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Old 05-28-2011, 08:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 13 inch notebook for University

Been a while since I've been here, headphones are more addicting than computer hardware >.<

Anyways I'm off to university this September and figured I'd start looking for a notebook now. I'll be bringing my desktop, so I don't need that much power, but I still want it to be snappy and maybe handle some small games, like league of legends, which is all I play these days, it's a DOTA clone, based on wc3 so it's pretty old. I'd also love to have a SSD, it doesn't have to come with one, but if I could throw in my 40gb intel from my desktop I'd be more than happy. Storage isn't an issue, I've got two 32gb flash drives (Darn you NCIX sales) and over 2tb in my desktop, plus a 500gb external. I'm going into computer engineering, but I doubt we'd be required to do any taxing computer stuff in class. CD drive is also not an issue, I'd prefer not to have one. I barely use my desktops :/

Feel and form are also important, I'd rather not have something that feels flimsy like the acer aspire netbook my sister has. The holy grail (of notebooks) would be one of the samsung 9 series. But they're way over my budget and I really shouldn't spend that much on a glorified piece of duraluminium. The new Sony S series look nice, but again a bit more then I want to spend.

Preferably $800-$1000, but if there's something that's 1.2k and totally worth the extra $200 I'll go for it. Otherwise, cheaper is better

I've found the Asus UL30JC and it is almost perfect. Amazon.com: ASUS U36JC-B1 Thin and Light 13.3-Inch Laptop (Black): Computer & Accessories Bit on the more expensive side. Seems you can also install a SSD relatively easy.

Any other ideas? I've ran into a few Toshibas (the r700 series) but nothing else has jumped out at me really. I'm open to ebay and used options as well, I've had a great time with used headphone gear and pc parts lately. So I think as long as I'm careful, a used notebook should work out fine too.
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Old 05-29-2011, 11:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 13 inch notebook for University

Asus has its press conference tomorrow which should clear up what the new models are. I am waiting a little while to see what asus brings to the table. Atm in my opinion the Lenovo X220 is the best laptop on the market but that may change very soon.
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 13 inch notebook for University

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirkpitt45 View Post
Been a while since I've been here, headphones are more addicting than computer hardware >.<
If you buy quality Headphones with a 1/8" Plug or a better Soundcard with a 1/4" Plug then you can listen to Music while you compute.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirkpitt45 View Post
Anyways I'm off to university this September and figured I'd start looking for a notebook now. I'll be bringing my desktop, so I don't need that much power, but I still want it to be snappy ... I'd also love to have a SSD, it doesn't have to come with one, but if I could throw in my 40gb intel from my desktop I'd be more than happy. ... I doubt we'd be required to do any taxing computer stuff in class. CD drive is also not an issue, I'd prefer not to have one. I barely use my desktops :/

Feel and form are also important, I'd rather not have something that feels flimsy ...

Preferably $800-$1000, but if there's something that's 1.2k and totally worth the extra $200 I'll go for it. Otherwise, cheaper is better

...

Any other ideas? ...
  • Waiting until September ? Wait for the Llano Chip since it will give greater power in a smaller size.
  • If you want tiny (because you want portable and have a Desktop) then you want a Netbook (or an 11.6" Laptop).
  • If you want more bang for your Buck and the ability to add more stuff easily then you want a 15.6" Laptop.
  • If you want to be the envy of others you want a Tablet with an i5 or SB (they usually have SSDs).
You might be called upon to do "taxing stuff" in Engineering Class. The School might have a WiFi Network that you can connect your Tablet/Netbook/Laptop and Desktop together. You should plan to use your Desktop from your Portable Device. I would ask them (the School) what the setup is.


For 8-12 you can get quite a lot, but for half that you could get something like this:

HP Pavilion 11.6" Laptop featuring AMD E-Series Dual Core Processor E-350 (DM1-3040CA) $500
http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/...7bae1d17a7en02

  • With a 13.3"er you will limit yourself to what you can add and pay a premium for the small size.
  • The 10.1"ers are half the price and have a similar inability to upgrade as the 13.3ers (IE: not much).
  • The 15.6"ers will be cheaper and have more space inside to add upgrades (with a bigger Screen too).
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 13 inch notebook for University

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4P_Bulldozer View Post
If you buy quality Headphones with a 1/8" Plug or a better Soundcard with a 1/4" Plug then you can listen to Music while you compute.
What does jack size have to do with headphone quality? It doesn't make a difference afaik. I won't be using it for music anyways, my galaxy s with darky's mod and voodoo + fischer audio DBA-02s is more than enough quality.

This is going to be the one "luxury", I guess, purchase I make. I've thought about just getting a cheaper one but I'd like to get something really good that'll last me at least four years.

Thanks for the suggestions though.
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Old 06-04-2011, 02:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 13 inch notebook for University

> What does jack size have to do with headphone quality? It doesn't make a difference afaik.

If you cut the end off and wire your own then the quality could be similar.
If you buy a "Professional" Headset then it is bound to have either XLR-terminated balanced plugs (often includes a 1/4" Adapter) or a 1/4" Plug.
Using a 1/4" to 1/8" Adapter does not support your argument.

