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MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#1 4 years ago

Currently I'm trying to recommend a laptop for a small group of people for professional use. It is all a bit confusing though - the laptop is supposed to work as desktop replacement most of the time (used primarily for MS office type applications and data analysis which is mostly CPU intensive), but they also want to take them on business trips, so it also supposed to be mobile. 14-15'' seems to be the desired screen size. Windows 7 or 8 as OS. Graphics aren't relevant so a CPU integrated card should be enough. A nice design seems important (hence Macbooks running Win with bootcamp seem to be the preferred option atm).

Now the way I see it you can get desktop replacement laptops with 15'' screens and upwards that use basically default desktop CPUs, which makes them relatively cheap but also unsuitable for constant transport. Then there are ultra-books which are supposed to be mobile while having lots of performance, they are of course rather expensive.

As an additional complication it seems that many ultrabooks have super high resolutions screens which makes it difficult to use applications that aren't optimizd (i.e. most of the applications that are going to be used).

Money doesn't appear to be an issue.

So here are my questions: are the dual core I5 and I7 CPUs you usually find in ultrabooks any good? What do you think about these options: -MacBook Pro Retina 13'' -MacBook Pro Retina 15'' -Lennovo Ideapad Yoga 2 Pro -Lenovo Thinkpad of some sort (those seem to be super popular, but they seem just as expensive as macs and look ugly?) -something else? Asus, Sony, Samsung?

Assuming they end up choosing some crazy ultrabook for 2000+ € wouldn't it make more sense to buy a good desktop for 1k and a good subnotebook for another grand? What would be the best way of synchronizing data between PCs in that case?




FileTrekker Über Admin

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#2 4 years ago

The Surface Pro 3 was announced yesterday and it attempts to directly resolve the quandary you currently experience....


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D3matt

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#3 4 years ago

I'd have to say the Yoga 2 Pro. I've handled a few of those before handing them off to attorneys at work. I swear I popped a boner. The attorneys love them, I love them, they're awesome. Lightweight, fast, amazing screens, multipurpose, solidly built. I've yet to hear a peep of complaint from anybody using one, and anybody who's worked with attorneys knows that's about as high praise as it's possible to get for a computer.

Although, the Surface Pro 3 looks like a mighty fine specimen too. If you're looking for something with a bit more oomf I'd look at the higher-end Surface Pro 3, but having personally used the Yoga 2 Pro I feel more confident recommending that. Of course, depending on size of group, there's nothing that says you can't get one of each to test out.

The resolution isn't really a problem, you can always turn it down, just make sure to also turn down the magnification (It defaults pretty high for high-density displays). I've only ever seen one application that didn't work well with a high resolution though, honestly. And that program is one of the most poorly-written I've ever seen (It throws no less than 4 database exceptions switching from wired to wifi, and then has to be killed from Task manager because it doesn't properly close when you close the program). As for having a laptop and desktop, I think you'll find most prefer to just have one high-performance laptop than one of each, for a couple reasons. One, they don't want to deal with a mediocre laptop on the go, and two, they don't want to deal with the hassle of making sure they are both synced, getting both set up how they like, etc. The storage problem with ultrabooks should be solved easily enough with company-owned network storage. Most business documents are small enough to fit on a mid-sized SSD no problem, at least the ones they need readily available. Anything else they can pull down from company storage.

I highly recommend looking for a nice USB3.0 dock as well. We use a Toshiba Dynadock, which seems to work well, but it's really up to you. The important bit is that they can get into the office, plug in one cord (and a charger, of course) all their peripherals are connected. The mouse we have them take with, the Logitech unifying receivers are so small they don't worry about taking them out. They'll also greatly appreciate having a second charger so they don't have to crawl around under their desk to plug it in. One goes with them, one stays at the office.




