Buying a new laptop

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
Almost there
Posts: 997
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:06 pm
Location: Arizona USA

Buying a new laptop

Post by Almost there »

After 5 years my computer is no longer working. So started searching for another Dell laptop.
Looking for 8 GB memory and 256 GB SS hard drive with an at least i3 or i5 Intel processor. Spend around $500. Checked Dell online but found that quite a few people were complaining about their fan noises.
Has anyone bought a new laptop recently just for every day use?
robertm389
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:45 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by robertm389 »

Just bought an Asus "Vivosmart" last week. Meets your specs, with a 15 inch IPS screen. Paid $529 at Staples. Seems OK so far. Only negative things I've noticed so far are the sound volume is really low, and I had a problem adding non-Microsoft accounts to the email, which looking at the M/S website is not unheard of, and there was a posted solution so it was probably a windows not computer problem.
nalor511
Posts: 1359
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:00 am

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by nalor511 »

Dell Inspiron quality is getting really bad, and Latitude or XPS will run you quite a bit more than $500.

Acer $500
https://slickdeals.net/f/14980886-acer- ... SiteSearch

Asus $550
https://slickdeals.net/f/14978045-asus- ... SiteSearch

Lenovo $600
https://slickdeals.net/f/14978090-14-le ... SiteSearch
Topic Author
Almost there
Posts: 997
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:06 pm
Location: Arizona USA

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by Almost there »

Thank you. Will check them out.
Hyperchicken
Posts: 755
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:33 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by Hyperchicken »

RAM especially is easy to add, as long as there are DIMM slots available. The most economic way is to get the lowest specs possible (that otherwise meet your needs of course - e.g. CPU, GPU), and then add your own RAM. SSD isn't too difficult to upgrade either, except you'll need to reinstall everything. These upgrades are far cheaper than buying a higher specced laptop.

In fact, this might be a good start for your existing laptop, depending on exactly what is "no longer working".
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 71956
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (laptop).
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
KlangFool
Posts: 20504
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by KlangFool »

OP,

https://www.costco.com/laptops.html

Buy your laptop from Costco. Very generous return policy with no restocking fee as compared to many other places.

KlangFool
Last edited by KlangFool on Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
40% VWENX | 12.5% VFWAX/VTIAX | 11.5% VTSAX | 16% VBTLX | 10% VSIAX/VTMSX/VSMAX | 10% VSIGX| 40% Wellington 40% 3-funds 20% Mini-Larry
Topic Author
Almost there
Posts: 997
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:06 pm
Location: Arizona USA

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by Almost there »

nalor511 wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:17 pm Acer $500
https://slickdeals.net/f/14980886-acer- ... SiteSearch
Not using an Intel processor

Asus $550
https://slickdeals.net/f/14978045-asus- ... SiteSearch
Not using an Intel processor

Lenovo $600
https://slickdeals.net/f/14978090-14-le ... SiteSearch
too expensive
[ quote and links fixed by admin LadyGeek]

Almost there
Topic Author
Almost there
Posts: 997
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:06 pm
Location: Arizona USA

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by Almost there »

Lady Geek wrote:
This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (laptop).
Thank you for the update. How come Personal Consumer Issues is not listed under US Investors? What am I doing wrong?

Almost there
KlangFool
Posts: 20504
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by KlangFool »

https://www.tigerdirect.com/application ... ce5&Sort=2

OP,

Would you consider buying a refurnished laptop? If yes, check up above URL. I had bought from them before.

KlangFool
40% VWENX | 12.5% VFWAX/VTIAX | 11.5% VTSAX | 16% VBTLX | 10% VSIAX/VTMSX/VSMAX | 10% VSIGX| 40% Wellington 40% 3-funds 20% Mini-Larry
RobLyons
Posts: 975
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:55 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by RobLyons »

OP,

I agree with KlangFool that Costco has great return policies. If they have what you're looking for buy it there.

Is Apple a consideration? I ask because I'm typing this on my 9 year old MacBook Pro that was $800 and after a memory and speed upgrade it's still performing like day 1. Little pricier but worth it for their longevity, build quality, etc.

