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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

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    6,200
    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

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    1,340
  3. Oil Can Dan

    Oil Can Dan Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    6,200
    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

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    4,337
    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

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    249
    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

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    3,529
    What Rudi said - need to know your budget.

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

    http://store.hp.com/us/en/mdp/spectre-x360-232005--1#!&tab=vao

    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

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    4,025
    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

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    6,200
    Thanks guys. I bought the Dell XPS 13.
     
  9. Kliq

    Kliq Member SoSH Member

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    7,321
    I’m looking for a new laptop to purchase soon.

    - I’d like to keep it pretty cheap; hopefully under $500 but I’ll consider going more expensive for the right computer.

    - I’ve had a bigger laptop for the last five years and while I like having the big display; a smaller more compact computer makes more sense now that I travel more and use my computer on the go. So I’m looking for a smaller, more portable laptop.

    - I have a new laptop for work that I use so I’m not going to need a pricey model that is going to be my lifeline at work. I just want something for fun other stuff; like playing games and shitposting on SoSH.

    - I play games on my laptop but I’m not a hardcore gamer that plays real time strategy games so graphics aren’t a super big deal. Two of my favorites are Civilization and Planet Coaster; so having a nice bright display would be cool, but I’m not playing anything too graphically advanced.

    - I think the key things I want to prioritize are a smaller size, good battery life and a steady cooling system. My current laptop was good; but after five years plus taking it all through college it’s on its last legs.

    Let me know if you guys have any ideas. I’ve poked around some stores but I’d like to hear some suggestions.

    -
     
  10. Couperin47

    Couperin47 Member SoSH Member

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    You want a cheap laptop with a small screen (at $500 this means a weak dual core cpu and crummy graphics) and you're going to use it for gaming...yeah good luck with that...
     
  11. Joe Sixpack

    Joe Sixpack Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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  12. Kliq

    Kliq Member SoSH Member

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    7,321
    Well; my current laptop is an HP I paid about $650 for five years ago, and it can handle all of my gaming needs; it is just very bulky and over the years has taken on a lot of wear and tear and it overheats easily so sometimes it feels like I'm using the ENIAC. I'm not looking for a real GAMING laptop; I'm primarily a console gamer that has a few old favorites on the PC. I'm not playing online or anything like that; and I'm not even really looking for something that is going to really enhance the aesthetics of the game, just something that can run the game without overheating or bugging out.

    I've poked around in some retail stores and see smaller laptops in the $350-$500 range and I'm fairly confident that I'd be fine with those models, but I don't know much about PCs so I figured I would crowdsource this a bit. Do I really need to spend $750+ on a PC to do the things I want (basically internet access and light gaming) or all the cheaper models just really crappy? Like I said I paid $650 for my old computer and it is still technically fine, just a bit older. Have the prices for a quality product gone up?
     
  13. Couperin47

    Couperin47 Member SoSH Member

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    12,125
    From your elaboration, anything with a dual core i5 Intel cpu should be adequate and esp. in factory refurbs that's probably doable in the $500 range, i3 or lower cpus will be anemic. You want more than 4 Gig ram, if they charge much more for that, as long as the 4 Gig only use 1 of the 2 ram slots usually provided, you can add 4 or 8 more for dirt aftermarket.
     
  14. Joe Sixpack

    Joe Sixpack Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    3,529
    I think the low end Asus ultrabooks such as the one I recommended for $750 is really the sweet spot right now as far as bang for your buck, but yeah you can probably get something that meets your needs for $500. It will be a bit bulkier but if you're coming from a 5 year old brick then maybe not an issue.

    Looking around, Lenovo outlet usually has some good deals but not seeing anything decent under $700 right now (criteria: 8gb RAM, some type of SSD, 1080p screen)

    Found this Asus refurb on Newegg for $650, looks pretty decent.
    https://m.newegg.com/products/N82E16834234938

    Honestly you're probably better off spending an extra couple hundred to get something more future proof if you're the type to keep a laptop for 5 years.
     
  15. Nick Kaufman

    Nick Kaufman protector of human kind from spoilers Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    9,900
    Look at LG Gram, HP Spectre, Lenovo Yoga and HP XPS 13.

    Also, if you don't want the latest and greatest, you can also go for a used one of ebay.
     
  16. Couperin47

    Couperin47 Member SoSH Member

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    12,125
    Below are just 3 options at the Lenovo Outlet site this morning, quantities are small, stuff comes and goes. Shipping is free, full 1 yr warranties on everything, some are new, some are refurbs that are always indistinguishable from new. Just picked a few Thinkpads as they are still the most rugged Lenovo makes. All i5 cpu, some with HD some with SSD (which are all M2 format which means there's an empty HD bay inside which you can add for less than Lenovo wants). Most here already have 8 Gig ram. These are all between $500 - $600:

    https://www3.lenovo.com/us/en/outle...t-series-relationship-only/T440p/p/20AWX51500

    https://www3.lenovo.com/us/en/outletus/l-series/ThinkPad-L470/p/20J4CTR1WW-PF12B0BA

    https://www3.lenovo.com/us/en/outletus/thinkpad-e-series/ThinkPad-E580/p/20KSCTO1WW-PF11PQJS
     
  17. Dollar

    Dollar Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,532
    How about this one?
    Acer Swift 3
    $549 after rebate, Intel® Core™ i5-8250U Processor at 1.6GHz, 8GB DDR4 SDRAM, 256GB Solid State Drive, Microsoft® Windows 10 Home (64 bit), 14" LED-backlit Widescreen FHD IPS (1920 x 1080) Display, Intel® HD 620 Integrated Graphics
     
  18. Couperin47

    Couperin47 Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    12,125
    Acer stuff is 2 steps below Thinkpad, HP and Dell hardware. Take a look at the experience at Amazon on these models:

    https://www.amazon.com/Acer-Swift-i...ll_reviews&filterByStar=critical&pageNumber=1

    also a laptop with a 256 Gig SSD and no option for a hard drive means you are stuck with a puter that has a whopping real 180 Gig of storage. You may believe in the Cloud, I'm not convinced, especially when you need some big file. Probably doesn't matter, a large % of this model is likely to go dead within 6 months....
     
  19. Kliq

    Kliq Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    7,321
    I went to Best Buy over the weekend and snagged a Lenovo Yoga 720 for $650. Its the perfect size and seems to do just about everything I want so far. I could have gone more expensive for gaming, but at this point I wasn't going to drop $350+ more just to play a few games from time to time.
     

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