Raoul's China Saloon (V4.0 Beta)

The Bar Room => The Bar (ON-TOPIC) => Tech Talk, or If Yer So Damn Smart, What The Hell You Doin' Teachin' English? => Topic started by: Calach Pfeffer on February 15, 2009, 01:24:55 PM

Title: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 15, 2009, 01:24:55 PM
Well, my PC is doing the same silly ass thing it did this time last year--some ridiculous hard page fault thing which every minute or so halts everything to search for something somewhere or something, somehow, somewhat... I dunno, it just freezes every minute or so.  Last year I "fixed" it by buying a new hard drive.  This year I'm thinking I might shoot this horse in the head and get something new.  And I might as well try to be a little more personally flighty, so... a laptop

What I use a 'pooter for:

Internet surfing, watching movies, playing music, word processing.
I use Firefox, uTorrent, DivX player, Media Monkey, and Word a lot, all of it on WinXP, and that's about it.
Sometimes I'll get a hankerin' for a first-person shooter game.  Currently, I like Halo.  I can live without it.

Pretty much anything with 2Gb RAM and a reasonable-sized screen would work, I think.  But it'd be nice to buy quality.

Something that can be bought in China, maybe.


Any suggestions?



oh, and, because of uTorrent and other stuff I'm prone to leaving computers on 24/7.  Not counting blackouts and last year's excursion to the computer market, this current donkey has been "up" for more or less two years straight.  Can laptops tolerate that kind of treatment?
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: cheekygal on February 15, 2009, 02:01:11 PM
Holymariner has HP 520 and it is light and quite good. It is capable of whatever you said above. It is also quite affordable (his model cost around 4,000rmb 1.5years ago but should be cheaper now - PM him if you want for details).
I have DELL and I am starting to despise it. Don't buy DELL.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Con ate dog on February 15, 2009, 02:24:48 PM
Go with an Apple.  Yes, you'll pay a lot more, but they don't bug up, especially when you go online.  I once lost 6 months of writing because of a virus.  ananananan

Computers are aggravating enough without system crashes and the like.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 15, 2009, 03:36:36 PM
So far I'm seeing Toshiba and Lenova recommended.  HP, and possibly Acer, too.  Some cranks and weirdos are talking Macbooks too.

(And Dell positively not recommended...:))

And I thought of things I need:
CD/DVD drive, USB ports, ports for a normal mouse and keyboard.  Probably some other things I'm forgetting.  Light weight would be nice.
I don't too much care about keyboards, except that they still work on the rare times I'd not be using an external.

Monitors?  I like 'em big, I like 'em wide.

And one big, big requirement is the ability to leave it turned on 24/7.

I've gotten used to that as a useful uTorrent thing (and scheduled virus scan thing too).  Years ago I had a crappy Toshiba that ran hot, so I'm really interested to know what the better lapidoptera fare left turned on.


And man, I am really starting to dislike the way my PC freezes... the hard drive doesn't spin, just everything stops while something mysterious goes on with the Memory\Pages Input/sec register spikes (says Perfmon).  I'm beginning to wonder if it's not winxp somehow bloating itself.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Lotus Eater on February 15, 2009, 04:20:14 PM
I'm happy with my MacBook.  Lightweight, does the stuff you ask for, bugfree (already mentioned) and if you need to you can use Bootcamp to toss Windows in as well.

Mate has an MSI (??) and has loaded both Windows and Mac operating systems on it. Tiny and useful if you take it to class.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Spaghetti on February 15, 2009, 04:49:55 PM
I recently went Acer Aspire. No complaints. It handles everything the original poster mentioned. I have it running at 3 GB ram (if you want to exploit tis 4GB potential you have to use Vista or one of those wacky OS's that aren't fucked by Microsoft). I use it for video work on the go, and as a portable home theater PC. I used to own an HP and thought it sucked. I used it as the original poster did, often leaving it on for days at a time. It barely lasted two years. It did use a reliable Hitachi hard drive, which I recycled once the laptop shit the bed. In fact, I still use that hard drive, externally, to this day. To their credit, HP's customer service in America were actually pretty good, and its external case was solid and well designed. I do prefer this Acer over it. Before HP swallowed them whole, I used to own a Compaq and it was pretty well designed yet didn't survive two years. The HP had suspiciously similar issues.

I've had such a good experience with my Acer that I'm thinking about grabbing another laptop to use it exclusively for production and design work so I can use the ACER for what I had originally intended: as a portable home theater PC. I may go for another ACER, but MSI impressed me as well. My only problem was that the local computer shops only carried MSIs with INTEL chips. I wanted AMD. The various shop keepers were being total cunts and said they couldn't get me the AMD supporting models, which is China speak for the fact they were too lazy and couldn't be fucked to make a buck. Good on them because I took my hard-earned cash elsewhere. That's how I ended up on my path towards the ACER.

I must say, I would get a different model, though. I didn't get it for wireless service and I rarely ever run it from the battery. Its portability was important, but not in the "work wherever you are," sense that many laptop users require.  I use it in a, "I can jack it into this YV, or that TV, or this projector, or that monitory" fashion. For internet work I simply plug it into the ADSL box. Having just arrived from holiday, I can say I wish I had wireless capabilities. I had some good time in a few airports and wished I had the ability to exploit their wifi, but did not have that ability.
 

I have wondered about the local brands. I heard Hassee had bad after-service, but they did have some decent pricing for loaded laptops, and their guts are not made from the bottom of the barrel hardware I would have thought. I haven't been able to get any solid opinions on Founder computers, either. No positive nor negative feedback, which is weird. My ability to read Hanzi is desperately poor, so I couldn't go online and chat with locals on BBS about the computer.

To be perfectly honest, I have never had a problem with Lenovo computers, and I actually like them, but I only use their desk tops. I have used some students' Lenovo laptops, and while they worked fine, I find them overpriced and pretty basic. Their desktops are at least explorer-friendly and I have juiced up, tinekered around with, and repaired a few for colleagues and students, unlike the proprietary screw shitboxes like Compaq.*

I hear Lenovo's after service is decent, but that is second-hand and not something I experienced myself.



* I ended up building my parents a new computer using some of the Compaq parts I salvaged (naemly: DVD drive, Western Digital hard drive, the ram and processor). It was hell on earth trying to get anything out of the machine because of the stupid, user-contemptuous, proprietary assembly of the machine.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: babala on February 15, 2009, 07:55:49 PM
I second buying an Acer Aspire. I have one and it works great (I just hate Vista llllllllll).
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: DaDan on February 15, 2009, 08:07:11 PM
I'd be sure it has built in wireless connection capabilities, it's great to just log on in the now Many places that provide free access...

