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Recommend me a laptop, v2018

Discussion in 'BYTE ME: Technology discussion' started by Oil Can Dan, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Oil Can Dan

    Oil Can Dan Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    I know we've had laptop recommendation threads in the past but even a year ago is a lifetime in technology. I need a solid but unspectacular laptop for travel that will primarily be used for excel and light internet usage. I can't handle mining large data files on the iPad. I figured it would be easy enough to figure this out on my own but there are a million laptops and I don't know squat about what specs to aim for. I won't use this too often, but when I do I would really like for it to be fast.

    Any recommendations?
  2. Rudi Fingers

    Rudi Fingers Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

  3. Oil Can Dan

    Oil Can Dan Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    I’m fine with that price, but I’m just not a mac guy. It’s probably me but I really don’t like working in excel in anything other than a windows machine.
  4. Toe Nash

    Toe Nash Member SoSH Member

    Don't get that Macbook air. It only supports up to 1440 x 900 resolution, which can be constricting for Excel. I would lose my mind trying to do anything in Excel with that resolution. The newest Macbooks are lighter than the Air, have better specs overall and the Retina screen is gorgeous. But they're pricey-ish.

    What I would look for is something with:
    full HD resolution or higher (1920 x 1080) so you can fit more stuff on the screen, unless you're going to use an external monitor most of the time
    8 GB RAM
    a solid state drive (this will make a huge performance and battery life difference)
    Solid build quality

    The Lenovo T series checks all these boxes since the T460. They just came out with the T480 line which has the latest "Coffee Lake" 8th gen processor. This is a nice upgrade if you can afford it because Intel has added more cores to this generation, making a big performance difference. But for your uses you probably won't notice that.

    You can probably find a T470s on ebay refubished for around $700. The Dell XPS 13 is another good choice, lighter and more flashy design than the T series with a really nice display, but a little more expensive. Dell also gets high marks for support and their outlet site has good deals from time to time.

    Other brands are hit or miss as far as the build quality. This matters less depending on how much travel you're doing.
  5. VBSoxFan

    VBSoxFan Member SoSH Member

    My home desktop recently died and I replaced it with a 13" Dell 2-in-1 (I have had good luck with Dell in the past). This is the model I bought on sale at Best Buy. It has the latest quad core i7 processor, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD and 1920 x 1080 screen resolution. It can also double as tablet. Plenty of ports for external devices.

    The reviews I have read say the biggest drawback was a shorter battery life than others in its class. But, as this will be used almost entirely as a home computer, that is not much of a concern for me.

    Edited to add: I have had it a little over a week and so far, have been pretty happy with it, but I do attach it to an external 27" monitor and the 1920 x 1080 resolution leaves a little to be desired. I am still playing with various configurations.
    #5 VBSoxFan, Mar 13, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  6. Joe Sixpack

    Joe Sixpack Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    What Rudi said - need to know your budget.

    I really like my HP Spectre x360. A new one goes for about $1000.


    The Dell XPS 13 is also really good, but it has this adaptive brightness thing that can't be disabled and dims the screen for you - I am a bit OCD about those types of things and so I had to return mine, but it was otherwise a fantastic machine.

    If budget is an issue, Asus makes some really good laptops in the $600-$800 or so price range.
  7. Koufax

    Koufax Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    I bought an Asus Aspire R about 15 months ago for about $550. Great touch screen. It works fine.
  8. Oil Can Dan

    Oil Can Dan Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Thanks guys. I bought the Dell XPS 13.

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