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2021 Laptop Thread

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Kraken
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Re: 2021 Laptop Thread

Post by Kraken »

Are there any particular brands that you like/don't like? I remember HP used to be crap, but that was long ago so I don't know if it's still true. Samsung has a bad reputation for appliances, but their TVs and monitors are fine; IDK about their laptops.

Wife likes Lenovo because that's what her employer gave her. I favor Dell because I've owned so many, and I liked all but one of them. But I see many deals on HP, Asus, Samsung, and Acer, among other, less familiar names, and I have no experience with any of those.

Wife is not enthused about reincarnating her Toshiba. I might ultimately fix it anyway and give it to a nephew -- could be a good project for the xmas doldrums -- but it's off the table for now. The hard drive has plenty of space, so it's most likely dying.
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Re: 2021 Laptop Thread

Post by hitbyambulance »

Kraken wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:04 pm Are there any particular brands that you like/don't like?
they're basically interchangeable imo (probably all manufactured in the exact same Chinese factories)
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Re: 2021 Laptop Thread

Post by Jaymon »

I have had a number of ASUS laptops for gaming over the past 10 years. They have all been quality machines lasting 4+ years. I never had any troubles with them, and they survived some minor rough and tumble.

When I got a ROG last year for holiday, my 4 year old TUF went to the kid for use as a school machine and game machine, and its still going strong.
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Re: 2021 Laptop Thread

Post by Hamlet3145 »

I'm a fan of ASUS as well. Currently have an ROG Zephyrus G14 with an 8 core AMD Ryzen and NVIDIA RTX card in it. It's a 14 inch little beast.
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Kraken
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Re: 2021 Laptop Thread

Post by Kraken »

Thanks for the input. ASUS is one of the brands that had a bad rep in my memory. Or was it Acer?

Wife has dialed back her lobbying campaign and I expect prices to tumble after xmas as stores receive late shipments. Supply-chain stumbles FTW! A couple of quick spot checks didn't turn up any real compelling Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, but I'm not actively shopping yet.
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Re: 2021 Laptop Thread

Post by Ænima »

ASUS is a quality brand. Acer is a decent budget brand.
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Re: 2021 Laptop Thread

Post by Kasey Chang »

I've owned 3 brands of laptops, all 17 inch and decent specs.

Dell: bought an XPS off eBay way back when. It was better spec than I expected... 2 HD slots AND 4 SODIMM slots, but it wasn't 1080P (this was a long time ago). It still runs, I just don't use it anymore. I understand Dell quality had gone down in recent years, as they try to push people toward their Alienware line for gaming or higher end stuff. No further comment.

Toshiba: bought it off Office Depot clearance, it was a fine laptop, until one day it just died while playing Borderlands. Apparently I fried the motherboard despite all the cooling solutions I piled on it, exhaust fan and cooling pad and so on. So, probably never again.

HP: bought one in March 2020, was going to use it for my webdev bootcamp, then it went to online only. So it's barely used. Specs are relatively low, but it was fine for programming and webdev. I use my desktop to game. It's only a Pentium CPU with 8 GB RAM and 1TB HD, but I didn't need more for webdev. It is decent, but you get what you pay for, basically. May buy again, but not for general use. Office stuff, probably okay.
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Re: 2021 Laptop Thread

Post by Jeff V »

I was thinking to get my kids some cheap Chromebooks for Presents Day, but upon further review, the CPUs are 5 years old and even though it just has to drive a web browser, it seems they are challenged in that regard. The last thing I want is for them to be complaining from day 1 how laggy Roblox and Minecraft is.
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Re: 2021 Laptop Thread

Post by Kasey Chang »

There are better spec'ed Chromebooks, but it won't be $150 or $250 machines. The education ones are those itty-bitty 11.6 screen machines.

I'd get a desktop...
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Re: 2021 Laptop Thread

Post by disarm »


Jeff V wrote:I was thinking to get my kids some cheap Chromebooks for Presents Day, but upon further review, the CPUs are 5 years old and even though it just has to drive a web browser, it seems they are challenged in that regard. The last thing I want is for them to be complaining from day 1 how laggy Roblox and Minecraft is.
We bought this one last year for our kids and it's been great...big screen, great battery life, and doesn't skip a beat during hours of Roblox.

Lenovo Chromebook C340
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Re: 2021 Laptop Thread

Post by Jeff V »

disarm wrote: Mon Dec 06, 2021 7:54 am
Jeff V wrote:I was thinking to get my kids some cheap Chromebooks for Presents Day, but upon further review, the CPUs are 5 years old and even though it just has to drive a web browser, it seems they are challenged in that regard. The last thing I want is for them to be complaining from day 1 how laggy Roblox and Minecraft is.
We bought this one last year for our kids and it's been great...big screen, great battery life, and doesn't skip a beat during hours of Roblox.

Lenovo Chromebook C340
Thanks! By cheap, I referring to the $65 ones Walmart is selling, apparently equipped with 5 year old celeron processors. The one you linked would be something I'd have more confidence in, but no job plus big travel plans next year means restricted Xmas budget again this year. The kids were prepared to forget about getting their dream gifts this year (when going through the various Xmas catalogs, my 5 year old point out things she might like next year when we do presents again). But my wife appears to be preparing to pull a bait-and-switch on them, changing the vacation plan from Disney to the Philippines.
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Re: 2021 Laptop Thread

Post by Kraken »

Wife is rattling the bars for a new laptop again, so I need to pick something out. I would like to keep it under $800, preferably closer to $600. It will mostly run business programs, with Photoshop being the most intensive. Recreation is just web surfing and watching videos. We want it to last for 5+ years, so some modest future-proofing is in order. It won't leave the house very often so lightweight and rugged are secondary considerations. Rugged is better than lightweight.