There are not a lot of 1/8" Plug Headphones on this Site: http://www.headphone.com/selection-g...and-studio.php the Sennheiser HD 800 is $1500 and it doesn't come with a 3.5mm Jack.


Can we see a link to an over $225 set of Headphones that come with an 1/8" Jack, (no), and don't include any Links to Headphones with an "Artists Name", poor spelling (use of apostrophes or z's), "Dr." or fluorescent colors (those a "just expensive" and (usually) not good value for the money).


It's like a heavy duty Trunk with 12" rims, you can't (usually) buy them that way but you could do a mod and the quality of the Truck's engine, seats, stereo, etc. would be the same; it would not drive the same though.

My $25 Headphones with 1/8" Plug are good enough for the MP3 encoded files that I listen to with my old ears. If our disagreement regarding Headgear discourages you from following my advice on Computers it is not my loss.


Best wishes for someone who intends to better himself at School and good luck on your Finals / Thesis.
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 13 inch notebook for University

The x220 looks like it might just be the best thing ever, and if you needed any further convincing, I just found none other than THE Cory Doctorow writing about how much he loves his: My new Ubuntu-flavoured ThinkPad is computing heaven | Cory Doctorow | Technology | guardian.co.uk. Note that there's also a lot of other stuff in there about Ubuntu and some unlikely claims (24 hours batt life with the slice battery, I read elsewhere 14-15 hours) but if you consider that article as cake icing and all the other positive reviews as the cake...
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 13 inch notebook for University

Yeah I am seriously considering the x220 its durable, light, well priced and packs a punch in all the right areas without going overboard. The trackpoint is a dream to use I am on my X61 now and my razer deathadder is sitting lonesome on my desk as I normally prefer the trackpoint for casual browsing.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 13 inch notebook for University

I had similar requirements for a laptop and bought a ThinkPad x220 and couldn't be happier. The build quality is exceptional and it's easy to top 10 hours of battery life with the optional 9 cell battery. I'd also spend the $50 extra to get the Premium LCD screen, it's an IPS panel and one of the best displays offered in a laptop regardless of size. The Sandy Bridge processors also perform extremely well and the Intel HD 3000 is more than capable of playing basic games like the ones you mentioned.

The X220 also has great SSD upgrade ability. It has a slot for a mSata SSD so you can use a SSD + the standard hard drive although it does take a decent bit of work to install one. Be aware that the x220 uses 7mm tall hard drives instead of the regular height ones so if you want to use a 2.5" SSD it has to be a Intel X25-m or Intel 320 Series drive. To make those drives fit you just have to take off the black spacer that comes attached by default.

I wouldn't bother waiting for Llano given your requirements. It still uses a Phenom II based cpu so it won't be competitive with Sandy Bridge and since you aren't buying the system for gaming the more powerful IGP wouldn't be much of a benefit.
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Old 06-04-2011, 02:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 13 inch notebook for University

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4P_Bulldozer View Post
If you cut the end off and wire your own then the quality could be similar.
If you buy a "Professional" Headset then it is bound to have either XLR-terminated balanced plugs (often includes a 1/4" Adapter) or a 1/4" Plug.
Using a 1/4" to 1/8" Adapter does not support your argument.
What is my argument? An 1/8inch plug and 1/4inch use the same three conductors in the same setup, just one is big and one is small. It doesn't make sense that it would change the sound quality. XLRs are quite different, they are balanced and require a balanced source and amp. A balanced setup will most certainly impact sound, going from 1/4 to 1/8 will not. It's just a preference thing, the 1/4 jack is bigger, stronger, and more traditional. Most DACs and amps come with 1/4inch inputs, and only higher end headphones need DACs and amps, so they come with 1/4inch as well. The larger connector makes it easier to use large aftermarket cables, which lots of people do. Plus it looks cooler, the 1/8ths would look funny plugged into some amps.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 4P_Bulldozer View Post
Can we see a link to an over $225 set of Headphones that come with an 1/8" Jack, (no), and don't include any Links to Headphones with an "Artists Name", poor spelling (use of apostrophes or z's), "Dr." or fluorescent colors (those a "just expensive" and (usually) not good value for the money).
Sure, the headphones I've got on my head right now come with a 1/8inch cable.

Sennheiser Canada Inc. - HD 600

I don't use the stock the cable though, it's not the greatest. Instead I picked up a cardas "smurf" cable, which is terminated with an 1/4inch. Which goes into my Bottlehead Crack OTL tube amp (built myself), fed from a Firestone Audio USB Fubar DAC and Foobar2000 on windows. I'm working on getting all the parts and boards for a balanced + singled ended Beta22 and am in the process of listing out and planning the parts to build a matching Opus Dac. I'll probably stick with the hd600s for the next year or so, and eventually pick up an Audeze LCD-2 or Hifiman HE-6, or whatever else comes out by then

You really shouldn't assume everyone is blissfully unaware of the wonderful world of audio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4P_Bulldozer View Post
Best wishes for someone who intends to better himself at School and good luck on your Finals / Thesis.
Thanks.







Back on topic.

x220 is nice looking, spec and price wise. Definitely an option, thanks for the suggestion. Plus I've got an intel SSD so it would be perfect.
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