Laptop Recomendation

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Groundpounder, Apr 23, 2021.

  1. Groundpounder

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    I need a new laptop. I have a Dell XPS 13 that is about 4 years old, I've been getting some odd errors recently, the fan is making funny noises, and I've had a audio driver issue ever since I sent it back to them for repair after dropping it when it was 6 months old.

    My requirements are:

    13-14" screen size
    512gb SD HD
    16gb of RAM
    At least one USB-A port
    At least one USB-C/Thunderbolt port
    Probably an i5 or faster processor. I don't do any heavy duty computing on it, but I want it to run fairly fast.
    HD or better screen
    $1500 or less.

    What I do not want:
    A Mac
    A Surface
    A touchscreen
    Something that's a flippy convertible hybrid yoga thingy

    I have had good luck with Dell products, so I am not opposed to getting another one. I had a Lenovo Carbon X1 right before I got the XPS, and I really liked it. Returned it for a variety of reasons that I won't go into now.

    What say the peanut gallery?
     
  2. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Based on your requirements I think I'd get another XPS.

    Would have made the standard Bonanza joke but you already own one!
     
  3. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Gotta tell you, the flippy convertible hybrid yoga thingy is solidly made, and has serviced me quite well, even though I don't use either the flippy or hybrid thingies. Much better than any other previous laptops including HP.
     
  4. Groundpounder

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    If the XPS 13 had a USB-A port, it'd be a no brainer. But I get tired of That Dongle Life. All that being said, looks like I'll have to spend a bunch more to get something with a USB-A....
     
  5. Groundpounder

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    But the issue with that is that it comes with a touch screen. The computer I have now has one, and I've used the touch feature maybe 3 or 4 times, but any time I want to adjust the screen tilt, my big fat meathooks touch the side of the screen and something happens.
     
  6. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You do know you can disable the touch screen in the device manager in settings, right?
     
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  7. Groundpounder

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    Whhhhhaaaaat???? Is it the "HID-Compliant Touch Screen"? Just disable that?
     
  8. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member

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    I still have a Dell XPS13 (9343!) that won't quit. I've replaced the keyboard and SSD at this point, and that's it. The thing is wrecked, dropped, the edges are basically serrated at this point from abuse, screen glass is cracked, yet it soldiers on.

    I've had less luck with Dell's consumer stuff lately. My wife's XPS13 (9380) has been back for service twice, and I think my ancient broadwell one will outlast hers the way things are going.

    I've been shopping for replacements. I really REALLY like the LG Gram series. They had some weird parts mismatching (slow SSDs and the like) early on (and I returned a gram 17 to costco for it last year), but they seem ironed out and real nice in the latest rev. Costco stocks them, so you get a 90 day free trial and can return it if you hate it.

    https://www.costco.com/lg-gram-14"-...-intel-core-i7---1080p.product.100567028.html

    (edit -- you wanted 13-14", the above is a yoga-y one but you don't have to bend it so far :D ) -- $1099 on clearance

    $0.02
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021
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  9. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yaaaaaaaa.....
     
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  10. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    My Mac laptops have all gone obsolete before they broke down. My one right now is 7, and I'm mulling over a replacement.
     
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  11. Groundpounder

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    I love you.....in that way.
     
  12. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Ah damn, I missed that requirement on your list. Dongles are definitely a PITA, but since you've excluded Lenovo I'm not sure you'll find anything else that's as 'premium' as the XPS at your price point. For some reason most of HP's stuff is stuck at 1080p.
     
  13. Groundpounder

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    Actually, I am leaning towards Lenovo. Sorry if I wasn't clear in my initial post. The X1 Carbon clicks all the boxes, just comes in at a price point that is higher than I was planning on.
     
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  14. PaulS

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    I'm using an ASUS duo pro right now, way out of your price range, but it works well and I'd get another Asus. Microsoft surface, junk, lenovo ok, but don't hold up. Dells are good.
     
