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Laptop Recommendations for MBA

athletics

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I need to get a new laptop for MBA school in January. I have not purchased a laptop in 5 years, use a Dell for work and have my trusty Sony at home, neither of these particular ones will be good solutions for the rigors of b-school, but the brands may have other options that will fit. I am finding it hard to determine which laptops might be the best for my situation.

A few thoughts:
No Mac's - so says the school
I love the Sony's, but hate that new raised keyboard
I really like the Lenovo's I see, but I would like to see them in person before buying
I won't be using it for gaming and the shiny plastically ones look cheap

Does anyone have some good/bad laptop experiences? Or recommendations of brands and models?
 

Jumbie

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Originally Posted by athletics
No Mac's - so says the school

I'm a PC user myself but there's nothing stopping you from getting a Mac if that's your preference and running Windows on it using bootcamp.

Regarding laptops, I only have experience with Dells and have never had any issues.
 

Bradford

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I used an Averatec all through my recent b-school experience.

I don't know that it really matters though. I never actually used the CD-Rom drive because I downloaded any program I needed. The main thing I used was the wi-fi to sign into the school network and you'll want to have a jump drive handy to share information quickly in your group meetings.

My school provided students with the entire Microsoft Office Suite and antivirus software so if yours does as well, you can buy a cheap machine that doesn't come with loaded with software and save money that way.

Best tip - have a fast enough processor so you can surf the internet quickly. You'll do a lot of that while sitting in class or killing time while members of your group argue over how to approach a case study
 

Viktri

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Originally Posted by athletics
I need to get a new laptop for MBA school in January. I have not purchased a laptop in 5 years, use a Dell for work and have my trusty Sony at home, neither of these particular ones will be good solutions for the rigors of b-school, but the brands may have other options that will fit. I am finding it hard to determine which laptops might be the best for my situation. A few thoughts: No Mac's - so says the school I love the Sony's, but hate that new raised keyboard I really like the Lenovo's I see, but I would like to see them in person before buying I won't be using it for gaming and the shiny plastically ones look cheap Does anyone have some good/bad laptop experiences? Or recommendations of brands and models?
One of my only regrets was my laptop @ school (was great for home use). Get a small laptop with very good battery life rather than a big and powerful laptop with poor battery life.
 

countdemoney

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I love my vaio. I've had Lenovo's and they're great machines, but when I was in the market, they hadn't changed over the screens.

Buy an extra battery or be sure to get the extended life battery. Nothing worse than running out of juice.
 

mbc

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Having had experience with hundreds of laptops during my past career in IT management, I would strongly suggest against getting a Sony Vaio. You'll find individuals who have had great experiences with them, but overall I've found them to be lacking in reliability (some are great, many are flawed). The headache was so great that we banned them from being purchased across the entire organization.

I've had the best luck with IBM/Lenovo ThinkPads. We were originally an all Dell shop but switched to Lenovo because we had such great experiences with them. They're a little pricey and don't come with many frills but they are incredibly reliable.

FWIW I used a ThinkPad X60s all through my MBA. Weighs about 3 lb and gets 6 hours of battery life. No built-in CD, but honestly, I can count on one hand the number of times I have needed to use a CD-ROM drive in the last 3 years. I suppose if you want to watch DVDs or play a lot of games it might be a different story.
 

Xericx

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Lenovo X61 tablet PC. I hate Vista though on it. wish i got it with XP Pro.
 

NaTionS

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Go with the Lenovos. I have a T60 (technically still IBM) but it's great. Sturdy, long battery life, great keyboard.
 

VKK3450

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Small
Light
Long Battery
Small
Light
Long Battery

Repeat

You will not be doing much processor intensive stuff, so dont worry about getting the highest spec machine or anything fancy.

What you do want is something that you can throw in a bag, carry to class, carry to lunch, carry to group meeting, carry to corp presentation, carry to another class, carry to another meeting, carry to bar, carry home.

I also bought an extra power supply to keep in my locker so I didnt have to carry it back and forth to school.

K
 
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Originally Posted by athletics
I need to get a new laptop for MBA school in January. I have not purchased a laptop in 5 years, use a Dell for work and have my trusty Sony at home, neither of these particular ones will be good solutions for the rigors of b-school, but the brands may have other options that will fit. I am finding it hard to determine which laptops might be the best for my situation.

A few thoughts:
No Mac's - so says the school
I love the Sony's, but hate that new raised keyboard
I really like the Lenovo's I see, but I would like to see them in person before buying
I won't be using it for gaming and the shiny plastically ones look cheap

Does anyone have some good/bad laptop experiences? Or recommendations of brands and models?

what are these rigors? Seems like pretty basic computing to me.
 

Milhouse

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IBM Thinkpads were the standard business laptop for a good reason. I think Lenovo is still putting out the same quality, if so, get one. If not, I don't know what to tell you.

In B-school, you'll be traveling to case competitions, interviews, etc, plus the back and forth to classes. The Thinkpads held up the best to all the travel and abuse while I was doing time.
 

alliswell

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Originally Posted by VKK3450
Small
Light
Long Battery
Small
Light
Long Battery

Repeat

You will not be doing much processor intensive stuff, so dont worry about getting the highest spec machine or anything fancy.

What you do want is something that you can throw in a bag, carry to class, carry to lunch, carry to group meeting, carry to corp presentation, carry to another class, carry to another meeting, carry to bar, carry home.

I also bought an extra power supply to keep in my locker so I didnt have to carry it back and forth to school.

K


Also: cheap.
 

VKK3450

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Originally Posted by letmebefell
Also: cheap.

I dunno about cheap. I had a lot of meetings, coffees, hanging about for a chat with profs, classmates, potential employers / investors where I ended up getting my laptop out.

I wouldnt wear a cheap suit or carry a cheap pen, so why would I have a cheap laptop? Its the most important business tool that I carry, so I think that reluctance to invest in it says something.

K
 

DNW

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Thinkpads are the way to go. If you don't have much dough, get a slightly used/new T61. Or, if you really want to splurge, get a X300.

I had a T42 for 3 years of law school. I never had any issue with it during exams. It's fairly light, durable, and doesn't come loaded with junk. Oh, the in-home service is top notch. I've never seen a more liberal warranty policy from any other electronics company.

The only down side to Lenovo right now is that they're making most of the laptops in widescreen format. I hate widescreen.
 

Milhouse

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Also, think about your possible area of specialty/interest/major. If you do market research or financial modeling or some other data intensive type of work, get as much memory as you can. Life is just less stressful that way.
 

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