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Travel-friendly trading laptop
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Travel-friendly trading laptop

  #1 (permalink)
Elite Member
prague, czech republic
 
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Travel-friendly trading laptop

Hi guys. I had recently bought a new Lenovo Yoga 3 pro laptop with a view to use it for trading. It's fantastic and awesome, but there are few big faults that kills it for me:
1. Gorgeous 3k screen, but as we know Windows zooming is not really good and Ninja looks while not completely terrible but quite bad due to zoom, making all look blurry.
2. One micro-HDMI connector. It does the job for a regular one FHD external monitor, but it's limit as I learned is 2500x1440x30Hz which is not enough, forget 4k screens. Besides that, it requires micro-hdmi to HDMI cable and looks like the connector won't live too long, holding off heavy cables. Ok for an occasional use, hardly for a permanent one.
3. Slowish processor, it runs new Broadwell M core, while it said everywhere it is comparable to i5, it is only comparable for 3-5 seconds then it throttles to a standstill. Well, it's 4.7 Watts and a passive cooling, what did I expect. Actually enough for everything regular, even for 4k YouTube video (no special graphic card, just Intel 5000), loading up Ninja with heavy-calculation indicators takes way too long, plus it scares me when it freezes after some parameter change, as it recalculates everything.
4. Running a platform from VPN requires to change the resolution from native 3k to FHD, as Windows RDP cannot zoom to maximization (only minimization), therefore you can't see a thing without a looking glass. So the only solution if not using an extra monitor is to lower the resolution to fhd, which again makes things blurry.

Other than that it absolutely stunning and well built. But not really for trading.

So I had been thinking and checking a lot, and I want a more powerful machine, with more screen estate, powerful processor, fast ssd, powerful graphic card and ability to run 2-3 monitors, at least one of them 4k, and being nice to hold, thin and light.

After long research I only have two candidates. One is 15.6 inch model and another is 17.3 inch model. Other than that, almost the same. It's MSI G60 and G70.
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From my experience in trading, best hardware is a top line gaming hardware. Well built, nice materials and can hold some pressure, unlike cheap office-geared stuff.

The question is - 15 incher is 1.96 kilo, mega light, has 1 display port and one HDMI, super thin, has one SSD and HDD, 8 gigs of ram. 17-incher is 2.66 kilo, 2 display ports and hdmi (3 monitors) more powerful graphics card so probably enough for 2 4k screens, and has 16 gigs and 2 ssd (can be run as raid1) and 1 hdd. Slightly thicker but not big deal. Both screens are FHD which is what I want.

My primary use will be in office which I visit few times a week, and carry a laptop there. I have external screens sitting there. Another use will be taking it as my mobile trading setup when I am travelling. I will be working whole June from Spain and need a proper setup. I plan to buy 1-2 portable USB 15 inch FHD travel monitors, so the question of ports is irrelevant in this case and only relevant to my office setup. I do think that I can live with one mini-display port, but having two is a bonus. Maybe I will invest in these curvy screens @Big Mike is bragging about!

So the question basically comes down to a larger screen versus 25% more weight. I had a previous mobile trading station, it was HP Envy 17, it was actually great, especially screen, and I was trading on it for 3 months last winter, from Canaries. I did not feel cramped with the screen, just wanted an extra screen for additional charts or auxiliary stuff. So the question is how much smaller 15.6 will be in FHD set to no zoom comparing to 17.3 in the same setting, and whether it will outweigh 25% of weight increase.

Another point to mention - when I go for mobile 15-inch monitors, it might be visually better to use all monitors of the same size and same level of DPI, otherwise it's very uncomfortable for eyes to switch back and forth to different DPI screens. Another point is 15-inch is physically smaller and will take less space on my office desk, because in this case I don't plan to use laptop's panel, due to same DPI difference (and distance as sizes will vary hugely). So it will likely be semi-closed, so less space is better. It's obviously tilting towards 15, but if running FHD on 15.6 is much worse than on 17.3 (1.7 inch difference), than it matters probably more. I can actually run FHD resolution on my Yoga 13.3 incher at zoom set to small (i.e. no zoom), it's possible to see everything and use it this way, but strains eyes too much to be comfortable. But it's doable, this is why I consider that two steps up to 15.6 might be actually good enough. Obviously I had 17.3 recently but I don't remember if I had ever 15 inch laptop. Many moons ago I had 14 but it was square and resolution was laughable... So any experience share is welcome!

