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Packing the Trading Office into One Laptop

By Lawrence   on 2015 Oct 30 Fri 13:11

I posted back in early August about the difficulties I have to deal with in finding the perfect laptop for my need. I have now found a laptop that can fulfill most of the requirements with some issues still not resolved. Hence my hunt for the perfect laptop continues. Here is what I found that works for me.

Lenovo Flex 3 with UHD

The laptop I bought is a Lenovo Flex 3. It is a 2-in-1 laptop meaning that it can turn into a tablet by flipping the screen all the way to the back of the keyboard. The version I got features a 14 inch touch screen with very impressive high density display offering 3200×1800 resolution. The computer manufacturers call this ultra high definition (UHD). This allows me to display all the charts, quotes, browser windows and order placement applications that I used to display on 2 monitors with my desktop computer.

Notice that this laptop is not a top of the line model. In fact, it is a relatively cheap model. I get this laptop mainly for the screen resolution it offers. The CPU is an i7 so it is more than enough for trading purposes.

The Mess of Dynamic Scaling by Windows 8

Setting up the laptop for trading took more than a week as I have to install many programs. After installation, I have encountered a weird problem for which the charts displayed by NinjaTrader, Multicharts, etc. are all messed up. I figured out a solution to disable the Windows 8 dynamic scaling and have it posted last week. Overall I am impressed with the performance of the laptop although the battery life should be longer.

What does not work out is the use of stylus (i.e. pen for writing on the screen) to take notes on the Flex 3. It seems to me the touch screen Flex 3 has is not built for notes taking at all. I tried a few touch screen stylus but none of them offers a satisfactory experience when working with Microsoft OneNote. It is quite disappointing since the Flex 3 can do a pretty good job in everything else so far. May be I will find a pen that works in the near future. If so I will update this post.

Microsoft Office and Windows 10

One important thing about buying a new laptop these days is the consideration of using Microsoft Office. If you plan to install the prior versions of Office onto your laptop like I do, do not opt for Windows 10 and do not upgrade to Windows 10. Windows 10 has built in detection to refuse to launch the older versions of Microsoft Office.

This move by Microsoft is to force people to “upgrade” to their latest subscription based Office. I am a very old fashion computer user who prefer the ability to open and edit my files any time, including 10 years later should I choose to, even though by then I may no longer use Office at all.

End Notes

It is getting near the point that I would say with just one laptop, I can carry my trading operation everywhere. That is what I intended to do in the future. For now, more field testing is needed to fine tune the idea.

My time is still split between unpacking boxes and catching up with my projects for the website. Organizing things from the boxes is a boring and time consuming task but has to be done. I am limiting myself to a box or two every week now since the projects and writings for the website has to take priority. With this in mind, I am hopeful that sometime after New Year my place will be nice and comfy.

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