Flash Animation

Flash animation is so much fun for me. It is very strenuous though. Lynda.com taught me a lot of the basic function that are needed to create a short video. I already had a little experience, so this helped me refresh my mind on some of the basic flash animations. I created a simple video using basic animations and basic shapes and called it, Rainy Days.

At first, I had no clue how I was going to be able to bring simple shapes to life. I figured out how to draw everything quite easily, but then I had to go into the act of making them move. When ever you create a shape, you need to save it as a symbol so that you can make add movements to it. Once it is a symbol, I needed to make it a tween. This makes it so that I can go down a few frames and then move the shape so that when I play the video, the shape will move to the spot I moved it to. It does not look too clean, but if you spend enough time on it, this can be the most useful tool on flash. I used these motions to make the sun rise, the clouds to cover the sun, and then the rain falling. I had all of the rain symbols repeat as they would finish their path so it looked like it was constantly raining without having to make hundreds of rain drops.

I also used a motion tween in this video for my light bulb. This makes it so that after a certain number of frames, you can make the shape completely change to something else. I made the light bulb look like it just appeared out of the guys head like an idea. This is a little more advanced skill, but it is till quite simple. I also threw in my own song from a very long time ago to give the video a little more life.

Rainy Days

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Biting the bullet, buying the Apple

I’ve owned my Lenovo V570 laptop since the summer before I started college. The pros are that it’s very functional, fast, has a great screen size and great memory for a four year old model. The cons are that sometimes the CD/DVD drive doesn’t cooperate anymore, it’s too heavy to carry around every day, and the battery life is awful. Since memory isn’t as important anymore because of cloud technology, I’d like to switch to something more mobile (definitely another laptop) and long-lasting battery wise. Here are the specs for my current laptop (some of which were found online using this Personal Systems Reference):

  • Manufacturer: Intel Model 1066A9U
  • Central Processing Unit (CPU): Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2410M 2.30GHz
  • Hard Drive: SATA DVD±RW, SATA disk 500GB (5400 rpm) or 750GB (5400 rpm)
  • RAM: 6.00 GB
  • Video Card: Intel HD Graphics
  • Max. Display Resolution: 1366 x 768
  • Laptop Display Size: 15.6″ widescreen
  • Battery Life: Up to 5 hr
  • Weight: 5.29 lb
  • Data ports: Three USB 2.0 and one eSATA/USB combo port, external monitor (VGA DB-15, HDMI), ethernet (RJ-45)
  • Video connections: external monitor support via analog VGA DB-15 connector / digital HDMI connector
  • CPU Benchmark Score: 5868

Here’s what my dream computers would be (if I had a $1,750 budget):

MacBook Pro 13.3″ with Retina Display

  • Price: $1,649.00
  • Manufacturer: Apple
  • CPU Name and Speed: 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5 Dual-Core 5th-Gen Broadwell
  • Hard Drive Type: PCIe-Based Flash Storage
  • Storage Capacity: 256GB
  • RAM: 16GB of Onboard 1866 MHz LPDDR3 RAM
  • Video Card: Integrated Intel Iris Graphics 6100
  • Max. Display Resolution: 2560 x 1600 Native Resolution
  • Laptop Display Size: 13.3″ LED-Backlit IPS Retina Display
  • Battery Life: Built-In Lithium-Polymer – 9 Hours per Charge (71 Wh)
  • Weight: 3.46 lbs
  • Data Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 2, 2x USB
  • Video Connections: 2x Mini DisplayPort via Thunderbolt port, 1x HDMI
  • CPU Benchmark Score: 7759

Dell XPS 13 (2015)

  • Price: from $799.99
  • Manufacturer: Dell XPS 13 9343-7273SLV
  • Central Processing Unit (CPU): 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7-5500U
  • Hard Drive: 256GB SSD
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Video Card: Intel HD Graphics 5500 with shared graphics memory
  • Max. Display Resolution: 3200 x 1800
  • Laptop Display Size: 13.3 “
  • Battery Life: 15 hrs.
  • Weight: 2.8 lbs.
  • Data ports: 2 USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, Headphone output/Microphone input combo
  • Video connections: Mini DisplayPort
  • CPU Benchmark Score: 5481

I selected these laptops because they got great reviews, weren’t too expensive for what they’re worth, and topped LaptopMag’s List of Best Laptops 2015 (well, the 15-inch version of the MacBook did). The MacBook also topped Laptop Computer Planet’s list for the Best Laptops for Graphic Design 2015. I’m not a gamer, but I need a laptop that can handle Photoshop, Premiere and web design, and these laptops fit the bill. I’ve always been a PC person, but doing this research convinced me that maybe it’s time to make the switch to Apple– that MacBook looks pretty awesome!

