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Help selecting a new laptop before AUG 15, 2013

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Okay everyone, I am in need of opinions. I was accepted into my law school of choice and will be leaving early august to head on out. While I am there, I was planning on picking up a new laptop. Normally I wouldn't bother to ask what other people thought, but I am in a situation that is a bit unique.
The law school specifically states (in like 5 different places) that battery life should be most important aspect of our purchase. They go as far as recommending that we bring a backup battery with us as well. The main reason for this is during exams. Most law courses only have one exam at the end of the semester, and it tends to be rather long. You are allowed to type your exam (woot!) but you are NOT, under any circumstance, allowed to plug your computer in to a wall. Their security measures seem pretty tight, and somehow this got added to their list of things you can't do. If your computer dies, you will be required to finish your exam on paper, while hoping your other documents are recoverable by the proctors/IT proctors.
My first thought was to just get an ultra low power netbook of some sort with a very long battery life, but overall I don't think I would be satisfied. I want something with a bit more power to it than a net book. I still want something light, portable, but that is a capable and functioning laptop for all my needs.


I believe that one of the various Ultrabooks/A Macbook air would be my best bet. Here is where I get a little more confused. I know that Haswell is supposed to offer even more power saving than Ivy Bridge.

_________________________________________________
1. Given the above, would it be worth that wait for Haswell? That is to say, will the possible extension in battery life from a Haswell processor make any sort of noticeable improvement in a mobile laptop battery life scenario?

2. Money is not a huge issue. I am not looking to break the bank, but I could comfortable spend ~1300.00 US Dollars. While I could probably go higher, that seems unnecessary. I would prefer to even have it at 1100 or under, but I am open to anything.

3. Speaking of open to anything. I have little preference for MAC over PC. I run Windows 7 on this rig and love it. That being said, I also owned a 2009 macbook pro up until it was recently sold (for 650 bucks!) and I loved it. They keep their resale value very well. The one thing that would make me lean most heavily apple are their, IMO, vastly superior mouse track-pads. I find them so much more fluid and effective, and its not as if I havn't tried a fair few ultrabooks in the past few months.

4. As stated in the main paragraph, the most important thing here is going to be battery-life combined with an all around good work laptop. I wont be doing anything too intensive, but I would like an i5 at the minimum.

5. I am very grateful for your help and opinions! I know this was long, but +rep to anyone who can actually give me help based on what I am actually asking for!
Edited by Pararrhexis - 3/24/13 at 12:28pm
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post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pararrhexis View Post

Okay everyone, I am in need of opinions. I was accepted into my law school of choice and will be leaving early august to head on out. While I am there, I was planning on picking up a new laptop. Normally I wouldn't bother to ask what other people thought, but I am in a situation that is a bit unique.
The law school specifically states (in like 5 different places) that battery life should be most important aspect of our purchase. They go as far as recommending that we bring a backup battery with us as well. The main reason for this is during exams. Most law courses only have one exam at the end of the semester, and it tends to be rather long. You are allowed to type your exam (woot!) but you are NOT, under any circumstance, allowed to plug your computer in to a wall. Their security measures seem pretty tight, and somehow this got added to their list of things you can't do. If your computer dies, you will be required to finish your exam on paper, while hoping your other documents are recoverable by the proctors/IT proctors.
My first thought was to just get an ultra low power netbook of some sort with a very long battery life, but overall I don't think I would be satisfied. I want something with a bit more power to it than a net book. I still want something light, portable, but that is a capable and functioning laptop for all my needs.


I believe that one of the various Ultrabooks/A Macbook air would be my best bet. Here is where I get a little more confused. I know that Haswell is supposed to offer even more power saving than Ivy Bridge.

_________________________________________________
1. Given the above, would it be worth that wait for Haswell? That is to say, will the possible extension in battery life from a Haswell processor make any sort of noticeable improvement in a mobile laptop battery life scenario?

2. Money is not a huge issue. I am not looking to break the bank, but I could comfortable spend ~1300.00 US Dollars. While I could probably go higher, that seems unnecessary. I would prefer to even have it at 1100 or under, but I am open to anything.

3. Speaking of open to anything. I have little preference for MAC over PC. I run Windows 7 on this rig and love it. That being said, I also owned a 2009 macbook pro up until it was recently sold (for 650 bucks!) and I loved it. They keep their resale value very well. The one thing that would make me lean most heavily apple are their, IMO, vastly superior mouse track-pads. I find them so much more fluid and effective, and its not as if I havn't tried a fair few ultrabooks in the past few months.

4. As stated in the main paragraph, the most important thing here is going to be battery-life combined with an all around good work laptop. I wont be doing anything too intensive, but I would like an i5 at the minimum.

5. I am very grateful for your help and opinions! I know this was long, but +rep to anyone who can actually give me help based on what I am actually asking for!

I would HIGHLY recommend you wait for Intel Haswell since you have time.
Intel Haswell comes out on June or July, so you have like a month or two to find a decent laptop not to mention there'll be TON of laptops on sales on Summer.
You might be able to grab a decent Intel's laptop with long battery life for a cheaper price rather spending now since you won't be able to use it till August.
That is IF you are "patient" person.

By the way, how long is the exam?
     
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I can definitely wait it out, considering I use my desktop for most everything I do.

I could be wrong, but from what I have been told a medium length response on an average exam can exceed 3000 words or 10 pages double space 12pt font. From their website their recommendation to have at least 1 extra battery for the exam made me take them a bit more seriously. For all I know, Ill have two of those exams in one day with no opportunity to recharge in between.

Im hoping by august ill have a more clear picture of my needs.

Are we sure of a June/July Haswell release?
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post #4 of 7
I believed i read in a review that THIS X1 carbon had the longest battery life:
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post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pararrhexis View Post

I can definitely wait it out, considering I use my desktop for most everything I do.

I could be wrong, but from what I have been told a medium length response on an average exam can exceed 3000 words or 10 pages double space 12pt font. From their website their recommendation to have at least 1 extra battery for the exam made me take them a bit more seriously. For all I know, Ill have two of those exams in one day with no opportunity to recharge in between.

Im hoping by august ill have a more clear picture of my needs.

Are we sure of a June/July Haswell release?

No, I mean, how long as in the time?
Is it 3-4 hours, 5-6, 7-8 or 9+ hours?
     
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post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pararrhexis View Post

I can definitely wait it out, considering I use my desktop for most everything I do.

I could be wrong, but from what I have been told a medium length response on an average exam can exceed 3000 words or 10 pages double space 12pt font. From their website their recommendation to have at least 1 extra battery for the exam made me take them a bit more seriously. For all I know, Ill have two of those exams in one day with no opportunity to recharge in between.

Im hoping by august ill have a more clear picture of my needs.

Are we sure of a June/July Haswell release?

I'm not positive, but a lot of people say Haswell will be release in Summer.
If it doesn't then I think you are fine with finding an ultra voltage Intel or AMD laptop that has a long battery life.
     
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryou-kun View Post

No, I mean, how long as in the time?
Is it 3-4 hours, 5-6, 7-8 or 9+ hours?


Oh I know what you meant, I just don't have a clear answer yet. All I have to go on is what I am reading on the admitted students site. Though, the fact that they recommend both a fully charged battery and highly recommend at least one backup battery, I would say it is reasonable to assume it could be a full day examination.

So basically at this point, I should probably wait it out until very close to mid august, and see what sort of Haswell laptop launches have taken place to take my pick?

And thanks Phenom for the X1 carbon suggestion, I actually really like the look of that. Maybe I'll end up with its Haswell successor!
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