Are chrome books in your consideration? Great bang for the buck.

Other laptops worth considering:

Acer Swift 3
Asus Vivobook 15
Lenovo ideapad 3 chromebook duet
Acer Aspire 5
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"
User avatar
sunny_socal
Posts: 2355
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by sunny_socal »

Lenovo is always the answer
KlangFool
Posts: 20504
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by KlangFool »

RobLyons wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:49 pm OP,

I agree with KlangFool that Costco has great return policies. If they have what you're looking for buy it there.

Is Apple a consideration? I ask because I'm typing this on my 9 year old MacBook Pro that was $800 and after a memory and speed upgrade it's still performing like day 1. Little pricier but worth it for their longevity, build quality, etc.

Are chrome books in your consideration? Great bang for the buck.

Other laptops worth considering:

Acer Swift 3
Asus Vivobook 15
Lenovo ideapad 3 chromebook duet
Acer Aspire 5
RobLyons,

IMHO, for new Mac, I would only buy the one that come with M1 chip.

KlangFool
40% VWENX | 12.5% VFWAX/VTIAX | 11.5% VTSAX | 16% VBTLX | 10% VSIAX/VTMSX/VSMAX | 10% VSIGX| 40% Wellington 40% 3-funds 20% Mini-Larry
lazydavid
Posts: 3699
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by lazydavid »

Almost there wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:41 pm
nalor511 wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:17 pm Acer $500
https://slickdeals.net/f/14980886-acer- ... SiteSearch
Not using an Intel processor

Asus $550
https://slickdeals.net/f/14978045-asus- ... SiteSearch
Not using an Intel processor

Lenovo $600
https://slickdeals.net/f/14978090-14-le ... SiteSearch
too expensive
[ quote and links fixed by admin LadyGeek]

Almost there
[ quote fixed by admin LadyGeek]

You may want to reconsider being such a stickler for an Intel, especially with your quite low price cap. Of the 2 processors represented in the items posted above, the Ryzen 4500U is newer, significantly faster, has dramatically better video performance AND is cheaper than the i5 1035G1.
tibbitts
Posts: 13575
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by tibbitts »

I'm not thrilled with my late 2018 Inspiron. I'm having intermittent functionality issues with several keys on the right side of the keyboard, plus the case cracked in multiple places just from picking it up (with one hand - I learned it's apparently a "two hand" laptop.) Actually today I finally replaced the bottom of the case, although a matching silver one wasn't available, only black. However it's probably not possible to extrapolate from a 2018 model to a 2021. Computers are much more expensive now, of course.

When I bought my computer I upgraded the memory and replaced the spinning disk with a ssd. I completely disagree with anyone who makes blanket statements about how trivial this is to do, and I have experience replacing those components (plus in come cases hinges and other parts) all my dozen-plus laptops from different manufacturers. The experience greatly varies with each model, and newer laptops are definitely not more service-friendly in general. It's extremely easy to damage a laptop when replacing components, except for models where there are simple external access panels for each component. So if possible I'd try to buy a laptop with the components I wanted, even at a somewhat higher cost.
othermike27
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:14 am
Location: Chicago Metro

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by othermike27 »

Lisa Gade's Youtube channel is a good source of thorough unbiased reviews for laptops (and other mobile/movable/portable stuff):

https://www.youtube.com/user/MobileTechReview

You just have to be ready to listen as fast as she talks. :wink:
User avatar
sunny_socal
Posts: 2355
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by sunny_socal »

KlangFool wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 3:02 pm
RobLyons wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:49 pm OP,

I agree with KlangFool that Costco has great return policies. If they have what you're looking for buy it there.

Is Apple a consideration? I ask because I'm typing this on my 9 year old MacBook Pro that was $800 and after a memory and speed upgrade it's still performing like day 1. Little pricier but worth it for their longevity, build quality, etc.

Are chrome books in your consideration? Great bang for the buck.

Other laptops worth considering:

Acer Swift 3
Asus Vivobook 15
Lenovo ideapad 3 chromebook duet
Acer Aspire 5
RobLyons,

IMHO, for new Mac, I would only buy the one that come with M1 chip.

