 13" is smaller than a 16:10 13". In the smaller sizes they are much worse for everything besides watching widescreen movies, but the low price has apparently been the overriding reason why the PC manufacturers have standardized on them already.


User currently offlineBN747 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5620 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (2 years 12 months 18 hours ago) and read 933 times:

Quoting klaus (Reply 5):



Thunderbolt supercedes Firewire for sure, but the problem is that's great for display purposes ( great for Final Cut Pro editing etc), but if you pay attention to the OPs more pressing concerns..music & DJ'ing...that's not gonna help him much having use of a handy optical drive is a necessity for music rips if you're on the go often and are in foreign lands - you don't want to be carting around a separate portable DVD drive. If he wants burn a music sample on the fly to someone who wants a mix or his beats... the Air is pointless. Many places outside the western world still rely heavily on CD DVD usage. If he doesn't venture to any such regions, then - no problem. But music cuts both ways, say he's in Stockholm, the taxi driver is playing mad mix, Fighterpilot wants a copy, the driver says his friend got him the copy and he has no idea who it is (and Shazam is great, but I've found multiple instances where Shazam bombed. With a Macbook, he can pop the CD in - rip it and he has all the tracks in 1 minute or less - long before the taxi ride is over. With a MacBook Air..he can forget about it.

Thunderbolt is just emerging, everything else has to catch up to it, that's why buying used now makes sense economically speaking (as he mentioned as a concern) because further down road when Thunderbolt is ubiquitous... he'll easily be able to upgrade and it will be far cheaper than today. Also, loss or theft of a new machine with all your data...nothing hurts more.

BN747



"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
User currently offlineklaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 822 times:

Quoting BN747 (Reply 6):
Thunderbolt supercedes Firewire for sure, but the problem is that's great for display purposes ( great for Final Cut Pro editing etc), but if you pay attention to the OPs more pressing concerns..music & DJ'ing...that's not gonna help him much having use of a handy optical drive is a necessity for music rips if you're on the go often and are in foreign lands - you don't want to be carting around a separate portable DVD drive.
Quoting BN747 (Reply 6):
With a MacBook Air..he can forget about it.

No, that is the least of anyone's problems, really. There's an external optical drive for the MacBook Air in about the size of a CD case (with no need for an extra power supply) – if you had trouble "carting" that around, you certainly would be overtaxed by two or three CDs just as well.

No, that is not really a decisive point even for a specialized use like that.

It is effectively a question of what the "sweet spot" is for your particular habits and requirements; And always having to lug around a much bigger and heavier machine just because every once in a while you might actually need an optical drive can be the bigger drawback just as well.

In the end it is a matter of cost, storage capacity, performance, portability, build quality, durability, resale value and a bunch of others. And every user will have their own individual set of priorities, leading to very different results with comparable legitimacy.

Quoting BN747 (Reply 6):
Thunderbolt is just emerging, everything else has to catch up to it, that's why buying used now makes sense economically speaking (as he mentioned as a concern) because further down road when Thunderbolt is ubiquitous... he'll easily be able to upgrade and it will be far cheaper than today. Also, loss or theft of a new machine with all your data...nothing hurts more.

Oh, yes: Having to use a crappy disposable machine every day for years and years would hurt me a lot more!

I have never, ever had any device stolen from me, so that is not a primary concern for me (it could absolutely happen tomorrow – that would still leave the total average damage at a very low level overall, just no longer at exactly zero).

If you feel you have a strongly elevated risk of theft, loss or damage, you might indeed choose to get cheap, disposable products where you could live with losing one as long as the available product quality is still bearable. You'll just usually have to live with rather serious compromises on pretty much every other criterion for that.

I personally only buy one of any device, I spend as much on it as it takes to get the quality that I enjoy using afterwards (usually every day for many years) and I take good care of them to make them last.

My data is far more valuable than the hardware it's stored on anyway – data backups are much more critical for me than having redundant hardware directly at hand (getting a hardware replacement when in need is relatively quick and simple - fully and quickly restoring the data is also key to that).

Both approaches are viable and legitimate; As is anything in between. It just depends on what the circumstances, requirements and preferences are.


User currently offlineBN747 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5620 posts, RR: 51
Reply 8, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 814 times:

Quoting klaus (Reply 7):
Quoting BN747 (Reply 6):
Thunderbolt is just emerging, everything else has to catch up to it, that's why buying used now makes sense economically speaking (as he mentioned as a concern) because further down road when Thunderbolt is ubiquitous... he'll easily be able to upgrade and it will be far cheaper than today. Also, loss or theft of a new machine with all your data...nothing hurts more.

Oh, yes: Having to use a crappy disposable machine every day for years and years would hurt me a lot more!

I have never, ever had any device stolen from me, so that is not a primary concern for me (it could absolutely happen tomorrow – that would still leave the total average damage at a very low level overall, just no longer at exactly zero).

If you feel you have a strongly elevated risk of theft, loss or damage, you might indeed choose to get cheap, disposable products where you could live with losing one as long as the available product quality is still bearable. You'll just usually have to live with rather serious compromises on pretty much every other criterion for that.

I personally only buy one of any device, I spend as much on it as it takes to get the quality that I enjoy using afterwards (usually every day for many years) and I take good care of them to make them last.

