[gis_info] Summary of laptop recommendations

Erik Fernandez ef at oregonwild.org
Fri Jun 21 17:01:36 PDT 2013

Thanks to all of you who responded to my question about lenovo vs dell
laptops. I've summarized the comments I got from folks and am pasting that
below. The comments below are shorted from what I got... so it's not word
for word, just including the main themes. Overall I got feedback that was
totally contradictory (thanks for nothing!) in some respects and consistent
in others, but I wouldn't say it's definitive toward one or the other.
Different people have had good and bad experiences with both. Hopefully if
anyone else is looking for insight on GIS laptops the below summary will be
helpful. Thanks again for the feedback.

A number of folks suggested getting an SSD drive as being very important.

Someone reported having purchased 7 dells over the last several years. Not
good support, and lots of problems. Have purchased Lenovo’s recently and
have had a much better experience.

Used almost 20 dells in past 12 years. Good experience with computers and
support. Suggests buying directly from Dell, not from a store, you may pay
slightly more but you’ll get a much better computer with better parts, etc.

Oregon Dept. of Forestry has been using Dell Precision M4600 for GIS with
good results.

Someone suggested Lenovo quality has dropped off after they were bought out
by someone else. HP makes decent laptops, cheaper and work fine.

Make sure to get a strong graphics processor and lots of memory for drawing
rasters. Gaming laptops have great speed. Dell serves a lot of govt
agencies. Have had good exp with Dell laptop.

We just got 2 of the Dell Latitude e6530 laptops.  Top of the line and
fast.  Have not had time to run Arc on it yet but it looks like it will run
great.  Just get lots of memory!

Really liked the Dell Latitude e6350, as did others in office. Best laptop
ever had, no problems for anyone in office after 9 mos. Fast, good battery,
ssd drive make it great. Nvidia card is good.  In the past used Dell
Precisions, good.  These were designed to be easily reapaired.  Make sure
to avoid Dell Vostro lines.   Bad experiences with HP and Toshiba.  Optionally
wait for the Haswell chips and wifi 802.11ac to come out.

Lenovo with an internal wireless card used with net motion has been good.  More
affordable than more rugged options.

Keep in mind that with ArcGIS 10.2 and 11 after that coming out much of the
GIS processing will be done in the cloud.  Good reference doc

HP EliteBook 6930p, Intel dual processors at 2.2ghz and 4gb of ram, and it
has less problems than the Lenovo’s that my co-workers have used.  Also
have a dell latitude e6400 with dual 3ghz processors and 4gb of ram that I
mainly use citrix on for ArcGIS tasks and it does fine.

Have had a Lenovo Thinkpad (motherboard failed after 4 years), a Sony Viao
(going 5 years strong). Buy something that is suited to what you really
need… for travel, get good battery, etc.

I have 10+ years of government experience supporting Dell machines using
GIS in a government setting and I would recommend them. I recommend a Dell
Precision laptop with dual hard drives (non-RAID), at least 8GB RAM (I have
16) and the fastest processor you can afford.  ArcGIS can utilize multiple
cores but, for ArcGIS, the money is better spent on higher CPU speed than
on more CPU cores.

Erik Fernandez
Wilderness Coordinator
Oregon Wild, formerly ONRC
(503) 283-6343 x202**


Protecting Oregon's wildlands, wildlife, and waters as an enduring legacy
since 1974.
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