KlangFool
Same here. I'm looking forward to the 16" M1 MBPro:
- New M1 chip with great performance and excellent power consumption
- Remove the light bar
- Keep the "old" keyboard that was recently introduced
radiowave
Posts: 2691
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:01 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by radiowave »

OP, I have a Dell XPS that has the intermittent loud fan issue. I bought my wife an Acer for Xmas and she likes it. I bought a low cost new Lenovo just for email, web and really like it especially the keyboard.
Bogleheads Wiki: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Main_Page
nalor511
Posts: 1359
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:00 am

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by nalor511 »

Almost there wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:41 pm
nalor511 wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:17 pm Acer $500
https://slickdeals.net/f/14980886-acer- ... SiteSearch
Not using an Intel processor

Asus $550
https://slickdeals.net/f/14978045-asus- ... SiteSearch
Not using an Intel processor

Lenovo $600
https://slickdeals.net/f/14978090-14-le ... SiteSearch
too expensive
[ quote and links fixed by admin LadyGeek]

Almost there
You will not get a decent intel for your price point, and even if you do the performance will most likely be worse than the Ryzen. It's your $
Topic Author
Almost there
Posts: 997
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:06 pm
Location: Arizona USA

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by Almost there »

Thank you all for your input. It’ll take me a couple days to digest it.
Thank you radiowave for mentioning the loud fan noice. Every computer I checked out on the web, mentioned it. Will also check everyone’s recommendations.
So after my computer was getting slower and slower, I reached out for help. I ran a virus scan again, and now my computer is running normal again. That happens! 😆🤪😉
Topic Author
Almost there
Posts: 997
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:06 pm
Location: Arizona USA

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by Almost there »

Nalor511. Thank you for the Intel processor info. Will check that too.
inbox788
Posts: 8192
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by inbox788 »

sunny_socal wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 4:27 pmSame here. I'm looking forward to the 16" M1 MBPro:
- New M1 chip with great performance and excellent power consumption
- Remove the light bar
- Keep the "old" keyboard that was recently introduced
M1 Macbook Air are on sale for $900 at Costco if you're in the market. And it's a "4 year" (2+2) warranty if you use their card ( https://www.costco.com/concierge-two-pl ... ranty.html )

https://www.costco.com/macbook-air-13.3 ... 88258.html

And looks like same price at Amazon and BH Photo.
hunoraut
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun May 31, 2020 11:39 am

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by hunoraut »

Latitude 7390 is the best Dell i've ever owned, and i've owned many many of them. Trying to get rid of a Lenovo X1C (very disappointing).

Best for general purpose everyday yse, my current M1 Macbook Air. Also owned a bunch of Macs which were all fantastic but this one is the apex.
User avatar
sunny_socal
Posts: 2355
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by sunny_socal »

inbox788 wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 7:09 pm
sunny_socal wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 4:27 pmSame here. I'm looking forward to the 16" M1 MBPro:
- New M1 chip with great performance and excellent power consumption
- Remove the light bar
- Keep the "old" keyboard that was recently introduced
M1 Macbook Air are on sale for $900 at Costco if you're in the market. And it's a "4 year" (2+2) warranty if you use their card ( https://www.costco.com/concierge-two-pl ... ranty.html )

https://www.costco.com/macbook-air-13.3 ... 88258.html

And looks like same price at Amazon and BH Photo.
I'm waiting for the 16" pro model. The others are nice but a little too small, 16" is just right. (And my 2013 MBPro still runs fine... would be non-BH move to upgrade simply to have the latest model, looking for a valid excuse.)
stimulacra
Posts: 943
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:50 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by stimulacra »

I would consider 16 GB and 512 GB SSD to be the minimum for a laptop purchased today that you expect to function in 2026.

8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage is marginal for 2021.

For your budget I would consider buying used or refurbished to nudge those specs up if possible.