The questions I still have at this point are: How do the Geekbench scores work, and why are there so many different results for the same laptop?

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An Apple a Day…

When I originally bought the 13” MacBook Pro Mid – 2012, I loved it. It was fast, beautiful, and incredibly easy-to-use. However, as the years have passed, it has gradually lost its charm. I have taken it to the Apple store twice in the past four months due to general issues, such as decreased battery life and random, unannounced shut-downs. However, despite these issues, it still runs quite well. The specs are as follows:

  • MANUFACTURER AND MODEL: Apple 13” MacBook Pro, Mid – 2012
  • CPU NAME AND SPEED: 5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz) with 3MB L3 cache
  • HARD DRIVE TYPE AND STORAGE CAPACITY: 750GB 5400-rpm hard drive
  • RAM: 4GB of 1600MHz DDR3 memory
  • VIDEO CARD DETAILS: Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • MAXIMUM DISPLAY RESOLUTION: 1200 X 800
  • LAPTOP DISPLAY SIZE: 13.3 inches
  • BATTERY LIFE: Up to 7 hours wireless web (in my experience, 4-5 hours)
  • WEIGHT: 4.5 pounds
  • DATA PORTS: MagSafe power port, Gigabit Ethernet port, FireWire 800 port, two USB 3 ports, thunderbolt port, headphone port, SDXC card slot, Kensington lock slot, and 8x SuperDrive
  • VIDEO CONNECTIONS: Apple Thunderbolt Native Mini DisplayPort output
  • CPU BENCHMARK SCORE: 2900

If my relatives gave me $1,700 to upgrade my computer, I would choose between these two options:

Apple

  • MANUFACTURER AND MODEL: Apple 15” MacBook Pro with Retina Display
  • CPU NAME AND SPEED: 5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz) with 6MB shared L3 cache
  • HARD DRIVE TYPE AND STORAGE CAPACITY: 512GB PCIe-based flash storage
  • RAM: 16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L onboard memory
  • VIDEO CARD DETAILS: Intel Iris Pro Graphics
  • MAXIMUM DISPLAY RESOLUTION: 2880 X 1800
  • LAPTOP DISPLAY SIZE: 15.4 inches
  • BATTERY LIFE: Up to 8 hours wireless web
  • WEIGHT: 4.46 pounds
  • DATA PORTS: MagSafe 2 power port, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, two USB 3 ports, HDMI port, headphone port, and SDXC card slot
  • VIDEO CONNECTIONS: Thunderbolt digital video output and HDMI video output
  • CPU BENCHMARK SCORE: 3323
  • PRICE: $2,499 (I would find a way to pay the extra $799 because this computer makes me drool in admiration)

Windows

  • MANUFACTURER AND MODEL: Dell XPS 13 UltraBook
  • CPU NAME AND SPEED: 2GHz Intel Core i5-5200 (dual-core, 3MB cache, up to 2.7GHz with Turbo Boost)
  • HARD DRIVE TYPE AND STORAGE CAPACITY: 256GB solid state drive (SSD)
  • RAM: 8 GB Dual Channel DDR3L-RS 1600 MHz “onboard” RAM
  • VIDEO CARD DETAILS: Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • MAXIMUM DISPLAY RESOLUTION: 3,200 x 1,800 UltraSharp QHD+ touch display
  • LAPTOP DISPLAY SIZE: 13 inches
  • BATTERY LIFE: 47WHr battery; 6-Cell Li-Polymer (built-in)
  • WEIGHT: 8 pounds
  • DATA PORTS: USB 3.0 (2), mini DisplayPort (1), 3-in-1 (SD, SDHC, SDXC) reader (1)
  • VIDEO CONNECTIONS: 11 AC and Bluetooth 4.0
  • CPU BENCHMARK SCORE: 3553
  • PRICE: $1,300

After researching the different types of computers, I realize that there is not necessarily a computer that is “the best” computer – it is a matter of preference. Ultimately, I think I would buy the Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch with Retina Display. I used to be a Windows girl through and through, but that is no longer the case. You know what they say: an apple a day keeps the doctor away… In this case, an apple a day keeps the technological frustrations at bay 🙂

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Gaming Laptop for a Sort of Non-Gamer?

