My Dream Machine. 2012 version.


I bought my laptop in 2009. Way back then I was fairly happy with Apple’s spec of a gorgeous 17″ MacBook Pro laptop with 4+ hour of battery life running with 8GB RAM and a 500MB HDD – although I was a bit disappointed with the 500GB HDD.

In fact, it is probably the lack of HDD space that is driving me to look for a new laptop now.

But now it it 2012. And this is what I expect from a 2012 powerful laptop now. And I’m afraid Apple doesn’t come close. Unfortunately, nor does anyone else. Dell’s Ailienware M18X monster gets the grunt, but not the portability.

In rough order of importance:

  • 1TB SSD. Forget spinning disks, I want speed and battery life. I’d really like 2TB, but it seems the SSD technology hasn’t been able to keep up with Moore’s Law, so I’ll compromise here.
  • 16GB RAM. I’ll take 24 or 32 if its an option
  • 6 Hrs+ battery life
  • 17″ Retina Display. About 3200×2000 pixels should do it. Will take larger if it doesn’t compromise the weight and slimness factor.
  • Silence. Whisper quiet fans only when required.
  • No thicker than 25mm
  • No heavier than 3.0Kg
  • No DVD drive – don’t want to waste space or weight with a useless accessory.
  • 3G Wireless. I need internet ALL the time. Counties I travel to don’t have 4G yet.
  • 802.11n Dual Band (2.4GHz and 5GHz)
  • 3xUSB 3.0 (minimum)
  • Full keyboard (including Home/End/PgUP/PgDn)
  • Support for multiple external monitors
  • DVI or VGA or HDMI port. I’m sick of having to use additional plugs for Apple’s mini DP.

Does anyone know of a laptop that will fit my spec, or come close?

About RedNectar Chris Welsh

Professional IT Instructor. All things TCP/IP, Cisco or VoIP
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4 Responses to My Dream Machine. 2012 version.

  1. nephdotinfo says:

    That’s mine :

    http://www.ldlc.com/fiche/PB00130868.html

    but it’s quitte heavy (4kg) and about 4-5cm thick (all inclusive)
    17″ led in 1080p, not more.

    ultimate mobile station for Vmware desktop usage / GNS3

  2. TechieXXX says:

    I bought a full options alienware laptop a couple of years back, wouldn’t recommend them. Sure, when you take it out of the box and fire it up it’s the fastest laptop out there…but they are not built to last. I’ve you cram 2 videocards 2/3 HD’s and the fastest CPU(s) out there in a single laptop you’re going to run into all sorts of problems. Heat, weight, ventilation etc.

    As to your specs, sure I’d love one too ;) and I’m sure if your budget is unlimited one can be delivered within a month. The laptop I’m typing this on is a 2011 macbook pro 15″ with 8GB..my first apple mainly because now I knew I could run Win7/xp/backtrack…you name it simultaneously using parallels (or fusion). Since most of us use MS products in one way or another at work or otherwise for me this was essential. I don’t like apple’s prices though, surely alienware will have a faster machine for the same amount. Other than apple my other laptops are all Asus from a little netbook (12h battery life) to some bigger ones but I like Dell too (owner of alienware if I’m not mistaken;).

    We’re at the mercy of the manufacturer who already has these features on the shelf and will give it to us consumers one chunk at a time.

    A 1TB thumbdrive is for sale too…3000 dollars last I read…http://gizmodo.com/5875033/hands-on-with-3000-worth-of-flash-drive .

  3. Frank says:

    Alienware laptops have always been my dream machine, but the price is insane…if I had the money I would buy one. I take donations though lol

    • rednectar says:

      I did a spreadsheet to compare Alienware with MacBook Pro. On my preferences, the sheer mass (weight) of the Alienware machine was the biggest problem. I have to lug this thing around every day I work. If anyone offers donations, I’ll forward them to you.

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