Have you considered converting your old Dell into a chromebook with CloudReady? It would give new life to your old system if its still functional from a hardware standpoint.
inbox788
Posts: 8192
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by inbox788 »

sunny_socal wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 10:48 pmI'm waiting for the 16" pro model. The others are nice but a little too small, 16" is just right. (And my 2013 MBPro still runs fine... would be non-BH move to upgrade simply to have the latest model, looking for a valid excuse.)
I'm hoping for an M1X or M2, 12 or 16 core (8 or 12 performance cores) in September. It would have killer performance.

https://www.notebookcheck.net/12-core-M ... 565.0.html

But for most people, the current M1 is more than enough and getting faster through chip native versions of software and other optimizations. And unbelievable battery life and NO fan noise (no fan at all from what I understand with the Air, and even the Pro models are quite and supposedly fan seldom needs to run).

I don't expect too much more new on the entry models (15% speed increase? purple?), but would love to be proved wrong, since I don't have an immediate need and will wait to see what's announced, but not holding my breath here. On the high end, I definitely am expecting a big performance leap (50-100% increase mostly from more cores), and hope I'm not disappointed.
atdharris
Posts: 769
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:18 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by atdharris »

You can buy a new M1 Macbook Air at Costco for $899 currently. I've owned Macs for many years and they tend to last a very long time. My previous MB Pro lasted me 9 years before I upgraded to the 16" model. I expect that one will last me another 8-9 years, unless Apple stops supporting Intel chips.
tibbitts
Posts: 13575
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by tibbitts »

KlangFool wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:47 pm https://www.tigerdirect.com/application ... ce5&Sort=2

OP,

Would you consider buying a refurnished laptop? If yes, check up above URL. I had bought from them before.

KlangFool
The issue with refurbished laptops is that there's no definition of "refurbished." I've bought seven refurbished computers of various models. Some were truly like new; maybe returns from the first week or two of ownership. Others I know I lucked out on because they'd had the usual challenging multi-year corporate (or in some cases, K-12) life. On the positive side, most of the corporate or education refurbs are designed to be more durable than consumer models from the same manufacturers. But the downsides are that there are sometimes intermittent or obscure problems that even a somewhat conscientious seller won't be able to identify. So although I've been lucky, today I'd only buy from an entity that would allow hassle-free and no cost (including no shipping cost) returns or exchanges. And I'd only buy if I could make extensive use of the computer during the return period. Also remember that any warranty with a refurb model won't be doubled with your credit card the way a new product warranty would be.
KlangFool
Posts: 20504
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by KlangFool »

tibbitts wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:20 am
KlangFool wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:47 pm https://www.tigerdirect.com/application ... ce5&Sort=2

OP,

Would you consider buying a refurnished laptop? If yes, check up above URL. I had bought from them before.

KlangFool
The issue with refurbished laptops is that there's no definition of "refurbished." I've bought seven refurbished computers of various models. Some were truly like new; maybe returns from the first week or two of ownership. Others I know I lucked out on because they'd had the usual challenging multi-year corporate (or in some cases, K-12) life. On the positive side, most of the corporate or education refurbs are designed to be more durable than consumer models from the same manufacturers. But the downsides are that there are sometimes intermittent or obscure problems that even a somewhat conscientious seller won't be able to identify. So although I've been lucky, today I'd only buy from an entity that would allow hassle-free and no cost (including no shipping cost) returns or exchanges. And I'd only buy if I could make extensive use of the computer during the return period. Also remember that any warranty with a refurb model won't be doubled with your credit card the way a new product warranty would be.
tibbitts,

I agreed with your statement in general. But, I had bought a few laptops from tigerdirect. And, they are business class laptops. I do not have problem buying from them.