Regarding CPU, what's the difference between i3, i5, and i7? Is a higher number better?

Is 8 GB RAM sufficient, or is 12 worth a premium? Doesn't seem to be a huge premium to step up.

256 GB SSD seems to be fairly standard for "hard drive." Concur? She won't be installing any games, but she doesn't practice disk hygiene so it will gradually fill with cruft. Her Outlook.pst file is enormous. I'm thinking 512 gig would be more comfortable.

Finally, is there an ideal shopping window coming up, such as Presidents Day or MLK Day or Super Bowl Day? A very cursory spot check didn't turn up any super fabulous deals at Staples or Best Buy right now.

Appreciate any general advice or encouragement so that I can at least define what I'm looking for (i.e., minimum specs for a decent non-gaming laptop).
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Re: 2021 Laptop Thread

Post by dfs »

Kraken wrote: Mon Dec 27, 2021 6:05 pm Regarding CPU, what's the difference between i3, i5, and i7? Is a higher number better?
Yes, in a general way. It is possible to find chips that hit above their weight.
Kraken wrote: Mon Dec 27, 2021 6:05 pm Is 8 GB RAM sufficient, or is 12 worth a premium? Doesn't seem to be a huge premium to step up.
I'm partial to memory, but then I'm picky about machines underperforming.
Kraken wrote: Mon Dec 27, 2021 6:05 pm 256 GB SSD seems to be fairly standard for "hard drive." Concur? She won't be installing any games, but she doesn't practice disk hygiene so it will gradually fill with cruft. Her Outlook.pst file is enormous. I'm thinking 512 gig would be more comfortable.
I agree with you.
Kraken wrote: Mon Dec 27, 2021 6:05 pm Finally, is there an ideal shopping window coming up, such as Presidents Day or MLK Day or Super Bowl Day? A very cursory spot check didn't turn up any super fabulous deals at Staples or Best Buy right now.
I don't think so.

I put your price window and intel into the shopper at newegg and ended up with this machine. It's processor is a little older. It would be memory light for me, but it's could likely handle anything mrs-ironrod would throw at it.

https://www.newegg.com/black-msi-modern ... 6834156068
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Re: 2021 Laptop Thread

Post by Kraken »

Thanks for the input. I really hate shopping, so I need a baseline to get started and the price is right on that one. I should've mentioned that she'll use an external monitor and keyboard 90% of the time, so a 15.6" display might be overkill.

She'd like the same Lenovo that her employer provides, but the employee price for that machine is $1,000. I need to delve into its specs tomorrow to find out what I'm trying to match.
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Re: 2021 Laptop Thread

Post by Kraken »

So...Wife's work machine, and therefore my benchmark, is a Lenovo i7 with 16GB RAM and a 1 TB SSD. :shock: No wonder she likes it.

Anything that falls in her price range at retail is going to be a disappointment compared to that. She's going to find out what it would cost to buy a comparable machine through her employer, and then we'll decide whether to bust the budget or where to make compromises.
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Re: 2021 Laptop Thread

Post by gbasden »

Kraken wrote: Mon Dec 27, 2021 6:05 pm
256 GB SSD seems to be fairly standard for "hard drive." Concur? She won't be installing any games, but she doesn't practice disk hygiene so it will gradually fill with cruft. Her Outlook.pst file is enormous. I'm thinking 512 gig would be more comfortable.
I know this will probably fall on deaf ears, but huge pst files are really problematic from a number of standpoints. They really aren't designed to be very large, and when you start putting enormous numbers of emails into them they tend to get corrupted. I supported Exchange for about 20 years, and pst files were the bane of our existence. Could you convince her to start a new one and leave the old one around for reference? Having 10 yearly pst files is a lot safer than one with 10 years of data in it. I'm sure she will be resistant, but maybe you can get her to see reason by letting her know that corrupted pst files don't recover well and losing all of her previous email would be more painful?
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Re: 2021 Laptop Thread

Post by Kraken »

gbasden wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 1:55 am Could you convince her to start a new one and leave the old one around for reference?
I do this every time she gets a new computer, and AFAIK she never consults the old outlook file after the first few weeks. Her email is a firehose and she never deletes anything, because she might want that Chico's coupon.
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Re: 2021 Laptop Thread

Post by JCC »

I am a work email hoarder and I wholeheartedly agree with the idea of moving mails to a yearly pst file.
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Re: 2021 Laptop Thread

Post by Jaymon »

photoshop is a hefty program, more resource intensive than many games. check the adobe site for specifics, but it will run on 8gb ram, its recommended to have 16gb. and you will need a good graphics card
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Re: 2021 Laptop Thread

Post by Kraken »

Wife hit pause again when the ball went back to her court. A retail machine that can touch her work machine's specs is going to cost big bucks, so she needs to explore the buy-from-work option. If that's outside her means, then I'll start looking at inferior computers again. She isn't going to get what she wants for what she can afford, and I'm not going to be the fall guy for that. :)
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