Researching my current laptop actually made me feel like it should be working better than it is, maybe when it was new it was good, but by the time I got it as a hand-me-down laptop, it wasn’t that great. I tried to do a lot with my laptop, such as having multiple tabs open, trying to play games on Steam, and using different Adobe editing programs. Most of the time my laptop would freeze, heat up, or just stop working altogether so I’d have to restart it or try to delete some programs and run an anti-virus program. So if all of a sudden someone handed me $1,750 to buy a new computer, I’d be thrilled. Or maybe just enough to fix the screen that’s currently unhinged….

Analyzing My Current Computer

  • MANUFACTURER: HP Pavilion dv6857se Special Edition Notebook PC
  • CPU NAME AND SPEED: 1.83 GHz Intel Centrino Processor Technology featuring Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T5550
  • HARD DRIVE TYPE AND STORAGE CAPACITY: 320 GB (5400 rpm)
  • RAM: 3GB DDR2 SDRAM
  • VIDEO CARD DETAILS: NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS
  • MAXIMUM DISPLAY RESOLUTION: 1280 x 800
  • LAPTOP DISPLAY SIZE (measured in inches): 15.4″ WXGA High-Definition BrightView Widescreen
  • BATTERY LIFE: Not found (but I usually have to keep mine plugged in)
  • WEIGHT: 6.2 lbs
  • DATA PORTS/VIDEO CONNECTIONS:
    • 3 x USB 2.0 – 4 pin USB Type A
    • 2 x headphones – output – mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
    • 1 x microphone – input – mini-phone 3.5 mm
    • 1 x display / video – HDMI
    • 1 x display / video – VGA – 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15)
    • 1 x display / video – S-video output
    • 1 x modem – phone line – RJ-11
    • 1 x network – Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX – RJ-45
    • 1 x docking / port replicator
    • 1 x IEEE 1394 (FireWire)
  • CPU BENCHMARK SCORE: Not found

DREAM COMPUTERS (assuming a $1,750 budget)

MacBook Pro 13.3″ with Retina Display (Early 2015)

Price: $1689.99

  • MANUFACTURER: Apple
  • CPU NAME AND SPEED: 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5 Dual-Core 5th-Gen Broadwell
  • HARD DRIVE TYPE AND STORAGE CAPACITY: 256GB PCIe-Based Flash Storage
  • RAM: 16GB of Onboard 1866 MHz LPDDR3 RAM
  • VIDEO CARD DETAILS: Integrated Intel Iris Graphics 6100
  • MAXIMUM DISPLAY RESOLUTION: 2560 x 1600 Native Resolution
  • LAPTOP DISPLAY SIZE (measured in inches): 13.3″ LED-Backlit IPS Retina Display
  • BATTERY LIFE: Built-In Lithium-Polymer  – 9 Hours per Charge (71 Wh)
  • WEIGHT: 3.46 lbs
  • DATA PORTS: 2x Thunderbolt 2, 2x USB
  • VIDEO CONNECTIONS: 2x Mini DisplayPort via Thunderbolt port, 1x HDMI
  • CPU BENCHMARK SCORE: 3127 (Single Core Score)

MSI GS70 Stealth-280 17.3″ Gaming Notebook Computer

Price $1599.99

  • MANUFACTURER: MSI
  • CPU NAME AND SPEED: 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7-4720HQ Quad-Core Haswell
  • HARD DRIVE TYPE AND STORAGE CAPACITY: Installed: 1.128 TB (1x 1 TB 7200 rpm; 1x 128 GB SSD), Type: SATA
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • VIDEO CARD DETAILS:
  • MAXIMUM DISPLAY RESOLUTION: 1920 x 1080
  • LAPTOP DISPLAY SIZE (measured in inches): 17.3″ antiglare finish
  • BATTERY LIFE: Not found, 6 cell
  • WEIGHT: 5.7
  • DATA PORTS/VIDEO CONNECTIONS:
    • 4x USB 3.0
    • 1x HDMI
    • 2x Mini DisplayPort
    • 1x 1/8″ (3.5 mm) Headphone Output
    • 1x 1/8″ (3.5 mm) Microphone Input
    • 1x SD
    • 1x SDHC
    • 1x SDXC
  • CPU BENCHMARK SCORE: 2825 (Single Core Score); 11004 (Multi Core Score)

After researching different laptops, since I already have an older but reliable Dell desktop, I decided on a MacBook Pro and MSI Gaming laptop. Both of these would be better than my current computer that’s collecting dust as I borrow a better one to get through the semester. Let me tell you, I never knew how bad my laptop really was until I tried a MacBook Pro from 2009.