  15. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I had an older x1 Carbon, but the hinge failed after about 2 years which trashed it. Other than that it was fine.
     
  16. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Both Lenovo and Dell have “business” product lines and “consumer” lines. From what I can tell, the business models generally hold up better but they’re all hit and miss these days IMHO.

    Back in the days when we still bought stuff in stores I used to do a simple durability test... I’d pick up a laptop one handed by the corner. The more flexing and creaking could be felt/heard the flimsier the construction. There was definitely a correlation between the cheapest units and the most flex/creak.
     
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  17. Juliet Hotel

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    If the question is what plane, the answer is always Bonanza. If the question is what laptop, the answer is always Mac. I know you don't want one and that's fine, but FWIW my experience has been the same as Steingar's.

    I used to need a new laptop every 2 or 3 years. I switched to Mac 15 years ago and I'm still on my 2nd one and have no plans of changing it anytime soon. My wife used to go through a laptop about every 18 months. It's been about 10 years for her and I think she's still on her 2nd Air. I really like Windows and use it regularly at work and on desktops at home. But I can't imagine ever going back to a Windows laptop. The difference is night and day IME.
     
  18. Groundpounder

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    Had a Mac for a few years, disliked the OS. Not an option. Thanks though.
     
  19. Juliet Hotel

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    Not liking the OS is completely understandable. It definitely took me a while to warm up to the Mac OS. I think I've been using both for so long, that all OS's kind of look the same to me now. Its your laptop and your money. You should get what works for you. :)
     
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  20. SoonerAviator

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    I've used Dell and HP laptops for work. I usually have them for 5+ years before they get upgraded due to company policy, but never had any issued with them functioning when they were swapped. I'm not sure how having an Apple would enhance that reliability for me. I mean, the hardware ages out and ends up not being supported by the software after awhile. There are plenty of instances in the engineering realm that buying an Apple laptop with the specs needed to run intensive rendering programs will cost more than $1K more than the Dell/HP/Asus version. Not sure where the value proposition is unless you do work that Apple software excels at, or has a specific software only on that platform.
     
  21. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    My 13” Dell Latitude has been great but at 5 years old it’s a dinosaur. My IT guy is ordering me a 13” XPS today. I use docks and dual monitors wherever I go so I appreciate the thin 13” case size.
     
  22. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Hopefully the rest of the world will sooner or later catch up enough with USB-C that you will no longer need the dongle.
     
  23. eman1200

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    'dongle'.......teeheehee
     
  24. Bob Noel

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    What software do you want/need to run?
     
  25. Sac Arrow

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    So basically, what you were doing was playing detective.

    You were seeing if you could crack the case...
     
  26. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Line Up and Wait

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    That was sooooooooooo bad!
     
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  27. Juliet Hotel

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    For your use case there isn't a value proposition. My use case is different.
     
  28. chartbundle

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  29. weilke

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    I have gotten great service out of Fujitsu laptops. The first one was a convertible tablet yoga thingy but the 3D hinge never wore out. The current 13in is a regular laptop and has survived more abuse than it should. Replaceable everything.
    Wife likes her Lenovos. Last one was a X1 carbon which did well until it got splashed at the poolside. Current one is a TPsomething with a i5, a physical network port and a few USB-A connectors. $1200 or so.
    Didn't have great luck with Dell. During my airline travelling days I saw lots of Dells on the road. The companies just replace them annually before they start to fall apart.
     
  30. SoonerAviator

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    I understand that. However, that's what made me ask the question of why "apple" was the answer when it generally takes a specific use case for it to be the best solution. Unless it's proprietary software or you are locked into the Apple ecosystem with 2 or 3 other iDevices, the financial cost doesn't typically make sense versus a similarly equipped PC.

    I understand personal preference for the OS, and that's fine, too.
     
