Laptop Purchase Advice


Its time for me to buy another laptop and I need some advice.

My last two have both been HP. For the record I am far from thrilled with their performance and in no way loyal to the brand (that being said i could see myself buying another one). I am not interest in Apple.

This time, I want something smallish (easy to travel with but not ridiculously small like an Eee) with decent but no need for kick ass specs.

Basically I will use it for the following:

Microsoft Office
iTunes and daily phone uploads that come with podcasts
and any other business related shit

I will occasionally watch videos on it, but I do most of that and all downloading on my desktop at home.

I don’t play games

I’d also like these specs, plus the latest OS:
minimum 4Gb RAM
minimum 500 GB storage

I saw laptops at Costco ranging from 15K to 30K, and didn’t notice a huge difference in specs (why the price difference? and is this something I should consider, when the above is taken into account?)

Some didn’t have disk drives, and to me that seems really odd considering a lot of installations need the disk. Do I need a DVD drive in 2013?

Taking into account the above, and my desire to be economical, what should I buy and where should I look?

I welcome your input.


Acer and Asus make some decent ultrabooks that would fit in the high range of your budget and they have quick local service. Some of them have hard drives, some don’t, none of them have DVD drive included. You can get longer battery life on some of those ultrabooks. I didn’t find lack of a DVD drive on mine a problem, but I did have to make an image ISO file once to install some software. There may be a need to consider purchasing an external DVD drive but for me I have only had to do that work-around once.

Dell (inspiron) and Lenovo (thinkpad) are also decent options for business users and can come with global warranties. The Dell inspiron I have gets about 4 hours battery use which is a bit on the low scale these days (I only got Dell Inspiron 14, 11 inch screen, because the company I work for insisted on it…I grew to like it though as it was very solid and quick and light…only 1.4Kg but 500GB and powerful!). I’ve only used Windows 7 , Windows 8 users with touchscreens like the ultrabooks above might want to pitch in on that.

Some of the cheaper Asus models would fill your specs perfectly and they are less than NT15,000. Higher end models will have faster processors, and better screens. I paid 31,000 for an ASUS zen ultrabook because it had some extra features that make it better for working on all day and also travelling. HD screen, decent built in speakers, backlit keyboard, more responsive touchpad, faster processor, wider screen and keyboard, that sort of thing.

But for your needs I would go for something half that price.

DVD external players are only around NT1000 I think.

thanks guys

I took a look at the newer Asus ultrabooks (my friend had a touchscreen one with WIN 8) and was impressed. no opinion on Acer.

I have an older Lenovo, but IMO, the newer models aren’t as good, and their quality is not as consistent as before (IME). I still like their thinkpad line in general. Their bloatware is much more tolerable (and even useful) than the others.

Dell and HP is overpriced IMO; OK if your company is paying for it I guess, but otherwise, I would not buy them personally.

I am impressed by Samsung’s entrance into the laptop arena a few years ago, and have a Samsung desktop replacement. Everything is good (except it needs a good fan, tho that may be more of an issue with the desktop replacement genre). Great specs (best vid card by far) at a competitive price in its class. Samsung and LG electronics are just very very good these days - it’s no wonder they are dominating in many consumer electronics.

FYI, I worked for a contract manufacturer that made computers for all of these guys, so there’s certain brands I avoid.

I would keep the list of Ubuntu certified laptops in the back of my mind.