Most of the things I do for class, and things I’d like to do for personal projects, would involve a lot more processing power and RAM than 4GB. I looked up what RAM amount is better for multimedia projects, and people recommended 12GB and above. I want to continue working on my editing skills, video and graphic, so the two laptops I chose seemed like a good fit for what I want to use my laptop for in my near future (as well as my imagined budget).

In the end, despite starting to get comfortable using a Mac, I think I’d choose the MSI gaming laptop for it’s bigger screen and graphic capabilities. I may not always be playing games, but I think that I’d still benefit from what this laptop has to offer. And at 5.7 lbs, it still weighs less than current laptop, which is a plus. I liked other laptops I was looking at, but wanted to choose something that weighed less than 6 lbs, because I might want to take it to work sometimes, and I’d rather not be lugging around a heavy laptop on the bus. And since I’ll have access to Mac desktops at work, I think the MSI laptop would be good for personal use. This might seriously be something I consider buying once I have money, or perhaps getting something more affordable, because I’m sure my current laptop won’t last much longer and I’d like something new for when I start my new job.

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An Apple every 2 years…

After an unfortunate water spilling incident, my early 2011 15 inch MacBook Pro met its death at the end of November 2014. I had already had to replace its logic board after burning out the video chip with too much Netflix binge watching (streaming Netflix in the background helped me to focus on doing organic chemistry problem sets, so before a test, I would sometimes have it running for 8 hours straight). When I walked out of the Apple store with my new 13 inch MacBook Air, my wallet hurt quite a bit, but I was very happy with my purchase. So far, this computer has been a vast improvement over my old machine in terms of battery life and portability. The specs are as follows:

  • Manufacturer and Model: Apple 13″ MacBook Air, Early 2014
  • CPU Name and Speed: Intel Core i5-4260U (1.4 GHz)
  • Hard Drive Type and Storage Capacity: SSD/Flash, 256 GB
  • RAM: 4 GB, 1600 MHz DDR3
  • Video Card: Intel HD Graphics 5000 1536 MB (built in)
  • Maximum Display Resolution: 1440 x 900
  • Laptop Display Size: 13.3 inches
  • Battery Life: according to manufacturer, 12 hrs wireless web; from my experience, probably about 9 hrs with a few apps running
  • Weight: 2.96 lbs
  • Data Ports: 2 USB 3.0, SDXC card slot, Apple Thunderbolt
  • Video Connections: Apple Thunderbolt Mini Display Port
  • CPU benchmark score: 2389

When looking for computers for my hypothetical $1750 upgrade, I realized I’m pretty happy with this computer, although at times I wish it had more RAM and a better processor, since many times I have a browser with a few tabs, PowerPoint, Word, Excel and my Calendar all open at the same time. When this happens, I lose a lot of processing speed. I don’t really play games, so I’m happy with the built in video card. I really like the startup speed of the solid state drive, and since I don’t store too many images and videos on my computer, I don’t need 500 GB of storage space. Since I use my computer to work up my chemistry research data, I bring it with me everywhere. I’ll often enter data directly into my computer when I’m in lab or work up my results while my reactions are running. Thus, portability is an important criterion for a machine I’m going to purchase. This is also why I am looking at laptops. I’ve considered getting a desktop and just bringing an iPad to lab, but I find that entering data into Excel sheets and translating the data into figures are more easily accomplished with a physical keyboard. After considering both Windows and Macintosh computers, I narrowed the search down to two finalists:

First is the PC. The specs are below, or you can view them on the purchase page:

  • Manufacturer and Model: HP Spectre x360 2 in 1 13.3″ Touchscreen laptop
  • CPU Name and Speed: Intel Core i7-5500U (2.4 GHz)
  • Hard Drive Type and Storage Capacity: SSD, 256 GB
  • RAM: 8 GB, 1600 MHz LPDDR3
  • Video Card Details: Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • Maximum Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Laptop Display Size: 13.3 inches
  • Battery Life: Manufacturer–12 hrs
  • Weight: 3.3 lbs
  • Data Ports: 3 USB 3.0
  • Video Connections: HDMI
  • CPU Benchmark Score: 2819
  • Price: $1149.99 from Best Buy

And the Mac (view the purchase page here):