I'll be lookin for a new laptop soon myself so am watchin this thread too  bfbfbfbfbf
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Raoul F. Duke on February 15, 2009, 10:32:03 PM
I'm currently using an Acer Aspire and am impressed with it. I'd recommend getting a real keyboard and mouse (cheap) for home use; I like resting my hands on the surface and it seems to cause the Acer Aspire some problems.

I'd be careful buying a Mac in China....make damn sure you have the repair/parts/software infrastructure available locally to support it. Dr. Con is conveniently forgetting the year of rectal bleeding he underwent trying to get his Mac repaired and connected in Suzhou, and Xian...well, Xian just has everything under the sun and lacks for absolutely nothing. This may not be true in the wilds of Hunan.
And...it'd be a Mac. You never seemed gay when I met you, but I suppose anything is possible. uuuuuuuuuu

However, if you want a computer that you can leave running 24 hours a day, I'd strongly consider a desktop instead. Desktops still seem more robust and better able to handle such punishment than laptops. You could still pick up an inexpensive laptop that could dock with your desktop, and handle the functions you really need the portability for.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: non-dave on February 16, 2009, 01:27:10 AM
I've got a 15.4" Dell AMD 64 Athlon X2 (running Ubuntu 64 8.10) and I really like it. Light, powerful and reliable. I often leave it on for days at a time and no heat or noise issues. Wireless, bluetooth, DVI, DVD Burner all work great and lots of USB slots and great sound. I bought it in a hurry and didn't get a built-in webcam, which I miss. About 4500 in Suning about 8 months ago.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 16, 2009, 04:26:50 AM
Hmmm, three votes for something I could call "The Ass Pyre".  I can't not like it.

What turned you all onto the Aspires?  Which one?  How much?  Any issues?

And, do they have to come with Vista?  I could live without Vista.


In theory, I'm probably looking for a desktop-replacement laptop.  Not too much carrying around.  But able to fold up and move from house to house, or continent to continent every so often.  I know it's not a really good reason for choosing laptop over desktop, but I'm not particularly taking advantage of having a desktop--not building it up in any way, not accessorizing, it's just a big oblong brick I have to transport some time in the future.  I could be convinced about notebooks too.

I could be convinced about ubuntu too. 
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: adamsmith on February 16, 2009, 08:28:06 AM
make it 4 for the aspire. I picked mine up this summer when i was back in Canada and I love it. I got the top of the line one with the 16:9 video display and home theatre system and it is great for watching dvd and downloaded movies. Unfortunately I could only get it with vista, but I have actually not had any problems with it and am getting used to it now.
I also have a tendency to leave mine on 24/7 as i am using it for other programs that take considerable time to run but i also purchased a cooling pad that just plugs into the usb port and have had no problems with heat build up.
And it sure does look purty ababababab

It will definately do everything that you need it to do and then some, although I have not really seen them in China for sale, and not sure about servicing it here. I just keep my fingers crossed that it doesn't need anything major.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: dragonsaver on February 16, 2009, 08:33:35 AM
I have/had an Acer bought it Canada.  When I had trouble I could NOT get it fixed in China even though I bought an International warranty.

I like the laptop but was afraid of viruses which is what killed it the first time. It only took a little while to get fixed (back in Canada), but I left it in Canada and bought a new desk top instead.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Spaghetti on February 16, 2009, 11:09:15 AM
I agree about a USB cooling fan for under the laptop. That will give your notebook some much needed assistance and prolong its life. I have one jacked into my Aspire (4520 model number, for the record - and I purchased it in China).

There's a reason some folks call laptops, "lap warmers."

I second the recommendation for an external keyboard and mouse (and monitor) for home use.


Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: synthette58 on February 16, 2009, 11:38:56 AM
Got an IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad, Centrino Duo (3.86), 15" screen, wireless, fingerprint scanning, 160 gig, 2 gig RAM, XPpro etc. Couldn't be happier - cost me about $700 cdn - I priced them up on TaoBao(??) too.......about the same - but I got legit software, and an international warranty, direct from IBM Canada.
Lusted after a Toshiba though.......pity they only come with Vista (which I wouldn't touch with a 10' pole - been there, done that...)
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 16, 2009, 02:16:22 PM
I'm looking at:

A Confusing Variety of Ass Pyres (http://notebook.it168.com/BrandAcer.shtml)

and

A Bunch of Expensive Thinkpads (http://notebook.it168.com/BrandThinkpad.shtml)

A Thinkpad SL400 could be good, not counting having Vista installed. 
And as for the Aspires... I think I'd probably like one, but which one?!?!?!

What you got?


Also, anyone heard anything about the Lenovo 3000 G series?  They cheap.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: adamsmith on February 16, 2009, 02:54:48 PM
my aspire is the 6920 comes with a 320g hdd, bluetooth, 3g ddr2, nvidia geforce 9500 16" crystal screen, dual core intel 2g processor etc etc etc.... but if you buy it here you will probably get your choice of knock off windows systems
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: babala on February 16, 2009, 05:38:22 PM
My Apire is the 4520. It has less memory than some of others but I didn't need too much. My Acer did come with Vista but like adamsmith, I got used to it.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Spaghetti on February 17, 2009, 07:02:51 AM
My Apire is the 4520. It has less memory than some of others but I didn't need too much. My Acer did come with Vista but like adamsmith, I got used to it.


Babala and I have the same model.

For an extra 200RMB (or less) you can juice the thing to 3GB (4GB of RAM or more is beyond XP's exploitability, but if you go Vista it recognizes the full 4 and more. I won't go Vista, so the 3GB is acceptable on this laptop) and not dramatically over clock the processor. Add the cooling pad , which is basically a few fans, and you're good to go.

It is AMD Turion 64 X2 2GHz, came with 1 gig of RAM but I'm running it on 3GB of RAM, and it has four usb, an S-Video jack, one dial up jack, one dsl jack, a firewire jack, VGA jack, a SD memory slot, and NVIDIA GeForce 8400m G 128mb on board graphics.

It's a cut-and-run puppy for my home theater on-the-go needs, so you could go for one of their other models for HD support or serious gamer needs must be met, etc. You might have to if you want wireless ethernet capabilities. It has bluetooth, but I've never used it.