Thanks for your comments, I appreciate it!

Trade to live. Not live to trade.

Last edited by xelaar; April 15th, 2015 at 04:36 PM.
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  #3 (permalink)
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In case somebody wonders, I have gone for 15 incher, after being able to compare them live, something I did not except. 15 screen is ips and gorgeous, super light, beautiful case too. Full hd looks better on 15 too.

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  #4 (permalink)
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I put Ninja and my CFD platform on it, no scaling, smallest setting for fonts/controls, all look great. No really need for 17 inch. It would be different if 17 was offered with something like 2.5k. But instead its 15 model being offered with FHD, 3k and 4k screens. Obviously they are no use for any work, and due to scaling problems in windows trading would be compromised too, especially when using RDP from a VPS. Effectively you would be running your screen in FHD, in non-native blurry mode. This is what I had to do with Yoga 3 Pro and enough is enough!

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@xelaar,

Is the battery any good in the 15.6 model?

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I have an ASUS Zenbook 13.3" (1920x1080), 1.4 kg and around 4 hours on battery, it's perfect for travelling (it's 2 or 3 years old now).
I won't recommend gaming laptop, unless you want to play . There are usually louder, heavier, ...

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gregid View Post
@xelaar,

Is the battery any good in the 15.6 model?

3-4 hours max, same as for 17, same battery. For me its not very important I don't trade from cafés or sidewalks.
Its 47 watts processor, exactly what I need. 15 watts are mega slow in comparison. Plus a powerful graphics card to run multiple monitors in higher that full hd resolution

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  #8 (permalink)
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sam028 View Post
I have an ASUS Zenbook 13.3" (1920x1080), 1.4 kg and around 4 hours on battery, it's perfect for travelling (it's 2 or 3 years old now).
I won't recommend gaming laptop, unless you want to play . There are usually louder, heavier, ...

This is what I started my topic with. i have Lenovo Yoga 13.3 weight 1.1 kilo, runs 7 hours. What a disaster. Slow processor, no dedicated graphics card, so forget any modern resolution external monitor, micro hdmi so need an adapter cable which twists and breaks that tiny port, as its not meant to be used regularly.

My new 15.6 weighs 1.9 kilo, lightest in the class.

If you trade from daily using one chart once a day, you can trade from a tablet, there is no special requirement. But if you run relatively heavy setup like I do, then the gaming setup is the only option IMO

Another beautiful feature from MSI, only something to be found on a gaming setup is a fully programmable keyboard with on fly profile switching. It means you can put macros you need for trading into some keys comfortable for you snd launch them with one key press, no need to press 3 keys together, and you can switch into this profile and out very easily. Again not something a long term trader need, but if you work with a fast move, you need this trust me. My desktop has a corsair gaming keyboard, I have never gamed on that pc, btw, but its beautiful to work with, sturdy, and has a lot of macro keys to run macros for Ninja.

Trade to live. Not live to trade.

Last edited by xelaar; April 21st, 2015 at 02:46 AM.
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I use a Lenovo Thinkpad with three external monitors for trading. When I'm on the road I usually just connect it to the TV in my hotel room.

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fido View Post
I use a Lenovo Thinkpad with three external monitors for trading. When I'm on the road I usually just connect it to the TV in my hotel room.

I considered a think pad Edge S540, I like Lenovo a lot. But it's much heavier than I like. Do you use a single HDMI-out to connect three monitors? Full HD or higher? Some of Thinkpads do run decent graphics cards, but still lack a Mini-Display port I really wanted to have to plug in 4k monitor.

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