Seeking suggestions for new computer

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This post has 17 Replies | 4 Followers

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Bill Moore | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Sep 20 2013 11:28 AM

About every four years I seem to go through this--trying to determine the best computer to buy with a particular concern for running Logos. I don't have to buy today but need to start getting my ducks in a row.

My present computer is a Lenovo ThinkPad T500, complete with hairline cracks in each palmrest. I've been using notebook computers since 1997 but have never had this occur. Regardless, it's not a big deal and wouldn't prevent my buying another Lenovo because I like the keyboard so much.

This is a good time to reassess the playing field as well as give Apple another look (I have an iPhone 4s and an iPad 3). I could get used to Retina display on a computer. Admittedly, the price of Macs has usually kept me away. Do any Windows notebooks have a Retina-like display?

Hybrid Windows computers (notebook/tablet) are intriguing, though I would be concerned about speed and storage capacity. It seems that a good notebook is the thing to go with, but I'm open to any and all suggestions.

So, if you had a budget of $1500 but would gladly spend less, what would you go with? I'm open to Windows and Macs. I guess the three criteria for me are speed, hard drive capacity, and display resolution (with a concern about glare).

Thanks for your input.

Pastor, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Clinton, SC

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 20 2013 11:57 AM

With that budget i would say MacBook pro 13" is your best bet…. but to get the hard drive space to the level you want it may bump you over the 1500 mark. Make sure no matter which laptop you buy you get a solid state drive it will make all the difference with Logos for speed.

-Dan

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 20 2013 12:13 PM

Bill Moore:
Hybrid Windows computers (notebook/tablet) are intriguing,

If you like that idea, and love Lenovo, then consider the IdeaPad Yoga, which is one of the better implementations of that type of PC. For your $1,500, you'd get a 13" i7 with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. Screen resoluytion is 1600x900. That's about $100 cheaper than a similarly specced MacBook Air, and that has a slightly lower resolution, too. If you wanted Retina you'd have to go for the 13" MacBook Pro, and pay $1700 for an i5 with a 256GB HDD. Personally, I'm not convinced that Retina is necessary on laptops (although it certainly is on phones and tablets).

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Bill Moore | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 20 2013 12:32 PM

Thanks, Dan and Mark.I'm on the fence about Windows vs. Mac. In the past I've been unconvinced about the higher prices of Macs, but my iPhone and iPad may be changing my mind a bit because of the quality I perceive in them.

You may be right, Mark, about the Retina display, but I would surely love to get really sharp fonts if the cost is not too much greater. I had been hoping some Windows computer would come out with a similar display that results in sharp fonts in their natural size, if that makes sense, not merely the ability to have really tiny fonts that have to be enlarged for my aging eyes whose vision wasn't that great to begin with.

And, too, if I go with a Mac (a big "if" at this point), I will probably go the refurb route. I didn't that with my iPad and have been very pleased with it.

Pastor, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Clinton, SC

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David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 20 2013 6:18 PM

Probably doesn't surprise anybody in the forums to hear me say that Surface Pro is a good solution. The SSD and i5 is plenty quick as relates to "speed". I have an external hard drive that I connect via USB when I am at my desk which erases the hard drive capacity issue. Only once in the last 6 months have I wanted to access a file that was on my external drive while I had my Surface in a coffee shop. The 128GB is only half full because I keep most of my big files (media) on the external drive other than a few videos (Logos Learn to Use Hebrew and Greek, and others) on my SSD. Display resolution has never been a problem. With the extended battery life and doubling of RAM that is coming out in the Surface Pro 2, you may want to wait a couple months.

The update of iTunes 11 this week with the release of iOS7 makes iCloud even easier to access if you need to integrate with the iphone and iPad.

Making Disciples!  Logos Ecosystem = Logos8 on Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (Win10), Android app on tablet, FSB on iPhone, [deprecated] Windows App, Proclaim, Faithlife.com, FaithlifeTV via Connect subscription.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 20 2013 6:42 PM

Bill Moore:
You may be right, Mark, about the Retina display, but I would surely love to get really sharp fonts if the cost is not too much greater.

If you really want retina, you can look at this refurbished model: http://store.apple.com/us/product/FE662LL/A/refurbished-macbook-pro-26ghz-dual-core-intel-i5-with-retina-display 

You will need to get a minimum of 256GB SSD. I also recommend Apple Care, but that might price you out.

FWIW - I love the integration with my Apple products. I would not have a "smart phone" other than an iPhone. Yes, I love Apple. Yes, there are other "good" phones… but the main selling point to me is the complete integration. 

OSX & iOS | Logs |  Install

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David Wilson | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 20 2013 7:11 PM

Given you are just testing the waters, you may care to check out the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus

http://www.samsung.com/global/ativ/ativbook9plus.html

Specs say screen resolution up to 3200*1800 on a 13.3inch screen, 4th gen i5 or i7 Haswell processors but I would avoid the entry level 128GB SSD and suggest a 256GB SSD minimum. Would prefer 8GB Ram myself given I tend to keep a lot of things open at once. Have yet to see one of these in the stores here but sounds interesting for me next laptop.

http://www.engadget.com/2013/08/07/samsung-ativ-book-9-1400-august-9/

 

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 20 2013 7:48 PM

David J. Wilson:
http://www.engadget.com/2013/08/07/samsung-ativ-book-9-1400-august-9/

Sounds good, but I still prefer the mac, and since you are not needing to look at a retina (I don't own one myself), if you want a mac the 13-inch MacBook Air 8GB Ram and 512 SSD will run a total of $1699, if 256 is enough $1399 is the price. They do cost more but are made well… PC world labeled the AIR as the best computer over all, ironically enough even if you were wanting to run windows (I am guessing they meant 7, since I can't imagine anyone considering any non-touch computer right for 8).