KlangFool
40% VWENX | 12.5% VFWAX/VTIAX | 11.5% VTSAX | 16% VBTLX | 10% VSIAX/VTMSX/VSMAX | 10% VSIGX| 40% Wellington 40% 3-funds 20% Mini-Larry
Philliesfan
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:00 am

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by Philliesfan »

sunny_socal wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:53 pm Lenovo is always the answer
Lenovo is not always the answer. I have an Ideapad that was purchased a few years ago. Not a cheap laptop. The computer began shutting down within ten minutes of start-up. Not a big deal. I contacted lenovo and sent the computer in for repair. The contractor fixed the shut down problem. Unfortunately, they scratched up the case and stripped most of the screws. I contacted lenovo again and they directed me to fill out another ticket. At this point I had been without my computer for weeks, which I needed for work, and I decided to just keep it as it was. I've lost a couple of screw that have since backed out. I've also had the screen flickering frequently for the past few months. Very annoying. So, looking to get the screen and other issues fixed now, outside of warranty. On top of this, lenovo deleted every review I left on their website, despite re-writing the reviews to meet their standards.

Anyways...ymmv, but I'm never buying another lenovo product again.
tibbitts
Posts: 13575
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by tibbitts »

Philliesfan wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:50 am
sunny_socal wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:53 pm Lenovo is always the answer
Lenovo is not always the answer. I have an Ideapad that was purchased a few years ago. Not a cheap laptop. The computer began shutting down within ten minutes of start-up. Not a big deal. I contacted lenovo and sent the computer in for repair. The contractor fixed the shut down problem. Unfortunately, they scratched up the case and stripped most of the screws. I contacted lenovo again and they directed me to fill out another ticket. At this point I had been without my computer for weeks, which I needed for work, and I decided to just keep it as it was. I've lost a couple of screw that have since backed out. I've also had the screen flickering frequently for the past few months. Very annoying. So, looking to get the screen and other issues fixed now, outside of warranty. On top of this, lenovo deleted every review I left on their website, despite re-writing the reviews to meet their standards.

Anyways...ymmv, but I'm never buying another lenovo product again.
Part of what I was saying about replacing drives and memory not being trivial is that some laptop cases are just not made to be easily taken apart. The parts are plastic and are mostly snap-fit, so you have to exert just the right amount of pressure at the right places to avoid breaking anything. It's easy to scratch the cases if you're not careful and use an appropriate tool. I've tried plastic tools that are used for some automotive interior fasteners with some success. It's true that business-class computers can sometimes be more amenable to disassembly but the screws are still tricky to remove and replace without damage, with enough torque to not back out yet not so much as to break the often-plastic parts they thread into. Some screws have thread-lock that doesn't work the same once it's been used more than once, yet is also difficult to clean off and even if you do, you have to then find some other thread-lock compound to replace it with.
elle
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:13 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by elle »

+1 on Costco.

Buying directly from Dell has been a great option also. They have an outlet section too. I like the XPS but above the price range. I currently have a surface which I love. Also above the price point.
anoop
Posts: 2241
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:33 am

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by anoop »

sunny_socal wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 4:27 pm
KlangFool wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 3:02 pm
RobLyons wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:49 pm OP,

I agree with KlangFool that Costco has great return policies. If they have what you're looking for buy it there.

Is Apple a consideration? I ask because I'm typing this on my 9 year old MacBook Pro that was $800 and after a memory and speed upgrade it's still performing like day 1. Little pricier but worth it for their longevity, build quality, etc.

Are chrome books in your consideration? Great bang for the buck.

Other laptops worth considering:

Acer Swift 3
Asus Vivobook 15
Lenovo ideapad 3 chromebook duet
Acer Aspire 5
RobLyons,

IMHO, for new Mac, I would only buy the one that come with M1 chip.

KlangFool
Same here. I'm looking forward to the 16" M1 MBPro:
- New M1 chip with great performance and excellent power consumption
- Remove the light bar
- Keep the "old" keyboard that was recently introduced
It's going to be an M2.
https://www.macrumors.com/2021/04/27/ap ... roduction/
dukeblue219
Posts: 1466
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:40 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by dukeblue219 »

lazydavid wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 3:16 pm You may want to reconsider being such a stickler for an Intel, especially with your quite low price cap. Of the 2 processors represented in the items posted above, the Ryzen 4500U is newer, significantly faster, has dramatically better video performance AND is cheaper than the i5 1035G1.
This. You're really pushing the lower price point for a good laptop at $500. Below that you get some pretty junky stuff. You're trying to hold onto too much processor, especially the i5.

