COMPUTE . . . It will soon be time for me to buy a new laptop. So it seems lucky that Real Clear Technology brought me this today, from CNET: "Laptops we love under $1,000," by Dan Ackerman.
I like the Asus Zenbook UX32A ($779), but my current laptop isn't quite dead yet . . . Maybe next month?
August 06, 2012 | Permalink
Computing power means nothing to a laptop user. Laptops are slower than desktops, period. If you're looking for a new laptop consider getting one with a solid state drive (decreases boot time response time to loading apps significantly). Don't worry about the latest processors as they just take up more power and lower your battery life. That lenovo has a terribly slow hard drive and i7 processors are power hungry (best used in a desktop. I'd go for an ultrabook, maybe something like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834230466
The difference between processors designed for low power usage and desktop ones is quite significant to battery life. The difference between a 5200rpm hard drive and an SSD is like night and day. Everything loads much faster.
Although that one has a small SSD reserved for booting up, you may be able to upgrade it yourself (not sure).
Best of luck Evan!
August 09, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Wow, I'm such an idiot. I just realized that's the laptop you said you like, hahaha.
August 09, 2012 at 01:50 PM
I agree that the processor will affect battery life, but 1.4 GHz is simply too weak for a modern PC. At that clock cycle, you’d be relying on turboboost entirely to do something like videoconferencing, and while it’s a nice feature, no question, that CPU’s lifespan is at serious risk. Not to mention, it’s not fast enough to really reap the benefits of having an SSD. Yes, you can access information more quickly, but upon a boot, life would become a game of CPU catch-up.
I’ve owned SSDs, and I’m not exactly sold on their boot-up time being worth the cost. Hundreds of dollars to shave 5 seconds off a boot isn’t quite worth it, at least to me. What makes the most sense is largely impossible outside of a desktop, and that is to have your OS partitioned on a small SSD, which keeps things both cheap, and fast.
If your objective is the longest battery life available, the laptop I chose certainly isn’t the world’s greatest choice. But in today’s world, you want a CPU clocked at at least 2 ghz. 32nm processing is impressive, and certainly more efficient than previous gens of i-series, but won’t get you all the way there.
August 10, 2012 at 05:59 AM
Granted we have to know what Evan's use of the laptop will be before jumping to any conclusions. I agree that 1.4 GHz is a tad slow for a modern laptop that hogs a ton of battery life, but not for an Ultrabook. I have not personally done video conferencing with a laptop so I cannot say about performance there.
As for SSD, the price difference upfront for the amount of time you'd save loading apps is well worth it in my opinion. I have 2 PC's one at home and one in the office. The home PC has almost identical specs except that it has 6GB triple channel ram vs 8GB I have in the office PC, as well as an SSD for the operating system and basic file storage. I can tell you that transferring files, saving documents, booting up on the SSD has opened my eyes to how slow a typical hard drive is. My office machine uses a 7200RPM, I can tell from experience of working with thousands of laptops (as an IT guy) that 5200RPM drives make laptops crawling snails. It isn't too difficult to purchase a 128GB flash drive now-days if you ever need extra storage. A savvy user can also just upgrade the smaller drive to a larger one if storage space is an issue later. Though I can't imagine 300GB running out quick for average laptop use.
August 10, 2012 at 02:23 PM
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