MoreGun89

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#4 4 years ago

I'm excited about the Surface 3!! Gonna hold out for the next one though, I'm greedy with my battery life :P

For a group of business people taking trips, I highly recommend Lenovos, it takes A LOT to beat one up, and they run really smoothly. The company we recently merged with has Dells, they are actually switching over to the Lenovos eventually. Dell motherboards just tend not to have a very good track record of going beyond their lifespan. :)


Mother Banhammer



MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#5 4 years ago

FileTrekker;5737493The Surface Pro 3 was announced yesterday and it attempts to directly resolve the quandary you currently experience....

[/QUOTE] This looks very good indeed, unfortunately the Surface 3 will only be available in August over here at the earliest and we have to buy something now.

D3matt;5737581I'd have to say the Yoga 2 Pro. I've handled a few of those before handing them off to attorneys at work. I swear I popped a boner. The attorneys love them, I love them, they're awesome. Lightweight, fast, amazing screens, multipurpose, solidly built. I've yet to hear a peep of complaint from anybody using one, and anybody who's worked with attorneys knows that's about as high praise as it's possible to get for a computer.

Although, the Surface Pro 3 looks like a mighty fine specimen too. If you're looking for something with a bit more oomf I'd look at the higher-end Surface Pro 3, but having personally used the Yoga 2 Pro I feel more confident recommending that. Of course, depending on size of group, there's nothing that says you can't get one of each to test out.

The resolution isn't really a problem, you can always turn it down, just make sure to also turn down the magnification (It defaults pretty high for high-density displays). I've only ever seen one application that didn't work well with a high resolution though, honestly. And that program is one of the most poorly-written I've ever seen (It throws no less than 4 database exceptions switching from wired to wifi, and then has to be killed from Task manager because it doesn't properly close when you close the program). As for having a laptop and desktop, I think you'll find most prefer to just have one high-performance laptop than one of each, for a couple reasons. One, they don't want to deal with a mediocre laptop on the go, and two, they don't want to deal with the hassle of making sure they are both synced, getting both set up how they like, etc. The storage problem with ultrabooks should be solved easily enough with company-owned network storage. Most business documents are small enough to fit on a mid-sized SSD no problem, at least the ones they need readily available. Anything else they can pull down from company storage.

I highly recommend looking for a nice USB3.0 dock as well. We use a Toshiba Dynadock, which seems to work well, but it's really up to you. The important bit is that they can get into the office, plug in one cord (and a charger, of course) all their peripherals are connected. The mouse we have them take with, the Logitech unifying receivers are so small they don't worry about taking them out. They'll also greatly appreciate having a second charger so they don't have to crawl around under their desk to plug it in. One goes with them, one stays at the office.

Thanks for the detailed answer. The Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro looks pretty good to me as well, too bad they don't come with a quad core Haswell or at least a highervoltage dual core like they have in the Macsbooks. I'll definitely keep this one in mind though.

[QUOTE=MoreGun89;5737614] Dell motherboards just tend not to have a very good track record of going beyond their lifespan. :)

I bought a Dell Inspiron in 2006, it still runs fine. Must have been a fluke :)

-- What do you think about the Dell XPS 15? Looks pretty good on paper.




Supa

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#6 4 years ago

Lenovo has done right by me so far. Even as far as buying a laptop not necessarily meant for gaming, it has done an exceptional job. Lenovo's support has also been pretty spot on. When I first got my laptop, I had an issue with the fan grinding against something on the laptop, so I asked for a replacement, and got it the next day after they had received my shipping confirmation from UPS.




D3matt

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#7 4 years ago

One other thing you may want to consider as an option if they are security concious or need to do a lot of processor-intensive work on their laptops and can't wait a little longer is looking at a remote desktop solution. This will run anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000+ depending on which solution you go with and how feature-loaded it is. If you want some more information I can elaborate, but I'm not a consultant for this stuff so I'm bound to leave some holes.




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#8 4 years ago

I thought about remote desktop as well, mostly as a way to run Windows application from a Mac without having to bother with dual boot on the Mac (which seems to be a problem for the local IT admins). I don't think they want to spend additional money on that though, so I'll probably have to use some free software like Teamviewer to get that working.

