Which is the Best Laptop for Stock, Option Trading
Published on February 23, 2010
Published on February 23, 2010
Isn’t this a question that, we as a trader go through all the time, especially when either we are setting up our trading room or simply want to replace the old system? I also went through similar question before I could make my latest purchase. Needless to say it was a time consuming process.
The very first question was to decide between Mac and Windows and then the Brand. What could have been a better idea to research vs simply surveying an active trading community i.e. OptionPundit Newsletter (OPN) Trading community. This post is therefore to capture my process of selection, share some feedback from real traders so that others can benefit too. Thanks to OPN subscribers for this otherwise a difficult decision making process.
There were 3 areas I focused on-
Though I am not an IT whiz, I think “Powerful” is a misconception. You may define powerful in many ways. For me, most computers use Intel processors. The latest in the series is core i3, i5 and i7 processors. Frankly, there is no need to go for “the ultimate” processor; my old “core duo” was doing just fine for a number of trading platforms that I was using. So in order to seek perspectives from other like minded traders, here is what I asked all the OPN traders who kindly responded with details, part of which I am posting below-
I am planning to replace my current laptop computer ; thought to check with other traders which one do they find more useful; mac or windows? Which brand would you recommend and which one to avoid? Any thoughts, I shall appreciate your suggestions.
As you can see below there is a clear distinction between Mac and Windows users. Those who love Mac, they simply love it. Windows users have their reasons to use it.
- go for windows, A DELL or HP or ACER, you can buy two for the price of a MAC. secure your backup, HW and SW
- stay away from dell – their computers break regularly, imo
- I am actually using Windows 7 64bit and I am fully satisfied (in contrast to XP or Vista). But most of the trading tools are available in Java so if you prefer Mac I think it is not a big deal. For notebook I am using Hewlett Packard (HP), but Dell and IBM are also pretty good. After my previous experiences I would avoid Acer and definitely I would not buy any not well known brand. The last tip – look for connection to docking stations (HP/Dell/IBM have them) and Dual-DVI output (to connect high resolution display like 30inch LCD).
- I’ve never used a Mac for trading, though I have heard they run TOS quite nicely. I have personally had great luck with Sony Laptops. I’ve had some other off brands before and they were useful for about 6 months and then I started running in to problems, overheating, cracked cases etc. I’ve also heard that Dell’s are starting to become a quality machine again, but I stopped using those a long time ago due to low quality components. Whatever you get I hope you enjoy your new machine!
- Consider to use a fast SSD-Drive as harddisk. It is expensive but brings good performance!
- Well, I have used both with TOS platform. I am a software developer by profession and have been developing on Windows for Windows since 1990. I also developed on Macs for Mac’s staring in 1985 and recently got a new Mac Book Pro about a year ago. From an average user and trader’s view, the Mac is alot better. It doesn’t crash. It doesn’t hang. It just works. And it’s FAST. The underlying UNIX OS kernel just keeps running. You can just close the lid of the laptop and open it again. I have had my Mac running non-stop for the last 3 months without a reboot (with daily close and open of the lid into sleep mode).Virus’s are less of an issue. The hardware is so nice also.
- I use 3 laptop computers – each w/ an additional monitor for a total of 6 monitors. I use a free program (http://www.inputdirector.com/) that allows me to control all the computers w/ one keyboard/mouse. I can easily shut one down and take it with me. The advantages are I can distribute the work over three computers instead of running all my programs on one computer. I prefer pc over mac cause they are less expensive, there is a large selection of manufactures, software is less expensive, tech support is easier/faster/better.
- Actually I am also looking for a computer, I have an old mac that serves me well. Depends on what broker you have, you might be limited to windows only pc, e.g. tradestation.
- I would buy a mac book pro personally if the broker does not limit you to use windows.
- I use Windows PCs and have not used a Mac in a very long time. So I really can’t help you with which one is better now. But from my days as software developer, a couple of years ago, I know that new software features generally are given to Windows first; Mac version comes next. This is because there are simply more computers running Windows. Having said that I should note that 1) many software are now developed in Java so there is no difference in developing for Mac or Windows and 2) Mac has the ability to install Windows OS and you should be able to run Windows software after that. How easy is it to go back and forth between Mac OS and Windows OS? I don’t have any idea. If you are used to using a Windows, it might take a some time to get used to using a Mac. I know when I switched to Windows I had some issues using the quick keys. You should try a Mac first. In terms of Windows PC, I’ve read that Toshiba tends to be top rated in terms of reliability. I had a HP laptop die on me.
- The Mac is the quality machine, and even though compatibility is less of an issue these days, you may still run into some problems with programs like Excel. I have own three Dells and have had problems with all of them. I had purchased extended warranties on two of them so the repair process was not too disruptive. Dell’s service is O.K., I think better than most PC’s but you pay for it. Apple service and support is the best. My wife has a Mac. If you want a PC, I would suggest Fujitsu or Lenovo, I’ve owned both and the quality was very good. Of course now you can run Windows 7 on a Mac and get all the viruses. Good luck. What ever happened to slide rulers?
- I am “Windows” user.. so there is a bias out there. I have both HP and Dell laptops with 4 GB memory. Either one work great
- I’ve thought about goin Mac a few times but most financial and charting software is Windows only. I just got a new desktop with Windows 7 and am very happy. That’s all I can say.
There are polarizing views and also experienced based. Someone likes DELL while other person hates it for all the good reasons. Based on my criteria and feedback from other traders, I concluded that I need a laptop that has-
Finally I zeroed on Dell Studio, HP Pavilion and SONY Vaio(s). Look-n-feel, pleasant screen and soft/stylish keyboard favored SONY. So for my style of trading, for me, here is the best laptop.
SONY VAIO VPCCW Series with the following specifications-
It’s been about a week since I have been using it. So far a fabulous machine. I shall continue to update performance of the machine. If you are already a user of this machine, I shall appreciate your feedback/ comments.
Profitable Trading, OP