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Old 01-02-2013, 03:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan 2013
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Default Need help choosing between an ultrabook/laptop or tablet.

Iím paying off my student loans this January so I wanted to celebrate by purchasing a laptop or tablet. Currently Iím using an early 2006 Core Duo MacBook Pro running Snow Leopard. Iíve made some upgrades to the machine. It has a 250GB 7200 RPM HD, a Wireless N card, and 2GB of memory. My only real complaints about my MBP are that I canít upgrade to newer OS versions since it has a 32bit processor and the battery life is terrible. Overall, it still functions well and it runs Microsoft Office 2011 without any hiccups.

Iím looking for something for Web surfing, e-mail, media, and running office productivity software. I donít play modern games so having a discrete GPU is not necessary for me. The most graphically advanced game I own is Civilization 4 and that already works well on my current set up.

The problem is, I havenít really shopped around for a computer in a really long time so Iím overwhelmed by the options that are available. Iíve come up with two ideas so far.

1. Replace the MBP with a newer ultrabook or mid-range laptop.

2. Keep using the MBP and relegate it as my desktop/work computer and purchase a tablet device for ultra-portability.

Iíll likely be teaching overseas towards the end of the year, so a desktop is out of the question.

What Iíve considered for Option 1.

After looking at the specs of the MacBook Air but Iím disappointed at what is offered for the price. Iím also not a big fan of having the memory soldered to the logic board.

The Retina MacBook Pros are even worse than the Airs with their over-use of glue and proprietary hardware.

The only Apple Laptop Iíve seriously considered is a refurbished baseline 13Ē non-retina display MacBook Pro for $1020. It seems to be the only user serviceable laptop sold by Apple, so it will be easy to upgrade the memory and HD. The battery life is much improved from what I currently have. The biggest downside is that the resolution is 1280 x 800, so I would actually be taking a hit from my current 1440 x 900 but everything else would be an upgrade.

What Iíve considered for Option 2.

The two tablet devices that interest me are the Google Nexus 10 and the iPad4. Iím quite familiar with the iPad but I donít know anyone who owns either a Google Nexus 10 or 7 so itís hard for me to judge.

After browsing some Teardown guides, Iíve noticed that the Nexus 10 seems much more user serviceable than the iPad4. Other than that, both seem like decent devices.

Iíd really appreciate some feedback from people with more modern ultrabooks, laptops, and tablets.
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