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  1. Kamikazi

    Kamikazi Friend

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    The Dell XPS series don't have particularly great keyboards, but the Latitudes are decent. For a reasonably thin and light you could look at the Latitude 7390/7490. I still prefer Lenovo keyboards though and would probably look at the T480s, but I haven't read that many good things about the display. My P51 has an excellent keyboard, but the screen has a weird tint to it. I have to use an external monitor for more colour accurate work. The XPS laptops have really great and bright screens. The Latitudes are a bit of gamble with panel lottery.
     
  2. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    I don't understand. Why can't someone just make a great laptop? Charge 2k if you need to but have it bullet proof like the old Thinkpads. Great build and reliability. Great battery. Good screen. Great keyboard. Reasonably thin. 3:2 display for productivity. There's plenty of us whose livelihoods is based on our laptops who would gladly pay premium that to have peace of mind and computing convenience for 3-5 years.

    This isn't audio where you're chasing some impossible to pin down perfection on a path fraught with tradeoffs. I don't understand why no such product exists.
     
  3. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    This site was rather helpful when I was contemplating laptops. They seem to cover lots of performance areas in detail, good luck!

    https://www.notebookcheck.net/

    And specifically for you this list may be a great starting point:
    https://www.notebookcheck.net/Notebookcheck-s-Top-10-Premium-Office-Business-Notebooks.98925.0.html
     
  4. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    I really like Thinkpads... but yeah their consistency is not great. I've had good luck, but some of my friends have not.

    In any event, all Windows machines kinda suck because they have so many stupid things running in the background. I found latency better on Win7 (but have never done direct comparison on the same machine, so take that with a grain of salt).
     
  5. Tachikoma

    Tachikoma Almost "Made"

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    There are a few tradeoffs associated with keeping a laptop thin, but anyway, this is the laptop I kind of wish I got instead:

    https://www.notebookcheck.net/Gigab...070-Max-Q-Full-HD-Laptop-Review.296594.0.html

    This packs a GTX1070, thunderbolt ports for future proofing, a color accurate 144Hz screen and ~8 hours of usable battery life. However, it could be a case of the grass being greener on the other side, since the Aero 15x also has its fair share of complaints in the notebookreview forums.
     
  6. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    I haven't seen any recommendations yet for a Mac. I'm not a blind fanboy and use PC/OS/Linux regularly, but I have to say that my almost 10 year old MBP has been rock solid. I replaced the battery 4 years ago and upgraded some RAM, but I've been really pleased with the reliability. If you need Windows, you can always go dual boot, and still have really solid hardware. Hopefully Mac still makes em like they used to.
     
  7. RiddleyWalker

    RiddleyWalker Friend

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    I've supported Macbooks for various companies over the last 6 years or so, and in my experience the overall quality and price-to-performance has gone down with each recent iteration.

    God Tier - Mid-2010 to Mid-2012 (non-Retina)
    All of these are good to excellent, with the mid-2012 15” 2.7GHz i7 being the beefiest iteration.
    - This is the last gen of MBPs to have ethernet port and optical drive. If you don’t have a need for an optical drive, you can throw an extra hard drive in it’s place!
    - In my experience, rare for these to encounter hardware failures. In fact, out of all the models of laptops I’ve managed, including PC’s, the RMA rate on these was the lowest. Obviously nowadays you’re getting these used, but if it’s been properly cared for and/or has low mileage, your chance of failure is low.
    - Super easy to upgrade and service - takes standard 2.5” SATA drive and has user-replaceable/upgradeable RAM. Fairly cheap and easy to replace battery, fans, etc if they start degrading over time. Throw an SSD and 16GB of RAM in one of these and it runs pretty much as fast as any current production MacBook.

    Mid Tier - Mid-2012 (Retina) to 2015
    The retina display, lighter weight, and thinner chassis might make this the best option for many, but these features come with some tradeoffs.
    - They seem more susceptible to hardware failure - I’ve taken a noticeably larger percentage of these into the Apple store for repair compared to the previous gen. This might be anecdotal.
    - Removal of optical drive (or second HDD/SSD if you prefer) and ethernet port
    - Change from standard 2.5” SATA to a proprietary Apple M2 drive (you can buy an upgrade/replacement but options are limited and pricey)
    - RAM is now soldered directly onto the logic board, so you basically can’t replace or upgrade RAM
    For these reasons, I rate the earlier gen higher. Not a bad laptop though.

    Trash Tier - Late 2016 - Present
    I really can’t recommend the current generation of MacBook Pro.
    - Shitty shallow keyboard that not only feels bad to type on but is highly susceptible to failure - I’ve had to service tons of machines from this gen for inexplicable keyboard issues.
    - Only USB-C ports (Thunderbolt 3 as Apple calls them). Want to plug in a standard USB drive, keyboard/mouse, printer, ANYTHING? Gonna need one or more adapters. Not worth the weight/size decrease if you have to carry around a damn dock with you.
    - RAM and flash storage are soldered directly onto the logic board. In previous gen, at least the M2 drive was replaceable. This gen, no replacement/upgrade without replacing the entire board (more realistically just buying an entirely new machine). This alone is pretty much a deal breaker for me.
    - Hardware issues abound - wide variety of failures with the aforementioned keyboard issues being the most prevalent.
     
