I would like to get a new laptop to run solidworks. I am looking for
15.4" screen, under 8 lbs and of course under $2500. recomendations? anyone running without an approved video card with good results? I also would like to know which lcd to go with? wuxga? wsxga? wxga?
right now carrying around 17" alienware to customers, too heavy, too short battery life, too expensive.
Sorry it didn't work out for you. Would you like to offload the Alienware cheap? I've got it's cousin the Hypersonic, and it's not light, but it blows the doors off of most desktops I sit it down next to. I grew up doing a lot of manual child slave labor, so not being the "pampered" type, toting a rather unstylish 20+ lb bag doesn't bother me.
Most of the higher end portable workstations or desktop replacements seem to be going the route of the 17" screen. Can're really blame them, who wants to squint when running cad? You might be able to get one of the Dell M65s for that price. As always, check the refurbished machines, might get more bang for the buck.
The M65 has WUXGA (1920 x 1200) and WXGA (1366 x 768). I think the 1920 resolution might be a bit too high for a 15.4" screen (it's not too big on the 17"), and the 768 just seems so low... I guess if you go for the higher resolution you can always adjust it so it's visible or use large icons and fonts.
Here's a great reference for screen resolution:
Anyway, good luck, and let me know if you want to get rid of that paperweight.
I have used a Dell Inspiron with 1600 pixels and that is pretty good on a 15" screen, and the 1900 pixels wide on my existing Dell M60 I have makes for very smooth CAD images, but you definately have to be 20/20 with glasses or better to do good snaps & see those fine lines.
The new Dell M65 and its more expensive M90 will use the Core Duo Intel chips like the new Apple MacBook Pro (
Of course, if you are a daring designer...you just buy the MacBook Pro, load the free Boot Camp from Apple, then Win XP SP2 & SolidWorks, and away you go with the lightest high speed laptop you can get.
Then any internet activity is free of the Windows security mess, as you run Mac OSX, in a minute anytime, or within some seconds in a virtualization scenario (but currently lower screen resolution in Windows).
Admittedly Boot Camp is the first public beta, but it is already running SolidWorks 2006 SP 3.4 for me without any hitches for demo & field work.
Boot Camp now on the MacBook Pro is more stable than any SWks SP0 release I've had, if that counts for anything. I have yet to freeze or crash Win XP or SolidWorks on the MacBook.