Really, the greatest thing about computer shopping in China is that you can work around things easily, such as getting that fly laptop that has fuck all RAM* by simply buying at the deal price and then having the shop flunkees soup it to the max - far below what the same thing would cost at sticker price with the amount of RAM you really want, but ended up putting in it anyway after the fact.

If you go for one of the newer, more frilly models you can still upgrade ram and the hard drive without fucking up the works and still do the same thing.

* a far too common practice, here in China
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Raoul F. Duke on February 17, 2009, 07:18:26 PM
I concur...
Rather than looking at specific brands, with help from Nolefan and others I made a list of exactly what I wanted, then presented that to computer shops and asked for a quote. The system I got was a real screamer...and I got it at a great price! bfbfbfbfbf
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Foscolo on February 18, 2009, 07:47:54 AM
If you decide to go the Dell route (and I've been reasonably satisfied with one conking-out exception), it can be much better to order from their Business section. You don't have to be a business, the prices are straightforward rather than an endless carousel of so-called offers and fake discounts, and the computers are shipped without a lot of trial versions of applications you don't want cluttering up the hard drive.

I'm on my fourth Dell laptop, thrash them, and although one died after a few months (and was replaced under warranty), two are still in heavy-duty service with family members not needing up-to-date specs.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 18, 2009, 12:04:05 PM
Teh Intertubes, some website thereof, sey:

Intel Core 2 Duo CPU
2Gb DDR2 (533-667 Mhz) RAM
120GB 5400rpm HDD
DVD/CD-RW drive (external)
NVIDIA (GeForce 800) or ATI (Mobility Radeon) graphics card
14"-17" screen (with anti-glare coating)
Built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet
3 (or more) USB 2.0 ports
Integrated sound

Any comments?  Suggestions?  Comparisons?


All of that would outperform my current desktop (except I'm used to a 16" monitor).

Grunt!  That's what I prefer in a computer: grunt!  I don't do any specially grunt-intensive things on the 'poo, just the normal, everyday WinXP-based web surfing and word processing, but I like the idea that I don't wait for the computer to finish some operation, it waits for me to choose something and then goes "Grunt!' and it's done.  And I do like graphics stuff.  Also I get bursts of enthusiasm for different software sometimes, and work my way through products until I find something that works well, so I like a computer that can handle that kind of thing too.

I took a look at a Thinkpad SL400 today.  Could get it for maybe 5000.  Not sure it has grunt.  It looks little.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Spaghetti on February 18, 2009, 12:20:21 PM
Teh Intertubes, some website thereof, sey:

Intel Core 2 Duo CPU
2Gb DDR2 (533-667 Mhz) RAM
120GB 5400rpm HDD
DVD/CD-RW drive (external)
NVIDIA (GeForce 800) or ATI (Mobility Radeon) graphics card
14"-17" screen (with anti-glare coating)
Built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet
3 (or more) USB 2.0 ports
Integrated sound

Any comments?  Suggestions?  Comparisons?



Judging by what you want: those specs will suit your needs.

Want a bigger screen? Hanns-G* 28 inch 1080P LCD monitor - 1900RMB for home use will make up for that. Small screen on the fly, big screen when you're in the crib. A hard disk running 7200rpm would be ideal, but that can be added later. If it's a Hitachi hard disk, I am actually impressed at the 5400rpm drives they have. I own maybe half a dozen of them, use them externally and none have shit the bed.

The Lenovo desktop I'm using is Intel Duo Core and I notice the benefits of it when doing heavy multitasking. I prefer AMD chipsets, but I won't deny that I haven't been disappointed by Intel Duo Core chipsets. I am partial to NVIDIA graphics cards, but I am not a gamer. The heavy stuff I do with computers is video related, not game or heavy design based.

I think the specs are good for what you want, though. If you download a lot of movies, investing in external hard drives are worth it.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 18, 2009, 01:44:22 PM
Ooooo, now that I didn't think of.

Naive question: say you get yourself a regular 14" screen laptop and a monster LCD monitor, say 22"-28", for regular computing uses, like web surfing or typing reports, what does it look like?  Will something that'll look good on the 14" look chunky on a monster mons?  Do you need to choose higher screen resolutions and "compromise" system performance?

Currently I have an NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 card set to 1024x768x32, and that works fine for the ancient Philips 10754 monitor I suffer. 

(I think I remember it used to look fine on the 19" LCD BENQ I had too, and I wish I still had it, curse the moving company and my own foolhardy packing practices!)
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Spaghetti on February 18, 2009, 01:52:24 PM
Ooooo, now that I didn't think of.

Naive question: say you get yourself a regular 14" screen laptop and a monster LCD monitor, say 22"-28", for regular computing uses, like web surfing or typing reports, what does it look like?  Will something that'll look good on the 14" look chunky on a monster mons?  Do you need to choose higher screen resolutions and "compromise" system performance?

It all depends on the source material. For example, poorly encoded videos will have their faults amplified by the large resolution. It's like blowing up a photograph. If the photo was hi-res, then a blow-up will suffer less degradation, however, some of the videos downloaded might already have a high resolution and you will seemingly lose nothing on the larger screen. It's all about the original source of the image.

My Acer and the NVIDIA graphics card drivers allow me to choose how I set up the dual-monitor situation. I could do an extended desktop, or have identical displays on the laptop and external monitor, or it offers me the choice to keep the laptop screen as-is and to readjust resolution on the other screen to fully exploit its 1080P resolution.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 18, 2009, 06:04:46 PM
Well, turds!

there I was, all set to put my grubby mitts on a Lenonvo Thinkpad SL400 (and maybe a bigger LCD monitor for fun), only I discovered there are (at least) two flavours, the one with the 1.8GHz Intel Dual 2 Core and the one with the 2.26 GHz Dual 2 Core, and...

if you go by http://product.it168.com/ pricing, it looks like the 1.8GHz variety in China costs about what the 2.26GHz one should cost in the US if US dollars exchanged directly for RMB.  Both about 5000RMB.

That don't seem right.

And http://product.it168.com is showing the 2.26GHz variety for 8999RMB.

And both of them have integrated graphics, not separate cards.

So, screw that, I guess. 

Buyer research is a pain in the ass.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Lotus Eater on February 18, 2009, 09:46:34 PM
Just walk around the electronics market and bargain!
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Spaghetti on February 19, 2009, 03:52:46 AM
Just walk around the electronics market and bargain!


