# MAC or Windows laptop for MFE students?

#### AlexandreH

I just ordered a Lenovo laptop (x220t). I haven't taken delivery yet but it is small, versatile and has the latest cpu (sandy bridge i5) and awesome screen (IPS screen with multitouch and digitizer for note-taking). It is Win7 so not for Mac fans.
Where did you buy it from? And, maybe you can share with the community your views on it once you use it.

#### Tsotne

I'm in need of high memory laptop. I have one application made in SQL and the local server should host the data which will be on my laptop. Speed is of less concern. Trying to differentiate in apple products. 500GB is a bit expensive...

#### SYau

##### Ting Ting
Where did you buy it from? And, maybe you can share with the community your views on it once you use it.

I haven't gotten it yet Seems like Lenovo has not shipped any of the x220 tablets yet. I ordered from Costcentral with this configuration. With no tax, it is actually much cheaper than ordering direct from Lenovo, even after a 20 or so percent discount.

#### Andy Nguyen

Nice job with using CostCentral. I bought my T60 from them.

#### AlexandreH

I haven't gotten it yet Seems like Lenovo has not shipped any of the x220 tablets yet. I ordered from Costcentral with this configuration. With no tax, it is actually much cheaper than ordering direct from Lenovo, even after a 20 or so percent discount.
Why does Lenovo/IBM have such a small HD????

#### AlexandreH

I haven't gotten it yet Seems like Lenovo has not shipped any of the x220 tablets yet. I ordered from Costcentral with this configuration. With no tax, it is actually much cheaper than ordering direct from Lenovo, even after a 20 or so percent discount.
When do you expect to receive it by? A friend of mine is visiting from the States and I was wondering if I can get it to him in time. He's leaving on June 10th.

#### menovive

##### Columbia MAFN
I haven't gotten it yet Seems like Lenovo has not shipped any of the x220 tablets yet. I ordered from Costcentral with this configuration. With no tax, it is actually much cheaper than ordering direct from Lenovo, even after a 20 or so percent discount.

When u place an order It gets configured in china and has to be shipped from there. May be thats why the time..!!

#### SYau

##### Ting Ting
When do you expect to receive it by? A friend of mine is visiting from the States and I was wondering if I can get it to him in time. He's leaving on June 10th.

Lenovo has delayed shipment to CC again this morning, to 5/12. I would hesitate ordering from CC right now unless Lenovo delivers to CC this week.

#### Lyosha

##### Psychic in Training
I used one of these http://www.anandtech.com/show/2585 for a while that was a hangover from before. Eventually I ordered a newer computer http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs...0151&langId=-1&categoryId=8198552921644784015

I got it because it was the cheapest out there that would give me a fermi video card and 1920 pixels on a horizontal line. Consequently a few days after I ordered it my previous laptop started to violently crash due to some hardware issue with the video card (nice timing on the order!)

My suggestion is as follows - my laptop is nowhere near "too heavy" to carry. You will be doing a significant amount coding. If you don't have eyesight problems and can deal with high resolutions, get a laptop with a 1920 horizontal resolution (i.e. 1080P resolution, or 1920x1200, although those are almost a dead breed... and hence horribly overpriced). You want all the horizontal space you can get. Vertical space is also nice but not as crucial.

I am quite happy with my current laptop. I dual boot W7 and almost stock Ubuntu 10.10 (needed a few tweaks for vid card and sound card, 11.04 should be fine once I upgrade), and this has been a very good setup, at least for me.

Don't get a mac. They look pretty, and a 17 inch macbook pro is one of the computers that offers 1920x1200 resolution, but you pay a disturbingly horrid premium for the shiny plastic. You actually pay a ton to get outdated hardware components and to be forced to put up with apple's monopolistic inefficiencies (how's the reception on that iPhone 4?). Not to mention that there's no advantage to having one, aside of course from looking damn cool.

#### AlexandreH

I used one of these http://www.anandtech.com/show/2585 for a while that was a hangover from before. Eventually I ordered a newer computer http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs...0151&langId=-1&categoryId=8198552921644784015

I got it because it was the cheapest out there that would give me a fermi video card and 1920 pixels on a horizontal line. Consequently a few days after I ordered it my previous laptop started to violently crash due to some hardware issue with the video card (nice timing on the order!)

My suggestion is as follows - my laptop is nowhere near "too heavy" to carry. You will be doing a significant amount coding. If you don't have eyesight problems and can deal with high resolutions, get a laptop with a 1920 horizontal resolution (i.e. 1080P resolution, or 1920x1200, although those are almost a dead breed... and hence horribly overpriced). You want all the horizontal space you can get. Vertical space is also nice but not as crucial.

I am quite happy with my current laptop. I dual boot W7 and almost stock Ubuntu 10.10 (needed a few tweaks for vid card and sound card, 11.04 should be fine once I upgrade), and this has been a very good setup, at least for me.

Don't get a mac. They look pretty, and a 17 inch macbook pro is one of the computers that offers 1920x1200 resolution, but you pay a disturbingly horrid premium for the shiny plastic. You actually pay a ton to get outdated hardware components and to be forced to put up with apple's monopolistic inefficiencies (how's the reception on that iPhone 4?). Not to mention that there's no advantage to having one, aside of course from looking damn cool.
I already have a 17 in laptop: A G73JW Asus with the quad-core i7-740 and 12 GB RAM, True HD res and Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M. That is top of the line for anything (including programming). I was thinking about getting the ThinkPad x200 Tablet but now am reconsidering given your feedback. Don't know actually...