In all that, I don't hear anything about you traveling quite frequently where the possibility of theft, loss or damage increases exponentially!

You don't buy an a brand new Macbook Air or a quad-core i5 or i7 for photo work and DJ mixing... that's like American Eagle buying the new 787 for it's Abilene-El Paso route - it's over kill extraordinaire..

You buy those machines for heavy in-deph graphics/design and HD film video task. Anything short of that is a total waste of computer - and money.

We 'know' what you would do - but the man has expressed budgetary concerns as well as his intended usage.

Rail against a 3 year old Mac all you want, but too many people already know it's not your ordinary 3 yo computer, it holds decent value even 5-6 years later whereas the comparable Dell or any PC laptop, you have to practically give it away after 3 or 4 years. Netbooks? I'd be surprised if that still works.

Quoting klaus (Reply 7):
My data is far more valuable than the hardware it's stored on anyway – data backups are much more critical for me than having redundant hardware directly at hand (getting a hardware replacement when in need is relatively quick and simple - fully and quickly restoring the data is also key to that).

Which again sounds like you're very unfamiliar with what DJ'ing is all about. It's about portability and options. Your suggestion of porting that silly additional optical drive flies against everything about 'having one less item to remember to pack'. Most people on the move today think in those terms, and an added device like that is seen as archaic and unnecessary when the options are so many.

But it sounds like you're more up for winning an argument based on 'your preferences' and choices vs listening to the OPs needs, considerations and intentions. I've been around too many DJ & as many and in DJ booths to appreciate the need for flexibility on multiple fronts...but go ahead, knock yourself out with your winning suggestion.

But I'd buy new in his case - when I could 'afford to lose it without breaking a sweat' and feel the need 'to impress' over being practical.

BN747



"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
User currently offlineklaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 797 times:

Quoting BN747 (Reply 8):
In all that, I don't hear anything about you traveling quite frequently where the possibility of theft, loss or damage increases exponentially!

I don't – and it is an example of how people's needs and circumstances can differ, which is my whole point.

Quoting BN747 (Reply 8):
Rail against a 3 year old Mac all you want,

Nonsense. I'm not "railing" against anything, as anyone can see above. Contrary to you I'm simply not trying to ram through one specific fits-all solution. My whole point is that it depends on quite a few things what the best solution can be.

Quoting BN747 (Reply 8):
Which again sounds like you're very unfamiliar with what DJ'ing is all about. It's about portability and options. Your suggestion of porting that silly additional optical drive flies against everything about 'having one less item to remember to pack'. Most people on the move today think in those terms, and an added device like that is seen as archaic and unnecessary when the options are so many.

There's always a tradeoff involved.

For some people the advantage of having a much lighter, more compact and with its SSD also more robust computer is more important than the optical drive being external. Among other things, the frequency of actually using it will obviously play a role there, the possible impression of a computer being to heavy or to unwieldy plays another.

For others the bigger weight and (relative) bulk of an all-inclusive machine with everything built in is preferable for having fewer items to pack, also possibly choosing the tradeoff with the more fragile, heavier but more spacious mechanical harddisk if their data might just happen to exceed the space on the SSD.

When we're talking about the MacBook Air vs. the MacBook Pro, the Air also has a significantly higher screen resolution at this transitional time (actually in the 13" Air the same Resolution as the MacBook Pro 15"), which can be important for some of the software one intends to use.

What's your problem with more than one option being available for people to choose what they might prefer?

It is obvious that different people even under the same circumstances happen to choose all kinds of different options; Not everyone has the same preferences I or you do.

That is really just my whole point.

Quoting BN747 (Reply 8):
But it sounds like you're more up for winning an argument based on 'your preferences' and choices vs listening to the OPs needs, considerations and intentions. I've been around too many DJ & as many and in DJ booths to appreciate the need for flexibility on multiple fronts...but go ahead, knock yourself out with your winning suggestion.

None of what you're claiming here has even the remotest connection to my actual posts.

I was only responding to a few limiting claims being made above, pointing out that more viable options do in fact exist to choose from. I have nowhere advocated any of those as "the" best or only solution – exactly the opposite, in fact: There's a whole range of different options, of course including PCs which I would rarely recommend but which may in fact be the best choice for certain requirements.

Quoting BN747 (Reply 8):
But I'd buy new in his case - when I could 'afford to lose it without breaking a sweat' and feel the need 'to impress' over being practical.

Different people can have very diverse ideas about what's "practical" for their own lives and what's not.

In most cases personal judment of other people based just on one's own habits, preferences and extrapolations is usually wrong.


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8483 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 740 times:

I use a 13" MacBook Pro daily and the wife has an original Air. If you don't need to have an optical drive with you all the time then I recommend the Air as it is easier to carry around. Otherwise the Pro. You don't need to get the most expensive version, nor the largest display. I used to lug around a 15" 7 pounder until I discovered I didn't need it. A 13" display is fine for these old eyes.

You might pay more for a Mac portable, but take a hard look at them - the main case part (including keyboard) is carved out of a single block of aluminum, as is the lid. It is so solid structurally that even the Air needs only 4 "feet" - compared to some ultra-light plastic boxes that need 6 to avoid flex.


User currently offlineAA777-200 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 323 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 726 times:

Id say go for a tablet computer! I got one for christmas and I havent even turned on my lap top since I got the Tablet out of the box!

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