Yup, and maybe walk away from a Lenovo notebook. Asus, Acer, MSI: good reps too, and you can probably do better.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 19, 2009, 04:03:28 AM
Did some of that yesterday.  Gotta love a fast-talking salesman who just got woken up by the arm-touching girl assistant.

I shall return to the fray today or tomorrow.  Because it turns out http://product.it168.com/ has wildly varying pricing, and buying location, for these machines, and some of them look like the right price.  To wit:

SL400, 2Ghz+GeForce 9300M @ 6500 yuan (http://64.233.189.132/translate_c?hl=en&sl=zh-CN&tl=en&u=http://product.it168.com/detail/doc/196700/index.shtml&usg=ALkJrhhSq7S11nbjY7RmUlJffHX_84EXNQ)
SL400, 2Ghz+GeForce 9300M @ 5500 yuan. (http://64.233.189.132/translate_c?hl=en&sl=zh-CN&tl=en&u=http://product.it168.com/detail/doc/196697/index.shtml&usg=ALkJrhiq4AmmgeuAVscqyoDuy-APtqSwhQ)
SL500, 2GHz+GeForce 9300M @ 7100 yuan. (http://64.233.189.132/translate_c?hl=en&sl=zh-CN&tl=en&u=http://product.it168.com/detail/doc/196718/index.shtml&usg=ALkJrhi3cI01kx2JWlaWph1Spbj74JRD5A)
SL500, 2GHz+GeForce 9300M @ 5700 yuan. (http://64.233.189.132/translate_c?hl=en&sl=zh-CN&tl=en&u=http://product.it168.com/detail/doc/192275/index.shtml&usg=ALkJrhjOdCHRh8PBUv4Db--iOEPo3uyIyw)

Bargaining... not my strong point... I prefer research, getting to know the variables, and then just buy the sucker.

I shall go see the guy again tomorrow perhaps.


Today... hmmm... really?  Acer, ASUS and MSI?  I'll take a look.

The SL400 Thinkpad gets a nice looking review. (http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/lenovo-thinkpad-sl400/4505-3121_7-33178381.html?tag=mncol;lst)
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Spaghetti on February 19, 2009, 04:09:23 AM
You seem hellbent on a Lenovo notebook. Caveat emptor.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 19, 2009, 04:25:17 AM
Hellbent on finding a baseline.  So far the SL400 serves.  I'll use it to comparison shop.

I have kept Acer in mind, but there's so many of the damn things (http://www.laptopreviewsonline.com/AcerLaptop/AcerAspire/viewall.php) that none of them work easily as a baseline.

I shall investigate more today.



And secretly I thought some of the Aspires could be ugly--what's up with the white interior?!



AAARGH!   I'm going about this all wrong!

Next phase: print out some specifications and let the computer guy do the thinking.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Stil on February 21, 2009, 05:55:35 AM
Don't forget to treat yourself to a new chair while you're at it.

http://tinyurl.com/d3h46y
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 23, 2009, 12:04:53 PM
Thanks ya'll for the input, and as of yesterday the purchasing has begun.

Yesterday:  one 19" Hanns.G monitor (HG191) -- 800 yuan.
(Thanks Spag for saying "Hanns G")

And thanks to everyone for saying Dell and Aspire.  I did check them out as a way of getting ideas and prices.  It turns out however I really was hellbent on a Thinkpad.  Today I ordered an SL500.  T'is thus:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo (specifically, a P7370)
RAM: 2Gb
HDD: 250Gb SATA 5400rpm (dunno the brand, but it's not special)
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS (256Mb)
Screen: 15" TFT LCD
Network: something built in, with Wi-fi and Ethernet doodads
DVD: a player/burner of some description
OS: WinXP (English, pirated--just say no to Vista)

Beijing ticket price would be 7100.  I'll be coughing up 7650.  (There's a handful of overpriced non-essentials in there, like a mouse and a carry bag n stuff, and without them the guy was saying 7250, which it seems is ticket+the extra Gig of RAM.)  In any case, I'm a sap and the price is what it is.  My impression is a really hard bargainer might have gone 6800 or less. 

You can get SL500s with crappy processors and integrated graphics for 5000.  I going for high end crappy. 


Passing on the chair option for myself.  Suggested some for the foreign affairs office.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 27, 2009, 11:09:27 AM
Well, shit.

Aside from the order taking a long time to make its way to the shop, it turns out SL3/4/500s have a defect of some kind.  Some (most?) of them are whisper quiet, and some of them have cooling fans that run loud, like supposedly uncomfortably loud as compared to other more or less standard laptops.

I have thus far placed a deposit of 100 yuan, so not great loss of moolah, but now I don't know what to do.  Research another device, or shoot craps and hope, if I get a dud, that Lenovo produces a BIOS fix...
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Spaghetti on February 27, 2009, 02:09:24 PM
Bummer. It's up to you. I'd rather lose 100rmb than 7K on a noisy laptop. BTW, investing in an external laptop fan to set whatever you get, atop of: recommended. It's been a blessing for my ACER. I wish I had one when I owned an HP. It might have lasted a few years longer.


Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 27, 2009, 02:37:46 PM
A small amount of research makes this look like a "thing" for Thinkpads since the T series.  To the point where people wrote fan control programs to get around the noise.

The noise issue is apparently created by the cooling fans having three speed settings, and fixed temperatures at which the different speed settings kick in, and--tada!--the settings apparently being too conservative, meaning higher than necessary fan speeds are invoked.  (That the settings are conservative is a guess by programmers because they don't know, but they can measure their computers, and they seem to have found consistencies...)

More than you ever wanted to know about Thinkpads, and also the reason why Lenovo has been so slow providing a solution for the Sls.  Some SLs apparently are running their fans at high speed constantly.

Got a question, so:

Hey!  Pengyous! 

How LOUD are your laptops?

I'm used to my desktop being loud.  I can and always have expected to hear it humming from across a quiet room.  I can tune it out.  And I feel relief at the end of the day when I turn it off.  What are your laptops like?
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Lotus Eater on February 27, 2009, 02:40:47 PM
My Apple Mac is silent.  But ... you all know the response to that!!  ahahahahah ahahahahah ahahahahah
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Spaghetti on February 27, 2009, 02:52:44 PM
My Apple Mac is silent.  But ... you all know the response to that!!  ahahahahah ahahahahah ahahahahah


?


My ACER is silent. I have to put my ear on it to hear the fans. The external cooling pad is audible, but not obtrusive.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 27, 2009, 03:33:52 PM
Laptops are meant to be silent?  That I didn't know.

