Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Laptop Bleg

I'm in the market for two laptops.

The first is for the Virtual Stepdaughter who is going back to grad school to get her masters in education. Her current Dell laptop is a 2005 vintage from her freshman year in college. It is more than a bit outdated.

Her non-negotiables are built-in DVD/CD-Rom, Intel (or AMD) based, and decent battery life. She will need to carry it to class sometimes so weight is a major secondary consideration. While her classes will meet only one day a week in person, she'll have additional work to do through Blackboard and/or WebCT.

My consideration on this laptop is that it not cost more than $600 or so.

The second laptop is for me. I'm in the market for an ultrabook or something light, thin, and MacBook Air-like. I'm torn between the MacBook Air and an Intel Windows 7 based ultrabook. I plan to use it for blogging from the road and the like. Battery-life and weight are my major considerations. I'd like it to be under 4 pounds. I don't have any preference between a solid-state drive vs. a more traditional harddrive.

I can get employee discounts on HP and Dell through work and because I'm adjunct faculty at a local university I'm eligible for higher ed pricing.

My goal is to purchase these during North Carolina's tax-free weekend of August 3-5.

Thanks for any and all suggestions.


  1. any HP or Dell should suit the first request. Dell Latitudes tend to be pretty durable. expect to have the motherboard replaced under warranty with any Dell, however.

    for the second request, just how much functionality do you need or want? how large would you like it to be? what kind of price tag are we talking about here? there are a LOT of options out there that could fill your needs.

  2. @Laura: My company provides me with a Dell Latitude E4300 and it has been a solid performer.

    Price of the laptop for me would be in the $1000-1200 range. Long battery life and light are my major criterias. I won't be doing much more than browsing, blogging, and doing some graphics on photos (cleanup and resizing).

  3. Well I have an aluminum body macbook and I love it.

    I've handled the macbook air and it is one slick machine.

  4. Take a wander over to PCMAG and check out their reviews - especially editors choices. Been using them for years and never got bad advice.

  5. They're a commodity and you'll get exactly what you pay for. Macs cost more, you're worth it and you'll thank yourself.
    Disclaimer: I am an Apple shareholder and am an Apple Certified Technician.

  6. I have the MacBook Air and I am really happy with it. I do not miss the CD drive. As for the step daughter really any standard laptop will work. Since you have the discounts clearly choose HP or Dell. Remember Best Buy will match the discounted price if you bring in proof. I got the Boeing employees discount on my Apple that way.