Decide if you want a good laptop with a great screen, solid case, and good specs for $900 (Dell Vostro/Latitude or MacBook Air at that price point), or a cheap laptop that just gets the job done. The cheap ones you'll have to sacrifice something, whether build quality, noise, weight, or performance.
User avatar
sunny_socal
Posts: 2355
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by sunny_socal »

Philliesfan wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:50 am
sunny_socal wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:53 pm Lenovo is always the answer
Lenovo is not always the answer. I have an Ideapad that was purchased a few years ago. Not a cheap laptop. The computer began shutting down within ten minutes of start-up. Not a big deal. I contacted lenovo and sent the computer in for repair. The contractor fixed the shut down problem. Unfortunately, they scratched up the case and stripped most of the screws. I contacted lenovo again and they directed me to fill out another ticket. At this point I had been without my computer for weeks, which I needed for work, and I decided to just keep it as it was. I've lost a couple of screw that have since backed out. I've also had the screen flickering frequently for the past few months. Very annoying. So, looking to get the screen and other issues fixed now, outside of warranty. On top of this, lenovo deleted every review I left on their website, despite re-writing the reviews to meet their standards.

Anyways...ymmv, but I'm never buying another lenovo product again.
You're right. Lenovo Thinkpad is always the answer. You bought one of their budget machines. Thinkpads are drop-tested military grade.

We're all set to order a Thinkpad X1 Extreme Gen3 today:
- 15" screen (FHD 500 nit; UHD '4k' available but son doesn't want it)
- Traditional Lenovo backlit keyboard, likely the best in the industry
- Multiple RAM slots
- Multiple SSD/'drive' slots
- Less than 4lbs
- Intel i7 2.x GHz processor
- GeForce graphics

Will be about $1400 with my company discount. We'll upgrade the RAM ourselves to at least 32G.
Last edited by sunny_socal on Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 71956
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by LadyGeek »

^^^ I'm happy with my Lenovo Thinkpad T470. It's a few years old and still going strong.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
02nz
Posts: 6581
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by 02nz »

sunny_socal wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 6:45 am We're all set to order a Thinkpad X1 Carbon Extreme Gen3 today:
- 15" screen (FHD 500 nit; UHD '4k' available but son doesn't want it)
- Traditional Lenovo backlit keyboard, likely the best in the industry
- Multiple RAM slots
- Multiple SSD/'drive' slots
- Less than 4lbs
- Intel i7 2.x GHz processor
- GeForce graphics

Will be about $1400 with my company discount. We'll upgrade the RAM ourselves to at least 32G.
I think you meant X1 Extreme, there's no "X1 Carbon Extreme." (The X1 Carbon is an ultraportable.)

I think the T14 (or the identical P14s) with the AMD Ryzen 4000 U-series processors is a much better choice than any Intel-powered ThinkPad right now and would be a good choice for OP. They run much more efficiently and with better battery life, particularly compared to the H-series processors found in the X1 Extreme, while offering comparable performance (and much better performance than Intel's U series). Unless you absolutely must have Thunderbolt, AMD wins on all counts - performance, thermals, battery life, value.
Topic Author
Almost there
Posts: 997
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:06 pm
Location: Arizona USA

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by Almost there »

stimulacra wrote:
Have you considered converting your old Dell into a chromebook with CloudReady? It would give new life to your old system if its still functional from a hardware standpoint.
Thank you for your response.
I don't like chromebook at all because it is google.

Almost there
Topic Author
Almost there
Posts: 997
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:06 pm
Location: Arizona USA

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by Almost there »

Thank you for your response, inbox788.
I have always used a PC.

Almost there
Topic Author
Almost there
Posts: 997
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:06 pm
Location: Arizona USA

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by Almost there »

lazydavid wrote:
You may want to reconsider being such a stickler for an Intel, especially with your quite low price cap. Of the 2 processors represented in the items posted above, the Ryzen 4500U is newer, significantly faster, has dramatically better video performance AND is cheaper than the i5 1035G1.
Thank you for the update. Always learning something new. Will definitely look into Ryzen 4500U.