Man, this bugs me.  I really hate making expensive mistakes.

When I first came to China I figured it'd be a good idea to bring a computer with me, so I bought a second-hand Toshiba Tecra.  Aside from being redundant (except for the first few weeks I was here) that sucker was LOUD!  It was a relief to turn it off.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on March 04, 2009, 01:45:03 PM
I purchased an SL400.  7100 yuan.  Specs as the above mentioned SL500 except 14" screen.

Thus far, it is silent.  First silent computer I've ever owned.  And this SL400 has a 14-day return and replace warranty, and that included noisy fan problems.  So I await with interest the dawning of day 15. 
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Lenny on March 05, 2009, 02:35:47 AM
As a computer person and an Electrical Engineer I recommend you to a complete and through Defragmentation of your hard drive. Also you need to clean and compact your registry.

I have found a good defragmentation software and a register cleaner that has helped my computer that has been running for 1 year non-stop.

The Defragmentation software is "Advanced Defrag Program" and has a free trial period, this would be good enough to help you now and it only costs about $35. Simply google for "Avanced Defrag Program".

DO NOT try to insall any of the Adnanced Degrag you find in torrent space. They all have a virus that can harm your computer.

The Amust Register cleaner torrent is good and truly cleans your registry and compacts it for like new opperation.

Using both of these programs helped my computer come back to life and really sped it up.

Good Luck

Lenny Miller
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Lotus Eater on March 05, 2009, 07:03:28 AM
I downloaded the Advanced defrag trial program - but it isn't running. Definitely says it is there in my programs. Just flips out when I click on it.mmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmm

Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Bugalugs on March 05, 2009, 07:12:03 AM
Did the same for me. I guess i'll stick with my piriform ccleaner and defraggler.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Spaghetti on March 05, 2009, 07:19:03 AM
I'm partial to freeware like JK Defrag.

http://www.kessels.com/Jkdefrag/

Real, working, developed free ware.

There are a great number of programs that you can download for free, and legally, that do as much, if not more than the ones you either have to buy, or seek alternate methods to obtain. If the freeware works well, then I make a donation I can afford.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Lenny on March 05, 2009, 09:54:39 AM
In Windows Vista (I have Vista and it works fine for me)and maybe in XP you have to run the program in administrative mode. The instructions say to right click on the Icon and select Run in Administrative mode. The Advanced Defrag Program does not clean your Register it defraggments your hard drive much better than the defraggmentation program in windows. Then it will run in the background continually analyzing and defragging your hard drive. It will also give you a detailed report on what it did.

If you downloaded the Trial version from the official web page you can get technical support from the company that wrote the program. Believe me it is worth the trouble to get it to work.

Best Regards,

Lenny
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Spaghetti on March 05, 2009, 10:01:54 AM
Lenny,

It's great to have your contributions on this part of the forum. I'm glad boss established this forum because there are a good number of people who have a lot of interesting contributions to make, such as your own.

Some teachers might be in a bind because they are using a school's computer and are unable to have access to the administration mode. Until I reinstalled Windows on my school's computer I was one of those people.

Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on March 21, 2009, 08:23:58 PM
Well folks, yep, my SL400's got an audible fan.

The hum from the fluorescent lights in my living room is louder than the working of the laptop, and compared to my old desktop, this SL400 is a whisper, but... in a quiet, dark, wee small AM hours room, the fan is audible.  Basically, the fan's on when it shouldn't be.  Mainboard temp readings are a mere 34 degrees, but the fan's on anyway.  And fan control programs don't exist for the SL series.

I downgraded the BIOS to 1.16 since people have said that worked for them, and it seems a little quieter.  I'll have to leave it overnight to cool down to ambient temp and then turn it on tomorrow and see how it works out, but I suspect it'll still be there.

There is some internet scuttlebutt saying the SL series is about to be discontinued too.

Do anything other than sit there and listen for the fan, and the noise recedes into the background easily, and I guess I'm being sensitive just now, but there it is.  The oppressive hum of the old desktop was in a way easier to ignore.

So if I may for one moment mimic the workings of the Firefox Profanity Filter and at the same time issue a terse comment summing up my current feeling, I'll just say this:

****
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Raoul F. Duke on October 31, 2009, 05:51:15 AM
I'm sort of UNrecommending some laptops here...

I work in an inbound phone room doing Tech Support for all kinds of electronics, mostly laptop computers. If you've bought an extended warranty for any kind of electronics item in ANY of the major retail chains in (at least) the USA or Canada, odds are pretty good that we do your Tech Support. I talk to dozens of people every day, most of whom are having laptop computer problems.

I've come to one very clear conclusion, and it's a conclusion that's universally shared by the hundreds of agents I work with: You couldn't GIVE me a Hewlett-Packard or Compaq laptop. You couldn't even PAY ME to take one.

I know, I know...HP and Compaq (now the same company) used to be the Gold Standard for computer equipment. I don't know what they're doing now, but they seem to be turning out pure-dee bqbqbqbqbq . I see the same bonehead problems over and over and over...and there just doesn't seem to be much that a repair shop can do for them. I've talked to WAAAY too many people whose HP/Compaq laptops weren't right when they bought them, still aren't right despite having them in the shop 90% of the time, and will probably NEVER be right...even after multiple motherboard replacements. aoaoaoaoao
So save yourself some grief and strike Hewlett-Packard and Compaq off your laptop shopping list...at least for the time being.

Laptop brand that seems to have the lowest proportion of major problems: ACER. bfbfbfbfbf
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: dragonsaver on October 31, 2009, 06:01:52 AM
I have an ACER and it works quite well.  However, it didn't like China. bibibibibi  It locked itself down and I had to take it back to Canada in my suitcase as it wouldn't open - no matter how much the tech guys ( probably Raoul's work mates) tried to help. 

Soon as it smelt Canadian air, the technician had it working in an instant.  Go figure.  Probably a Chinese virus glitch.  ahahahahah ahahahahah
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: old34 on October 31, 2009, 06:52:17 AM
I work in an inbound phone room doing Tech Support for all kinds of electronics, mostly laptop computers. If you've bought an extended warranty for any kind of electronics item in ANY of the major retail chains in (at least) the USA or Canada, odds are pretty good that we do your Tech Support.

