Best Laptop for trading

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by David Stewart, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. David Stewart

    David Stewart Well-Known Member

    I was hoping to start a new forum on computers, specifically laptops.
    I've enjoyed 3 iterations of the MacBook Pro laptops and I use Parallels software so that I can run Microsoft Excel (I found out the hard way that the apple version of Excel is not the same and didn't work properly for a lot of trading type applications) OptionVue. What I do is go to my Windows screen (Windows 7 Professional) and log into my Excel program, my OptionVue, Skype, LiveVol and ThinkorSwim. Then I use the regular apple side of the computer to check email, read my Bespoke premium research, online newspapers, etc, etc. etc.
    Lately though I have found that TOS and OptionVue keep breaking down and not running that great. What I am trying to figure out is whether I should just switch to a straight PC type laptop. Anyway I was hoping some traders might chime in with what has worked best for them over the years as I am beginning to get more and more frustrated with performance issues. I know that I could gravitate towards a brand new MacBook Pro when they eventually upgrade them again. Or, I could cough up the same or even more money for one of these what the trading computer companies are calling Mobile Workstations which are basically laptops with all the bells and whistles added. An example of that would be Tiger Computers which claims Bill Gates is a customer.
    Everybody feel free to chime in if you have any insight into this matter.
    Chuck likes this.
  2. Capt Hobbes

    Capt Hobbes Well-Known Member

    I was in the same boat a year ago. I've been a long-time happy Mac user, but needed to use Windows so that I could pull live market data from TOS into Excel to make custom analysis tools. I've been getting by with my iMac and VMWare for a while, but needed portability and so eventually bought a mid-range (about $750 on sale) Windows laptop from Costco Online. Now a year later I can say I couldn't be happier. The laptop is Toshiba Satellite S55 with 12G of RAM and 1T hard drive. It has no issue running my usual trading line-up, which is IB TWS, TOS, OV, and Excel. The screen quality is actually as good as my iMac and much better than my work laptop (Lenovo, for double the price). The only weakness is battery life. It's 1.5-2 hours at best, but for my usage patterns that doesn't matter. Unless something physically breaks, I'm sure this laptop will work fine for me for another couple of years. So $250 a year amortization for a very decent machine is definitely more bang for the buck than any Mac laptop could ever be.
  3. Boomer34

    Boomer34 Well-Known Member

    I am in the same boat Dave...and after doing hours of research, I have decided to go with the Microsoft Surface Book. It has received very good reviews...and although it may sound superficial, the screen quality is at the top of my list (knowing I will get the quality components anyway). Mac had spoiled me with their screen viewing pleasure, but the Surface Book's screen is nicer than any Macbook Pro. In the past few years, I have twice bought a Dell laptop with their top quality screen and tried to force myself to make the switch, but after looking at the crap Dell matte screen (it was 1080 HD) I had to sell it off. I have read that the newest version of the Dell XPS is supposedly much nicer...but I am going with the Surface Book. I hope to have it ordered this week, so I will report back on how it turns out...
  4. Ryan Simmen

    Ryan Simmen Well-Known Member

    You'll love Windows 10. I'm incredibly happy with my Lenovo Yoga 900. I believe it to be the best hybrid laptop available on the market today. For me it hits the sweet spot of features and affordability. It's incredibly lightweight and perfect for travel. I take it on planes and to local meetups all the time. My only wish is that it supported the new Windows Hello face unlock feature. The screen is also a bit too glossy. Whatever you get make sure to buy something with a 6th generation Intel processor. The battery life will last much longer. Also get a SSD hard drive. It'll run much faster. Make sure it has at least 8GB of RAM (preferably 12 GB, I splurged for 16GB).

    If you like the form factor of the Microsoft Surface Pro with the kickstand and removable keyboard, but can't afford the price your next best bet might be the Lenovo Ideapad Miix 700. If price is not an issue be sure to check out the Microsoft Surface Book. It has an incredible graphics card and water cooled internals. Go to your local tech store and play with all of these to see what you like best.

    Full disclosure: I work for Microsoft.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
    Jose Perez likes this.
  5. status1

    status1 Well-Known Member

    I can;t speak for Apple products since I never used them but if you have windows 7 I would say you are doing pretty good
    I was wondering what breakdown you noticed on TOS ?
    I have windows xp and windows 7 and I know that when I am running TOS in xp there is definitely a performance issue but I am mainly using it to get my greeks data and I have all the other programs there
    I am not sure if getting a better laptop will fix any issues with TOS

    What I noticed on TOS that started at the beginning of this week was that for some reason I can't save screenshots of TOS screens on my windows xp anymore It still works on windows 7 but even that is different than it used to be
    I was wondering if anyone else noticed that ?
  6. status1

    status1 Well-Known Member

    I was wondering how you do that ?
    What kind of data can you pull ?
    Can you get the greeks from the price slice ?
  7. Capt Hobbes

    Capt Hobbes Well-Known Member

    You use the RTD function like so (the double comma is not a typo):

    =RTD("tos.exe",, <data>, <symbol>)

