I am thinking about buying a standalone win8 machine 64 bit (laptop) to be used only for personal training in sql server (2008 or 2012) and ssis/ssas/BI. I want to buy off-the shelf from tigerdirect or similar and once done with it will repurpose it for other uses. I want to spend less than $1000 and wondered if this is reasonable and what everyone would recommend (mfr, o/s, disk, memory, processor). Thanks!
I don't disagree with anything that Ken said (+1), but, if you don't have a decent machine currently and you do want to pursue the virtual route, unless you're only ever going to run a single virtual at a time, you really do need to put some memory behind the processes. I wouldn't go with anything less than 8gb. 16gb would be better. If you can get to 32gb, better still. With 16gb I can run a five server Availability Group with a sixth server acting as the domain controller. All on a laptop using virtuals. So, to the keep the price down, get a machine that's expandable to 16gb (or more), but don't pay that to the vendor. Instead, buy their minimal memory configuration and then buy the memory from someone else. Same thing if you think you want an SSD.
To All: I set up an Azure VM and it is great - I have vs2010, ssms 2008 and 2012, along with the other pieces I need for training - free for the next 90 days, with a small charge ($10/mo) after that. Thanks for the advice!