I think it's time to finally get a laptop.

Discussion in 'Computers, Electronics, IT & Gaming' started by ftr, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. ftr

    ftr SS.org Regular

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    I have never really had the need to have a laptop and just preferred to use my Desktop as my only PC. However, now I realize it would not be smart to continue using my Desktop for everything.

    I have never really kept up with laptop/notebooks, so It's just a little daunting finding the right one. I plan on finding the right one and doing it right the first time because I am going to rely on it quite a bit for the next few years.

    I did some light research and went to BestBuy and Micro Center to try some out. I originally planned on spending 500-800. However, most the ones that I am interested in are 1000-1500. The Dell XPS 13/15, and the Asus Zenbook are my two favorites right now.

    Thoughts? Recommendations?
     
  2. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Not super long ago I searched around for a laptop in about the same $500-ish price range and found the current options to be really disappointing. Unless you spend $1k+ (I was looking in CAD to be fair), you get tiny harddrives, sometimes that aren't upgradable, not a whole ton of memory, no dedicated gpu, etc. Big fancy bright touchscreens and fast CPUs, sure, and lots of "nice" looking cases, and everything is super thin, but in terms of getting any work done, they don't seem very usable to me. I ended up finding a used dell "business class" type laptop for $200- i5, 500gb, 6gb, and enough room to expand into something very usable for maybe a couple hundred bucks if I need/want. Easily enough to work with. If all you need is a zippy web-browser that looks cool, there's lots out there, but outside of that I think you'd need to expand your budget or look at used options.

    I'd imagine we can thank Apple for making setting the bar in terms of laptop-per-dollar you can get. $500 laptops used to be reasonable.
     
  3. coreysMonster

    coreysMonster So long, Germany!

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    It depends on what you're looking to play. If it's indie games or 2D games in general, any current i3 or i5 integrated graphics chipset will be enough, and you can still play modern graphics-intensive games at lower settings. If you want to be playing Battlefield or DOOM on Ultra settings in 1080p, yeah you're gonna need a dedicated GPU, but for many purposes a business laptop for 500 bucks is "enough".

    I would suggest picking a game that you think you'd be playing, and see where different chipset have their benchmarks on that game. You might be surprised what you can get out of a smaller laptop.

    I just bought a dell last week with an i3, 128GB SSD and 8GB RAM and it's become the main laptop I take around for work and low-intensity gaming. I also have an MSI laptop with a 1060 6GB GPU in it, and sure I can play Overwatch and Doom on it, but it's kinda clunky and loud (and was three times as expensive), and it's not something I feel very comfortable taking to public places just because of how much its design screams "I AM AN EXPENSIVE LAPTOP PLEASE STEAL ME".
     
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  4. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    ^ I don't think OP says anything about gaming anywhere.

    I kinda stick with my original comment though. 128gb is not a lot of space at all (although I get that SSD is more expensive). And the laptop I had 6 years ago had 8gb ram in it. Yeah, it depends on what you want to do with it, but in terms of an all-purpose desktop replacement, I find the current market is too expensive for what you get.
     
  5. coreysMonster

    coreysMonster So long, Germany!

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    Oh derp, for some reason I assumed it was about a gaming laptop.

    Yeah, the performance of lower-end laptops hasn't really gone up a whole lot, since laptops don't need much more than an i3 and 8 gigs of RAM for anything besides gaming, heavy graphic and 3D design, and audio and video editing. Really what you're paying for is the size and weight reduction and stupid gimmicks like 2-in-1 touch screens, because nobody wants laptops anymore, they want tablets with keyboards.

    I definitely agree that 128GB is not enough. I have 50GB left over after just installing some of the basic programs I use (I haven't even installed my DAW yet) and I have to be very selective about which tools I use. It is a little useful, in the sense that it means I can't install many games, which means I won't get distracted using it.
     
  6. iamaom

    iamaom SS.org Regular

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    If you're looking for something to browse the web and edit basic office documents, I'd recommend a refurbished thinkpad. You can pick them up off amazon or newegg for ~$300 and they've usually been upgraded with an i3 or i5. Stick a SSD in there, install windows or the linux distribution of your choice and your good to go! I got an X series from 2005 back in 2014 and it's still chugging along pretty good.
     
  7. Xaios

    Xaios Foolish Mortal Contributor

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    Ultimately, what dictates what kind of money you should be spending a laptop is based on what your usage will be like. Otherwise, any advice posted here is nothing more than conjecture. So, what exactly will you be doing with this laptop?
     

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