Anyway, it looks like they want Macs and if it is obvious that the boss wants Mac then there is only so much Windows-recommending you can afford :)




D3matt

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#9 4 years ago

Um... The boss wants a Mac, the IT manager won't dual-boot, and they have windows-only applications? Tell the boss to get his own mac, the company needs Windows. Otherwise, run away and never come back. Macwhores, especially those that ignore the advice of their chosen consultant, are bad news that typical end up on r/talesfromtechsupport.

Setting up Remote Desktop Session Host is relatively cheap if you can run it on an existing server. I think you're looking at around $150/user for CALs, assuming you already have the rest of the licensing you need. You can justify this expense by not going for the top-end processor offering for whatever laptop you end up getting, which comes out to a similar cost as the RDS CALs in the end, if not cheaper. It's a vastly better solution than teamviewer, with full user separation, multiple simultaneous users, the ability to have the same profile as the rest of their windows computers, etc. If they have multiple servers with some extra capacity, but none sufficient to handle all the users at once, you could install RDC Broker to load-balance sessions across the various servers. At this point you're getting a bit beyond typical IT guy territory, but not into impossible territory if you have competent IT guys who do their homework.

Technically speaking, Windows Server comes with 2 administrative RDC licenses that you could use, but you're technically in violation of licensing... Not that every business in history hasn't done this at one point or another. Hell, we pass a microsoft audit every year with 2 non-admins remoting into a server to use a program. You lose very little compared to a full RDS Host installation, and at the low low cost of free. Assuming that having only 2 users works for you, and your IT staff don't mind not being able to remote in without kicking somebody off. (The console will still be open)

Honestly though, if they're willing to spend $2500/user on a macbook pro, they should seriously look into a legitimate remote desktop solution. Especially if they want to grow in the future.




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#10 4 years ago
D3matt;5738509Um... The boss wants a Mac, the IT manager won't dual-boot, and they have windows-only applications? Tell the boss to get his own mac, the company needs Windows. Otherwise, run away and never come back. Macwhores, especially those that ignore the advice of their chosen consultant, are bad news that typical end up on r/talesfromtechsupport.

I know, it sounds ridiculous. Can't be helped though.

Setting up Remote Desktop Session Host is relatively cheap if you can run it on an existing server. I think you're looking at around $150/user for CALs, assuming you already have the rest of the licensing you need. You can justify this expense by not going for the top-end processor offering for whatever laptop you end up getting, which comes out to a similar cost as the RDS CALs in the end, if not cheaper. It's a vastly better solution than teamviewer, with full user separation, multiple simultaneous users, the ability to have the same profile as the rest of their windows computers, etc. If they have multiple servers with some extra capacity, but none sufficient to handle all the users at once, you could install RDC Broker to load-balance sessions across the various servers. At this point you're getting a bit beyond typical IT guy territory, but not into impossible territory if you have competent IT guys who do their homework.

Technically speaking, Windows Server comes with 2 administrative RDC licenses that you could use, but you're technically in violation of licensing... Not that every business in history hasn't done this at one point or another. Hell, we pass a microsoft audit every year with 2 non-admins remoting into a server to use a program. You lose very little compared to a full RDS Host installation, and at the low low cost of free. Assuming that having only 2 users works for you, and your IT staff don't mind not being able to remote in without kicking somebody off. (The console will still be open)

Honestly though, if they're willing to spend $2500/user on a macbook pro, they should seriously look into a legitimate remote desktop solution. Especially if they want to grow in the future.

I like the idea of using a Windows server. Seems more reasonable to buy a fast server instead of several overpriced laptop CPUs.

Two users would probably be enough. So suppose you have a single user license for that windows-only application and you install it on Windows Server 2012 - the legal aspects aside, would that work or would we need a special multiuser version of the application for simultaneous access?




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