#### SYau

##### Ting Ting
I know resolution will be an issue for the x220 tablet, so I plan to have a separate monitor/docking when I program at home. I think the weight/small form factor makes up for the screen. Plus, it has IPS screen so despite the resolution, it is quite beautiful!

#### Lyosha

##### Psychic in Training
Umm... that is overkill. I see absolutely no reason for you to want to upgrade.

...Just make sure you can carry the thing around. You'll be bringing your laptop with you every day.

#### alain

##### Older and Wiser
but you pay a disturbingly horrid premium for the shiny plastic.
shiny aluminum

#### Andy Nguyen

My Thinkpad T60 has served me well during my MFE education and anything in between. It's been a 5 years journey so "well" is a very understatement.
From time to time, I'm tempted with getting a better, faster, cooler machine. I confessed that I even looked at MBP. In any case, this beast does not die or "violently crash" so I'm getting no excuse to plunge for the guilty pleasure of having new machine.
For the foreseeable future, I am content with getting this T60 a new life by installing W7 on it.

#### amanda.jayne

Im running an x201 (laptop, not tablet). The screen size has been a limiting factor at times but Ive gotten used to it (for the most part anyhow). Apart from my Lenovo service incidents it's been great.

Weight was a big deal for me - a 17"er is hardly portable... Tho Im a fraction of Alexei's size

Unf. felt the same way about the 15"+ MBPs. My laptop comes *everywhere*

#### roni

##### Cornell FE
Here is a good online store located in CA:
http://www.cyberpowerpc.com
I ordered a desktop computer from them in 2009... I really love it, perfect quality...
Soon, I will be ordering a laptop for grad school.
The only thing is that they have 15/17 in.
I tried to compare prices and you can get it for $200-$400 cheaper than from Sony/Dell (definitely cheaper than a Mac).
If you live outside CA, you don't pay taxes. And they always have one of those promotion codes...

#### Devdeep

shiny aluminum

True!

I used one of these http://www.anandtech.com/show/2585 for a while that was a hangover from before. Eventually I ordered a newer computer http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs...0151&langId=-1&categoryId=8198552921644784015

I got it because it was the cheapest out there that would give me a fermi video card and 1920 pixels on a horizontal line. Consequently a few days after I ordered it my previous laptop started to violently crash due to some hardware issue with the video card (nice timing on the order!)

My suggestion is as follows - my laptop is nowhere near "too heavy" to carry. You will be doing a significant amount coding. If you don't have eyesight problems and can deal with high resolutions, get a laptop with a 1920 horizontal resolution (i.e. 1080P resolution, or 1920x1200, although those are almost a dead breed... and hence horribly overpriced). You want all the horizontal space you can get. Vertical space is also nice but not as crucial.

I am quite happy with my current laptop. I dual boot W7 and almost stock Ubuntu 10.10 (needed a few tweaks for vid card and sound card, 11.04 should be fine once I upgrade), and this has been a very good setup, at least for me.

Don't get a mac. They look pretty, and a 17 inch macbook pro is one of the computers that offers 1920x1200 resolution, but you pay a disturbingly horrid premium for the shiny plastic. You actually pay a ton to get outdated hardware components and to be forced to put up with apple's monopolistic inefficiencies (how's the reception on that iPhone 4?). Not to mention that there's no advantage to having one, aside of course from looking damn cool.

I like the VPCF2190X CTO. but the VPCF2190X CTO with Intel® Core™ i7-2720QM quad-core processor (2.20GHz), 4GB (2GBx2) DDR3-SDRAM-1333, NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 540M (1GB VRAM) dedicated graphics, 500GB Hard Drive (7200rpm), Blu-ray burner, and Large Capacity Battery is $2040. The 17" MacBook Pro with almost the same configuration is$2300. So ~ \$250 premium (not disturbingly horrid, right?) Plus you do get to work on Unix environment throughout and will not have to deal with Securities etc. for the W7 part... I am missing something?

@alain, If I have the 17" MacBook Pro, do I really need the windows boot?

Thanks!

#### amanda.jayne

@Devdeep , there are only a few instances I can think of where I really *needed* windows (vs. Ubuntu)

Excel/VBA - I don't know how nicely the new version coming out will play. There are VBA support rumors hovering

Visual Studio -most of the class uses this. Unless you code well enough for it to be cross compatible with G++ this can be annoying at times when working in a group

Rare vendor software - RITC competition comes to mind

Other than that, you shouldnt have any problems running mac.

There are plenty of windows machines on campus if you ever feel the urge

#### Devdeep

@Devdeep , there are only a few instances I can think of where I really *needed* windows (vs. Ubuntu)

Excel/VBA - I don't know how nicely the new version coming out will play. There are VBA support rumors hovering

Visual Studio -most of the class uses this. Unless you code well enough for it to be cross compatible with G++ this can be annoying at times when working in a group

Rare vendor software - RITC competition comes to mind

Other than that, you shouldnt have any problems running mac.

There are plenty of windows machines on campus if you ever feel the urge

Thanks, Amanda!

#### alain

##### Older and Wiser
@alain, If I have the 17" MacBook Pro, do I really need the windows boot?

Windows? Are you out of your mind?

When I use excel, it is because I'm forced to do it and I refuse to do VBA.

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