  • Manufacturer and Model: Apple 13″ MacBook Air, Early 2015
  • CPU Name and Speed: Intel Core i7-5650U (2.2 GHz, boost up to 3.2 GHz)
  • Hard Drive Type and Storage Capacity: SSD, 256 GB
  • RAM: 8 GB, 1600 MHz LPDDR3
  • Video Card Details: Intel HD Graphics 6000
  • Maximum Display Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Laptop Display Size: 13.3 inches
  • Battery Life: Manufacturer–12 hrs
  • Weight: 2.96 lbs
  • Data Ports: 2 USB 3.0, Apple Thunderbolt 2
  • Video Connections: Apple Thunderbolt Mini Display Port
  • CPU Benchmark Score: 3344
  • Price: $1379.00 from Apple with Education Pricing

Both of these options are better than my current computer, even though I’ve had it for less than 6 months. This speaks to the importance of upgrading your computer frequently if you want to keep up with the changing tech landscape. I enjoyed researching the meanings of technical terms, and I now feel like I am more informed about the components of my computer. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the PCs available; I expected to only be able to find Windows laptops that were bulky. I liked the HP Spectre x360 because even though it has a tablet built in, it manages to be fairly light and thin. It really was a strong contender, but ultimately, I would still buy the Mac because I personally really like the operating system and the design of the computer. The Mac trackpad is also really tough to beat, because I find it very easy to use. The Mac is also only $230 more than the PC, and I would still have money from my hypothetical $1750 budget left over after purchasing it. It comes with a better processor, better video card, and better maximum resolution, and is slightly lighter than the HP. With the faster processor and the better video card, I think there would also be a smaller chance of me ruining the video card by watching too much Netflix. So, for my next real upgrade, I’ll most likely be sticking with the Mac.

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Sticking with the Apples

Current laptop:

  • MANUFACTURER AND MODEL: Apple MacBook Pro 13” mid 2010
  • CPU NAME AND SPEED: 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • HARD DRIVE TYPE AND STORAGE CAPACITY: 250GB Serial ATA; 5400 rpm
  • RAM: 4GB
  • VIDEO CARD DETAILS: NVIDIA GeForce 320M
  • MAXIMUM DISPLAY RESOLUTION (measured in pixels): 1280×800
  • LAPTOP DISPLAY SIZE (measured in inches): 13 inches
  • BATTERY LIFE: 10 hours (wireless productivity)
  • WEIGHT: 4.5Lbs
  • DATA PORTS (e.g. USB): MagSafe power port, Gigabit Ethernet port, One FireWire 800 port, Mini DisplayPort, Two USB 2.0 ports, SD card slot, Audio in/out, and Kensington lock slot
  • VIDEO CONNECTIONS (e.g. HDMI, VGA): iSight Camera and Mini DisplayPort with support for DVI output VGA output, Dual-link DVI output, and HDMI output (but it requires an adaptor)
  • CPU BENCHMARK SCORE: 1247

If I were to but another Mac, I would go for:

  • MANUFACTURER AND MODEL: Apple MacBook Air 13”
  • CPU NAME AND SPEED: 2.2GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7
  • HARD DRIVE TYPE AND STORAGE CAPACITY: 128GB
  • RAM: 8GB 1600MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM
  • VIDEO CARD DETAILS: Intel HD Graphics 6000
  • MAXIMUM DISPLAY RESOLUTION (measured in pixels): 1440 x 900
  • LAPTOP DISPLAY SIZE (measured in inches):
  • BATTERY LIFE: 12 hours wireless web
  • WEIGHT: 2.96Lbs
  • DATA PORTS: 2 USB ports, Thunderbolt port
  • VIDEO CONNECTIONS: Thunderbolt digital video output
  • CPU BENCHMARK SCORE:
  • OS: OS X Yosemite
  • Price: $999 –> $1249 (2.2GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7)

If I got a PC, I am leaning towards:

  • MANUFACTURER AND MODEL: Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro 80HE00FVUS
  • CPU NAME AND SPEED: Intel Core M-5Y71 Processor (1.20GHz 1600MHz 4MB)
  • HARD DRIVE TYPE AND STORAGE CAPACITY: 256GB SSD
  • RAM: 8.0GB DDR3L 1600 MHz
  • VIDEO CARD DETAILS: Intel® HD Graphics 5300
  • MAXIMUM DISPLAY RESOLUTION (measured in pixels): 3200 x 1800
  • LAPTOP DISPLAY SIZE (measured in inches): 13.3″
  • BATTERY LIFE:  7.2 hours
  • WEIGHT:  2.6 lbs
  • DATA PORTS: 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x DC-in with USB 2.0 function, 4-in-1 card reader (SD, MMC, SDXC, SDHC), Audio Combo Jack
  • VIDEO CONNECTIONS: Micro-HDMI out,
  • CPU BENCHMARK SCORE: 2627
  • OS: Windows 8.1 64
  • Price: $1,149

