What laptop/tablet pc should I get?

Hi I was wondering if anyone could help me out with my choice of laptop? I am about to at Nottingham Trent on their Product Design course and I was wondering what type of specs I should be looking out for when it comes to a mobile workstation capable of running solidworks at nearly its fastest (for a laptop that is). Which manufacturers should I be looking at for best build quality/durability at a decent price? Also should I look into getting a tablet for sketching?

Thanks for any help given to me on this.


I am in the same boat myself. Looking for a new laptop, but one to just occasionally run Alias on. I am actually considering a Mac, I’ve seen Alias/Rhino run fairly smoothly on the Macbook Pros.

As for PC’s I would stay away from companies like Sony, HP, and Toshiba. I’m currently running on a Vaio and while Alias did work fine and smoothly for the first half year of owning it, everything has started slowing down tremendously. I often run multiple programs at once (Photoshop, Indesign, Ilustrator) and that’s starting to become a problem with overheating. I’ve had my power supply burn out once already and I think my graphics card is half dead.

I have heard that Dell is a good choice, and I’ve seen a few people get the M series for their ID uses but those are extremely large and heavy. I’d be interested in something a bit more portable and lighter, yet powerful enough for what I need them for if anybody has any suggestions.

Something with a Core i7 would be fast.

I work for Autodesk(Alias guy). which ever machine that you get, keep in mind that Nvidia is currently the preferred graphics card for Alias. Quadro cards are currently the best choice because the graphics drivers are tuned for CAD.

Im getting a new 15" HP. its their mobile workstation so it will probably be bulkier that most 15" but it has a Quadro card in it and i have heard that Alias runs well.

im also interested in knowing which laptops with Geforce or ATI cards are running Alias with out any problems. always good to be able to recommend cheaper and smaller machines : )

Stay as far away from an ATI/AMD/Intel graphics as possible. I can’t tell you how bad my last desktop ran Alias with that card. Just switched back to Nvidia and I have to say Alias runs almost as good on my new Geforce as it does on my Quadro 4800 ($1500 price gap).

Which Geforce ?
thanks for being so straight forward. I cant be so direct :wink:

GTX460…I do notice some slight quality differences on transparent objects in Showcase and such and it doesn’t seem to handle Anti-aliasing quite as well but blows my old ATI 4870 out of the water which barely would function even on simple objects.

I was considering going back to PC after having an integrated graphics card white MacBook for 3 years, but then I realized most of the well-designed Laptops such as a ThinkPad, etc. are at the same price point or higher than a maxed-out 15" MBP.

So, I’m sticking with Apple. Windows 7 is great, but I still prefer OSX, and I don’t anticipate any hyper-complex modeling anyways–I think only a small portion of designed products fit that bill anyway.