Buying a computer system/Laptop

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Question
I was thinking of getting a laptop computer sometime down the road so I can work on things while on the run, but am not sure what to buy. I was looking at:

http://www.dell.com/us/p/inspiron-15z-5523/pd?oc=fncwg14b&model_id=inspiron-15z-

which seems cool, but the price seems a bit high. I don't have a lot of need for storage beyond maybe 80GB, or processing speed. Maybe good ability to view slow pace graphics as I'd like to edit 3D objects using any of 5 softwares, and also watch movies. I was thinking the Surface might be a good computer, but it is lacking in a DVD drive I think so I don't think I could settle for something that is strictly a tablet. Any ideas on how to come to a decision?

Answer
Ultrabooks (which don't exclusively come from Dell) are generally my suggestion for mobile computing, due to the generally good battery life to performance ratio they offer. The system you've found likely has a somewhat higher price due to the touch-screen functionality, however.

Regarding your overall desires in a computer, the Ultrabook would probably be suitable with the exception of "edit 3D objects" - this strikes me as a somewhat loaded phrase, as 3D rendering or editing can be incredibly demanding of a computer, depending on the scale and scope of what you're attempting to do. Mobile systems generally are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to pro-level applications (like Maya), because of the processing demands those applications generally make. That said, if you're meaning the machine to be essentially a "sidekick" for a desktop workstation that does the majority of the work, you probably won't have much of an issue doing the primary rendering and editing on the workstation and simply viewing or perhaps making slight modifications in the field (this is a not uncommon usage model for architects or structural engineers, for example).

If you need more conventional PC functionality, a tablet will likely be out of the question - they're useful for more casual use, but lack hardware functionality to do more intensive multimedia or professional-level applications (at least currently).

-bob

Buying a computer system

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Bobbert

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I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.

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I have been an enthusiast of PC's for many years, and can answer questions about the purchase/use of a new computer or the purchase, installation, and use of upgrades for existing computers. There probably isn't a whole lot related to the home computer that I haven't seen over the years.

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15+ years of experience

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