Almost there
User avatar
sunny_socal
Posts: 2355
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by sunny_socal »

02nz wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 2:25 pm
sunny_socal wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 6:45 am We're all set to order a Thinkpad X1 Carbon Extreme Gen3 today:
- 15" screen (FHD 500 nit; UHD '4k' available but son doesn't want it)
- Traditional Lenovo backlit keyboard, likely the best in the industry
- Multiple RAM slots
- Multiple SSD/'drive' slots
- Less than 4lbs
- Intel i7 2.x GHz processor
- GeForce graphics

Will be about $1400 with my company discount. We'll upgrade the RAM ourselves to at least 32G.
I think you meant X1 Extreme, there's no "X1 Carbon Extreme." (The X1 Carbon is an ultraportable.)

I think the T14 (or the identical P14s) with the AMD Ryzen 4000 U-series processors is a much better choice than any Intel-powered ThinkPad right now and would be a good choice for OP. They run much more efficiently and with better battery life, particularly compared to the H-series processors found in the X1 Extreme, while offering comparable performance (and much better performance than Intel's U series). Unless you absolutely must have Thunderbolt, AMD wins on all counts - performance, thermals, battery life, value.
Indeed. We looked at the AMD-powered T14 series but they are all out of stock. No custom version available either. Either the global "chip shortage" is affecting them or they're coming up with a Gen2 in the AMD line as well, who knows.

Nonetheless we ended up getting that X1 Extreme Gen3. Two RAM slots, two SSD slots, Intel i7 with a whopping 12MB cache, Geforce graphics with 4G dedicated RAM, 4 USB ports. It's going to be a great machine! Less than $1500 with my company discount. Yes, a MBPro is still a better machine but son didn't want that. He's going to study IT and a Windows machine is still the best choice in that field.

https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/th ... 2TP2X1X1E3
02nz
Posts: 6581
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by 02nz »

sunny_socal wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:39 am We looked at the AMD-powered T14 series but they are all out of stock. No custom version available either. Either the global "chip shortage" is affecting them or they're coming up with a Gen2 in the AMD line as well, who knows.
The T14 AMD is out of stock but the P14s (identical to the T14 except for certification as a "mobile workstation") remains available from around $1K for an 8-core Ryzen 7 4750U, or <$800 with EPP discount.
Flannelbeard
Posts: 174
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:51 am

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by Flannelbeard »

Almost there wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 2:51 pm stimulacra wrote:
Have you considered converting your old Dell into a chromebook with CloudReady? It would give new life to your old system if its still functional from a hardware standpoint.
Thank you for your response.
I don't like chromebook at all because it is google.

Almost there
If you get a Chromebook compatible with their Linux beta, you don't have to use Google services much, other than signing in with a Gmail account.

I use Firefox on my Chromebook. I hate Chrome, my only annoyance is you can't unpin it from the task bar.

Acer Spin 713 Chromebook is $100 off at Best Buy right now, bringing the price to $529. Only a 128 GB SSD but it is user upgradable. I got one a few months ago, one of the best deals in laptops right now IMO.
lightheir
Posts: 2623
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:43 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by lightheir »

Just a heads up - I know most/many of your are PC-people (I am) but most youtube and online reviewers are recommending the M1 macbooks by far over ANY pc at any price point. The M1 processor is that much better - not only is it faster, but it consumes so little energy while doing it that the M1 macbook doesn't even have a fan (no fan noise).

The M1 macbooks out right now are so good that even the most prominent youtube reviewers like Dave2D literally are saying "it's hard to even recommend ANY pc over the macbook now" and "the M1 macs are too good". At least up to now, there as been not a single PC threat to it, and in fact, most of these online reviewers are saying that these M1 macs are so good that even PC diehards should make the switch and use crossplatform apps because the $999 Macbook is so far superior in build, screen, value, and performance (pretty much everything), even compared to laptops 2x the price.
johnnyc321
Posts: 112
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:24 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by johnnyc321 »

Make sure the screen is at least 1080p. Anything less is terrible.
Flannelbeard
Posts: 174
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:51 am

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by Flannelbeard »

lightheir wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:12 am Just a heads up - I know most/many of your are PC-people (I am) but most youtube and online reviewers are recommending the M1 macbooks by far over ANY pc at any price point. The M1 processor is that much better - not only is it faster, but it consumes so little energy while doing it that the M1 macbook doesn't even have a fan (no fan noise).