  31. weilke

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    As for Apple: I just spent an ungodly amount of money for a laptop that I need for work. In this case, I am locked into the apple universe as one of the university hospital systems we interface with specifies that as the only allowable hardware. My last macbook pro for this application is still working, but it just got too slow and memory limited to run the VMs. As its all single-use stuff and you cant just stick in more memory, you are forced to re-buy the whole thing.
    So I bit the bullet and bought an new one. It works ok, but for the amount of money spent it better be. Runs extremely hot and noisy and just has lots of things that happen without user input that are difficult to disable (e.g. randomly changing screen resolutions). And as far as I am concerned, Siri is just a reincarnation of 'Clippy'.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
  32. Bob Noel

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    continuing the drift: the cost of the hardware is not the only consideration, at least for some people. For some, the cost of the time required to properly configure and manage a windoze computer far exceeds the delta cost for Apple hardware. Notice that I said "for some"...

    Having said that, the OP said he didn't want Apple hardware.... that's fine. His choice.
     
  33. Groundpounder

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    I've had no issues with Windows 10 whatsoever. I had far more "you can't do that with a Mac" issues back when I had an Apple.

    I'm gonna put my purchase off for 6 months. Laptops are in short supply these days due to both the worldwide shipping issues, and a shortage of components.

    Thanks for your help everyone. May revisit this thread again in the future.
     
  34. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member

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    For others, the ability to "configure and manage" that windows computer to their exact specifications is the whole point against apple in the first place.

    The two aren't very different anymore. I use both daily. I just wish I could put the min/max/close buttons on the right corner on MacOS. I think that's the last non-configurable stand MacOS has taken. :D
     
  35. DaleB

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    I'm --> <-- this close to buying an M1-equipped Macbook Air, a 35" monitor, and an external SSD. My dependence on Windows software is really down to two applications. One is 32-bit and should be able to run under Parallels, and it doesn't need to run all that fast (it's a cross-compiler for PIC processors). The other is 64-bit, but I recently tried KiCAD again and it's so many light-years ahead of where it was when I picked Eagle... I can use it for new designs, and it will happily import my old Eagle schematics and PCB layouts. Since Eagle got swallowed up by Autodesk, there's no way in hell I'm upgrading the last non-Autodesk version I have, so as long as my old stuff is still readable I have no real attachment to it any more.

    The rest of my usage is web, email, docs, PDF exports, that sort of stuff. OK, I so use Cura for the 3D printer, but I have no doubt that either it will run OK on the M1 platform, or there's another suitable slicer I can use.

    I've never been an Apple user, at least not since I could borrow time on some friends' Apple ][ systems to learn Pascal. Wife and I both have iPhones, she's got an iPad, but that's not a big factor. I just feel like downsizing my existing desktop (Core I7-7700 @ 3.6 GHz) to something I can easily carry when we travel, and use with a big monitor and proper keyboard when we're home. The price of the Macbook Air is really not far off that of any other comparable Windows laptop that I've looked at... unlike in the past, when you'd pay double for Apple hardware. I've looked at various other laptops, Surface, etc... I just can't bring myself to spend another dime on Windows running on Intel hardware. Been there, done that since PC-DOS, ready for a change.

    I'm avoiding going to Costco, because I'm pretty sure a little Macbook Air will follow m home, and I want to make sure this is something I actually want to do rather than a little "retail therapy" to relieve boredom and stress.
     
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  36. Bob Noel

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    I'm sorry. I found it absolutely hilarioius that people have the ability to configure windows computers to their exact specification... but I suppose that is true ...if the exact specifications match microsoft dictates.
     
  37. Groundpounder

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    If you have a Mac with a touch screen, can you disable the touch function?
     
  38. Bob Noel

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    If I had a mac with a touch screen, then exactly what model would I have?
     
  39. wsuffa

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    Based on my experience with Dell support, I would not be particularly interested in buying another Dell product. I dumped Sonicwall after Dell bought them.
     
  40. Groundpounder

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    Ha, I had no idea you couldn't get a touch screen mac laptop. That indirectly proves my point.