I grew up using a PC but got a Mac before college because I wanted to know how to use both. There are things I like about both and there a things that annoy me about both. The most important thing for me for my next computer is that it not weigh more than 4lbs. My current laptop is 4.5lbs and that can be a lot to carry when I am on the go. I also don’t want a screen that is much smaller or bigger, I know most times with a larger screen comes the heavier weight, and I wanted to keep the screen at about 13” so I don’t feel like the screen is too small or I’m constantly zooming in. So my upgraded Mac choice is a MacBook Air, this is mainly to cut down on the weight. My PC choice is the Lenovo Yoga 3, I like its flexibility and it is even lighter than the MackBook Air, but its battery life is significantly less. The battery issue really makes me worry, so I am leaning towards the MacBook Air as my final decision.

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Jumping on the Apple Bandwagon?

I own a Dell XPS 15z that I got in mid-2011. I have had HUGE problems with it but I am starting to think that I just got a bad apple. For being four years old, the specs actually match up relatively well. Here are the specifications:

Model Name and Number: Dell XPS L511Z

Processor: Intel(R) Core (TM) i5-2410M @2.3GHz

Memory: 6GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3 1333MHz Memory

Storage/Storage Type: Up to 500GB* SATA hard drive

Battery Life: Up to 8 hours 22 mins

Screen Size: 15.6 inch

Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M 1GB graphics with Optimus

Resolution: 1366 x 768

Weight: 5.54 lbs

Ports and connections: HDMI 1.4 (1), Mini DisplayPort (1), RJ-45 (1), headphone (1), microphone (1)
3 total USB ports; USB 3.0 (2); USB 2.0/eSATA combo with PowerShare (1)
9-in-1 media card reader supporting SD, SDIO, SDXC, SDHC, MS, MS Pro, MMC, MSXC, xD

CPU Benchmark Score: 4762

I looked at the newest (smaller) XPS to compare it to my current XPS. Here are the specs for that one:

Model Name and Number: Dell XPS 13 9343

Processor: 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-5500U Processor (3M Cache, up to 2.70 GHz)

Memory: 8GB Dual Channel DDR3L-RS 1600Mhz (On Board)

Storage/Storage Type: 256GB Solid State Drive

Battery Life: Up to 12 hours

Screen Size: 13.3 inch

Graphics Card: Intel (R) HD Graphics 5500

Resolution: 3200 x 1800

Weight: 2.81 lbs

Ports and connections: 2 USB 3.0, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo, Card Reader: SD / MMC

CPU Benchmark Score: 5799

Price: $1,149

Finally, I wanted to look at at a Mac because I am considering jumping on the bandwagon after my poor experience with my current XPS. I looked at a MacBook Pro.

Model Name and Number: MacBook Pro (Early 2015)

Processor: 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz

Memory: 8GB of 1866MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory

Storage/Storage Type: 512 GB Solid State Drive

Laptop

Battery Life: Up to 10 hours

Screen Size: 13.3 inch

Graphics Card: Intel Iris Graphics 6100

Resolution: 2560×1600

Weight: 3.48 lbs

Ports and connections: MagSafe 2 power port, Two Thunderbolt 2 ports (up to 20 Gbps), Two USB 3 ports (up to 5 Gbps), HDMI port, Headphone port, SDXC card slot

CPU Benchmark Score: 12621

Price: $1,799

Overall, I think I would stick with an XPS if I based my decision entirely on specifications. It is MUCH cheaper and matches up equally or better to the MacBook Pro. Even though I absolutely hate my current computer, the numbers seem to tell otherwise. I am thinking I may have just gotten unlucky with my specific computer. Unfortunately, I am being forced to buy a Dell Latitude (I get to choose between touchscreen and non-touchscreen) for medical school because it can be configured to their liking. I also did the specs for that one, but it seems like it doesn’t match up and still costs $1,400. Anyway, I don’t need too much because I’m not a gamer and use my computer for very basic things. It is unfortunate that I have to pay so much!

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