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Help me choose a productive laptop

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by consultant2b, Jan 2, 2014.

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  1. consultant2b

    consultant2b Thread Starter

    Apr 19, 2011

    I am looking to buy a new laptop that would would work without freezing. My usage mainly includes: working with lots of excel & word files simultaneously (10-15 at a time) and I normally have 10+ chrome tabs open at any given time. I am also a huge fan of chrome apps and have quite of these installed (most of them for my work). I am however, not at all into games and that's not a priority for me at all.

    My current laptop which I have had for 2 yrs now turned out to be a bit of a disappointment, as it constantly freezes with the above workload. It is an Acer Aspire S3 with Intel® Core™ i5-2467M Processor with 4GB RAM (066/1333). Before this I had a Compaq Presario CQ71 with Pentium(R) Dual-Core CPU T4200 @ 2.00GHz, which was the best machine I have bought till date. It never-ever froze and could easily handle my workload. It amazes, me how despite being so much older and lower specs, it trumps the acer.

    I wonder if this could be because, the Acer is an ultrabook, while the compaq was a bulky laptop? This is a key question, as I want to stick to ultrabooks due to their light weight, but I wonder, if that compromises speeds, or in the last 2 years since my last purchase, the technology with ultrabooks has improved significantly?

    I would appreciate suggestions on what aspects of the specs I should focus most on and any good suggestions that meet the following criteria:
    * 8 GB Ram (Preferably 16GB)
    * Processor: Would I benefit from i7 or would i5 suffice? I believe for my work this is the most crucial component? Should I go for quad-core? Any suggestions on specific models?

    Budget: I haven't thought too much about this but I am considering going up to $1200 if it would give me the performance boost that I badly need as my productivity is currently being hampered very badly.

    Screen Size: 13-14inch (Lightweight-Portable) - I am very keen on an convertable ultrabook, i.e. the ones that can be rolled around to look like a tablet, although I wonder if this would effect performance as the last time I checked, there were hardly any options with this in the market?

    Please bear in mind, I am in China currently and despite the fact that China makes a lot of the latest models, the local market can be a bit behind in terms of the latest models. I remember 2 years ago, when I bought my current laptop, there was pretty much nothing available with 8GB ram.

    I would really appreciate any suggestions.
  2. etaf

    etaf Moderator

    Oct 2, 2003
    First Name:
    i have a fuji i5 with 6gb and have usually about 20 chrome tabs open and 10 excel spreadsheets (although small and not often using array or volatile formulas) , email, sometimes the odd video is played and it copes well

    the i5 process comes in various flavours and some are slower in performance than an i3

    i use this comparison to compare cpu

    your cpus
    Intel Core i5-2467M @ 1.60GHz 2347 646
    Pentium Dual-Core T4200 @ 2.00GHz 1146 1092

    The first number the higher is better, 2nd number lower is better
    so the i5 you had was better than previous machine

    Also the CPU is often slowed down to save power on battery use - so you may want to review your power option settings

    what operating system are you using (old compaq v new acer) ?

    i dont know the china market, perhaps you could post a few models you are considering

    you will pretty much be limited to windows 8 machines, some companies business machines are still provided with windows 7 - Dell for example

    my i5 is a
    Intel Core i5-2450M @ 2.50GHz 3448 428

    as you can see that has a much higher spec than your i5
    so the cpu comparison can be useful

    you could also use task manager
    control+alt+delete keys
    look at performance and see if you are using the max memory or the cpus running at 100% - see where the bottle neck maybe
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