So does that mean free tech support now here in the Saloon?  agagagagag
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Raoul F. Duke on October 31, 2009, 06:56:28 AM
Absolutely! Just PM Nolefan! ahahahahah

And wondering...has Canadian air gotten so bad it has to be smelted? aoaoaoaoao ahahahahah
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: dragonsaver on October 31, 2009, 07:21:58 AM
Only in Hamilton next to the US Steel "smelter"  bfbfbfbfbf  ahahahahah
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: dragonsaver on November 23, 2009, 02:28:10 PM
Today's news

1 in 3 laptops die in first three years
Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:31PM EST

> The most reliable companies? A shocker: Toshiba and Asus, both with below a 16 percent failure rate due to hardware malfunction.

> The least reliable brands? Acer, Gateway, and HP. HP's hardware malfunction rate, the worst in SquareTrade's analysis, is a whopping 25.6 percent.


http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/null/154921
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 12, 2012, 01:10:17 PM
Well holy crap, it's getting on for three years I've had this SL400, time for something new.

I'd really like to get a Thinkpad T420s, but the fan noise issue (http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/T400-T500-and-newer-T-series/T420s-Fan-noise-Issue/td-p/443569) thread at the Lenovo forum is 800+ posts long. So now I don't know. A tricked out Thinkpad E420s is an option I've been considering (listlessly). (Note the "E" for Edge).

I'd like an SSD, a separate GPU, 4GB+ RAM, an optical drive (R/W, but doesn't have to be Blu-ray), probably 14" screen but it doesn't really matter since the vast majority of the time I'll be using a bigger external monitor, and the thing should be portable though it'll usually never be moved...

Is everyone still using Acers?

Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: The Local Dialect on January 13, 2012, 02:52:30 PM
I've got one of these http://www.amazon.com/Dell-Inspiron-i5-2410M-2-30GHz-2-90GHz-Bluetooth/dp/B0057NU1OK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326465726&sr=8-1, a Dell Inspiron that I picked up second-hand for a pretty good price, considering it was in really good condition and barely used. I am really happy with it so far. Mine has a bit less ram and a 1GB graphics card and I can play graphics intensive online games on it with no problems. It is quiet and it has never crashed once or given me any sort of trouble! 
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: stuffed shirt on January 14, 2012, 07:10:28 AM
As a computer person and an Electrical Engineer...
And you use Windoze?

Anyway, Asus hardware is reliable; motherboards and laptops.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: fox on January 14, 2012, 01:38:34 PM
im tempted by the asus android slate as an upgrade from my 3yo eeepc. Last year i put in an SSD to the eeepc (to replace the 160gb HD)  grease lightening is the expression i think. REALLY fast!!  i bought SSDs for my main desktop pc too. A bit pricey but well worth it. Office documents open in a few seconds and i timed a restart in less than 10 secs. I didnt appreciate how important harddrive speeds are. I always suspected the bottlenecks were on the mobo and memory.

Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: stuffed shirt on January 14, 2012, 03:47:58 PM
im tempted by the asus android slate as an upgrade from my 3yo eeepc. Last year i put in an SSD to the eeepc (to replace the 160gb HD)  grease lightening is the expression i think. REALLY fast!!  i bought SSDs for my main desktop pc too. A bit pricey but well worth it. Office documents open in a few seconds and i timed a restart in less than 10 secs. I didnt appreciate how important harddrive speeds are. I always suspected the bottlenecks were on the mobo and memory.
The very first eeepcs all came with 2 or 4GB SSDs, and were/are very fast with the purpose built linux. Windows7 wouldn't last long if I got hold of one of those slates. :computercrash: 

Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: BrandeX on January 16, 2012, 04:38:38 AM
The Asus Transformer Prime is looking tempting.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 18, 2012, 07:00:21 AM
Tablets? Pffft. I'm not a big gamer, but I have my Halo and IGI2 and maybe one day I'll work up to CoD, so gotta be able to play the FPSz.

Hmmm, Dell... the Inspiron's look decent, but they don't come off the shelf with SSDs, as far as I can tell. A Latitude, maybe...

I'm a sucker for brands, it seems. Weird. In desktops I'm all for the noname box with the picked components, but with laptops, not so much.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: KeyserSoze on January 18, 2012, 02:57:55 PM
The Dell XT2 looks good. In fact, with 3GB RAM it looks great but I think it's disco'ed.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: stuffed shirt on January 18, 2012, 04:37:20 PM
Tablets? Pffft. I'm not a big gamer, but I have my Halo and IGI2 and maybe one day I'll work up to CoD, so gotta be able to play the FPSz.

Yeah, that Transformer's a tablet I think. A bit limited for my purposes too.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: fox on January 22, 2012, 09:39:46 AM
Tablets? Pffft. I'm not a big gamer, but I have my Halo and IGI2 and maybe one day I'll work up to CoD, so gotta be able to play the FPSz.

Yeah, that Transformer's a tablet I think. A bit limited for my purposes too.

once you have tried one you will never look back. the transformer outstrips the xt2 in pretty much all respects. android is the future and more and more apps are being written for it.  microsoft is heading for the graveyard with the new linux being android. Heck you can even run windows 7 on the a good tablet if you wanted.

A tablet isnt a gaming machine - you can do all your work on it and more.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 09, 2012, 11:15:34 AM
What I have learned about laptops these days:

Lenovo's commitment to quality in the Thinkpad line no longer exists. They have high-end laptops with very desirable specs that also come with issues that cause much anger in the community. Fans and lcd screens are issues.

Acer can't brand for shit. They may have fabulous laptops but the only thing differentiating them is a string of letters and numbers. Acer Aspire 3478956dbv vs Acer Aspire w458u vs Acer Aspire 34785g DOES NOT HELP ME CHOOSE YOUR PRODUCT!

Other kinds of computer exist too, such as Toshiba and Dell. And, dear companies, I know your names but I don't know your products. YOU AND EVERY OTHER COMPANY MAKE UGLY BLACK AND SILVER AND, FOR GOD'S SAKE, MATT WHITE?!?!?! FOLDING THINGS THAT ARE SUPPOSED TO BE COMPUTERS BUT HOW WOULD I KNOW?!?!?

And Macs are some kind of totemic object that I don't understand either.


I WANT TO SPEND MY MONEY. WHY DOES EVERY COMPANY OFFER SUCH BAD DEALS>!@
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Stil on June 09, 2012, 01:34:51 PM

And Macs are some kind of totemic object that I don't understand either.


Only if you decide to make it so. I use Macs. They are well built, easy to set up and easy to use.