  8. JustAnotherRando

    JustAnotherRando My other bike is a Ferrari

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    This was available for a brief period this year. It's all those things (keyboard probably not as good as when they were made in Thailand though). Off memory it was roughly the price you mentioned.

    https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/thinkpad-t-series/ThinkPad-25/p/22TP2TTTP25
     
  9. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    I'm not sure why I deleted most of my OP in favor of a TL;DR version, but I just wanted to come back and say this laptop (Yoga 3 14" w. Core i7 circa 2015-2016) is going on its 5th year now and still strong. The only thing that's failed is a USB port. Wifi standards changed and it has trouble with some of the newer standards, so I got a USB adapter off ebay that's worked like a charm. Thinking of buying a battery to get it back up to the hours it used to achieve.

    For a few years in between, the camera stopped working but an incidental system reset revealed it was a software/firmware issue and not hardware. Overall, I'm super pleased with the reliability of this thing. It's STILL faster or just as fast as corporate laptops that are issued to me brand new. It was about $1K when I bought it, and so that'll work out to about $150-$200/year by the time I replace it, which I think is going to be a standard for me going forward.

    I've considered upgrading, but I think the M1 processor from Apple is going to push a new generation of chips on the PC side and so I think I need to wait a bit longer. On a sidenote, and similarly, my Google Pixel 2XL is still going strong too. I just bought my mom a Pixel 4XL refurb for $300; I feel like purchases 2 years/generations behind and say at a distributed cost of $100/year, with upgrades every 3 years, is the way to go on the phone side. This is all based on my own perception of value for money though, I'm sure it won't fit everyone's.

    PS - and in the 5 years I've had it, I've only used the touch function a handful of times, so I feel like that's going to be much lower on my priority list going forward.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
  10. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    The HP Spectre I posted about in this thread is still going strong, too. The headphone out has had static issues for a couple years, but I normally use either BT or something like a Fulla 2 anyways. I did replace the screen (myself!) because I stepped on it once, but I see that as an added plus since I was able to fix it myself. Most of the possible replacements I have looked at (just because I like new tech) don't seem nearly as nice. In the pursuit of minimizing size and weight, I really think build quality has taken a dive.
     
  11. sphinxvc

    sphinxvc Gear Master (retired)

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    If true, that's a sad trend. I recently discovered Lenovo has made a hardware replacement guide available for my laptop. I'm not sure if this was always there but it's pretty cool and reminds me of 70's audio gear that came with schematics and "how to repair" information. The Lenovo guide even goes down to a "how to replace a USB port" level. Overall, I think at some point the industry/economy figured out to achieve unyielding growth, people need to give up on things that work. So they either make it happen for us (throttling, low life-span components) or make it hard for us. Hopefully we see some disruptors to that equation soon.
     
  12. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    There is a reason I have owned 3 HP Elitebook laptops. They are tanks. I remember when they first introduced them they did a marketing video where a movie was streamed from the internal drive wirelessly to another device and monitor. Then they dropped it on a hard floor. It did not skip a beat and I think that used a spinning disk.

    You cannot find build quality like that anymore at least not under a grand or more, which is what these cost way back. The fact you can still pick them up for under $200 is delightful. I rarely use mine, just for out of town trips and the like, but is serves me well.
     
  13. YMO

    YMO Scatologically ribald obsessive

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    For the gaming nerds like @netforce, any good recommendations for Gaming Laptops nowadays? I really like the look of the Asus Zephyrus G14, but the smaller size will make it limited. I don't play AAA stuff, but I do wanna play the new Serious Sam.
     
  14. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    Steam Deck or bust. @Bill-P knows.
     
  15. YMO

    YMO Scatologically ribald obsessive

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    I got my 512 GB pre order yesterday after 90 minutes.

    Was curious on a real Gaming Laptop, been out of the loop for awhile. Could be cool to have the laptop and the Steam Deck at the same time. Tons of ideas in the air...
     
  16. netforce

    netforce MOT: Headphones.com

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    I would say my rec would be towards the Zephyrus G15 myself to get the 30 series and latest Ryzen cpu personally. But Asus laptops are legit an my favorite in the space.
     
  17. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    I agree with him. Go for the Zephyrus G15. It's worth the investment.
     
  18. YMO

    YMO Scatologically ribald obsessive

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    From reviews, people were saying G15 had worse QC than G14. Everyone is loving the G14 for some reason...I like the look too.

    @netforce any recommended builds for the G15 that you can point out? Aiming for $1500-$1800 but even for the build in that price it will be overkill (but ok with me).
     
  19. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    Honestly, with XBGPU, I don't see the need for as many devices. An ultraportable streaming games is good enough.

    I still have a 3080 in my desktop, but I sure as hell prefer a more portable form factor for my laptop and streaming YLAD and other games is awesome.
     
  20. YMO

    YMO Scatologically ribald obsessive

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    My co-worker over the weekend recommended to try out Game Pass, but I play most niche stuff that isn't available on streaming. I got rid of my PS4, which I miss playing weebaboo @netforce approved DJ Max Respect. It was just ported to PC, but game will not work on my Thinkpad X260 laptop. The X260 is five years old and that is normally then I upgrade my Windows machine. X260 will be a great server laptop for my local files plus other junk because ThinkPad keyboards are pure sex.

    I also found out that DJ Max Respect doesn't work at all with Proton via SteamOS. Yeah I could install Windows on the Deck but I'll keep it SteamOS for now.
     

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