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Laptop for physics research

by lady_eowyn / July 10, 2010 9:53 AM PDT

I'm looking for a laptop that would serve me well for physics research-related use: mainly running heavy mathematica and maple codes and C/Java-based data analysis programs (so I need a strong and fast processor). If it's a PC, it would have to work really well with a dual-boot linux/windows OS because most physics applications are made for a linux environment.
My other requirements is a screen size of 13-15 inches, weight no more than 5 lbs, ideally a long battery life (though not essential), and a computer that stays relatively cool while I'm using several applications and many internet windows at once.
The macbook pro would obviously be a great choice, but I'm looking to see whether there might be cheaper (under $1000) PC alternatives that would work just as well for my needs. Thanks!

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Opposing goals.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 10, 2010 5:17 PM PDT

High speed would be the current i7 machines but that wipes out the battery hours. And limiting the weight means we can't fit the big battery.

Same for cool. This removes the i7 based units. Try the i5 machines.

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Check out this Toshiba Satellite w/ i5
by iTechGuy16 / July 12, 2010 6:53 AM PDT

Hey, I looked around at a few laptops and this Toshiba Satellite w/ an Intel i5 processor is the best one I could find. It has about 10 hours of battery life, 4 GB of memory and a 500 GB hard drive-$799.99. I'm a huge fan of Mac's myself, but I don't if I can justify taking a hit in processing power just to get the cheapest model.

Toshiba - Satellite Laptop / Intel

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Thanks - but lighter laptop?
by lady_eowyn / July 13, 2010 3:59 AM PDT

Thanks Tim!! I noticed that the i5 Toshiba weighs 6 lbs; what would you say is the best bet for an i5 that doesn't weigh above 5 lbs (or at most 5.5 lbs)?

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Sorry, I didn't track the thread
by iTechGuy16 / July 21, 2010 2:48 AM PDT

I would have gotten back to you way sooner, but I forgot to track this thread and had no clue you responded. Here is a lighter laptop. 4.4 lbs

HP - Pavilion Laptop / Intel

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Just sharing.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 21, 2010 9:35 AM PDT

The workplace has me traveling more so they fitted me with a cheap i5. That HP G62-149wm. Don't laugh. It's really nice. My only quibble is the machine arrived with outdated BIOS and drivers. But it rocks at Visual Studio 2008/2010 work.

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