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Ultrabook for Mechanical Engineering student $3000 (soft)limit

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
First, thank you for your input on this as I am not familiar with ultrabooks (Outside of setting them up at work) and am a desktop guy through and through.

My girlfriend is attending NIU's engineering program and her current ASUS laptop is a very heavy gaming laptop which causes issues since the engineering building is pretty hard to get to (according to her.) I was looking at laptops with her and I personally really like the Asus Zenbooks and I priced one out at $2000, my only issue is I'm not sure if it is powerful enough as the specs (aside from an i7) don't look too CAD friendly.

Is anyone here an engineering student/engineer and have familiarity with AutoCad and Autodesk?

How beefy of a laptop is she going to need?

I really don't have a limit on how much I am willing to spend, I just need to justify it knowing that the device will have no issues with CAD software and will be light and well made.

EDIT:
I've priced out a comparable Sager laptop with a 120 gig ssd system drive and a 500 gig ssd data drive and double the memory for a little cheaper. So.. Asus or Sager?
Edited by Crim427 - 4/24/14 at 9:49am
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post #2 of 11
Have you looked at MacBook Pros?
    
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post #3 of 11
You are asking us to find an ultrabook that is AutoCad/Autodesk friendly? doh.gif

If she is going to be using those type of programs then an ultrabook is not what she needs. If you want a laptop that will be able to handle engineering programs such as Autodesk, AutoCad etc then take a look at the ThinkPad W540. It comes with the new Nvidia Quadro K2100M 2GB which is a beast for those applications. You can also configure your laptop with a 3K display which can be very useful for engineering applications. The weight of the W540 is 5.5lbs which isn't bad for a workstation machine. If you want an ultrabook for other uses then take a look at the ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2014 Edition which is only 2.8lbs!
Edited by Capt - 4/24/14 at 12:17pm
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willanhanyard View Post

Have you looked at MacBook Pros?

Thanks for the suggestion but I'm not a fan of Macs.
Edited by Crim427 - 4/24/14 at 12:49pm
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post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crim427 View Post

Not buying a Lenovo, I have my requirements.
I'm not asking you to find anything, I'm asking people with experience what they have used.

Thanks for your reply but I'm not looking for a dickish answer.

How is my answer dickish?

You said in the OP that you were looking for an ultrabook that could handle AutoCad/Autodesk and those two things don't go together. You said you liked the Asus Zenbook which is an ultrabook that comes with an undervolted CPU (hence the 'U' at the i7-4558U) and it is NOT meant for AutoCad/Autodesk. I suggested to you the W540 which is exactly what your gf needs for her applications but you somehow want an ultrabook with the power of a workstation laptop.
post #6 of 11
Hands down you're best to go for an APU, it won't have the sheer core power of an Intel but you need a decent iGPU/dGPU to handle CAD. The iGPUs in the APUs are more than generous for your environment. An A8-5545m if you want to be mobile or an A10-5750 for being a work horse. Although I would recommend Intel if it includes a dGPU. Just make sure you've got your banks filled for multi-channel support on ram.

Ultrabook is a licensed term by Intel. Sleekbook is a licensed term by HP referring AMD. Feel free to look around! smile.gif I imagine you're looking for lightweight look around for that too! I did see an ASUS laptop really thin 15.6 touch screen with an 8670 dGPU for 679 refurbished.
Edited by SpeedyVT - 4/24/14 at 1:10pm
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post #7 of 11
You can't get an ultrabook that can do what you want the way you want. So buy 2 things a beefy desktop and a lower end laptop or just get nothing but the thing you want doesn't exist.
Edited by SteveZ23 - 4/24/14 at 1:10pm
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Never mind, found what I was looking for. Thanks for the replies.
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post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crim427 View Post

Never mind, found what I was looking for. Thanks for the replies.

Awesome. What did you decide to go with?
    
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willanhanyard View Post

Awesome. What did you decide to go with?

Dell M3800.

3.2ghz i7, K1100m, 16gigs of ram, and a 128gig ssd. Gonna get a 1TB EVO for the data drive. It also has a 3200x1800 resolution. All for just slightly over 4lbs.
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