They're just computers.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 09, 2012, 01:57:18 PM
Perhaps something happened in my childhood. I know there was an Apple II where my father worked and later there was a "1984" Macintosh that lay in wait in the postgrad room in my department at university. I COULD BE BLOCKING OUT SO MUCH!


In other news, was considering the Thinkpad E420. Fried my brains most of today trying to make sense of what compromises it entails. Gave up.

So I don't want to jinx it, but maybe I like the Lenovo Y470p Ideapad now.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Borkya on June 10, 2012, 01:38:16 AM

And Macs are some kind of totemic object that I don't understand either.


I was a PC'er for my whole life. I also didn't understand mac's. But this winter I found myself in the apple store, and with Hong Kong prices (cheaper than US) in addition with a "education" discount I found myself buying my first Mac ever.

There was a period of adjustment, but it was surprisingly short and now I love, love, LOVE my mac.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 10, 2012, 02:04:04 AM
Oh yeah? I think there may in fact have been something in my youth. That Macintosh in the postgrads room was the only computer on offer (it was a small room) and try as I might, I couldn't make it actually do anything. Well, excluding making run a very attractive program called as I recall Moire. The patterns it drew on the screen were configurable and that was kinda fun. Hypnotic too, now that I think on it... aoaoaoaoao

MacBooks (http://product.it168.com/list/b/03010022_s_26-12644s_1.shtml) appear to have similar specs to Y470 Ideapads (http://product.it168.com/list/b/03010377_i10219_s_26-12644s_1.shtml) at roughly double the price...


It's ironic, I suppose. I teach branding. Well, an introduction to branding anyway. So I have the tools to know I'm not actually arguing product merit here.


ETA: the basic thing any laptop I buy will do is sit on the corner of the desk and be plugged into everything else: usb keyboard on a long cord, usb mouse on a long cord, 22in lcd monitor (on a short cord), and the woofer and speaker system. I wish it mostly just to run fast, not get too hot, have enough usb ports, and be quiet. And once in a blue moon, be carried somewhere new.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: ericthered on June 10, 2012, 03:48:26 AM
I don't have a Mac but I will by the beginnng of next term...I know nothing about computers, Calach...but a Mac is just so....so...shiny agagagagag agagagagag My brother, who is an IT wiz-kid, swears that Mac is the dog's bollocks...so I recommend a Mac...Come now, Calach....join the cult...drink the Kool-Ade...you know you want to agagagagag agagagagag
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 10, 2012, 05:55:05 AM
Shiny dog's bollocks?

THIS MAY NOT BE AS TEMPTING AS YOU THINK
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Stil on June 10, 2012, 11:04:58 AM

MacBooks (http://product.it168.com/list/b/03010022_s_26-12644s_1.shtml) appear to have similar specs to Y470 Ideapads (http://product.it168.com/list/b/03010377_i10219_s_26-12644s_1.shtml) at roughly double the price...


Specs for what? How fast the CPU is? How much RAM? Hard Drive Space?

What about the quality of the components rather than the numbers? How's the build quality?

When the hardware is built with the software together, do the specs need to be as high to to have the same result?

Lenovo is a good brand. I like them but you are no longer paying a tax if you get a Mac. The build quality  is really damn good.

You don't have to join the cult. The meetings are not mandatory. We won't tell if you don't pay the tithe.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 10, 2012, 12:56:18 PM
Specs for I DON'T KNOW WHAT!

Computers have been disappointing me since the very first one I ever bought, a noname 386 pc. The disappointment is not in the interface or the usability or whatever. It's in.. I dunno... the permanent compromises. The cutting edge or the newest thing is never like it is in movies. It's never super fast and special. There's always something it doesn't do. IT'S ALL A LIE! TECHNOLOGY IS A LIE!

There was actually a news article I forget where recently, about that very thing. We don't live in an especially innovative age. Great leaps forward aren't happening. What is happening is incremental.

So I can't invest in a Mac. They cost too much and will deliver too little, just like any computer. I WAS GOING TO BUY A T420s THINKPAD FOR GOD'S SAKE. Spec'D out the way I wanted, it would have been about 24,000 yuan. And it would have worked too. If it weren't for the stupid fans they have in them. There's just too many bad reports and I'm not an IT department. I can't afford to buy 100 of them and send back 15.

CAPITALISM IS TOO CRUEL AND BRANDS ARE CAKE!
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: MK on June 10, 2012, 01:22:26 PM
My friend who is into that sort of thing built my desktop PC for me from scratch...when it broke and of course I couldn't fix it (and he wasn't around), I took it to the local computer market and while they were fixing it they told me it was a really impressive computer.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 11, 2012, 02:47:18 AM
Desktops imply a settled life.

THIS WAS NEVER ABOUT TECHNOLOGY
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 11, 2012, 06:12:10 AM
Ideapad 470p: purchased. 5,200 yuan.

And that's game over for another two-to-four years.


The actual selling point on this'n for me was it's spec'd out enough and reports say it's particularly easy to install an aftermarket mSATA SSD. But that's for some other day.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Foscolo on June 14, 2012, 09:43:55 PM
Just in case there's anybody out there who doesn't know what an "mSATA SSD" is, it's a solid state drive. Instead of spinning disks read by little magic pixies, or however it works, the hard drive in your computer has no moving parts. It's basically just a big memory stick.

The advantages of SSD:

The disadvantage:
They're much more expensive than HDDs. A 96GB SSD will usually cost more than a 500GB HDD. You can get round this getting a cheap external HDD for storage of things you'll want to access only rarely, such as not-very-good photos and music you're bored with. Keep what's on the computer to the essential minimum.

I'm using a four-year-old Dell laptop which is blazing fast and totally reliable - because I put an SSD in last year. It was pretty easy: open a hatch, undo a couple of screws, pull out the HDD, insert the SSD. Then I reinstalled the operating system. And then when I'd totally bolloxed that up, I paid somebody to reinstall the operating system. But it meant the total cost was under two hundred of your Yankee dollars to get my aging computer running better-than-new, about 20% of the price of a new one with comparable specs.


Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on November 26, 2018, 01:21:18 PM
Ye olden y470p is a fraction long in the tooth these days...

I've started wondering about the 2018 Huawei Matebook X Pro (https://item.jd.com/6736178.html?jd_pop=bd15a145-0446-408d-9205-d67f20c084f2)
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on November 30, 2018, 10:09:07 AM
My tablet is a Huawei.  So far, I'm happy with it.

My laptop is an HP.  I've been very pleased with HP and Lenovo/IBM laptops for many years now.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on November 30, 2018, 10:38:05 AM
The Matebook X Pro is the "it" ultrabook at the moment - it tops everyone's best of laptops lists for 2018.