    <data> is something like "BID", "ASK", "DELTA", or "IMPL_VOL". <symbol> is the security symbol. For options it has the format ".<underlying><expiry><strike><p-or-c>", for example ".RUT1607151100P". You can see the option symbol in TOS if you open the right mouse button menu on an option in the trade or analyze grid. You can pull greeks and IV from TOS, or you can compute them yourself in Excel.
  8. status1

    status1 Well-Known Member

    That's interesting
    I did not know about this RTD function in excel
    I assume the double comma is needed if the server is not specified so TOS must be running
    I tried this =RTD("tos.exe",, "bid",".RUT1607151100P") but I am not getting anything just a NAME? in that cell
    Maybe I am missing something ?
    Do I need any macros or any other setting for this to work ?
    I tried the export to excel from tos and that is working

    You said you can pull the greeks
    Is that just for single options or can you pull it for complex options like for a butterfly for example
  9. Paul Demers

    Paul Demers Well-Known Member

    try "tos.rtd" and the opra code should be like this .SPX160715C2050
  10. status1

    status1 Well-Known Member

    Thanks I found that after doing a search on the function
    It's working with tos.rtd
    The bid price doesn't seem to match
    I pulled the bid price for this .SPX160715C2095 and in excel it shows it as 35.1 but in TOS on the trade tab it shows as 35.9
    That's quite a bit of a difference
    When I pull the quotes does it get it from the same server as TOS or a different one ?
    Or is it just because it's not trading at this time ?
  11. Capt Hobbes

    Capt Hobbes Well-Known Member

    Sorry, next time I won't type code samples from memory. :)

    I'm seeing 35.10 as bid for .SPX160715C2095 both in Excel and in TOS itself. Are you sure you are looking at the correct expiration? Another thing you can do in TOS to compare is paste the option symbol into a watchlist. It also shows 35.10 bid, 36.30 ask for .SPX160715C2095.
  12. status1

    status1 Well-Known Member

    Yes you are correct
    I guess I did not go far enough to the right I right clicked on the strike price thinking that would be closer to the put side so I thought I was pulling the quote for the puts but now on a closer look I see that it has the c in there and that is the correct price for the call

    What about the greeks for a combined trade like a butterfly trade in the analyze tab?
    Would that be possible with this or is this only works on the trade tab ?
    I tried the export to excel on the analyze tab but I am not getting anything The message says "No pages to export"
  13. SnakEyez

    SnakEyez New Member

    I'm in the same boat as Dave. Been getting by with the wife's Macbook Air 2011 but TOS has gotten really slow there and forget running VMWare of Fusion 8, as 4GB of ram just isn't enough these days. Currently undecided between the next Macbook Pro with the OLED touch display or the Surface 4 with Alcantara material. Has anyone been trading on Surface 4? Of course, about 95% of all my trades are entered and managed from the iPhone. I know, horrible, but thats the only way I can access the markets from work.
  14. TheSpeculator152

    TheSpeculator152 Well-Known Member

    Surface Book. It rocks!
  15. Boomer34

    Boomer34 Well-Known Member

    This is slightly off topic...but if your in the market for a new laptop or computer....and you are not afraid of can buy anything on Amazon through and get discounts up to 40% off. I have been using the site the past few weeks and I have purchased about 10 things through and it has worked flawlessly! You set the discount you want (5%-50%), and someone basically purchases an item you put on your Amazon wish list. Once it arrives, you release the bitcoin payment. I was slightly skeptical at first, but after enough urging from a few friends, I gave it a go and been very, very pleased.

    The reason I mention it, is I am going to buy a Surface Book through Purse next week, and will set the discount level to 30%, which will save me about $750!

    Just my .02
    Ryan Simmen likes this.
  16. Capt Hobbes

    Capt Hobbes Well-Known Member

    You can use the cells with values imported from TOS as inputs to formulas in other cells. Just import the greeks for the individual options and combine them the way the combo is structured.
  17. David Stewart

    David Stewart Well-Known Member

    Interesting that many here really like the surface book. I notice that it is about the same price level as a new MacBook Pro.
    I will have to check it out.
  18. Bruno

    Bruno Moderator Staff Member

    I personally love my MacBooks and I couldn't resolve myself to go back to Windows despite all the positive comments lately.
    Adding a few other parameters to the equation, such as possible loss or theft, I have so far decided to rather go for a VPS where I run all my Windows stuff.
    You can then access it from anywhere using Microsoft Remote Desktop.
  19. TheSpeculator152

    TheSpeculator152 Well-Known Member

    Where do you do VPS and how about offline access?
  20. status1

    status1 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the tip
    I have been playing around with the greeks but it's not exactly the same as the numbers on the price slice
    I just picked one strike price to see what numbers I get
    I am guessing the delta from the trade tab should be multiplied by 100 to get the value on the price slice ?
    But even then it's not exactly the same I guess they are getting those numbers from somewhere else
    The gamma shows 0.00 while on the price slice shows 0.32 for one strike so I am not sure how to make that better I guess they are rounded down to zero ? Theta is pretty close just the decimals are rounded off
    Vega is off by 5 and the p/l is of by 8
    So they are close but not quite the same
    I guess for a simulation I could go with just the trade tab values and see how that works out

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