-Dan

Posts 126
James Milne Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 21 2013 5:45 AM

Having switched to Mac about 10 years ago, I would never go back to Windows again. And the machines I bought ten years ago are still running like a dream.

Posts 2250
mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 21 2013 6:32 AM
I love the Mac but you can get a great deal on a Windows machine and avoid spending Logos dollars on the hardware. There's also the transition between platforms. FWIW the best Mac is the Mini. Lots of power for least dollars. I use one and have a Lenovo laptop that is like a MB clone.

The mind of man is the mill of God, not to grind chaff, but wheat. Thomas Manton | Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. Richard Baxter

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MWW | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 21 2013 11:30 AM

Switched to Mac in 2007 and have no regrets, no spyware and no restarts (well maybe once a month, just for kicks). Current setup is a 2010 Macbook Air with 4gb ram and 256gb SSD drive - best computer I have owned in 23 years of computing. 

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 21 2013 8:25 PM

Bill Moore:
This is a good time to reassess the playing field as well as give Apple another look (I have an iPhone 4s and an iPad 3). I could get used to Retina display on a computer. Admittedly, the price of Macs has usually kept me away. Do any Windows notebooks have a Retina-like display?

Apple offers refurbished Mac's => http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac that includes some Retina models: e.g. Oct 2012 MacBook Pro 13.3" with 3rd Gen i5 @ 2.9GHz,  8 GB Ram and 128 GB SSD for $ 1,249 => http://store.apple.com/us/product/FD212LL/A/refurbished-macbook-pro-25ghz-dual-core-intel-core-i5-with-retina-display

For new Apple models, would check Microcenter in store specials => http://www.microcenter.com/site/brands/apple-product-showcase.aspx#laptops 

Amazon has Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus NP940X3G-K01US 13.3-Inch Laptop => http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-ATIV-NP940X3G-K01US-13-3-Inch-Laptop/dp/B00DVFMDN8 with 1.6 Ghz 4th Gen i5 and retina display for $ 1,399 (albeit 128 GB SSD is a bit small)

Personally watching for 4th Generation Intel i7 and Black Friday sales.  Dell Outlet posts coupon codes on twitter.  Wonder about Apple repeating some limited time offers in December.  Also wonder about Logos 12 Days of Christmas.

Keep Smiling Smile

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Antonius | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 23 2013 5:24 AM

If you get a laptop with a small screen like 13 or 14 inch, I recommend an external monitor. The really high resolutions on a 13" or 14" screen make for very small fonts. I view Logos on a 24", with a second 17" monitor. It is great to have that much real estate to study with.  Nice 24" monitors are about $150 to $200.

You could set Logos to run on the 24" and then have a word processor app or Internet browser on the laptop screen.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 23 2013 8:04 AM

Bill Moore:
About every four years I seem to go through this--trying to determine the best computer to buy with a particular concern for running Logos. I don't have to buy today but need to start getting my ducks in a row.

Quack, quack, quack.  Why not get a desktop?  Laptops are always more expensive featurewise than desktops so you'll get a better computer that way.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 23 2013 8:07 AM

George Somsel:
Why not get a desktop?  Laptops are always more expensive featurewise than desktops so you'll get a better computer that way.

I concur, unless portability is a prime concern. In many cases, an iPad can meet the "portability" need.

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Bill Moore | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 23 2013 8:49 AM

alabama24:

George Somsel:
Why not get a desktop?  Laptops are always more expensive featurewise than desktops so you'll get a better computer that way.

I concur, unless portability is a prime concern. In many cases, an iPad can meet the "portability" need.

Good thoughts. I study about as much at home as I do at the church, so portability is important with the notebook computer's being as much of a desktop replacement as possible. If I had more funds to tap into, perhaps the ideal perhaps would be to have a nice desktop in my study at church and then a good notebook (e.g., MacBook Air) for elsewhere.

Perhaps looking at PC's with an eye on desktop and notebook combinations may be an idea. I don't think I could do that with Apple products. I've got to keep the total under $1800.

Pastor, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Clinton, SC

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spitzerpl | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 23 2013 11:47 AM

alabama24:

George Somsel:
Why not get a desktop?  Laptops are always more expensive featurewise than desktops so you'll get a better computer that way.

I concur, unless portability is a prime concern. In many cases, an iPad can meet the "portability" need.

This is exactly the direction I am going in. I have an iPad 3, iPhone 4S, and Kindle Paperwhite. I have all the portability I need. I'm looking for something that I sit down with and say "now its time to work." That being said I'm done with Microsoft. I am leaning heavily towards an iMac because it will be more out of my way on my future small desk (I start a new job as Executive Pastor on October 15th...very excited!) Next month they should be announcing the MacBook Pro/iMac upgrades so I'm going to wait until then.

That being said, any advice/experience out their with the Apple Fusion drive? Is it worth the upgrade cost? Does it provide a performance boost for Logos?

Posts 9946
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 23 2013 11:52 AM

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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