The M1 macbooks out right now are so good that even the most prominent youtube reviewers like Dave2D literally are saying "it's hard to even recommend ANY pc over the macbook now" and "the M1 macs are too good". At least up to now, there as been not a single PC threat to it, and in fact, most of these online reviewers are saying that these M1 macs are so good that even PC diehards should make the switch and use crossplatform apps because the $999 Macbook is so far superior in build, screen, value, and performance (pretty much everything), even compared to laptops 2x the price.
Not having a fan is not a feature in a device like that, you will experience thermal throttling of the CPU and GPU.
lazydavid
Posts: 3699
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by lazydavid »

Flannelbeard wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:51 am Not having a fan is not a feature in a device like that, you will experience thermal throttling of the CPU and GPU.
The M1 in the Macbook is essentially a smartphone/tablet processor. It has a 10W TDP, which is VERY well-suited for passive cooling, especially when the entire shell is made out of aluminum. The Intel and AMD processors mentioned upthread both have maximum TDPs of 25W, and idle at about 15W. This is a VERY big difference.
rich126
Posts: 2617
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:56 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by rich126 »

Do you need a laptop ?

I see some people buying laptops but they don't travel with it, don't need it for business, etc.

Usually desktops last longer, you get more for your money, more customizable, and more easily to replace items that break (monitor, disk, etc.)

I went from laptops to an ipad for travel (mostly entertainment, email, browsing) and around the house, and a desktop for spreadsheets and things that need more power and/or a nice large monitor.
User avatar
sunny_socal
Posts: 2355
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by sunny_socal »

lightheir wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:12 am Just a heads up - I know most/many of your are PC-people (I am) but most youtube and online reviewers are recommending the M1 macbooks by far over ANY pc at any price point. The M1 processor is that much better - not only is it faster, but it consumes so little energy while doing it that the M1 macbook doesn't even have a fan (no fan noise).

The M1 macbooks out right now are so good that even the most prominent youtube reviewers like Dave2D literally are saying "it's hard to even recommend ANY pc over the macbook now" and "the M1 macs are too good". At least up to now, there as been not a single PC threat to it, and in fact, most of these online reviewers are saying that these M1 macs are so good that even PC diehards should make the switch and use crossplatform apps because the $999 Macbook is so far superior in build, screen, value, and performance (pretty much everything), even compared to laptops 2x the price.
Those youtubers also don't do any real work aside from "influencing" from their home office.

The minute you need to run cross-platform compilers, CAD software, simulators/emulators, math software - then the Mac ecosystem tends to become a liability. Yes I know it can be done and I see some diehard users clinging to their macs but Windows has versions of every piece of software on the planet. That will likely never change.

For home use or web browsing, yes a Mac is hard to beat. I have one myself.
Flannelbeard
Posts: 174
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:51 am

Re: Buying a new laptop

Post by Flannelbeard »

lazydavid wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:13 am
Flannelbeard wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:51 am Not having a fan is not a feature in a device like that, you will experience thermal throttling of the CPU and GPU.
The M1 in the Macbook is essentially a smartphone/tablet processor. It has a 10W TDP, which is VERY well-suited for passive cooling, especially when the entire shell is made out of aluminum. The Intel and AMD processors mentioned upthread both have maximum TDPs of 25W, and idle at about 15W. This is a VERY big difference.
Nah, I'm not talking about the Intel U series or whatever. The Intel M3 processor in Google Pixelbook Go and MS Surface Go 2 is a comparable processor which has only a 4.5W TDP and those devices frequently throttle. That Apple laptop will throttle quite frequently, especially if you're using the GPU.
Post Reply