13" Laptop Needed

Peter3hg

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I need a new laptop. My netbook just doesn't cut it anymore, although I have had 2 good years out of it.

Basically I want (in order of importance): full size keyboard, long battery life (6 hours min), good build quality, portability.

My budget is anything up to ?1000 although I don't really want to go over ?750.
At the moment I have my eyes on the Sony Vaio Y Series and the Toshiba Portege R700.

Any advice/experience?
 

prizrak

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Honestly... Unless you are tied to Windows for some reason I would say a MacBook. I've had bad experience with Toshiba in the past but I hear they are really good these days.

The Dell XPS 1330 I have is a pretty nice machine but I don't think they are around anymore. I personally like this one http://www.jr.com/asus/pe/ASU_UL30VTA1/ (link for reference this a US only store)
 

GerFix

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^ Yep. I've been using Windows since 1991, and was dead set against Apple after an unsatisfactory experience with an iPod (some years ago) .. but a year ago I relented and bought a MacBook Air (with an SSD) ... brilliant! Very portable, much better battery life than any of my windows laptops and boots up in less than 20sec (shuts down even quicker). If you can stretch to getting an SSD .. do it ... it makes the whole portable computer experience a pleasure (makes the 'puter much more shock resistant too).
 

prizrak

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^ Yep. I've been using Windows since 1991, and was dead set against Apple after an unsatisfactory experience with an iPod (some years ago) .. but a year ago I relented and bought a MacBook Air (with an SSD) ... brilliant! Very portable, much better battery life than any of my windows laptops and boots up in less than 20sec (shuts down even quicker). If you can stretch to getting an SSD .. do it ... it makes the whole portable computer experience a pleasure (makes the 'puter much more shock resistant too).

Also you can still run Windows in bootcamp if you need the OS for anything.
 

Lucky

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If your looking at 13" laptop, Long battery Life and performance that beats a mind boggling 50cc Peel P50 Netbook, then i'm afraid your gona have to go mac =(. Just install windows on it with bootcamp (if your a Windows fanatic like me). A close rival to this would be the new HP DV6 range. For what purposes are you after with your new laptop?
 
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brydie76

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If your looking at 13" laptop, Long battery Life and performance that beats a mind boggling 50cc Peel P50 Netbook, then i'm afraid your gona have to go mac =(. Just install windows on it with bootcamp (if your a Windows fanatic like me). A close rival to this would be the new HP DV6 range. For what purposes are you after with your new laptop?

You don't really have to get a Mac, but I agree with most people here that it would be your best choice. If you can, i think splurge a bit more and go for a MBP- the better build quality and specs are worth the extra money IMO.

I can't vouch directly for the Toshiba you have posted, but I have a Toshiba Satellite T110 CULV (11.6" screen) and they are definitely well built and have a good battery life. Only complaints are that they run a bit hot at times, tend to be fingerprint magnets (mine is shiny black plastic though) and I actually ended up having to replace the first one I got on the day I got it as it had a cooling fan failure out of the box (not to mention that it corrupted it's 64-bit install, but the fan did that from what I could tell- computer died halfway through then went into a nastly loop of trying to repair the install, failing and rebooting). But my second one has had no issues (touch wood).

Although, I definitely would have preferred a Mac if I could have afforded it (even though I've never used or really needed one!). They are the laptop of choice for uni students in my area, which says a lot- they get abused, overused, and generally not treated very nicely yet I hear not many (if any) stories of them dying prematurely. And like others said, you can run Windows on them if needed.
 

Peter3hg

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I should have said at the start that the laptop has to run Windows, as I have to use encryption software that doesn't work on OSX. I looked at Macs but decided they weren't worth the extra when I wasn't using their main feature, although I might look at them a bit more now. It is also a must that I can carry a spare battery which I'm not sure is possible with Macs.

For what purposes are you after with your new laptop?

It will mainly be word processing, email and internet use with the occasional TV show. The important thing is that the battery can last the majority of an 8 hour day. Reviews of the Sony suggest that you can get nearly 10 hours out of it with word processing levels of use.
 
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PacketCollision

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I know my Dell 1340 only gets about 4 hours, even with the extended battery. I have to say that the MacBook(Pro) is probably your best bet. It's got the best battery life (8 hours+) of any computer I've personally used, and is beautiful, sturdy, and reasonably powerful. The batteries are swappable too, if that's important to you. Install Windows if you must, or googling around may lead you to an OS X solution to your program needs.
 

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MacBook, if you can overlook the fact that it runs OSX. I had similar criteria to yours also.
 

Peter3hg

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I know my Dell 1340 only gets about 4 hours, even with the extended battery. I have to say that the MacBook(Pro) is probably your best bet. It's got the best battery life (8 hours+) of any computer I've personally used, and is beautiful, sturdy, and reasonably powerful. The batteries are swappable too, if that's important to you. Install Windows if you must, or googling around may lead you to an OS X solution to your program needs.

I don't have the choice in the program. I have to use the one I am told to.
I understood that the modern MacBook and MacBook Pros had sealed in batteries, i.e. I can't carry a spare and swap it when one goes dead?
I'd love a Mac, I just don't think they will do what I require.
 
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PacketCollision

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I don't have the choice in the program. I have to use the one I am told to.
I understood that the modern MacBook and MacBook Pros had sealed in batteries, i.e. I can't carry a spare and swap it when one goes dead?
I'd love a Mac, I just don't think they will do what I require.

You're right about the battery. I didn't realize they were completely sealed inside, I thought they were just a little harder to remove (had to pop a bottom panel off or something). I guess if those two things really are important, you'll have to go with another manufacturer. I don't have any first-hand experience with anything recent other than my 1340, and I certainly can't recommend it if you need all-day battery life.
 

Peter3hg

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I've been advised to look at the Lenovo X201 series and the Asus UL30. Any thoughts on these laptops or the brands more generally?
 

PacketCollision

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I love Lenovos, but that's mostly because of the ThinkPad series. Asus is supposed to be pretty good too, as far as I know, but I don't have any personal experience with them.
 

Clegko

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I actually have this laptop, and I love it. It's quite reasonably powerful for a 14" notebook, and it doesn't try to burn my testes off, like my old Macbook did. Battery life is pretty decent, about 4 hours with the screen dimmed, and the battery is easily swapped for a second one.
 

Peter3hg

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Another option looks like the Asus U35-Jc. It should be much better to use than the others I'm looking at as it has a proper i3 processor rather than a CULV version, and it has a switchable graphics card for some basic gaming.
Reviews I've seen claim you can also get nearly 10 hours battery life out of it with light usage, which is what I mostly do.
It is well under budget as well.
 

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i just got my ul30j a few days ago, and im happy with it so far. seems suprisingly well built. runs starcraft 2 on low. havent had the need to put it in the charger at school yet. starts up quickly. doesnt seems slow at all when messing around on the internets or word or anything. plays HD material no problem
 
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