The name is an obvious mash-up - Matebook from Macbook, X from Thinkpad X1 Carbon, and Pro from, i dunno, win7 professional? - and the laptop itself is a mashup too - looks like a Macbook, works like a Thinkpad, has a touch screen - but apparently it's entirely functional - all the things it promises, it delivers. And it's an ultrabook with a dedicated gpu.

And has a 3:2 screen aspect ratio!


But I'm also thinking, if I am going ultrabook, then Thinkpad X1 Carbon, gen 5 or maybe 6...
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Nolefan on December 04, 2018, 04:13:00 AM
They're all pretty good these days.. start with a choice of OS, then proceed.

I'm too deep into MacOS to change so that's what i stick with, thus macbook Air, new one is sweet with the right specs.

Microsoft has done some kickass work with the surface, however, i would double check that it comes with windows 10 pro and not some of the cutdown home editions.

on the android market, i'm not sold yet.... it's better for tablets/phones than as a workhorse
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 10, 2018, 01:18:12 PM
Looking earnestly at the Thinkpad X280

Ideally, the i5 version but with 16gb... except I don't actually know what I'd use 16gb for...


I bought an extra 4 jigglebits of ram for ye olden y470p a week ago. For the past six years it's had 4, now it has 8. I can't tell the difference.  bibibibibi
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 11, 2018, 12:27:45 PM
Thinkpad X280 i5-8250U 8G 256G SSD FHD

nine thousand buckaroos chinee https://item.jd.com/6543089.html


But...

the exchange rate appears to make the same unit 7600-ish RMB equivalents if bought direct from Lenovo in Australia


Downside of ordering from Lenovo is their shipping estimates are notoriously inaccurate, sometimes by weeks, and if it didn't arrive while I was there....
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 11, 2018, 02:52:19 PM
But I must be misunderstanding something, right?

https://item.jd.hk/1984001396.html

That says an x280 with i7 16GB 256GB ssd and FHD is 8888 yuan...


What am I missing? Does HK JD not deliver to provinces north?
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 11, 2018, 03:10:23 PM
Ah, I see...  www.jd.hk aka Jing Dong Worldwide aka Joybuy is formally beyond the Chinese customs border. Delivering goods from there to "the rest of China" is an act of importation and actual purchase price is going to go up by whatever taxes and duties apply....

"According to the Notice of the General Administration of Customs, No. 26 of 2016, “Announcement on Regulating Issues Concerning Cross-border E-Commerce Retail Import and Export Commodities” and related regulations, starting from April 8, 2016:
The single transaction limit for cross-border e-commerce retail imports is RMB 2,000, and the annual annual transaction limit is RMB 20,000;
Cross-border e-commerce retail imports are subject to customs duties and import value-added tax and consumption tax, and the customs-paid price is the actual transaction price, including the retail price of goods, freight and insurance;
The orderer is the taxpayer. The e-commerce enterprise, e-commerce transaction platform enterprise or logistics enterprise registered in the customs as the collection and payment obligor of the tax shall fulfill the tax liability on its behalf."



was too good to be true
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on December 13, 2018, 12:57:32 AM
Take a shopping trip to HK.  agagagagag
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 13, 2018, 05:27:31 AM
And wouldn't you know it, if I had've chosen Cathay Pacific for this year's Oz pilgrimage, I would've been passing through HK in a few weeks anyway...

I might give up this laptop hunt for a while. I'm fairly sure the x280 will be what I want given what I use computers for and how I use them, but six months from now might be easier...


Right now for instance, I have a newly acquired 8gb on my six year old y470p. Using this lumbering beast as I usually do, win7 will put between 4 and 5 gb of that ram to immediate use and keep the rest on standby, leaving usually none unused. I can cause between 6 and 7gb to be used directly if I, say, open a bunch of resource intensive browser windows (like, say, some collection of forum pages dedicated to youtube videos) and maybe an email client and another browser doing something else and maybe some other programs...

Which is to say, it looks like 8gb is in general enough - one has to be really sloppy in managing their open programs, or to have some wildly resource intensive thing like some video or music composition software open - to even get close to directly using all the available ram. But see, that's what windows does. I can do the same tests on my 2gb laptop running win10 and it looks like the os routinely only keeps 1gb in immediate operation - which it does, it makes choices about how to manage physical ram and pagefiles.

Which, ironically, is what is convincing me to get 16gb. I know for instance that cpu will probably make the difference more than anything but all I know about cpus is I have a version 1 i5 and hardware support for hevc decoding wasn't introduced until version 4...


I enjoy specifications, obvs. I'll probably only get a real machine after I decide finally whether or not win10 is the devil.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 15, 2018, 12:04:01 AM
Psychologically speaking, a "thin and light" ultraportable was going to mean I could leave. Fatalistically speaking, of course they turn out expensive, hard to acquire and full of worrying compromise. So, the E480 is probably where I'll end up, a "think and heavy" barelyportable probably with fan issues but ram and storage expandable. And it has the Thinkpad ergonomics, which is at least one of the features I was looking for.

 bebebebebe
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 19, 2018, 09:32:55 AM
Unexpected story development: I have elected to do purchase of my first real Thinkpad

All things being equal I will tomorrow take possession of a Thinkpad T480. It'll come crammed full of an eighth generation i5 processor, some 8 jigglebits of RAM, a single full-power NVIDIA MX150, and a pair of hard drives, one a freakish tiny square of an 128GB SSD in the WWAN slot, the other a traditional 5400rpm spinner measuring some 1 terrabytes of void shortly to be filled. It shall also have a full HD display.

At a little less than ticket price too.


Boom.
Title: Re: Recommend a laptop
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 22, 2018, 02:25:22 AM
Thinkpad T480 

i5-8250U + 8GB RAM + 128 GB SSD + 1T HDD + MX150 GPU + FHD + Win10 Home

8000 yuan

In the shop I forgot to talk about a backlit keyboard. (I was sorta under the impression they were standard now.) Given my use case I'd very rarely need it, but I was kinda looking forward to playing a bit but when I got home, no. Aww. (Why backlight? For when you don't have a direct light source on your keyboard like a desk lamp or overhead light...)


"Pro" tip - if the first thing you do with a new laptop is format the drives and install your own os, but you can't buy the thing without an os already installed, the difference between Win 10 Home and Pro is 1000 yuan  aoaoaoaoao