Laptop Recommendations?

Feb 12, 2011

Hey folks,

I'm in the market for a new laptop and have been quite disappointed in my I'm calling for help!

I do most of my work on a souped-up PC desktop and utilize a Macbook Pro on the go.  I recently decided that I wanted to purchase a PC laptop as well.  After swallowing my MB Pro build quality pride, I purchased a new HP with Sandy Bridge, SSD/HDD combo, etc.  However, the SSD died within the first hour of use and back it went. While the HP's quick demise was frustrating, it was a fortuitous event as the quality of the screen (color and brightness) and overall build were quite disappointing.  

So, I'm still in the market for a laptop with Sandy Bridge and an SSD/HDD combo...but I want a screen that at least comes close to the quality of my MB Pro.

Does anyone out there have a recommendation they could share?  I want bright, saturated, and beautiful...the more nits the better!  =)



8 Replies
James Brown

Q. You are aware that you can triple boot your MAC and if the MAC has everything you need, you may not need a laptop. A friend at work has a Macbook Pro and he runs his Windows programs by booting in XP and then he runs is Mac apps by booting off Mac's os. If you do duo boot, you do have to use antivirus while running under the windows mode.BTW the third option is to boot in Linux and to be honest with you, not a lot of people know about this Mac capability.

My favorite two websites to look for laptops are New Egg and Tiger Direct. I'm a technie by trade and a friend of mine swears by Toshiba. Another friend says by ACER. Me personally, I have a Sony Viao but I think this is my last PC. There is just too many issues with PC's that you simply do not have with MACs the first being viruses. Another nice feature is MAC's make it so easy to install and uninstall programs. Plus Apple is working with NVIDIA which tells you Bill Gates and company are going to have some serious competition in the PC gaming world very soon. Hope that helps.

Mike Enders


Well aware of the dual boot option....and I absolutely love the sexy aluminum chassis on my MB Pro.  A little part of me died when

I pulled the PC laptop out of the box and saw plastic...

But within the first hour of having the HP, I fell in love with the speedy combo of Sandy Bridge and the SSD.  The first thing I did after cleaning out the bloatware was to render a couple of my Articulate courses.  Couldn't believe how fast they rendered! 

I suppose I could wait until Apple comes out with Sandy Bridge...but they waaaay overcharge for SSD and don't offer the SSD HDD combo I desire...

Thanks for the thoughts!


James Brown

You understand why "Solid State Drives" are so fast? No moving parts. It's like a huge jump drive except the pc boots off the SDD. SDD is rather  new technology, and yes they are fast, but I just haven't seen the capacity yet at a good price. Why don't you simply purchase one of the mini laptops that come with SDD for approx $300 that have a 80 or 120g SDD (Solid State Drive) and then connect a 1or 2tb external usb or fire wire drive to hold all of your data.  I would say buy it from Costco since the laptop would come with a 2 year warranty from Costco.

Gerry Wasiluk


For Articulate Presenter work, I've found that a SSD drive does not make that big of a difference.  SSDs are not that good dealing with a bunch of small files and AP produces them a plenty when publishing.  An SSD drive is nice, however, when booting (especially for those of us stuck in the Win-doze world).  I've got three of them in three different PCs.

If you have to choose get the best OS with the best Sandy Bridge processor and the most RAM that you can get.  That will probably make the most difference for Articulate work.  I'd even get a configuration with a separate, quick graphic card instead of relying on the SB on-board graphics.  The higher-end graphics card can do better.

Mike Enders


Thanks for the tip!  It's great to hear from someone with SSD and Articulate Experience.  Perhaps it was simply the Sandy Bridge Processor of Fire that was making it go vroom!

That will certainly expand the field as I can also include 15 inch laptop models as well.  And also gives me the opportunity to wait and see what Apple releases in the upcoming refresh...


James Brown

Just wanted to hit on something. Intel makes a good processor but my preference is AMD. I would also say if you can use WIndows 7 (64 bit) os to go with that.  If you use the (32 bit) os you are going to be restricted to the amount of ram being recognized by the OS. WIth the 64 bit version you could virtually throw as much memory as your motherboard will support. I know my g4 year old igabyte motherboard with duo 5400 AMD 64 bit processors will take up to 16 gigs of ram on Windows 64 bit but on Windows 7 32 bit, I believe it only recognizes 4. I may be wrong. Now don't be fooled by the Windows os. Just because you have Windows 7 (64bit) does not mean that you cannot run 32 bit programs. Just the opposite is true. 32 bit applications will simply install under the program files (x86) folder and the 64 bit apps will go under the c:\program files. 

I also believe NVidia video cards with SLI work better with AMD processors. SLI is basically where you are able to bridge multiple video boards on a mother board. Some of the new boards are supporting 3 to 4 video boards under SLI. I know my son plays a lot of 3D games and he loves the SLI. Now watchout with SLI. Video cards tend to suck electricity and if you only have a 450W power adapter and you decide to install two or three Nvidia cards you need to bump up the power supply  to 650w, 700W, or 800W. I recently upgraded my power supply after I fried it and it cost me around $80 for a 650W supply. 

Gerry also hit the nail on the head with ram. The more ram you have the better and if you can add a solid state drive as the boot drive, and a hefty sata for your data drive, coupled with duo video boards and 16 gigs of ram, you pc will scream.

Alecia Teel

I'm in the market for a new laptop and noticed the latest post in this thread is almost a year an a half old. Any one have any updated recommendations for a Windows-based laptop that will be snappy with Articulate and other graphic software? I need to stick with Windows because of the software my company uses. Is it worth waiting for Windows 8? I would like a light machine for easy portability, but also want a decent screen size.