Looking for a new laptop

My laptop is almost non-functional and I need to find a new one fast. I want something that will be able to handle programs like Solidworks, Alias and Illustrator etc. for school (MIAD) and something that I can still run Windows XP on and is not a mini computer (I will need to be able to use the keyboard). I am willing to invest in something that will work well for at least a few years instead of going the refurb-acer route I took last time.

People have suggested Macbook Pro w/ XP system?

I am looking for other suggestions or if the Macbook Pro is a good choice. What do you, or would you, use instead?

Any help is appreciated
Erin B

What’s your price range?

The new apple mac laptops are supposed to be relesed 14th of oct so its worth waiting for

I’ve had a ton of luck with the functionality of 2 Tablet PC’s.

Mine are too old to recommend. But having so much luck with the HP line (I know, I know- I said it), can’t help but pass it on

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that you could make an assembly too big for the system in Solidworks… but why would you.

A MIAD student…I just graduated from there a few years ago.

Do they still have the ID lab with the same old Dells, or did they get new ones yet?

On the laptop. I personally don’t really know why you would want a Mac for what you are doing (specifically CAD). You are going to have to dual boot two OS’s in order to run XP. Why not just get a PC with XP to start with. Mac’s are nice but for what you are doing, there are a lot of nice computers out there.

My recommendations are going to be on the basis that I’m primarily an Alias user.

With that being said below are a few notes to consider.

  • Modeling is going to be processor and memory intensive but Alias really starts to use memory when you want to Hardware Shade and revolve within the workspace. Probably best to get 2 gigs minimum for memory

-Rendering tends to be more processor driven (not to say plenty memory isn’t used), but this really taxes the processor. Basically shoot for the best processor you can afford, you are going to use it rendering.

-Graphics: Your best bet is to go with an Nvidia graphics card (usually better supported and has less quirks with Alias). If you can, try to get one of the workstation cards Nvidia Quadro series. These cards usually have better Open GL support and Anti Aliasing and many have settings specifically for AliasStudio, Solid Works, etc.

You can do Alias with most consumer laptops as well but still I would try to get an Nvidia card. (Alias has just started to support Windows Vista now, XP is getting harder to come by on a lot of new laptops) The ATI graphics cards are currently unsupported on Vista.

One other note about Nvidia cards: there is info going around about computers with the Nvidia GeForce 8600 series consumer cards having over heating problems.

Take a look at the Dell Latitudes (office section) with the Nvidia Quadro cards in them if they are in your price point. There are a lot of nice consumer laptops out there that would work also.

I know this got quite technical but I hope it will be of some help.
Good luck in your search.

One thing to keep in mind about the HP Tablets is that they cannot sense pressure, so for sketching you’d have to adjust those things manually.

I guess I’m confused on what you mean by pressure? My tc4200 recognizes line weight really well. Would you explain what you mean by manually adjust pressure?

Well, now that I look at their current product line like I should have, it looks like this isn’t a problem. Specifically on their tx1000 line, it was only touchscreen and didn’t have an active digitizer. Apparently they’ve upgraded that line and it now has an active digitizer. I thought I had been told before that a touchscreen wasn’t good for sketching and you really wanted an active digitizer.

Ok- thanks symm… Woo, I thought I going crazy.

But I can see how touchscreens laptops aren’t pressure sensitive. But the Tablet line does.

Anyway, the to the original question- I love having the ability to put down directly on screen. Most notebooks in general, have video cards that you can plug in a second monitor (larger) and expand the desktop to two monitors for desk work.

Happy Hunting Erin!