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wdprice3
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It's time I get a new computer [windows] but I haven't been keeping up new with technology. Looking for suggestions. Currently, I have 4 dell laptops, but 3 don't get used. All are 5+yo and one is about 15yo... so it's time. They each have their own issues. One is getting DBAN'd right now cause it's all wonky.

I use one laptop daily for work:

- Honestly don't use it as a laptop much (sits on desk), except when I need to hardwire to my router, although I think I can turn on remote management, but have to check. That being said, I'm not against a desktop.

- Do very little on the local machine. 99% is RDP to my work computer. 1% would be internet browsing. No gaming, movies, etc.

- Prefer dockable or some solution for multiple USB connections and multiple monitor support (using 2 external monitors + the laptop display; don't want to lose that, so if desktop, I'd have to get another monitor, though I'm out of space on my desk for a third (laptop is only 15" and fits between my two 21" screens))

- Not sure if there's a big difference in wifi chips these days, but my current laptop loses wifi connection several times a day. My phone does not and I've used a monitoring app and haven't seen signal issues, so I'm wondering if it's the current computer.

Suggestions? English homes, we're not all computer whizzes.

I appreciate you scholars and gentlepeople.

[Edited on January 10, 2021 at 2:43 AM. Reason : add another note]

[Edited on January 10, 2021 at 2:47 AM. Reason : add another another note]

1/10/2021 2:38:55 AM

glassssssss
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All windows laptops suck unfortunately. In the past year I have bought a new Dell, Lenovo, and Asus ...returned them all. From the horrible trackpads to the cheap feeling keyboards, there is not a single one that has decent hardware. Its really unfortunate.
Good Luck with your search.

1/10/2021 7:35:52 AM

wwwebsurfer
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I don't think all windows laptops suck...

I use a macbook for work and prefer a windows laptop for personal stuff. There are good ones out there, but it's not a virtual guarantee like a brand promise you're more likely to get with apple. They cover a wide price margin, but usually north of $1000 you can find great machines, some dip into $800 range with Ryzen.

Machines I have used personally or would at least take a serious look at if you were in the market are below with some notes. My experience so far has been things like battery life are application dependent. Running teams/outlook all day is murder on the mac battery while windows isn't nearly as impacted. Just browsing the web, the mac is king. Runs literally all day while windows gives up after about 10 hours.

I prefer the win10 windows manager and prefer the mouse/keyboard experience on all these laptops over the work mac, once configured for tap instead of click. The "box of rocks" mac pro keyboard on the 15/13 non-M1 is utter garbage with an insane failure rate. I also don't like the 3D/force touchpad. As long as you don't need to click anything on the mac the tracking/scroll experience is exceptional. External keyboard/mouse are mandatory for me on mac. Win10 subsystem for linux has been a game changer for me, but I doubt I'm in the broader market.

Intel processors almost universally support Thunderbolt 3 or 4. If you plan to use a dock, eGPU or expand you definitely want it. Ryzen processors seem to be better in every way but it's a dealbreaker without Thunderbolt for me. M1 macs don't support eGPU or more than 2 displays, if you need those things.

Storage you want NVME using PCIE (M.2 is a fairly safe bet to get this combination, but you should check the model) pretty much without exception. Something small is fine, put some data on a 2nd drive. SATA SSD with a few TB of space. Or if you have Thunderbolt you have a 40Gbit pipe to external SSDs.

NVidia GPUs, even the older M-series ones, support CUDA. This is a huge battery saver for me in lots of Adobe products and is pretty much the only way to roll if you're doing machine learning, but you'll quickly eat the puny amounts of RAM they put in the mobile ones. But if you have a trained model to run locally it can save processor cycles.

Dell XPS 13/15 (intel w/ Thunderbolt 3 only, has a Ubuntu "Developer Edition" available)
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon (intel w/ TB3), X13 (intel w/ TB4 I think or ryzen)
Razer Blade (intel w/ TB3)
HP Spectre x360 (intel w/ TB3 or ryzen)

Pretty much all of these are available in a convertible and/or a touchscreen and/or a matte screen.



Happy Hunting. Deals have been few and far between now that the Trump Tariffs are latching on. But there are certainly nice windows laptops out there.

1/10/2021 10:10:47 PM

darkone
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Quote :
"Prefer dockable or some solution for multiple USB connections and multiple monitor support"


USB-C / Thunderbolt Docks are very capable these days. There's one out there that will do what you want.

Quote :
"Not sure if there's a big difference in wifi chips these days, but my current laptop loses wifi connection several times a day."


Look for WiFi 6 with 2x2 or preferrabily a 3x3 antenna.

Quote :
"All windows laptops suck unfortunately."


No. I stan the Dell XPS line. But, you don't get good build quality until you're into the premium product lines and that means $$.


It's a shame that an AMD laptop with a 4K display doesn't seem to exist. If you're going to be docked most ot the time, take a look at ASUS Zephyrus G14.

I have a Dell XPS 13 and I run the all IO and charging through the USB-C port on my Dell U3419W ultrawide monitor.

You're going to have to spend north of a kilobuck if you want quality.

1/11/2021 10:44:19 AM

glassssssss
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My dad has the xps 13..I dont find the keyboard and touchpad to be up to apple quality.
I have never tried the Razer or the x1 carbon. The HP x360 was one of the units I bought and returned. If you think thats a usable trackpad and somehow like it more than apples trackpad, I think we may just have different preferences.

1/11/2021 11:26:46 AM

wdprice3
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Thanks for the input. I guess one thing wasn't clear. I won't really use this as a laptop. Like my current situation, it will sit on my desk, hence being open to a desktop. I have a separate keyboard and mouse that I use so the laptop keyboard and trackpad are near meaningless to me. I thought a desktop might come cheaper for what I need, but I'm not really seeing much savings, then again, maybe I'm not looking at the right setups.

1/11/2021 12:01:21 PM

smoothcrim
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your use case is probably best served by a chromebook. you'll get excellent battery life, very light, very cheap, and it'll be patched indefinitely

1/11/2021 12:54:54 PM

StTexan
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What is the budget?

1/11/2021 12:57:12 PM

synapse
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i recently got a nice Dell Latitude 3379 Touch refurb for like $300 shipped after one of those 45% off deals

1/11/2021 12:58:03 PM

shoot
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I enjoy my new Chromebook. HP Chromebook is decent.

1/11/2021 12:59:29 PM

wwwebsurfer
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The XPS 13 with the keyboard that stretches almost to the edge and the larger trackpad are class-leading to my hands. They were not selling the newest body in the developer edition, primary reason I'm not on one.

The butterfly keyboards with 3d touchpads, to me, are appallingly bad when you need to click/type. Mousing around it's fantastic, but I'd rather type an email on a blackberry. Somewhat ironically, the external apple touchpad mouse and keyboard are quite good for non-mechanical. How they screwed up the most expensive product line so badly is beyond me.

1/11/2021 1:11:00 PM

synapse
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https://bensbargains.com/merchants/dell-financial-services-coupons-527/

1/11/2021 1:31:45 PM

wdprice3
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Quote :
"What is the budget?"


I figured for what I need, <$1,000. But maybe I'm wrong here.

I literally need a computer + screen to remote into my work computer. Biggest things are 1) multiple (3) monitor support 2) good wifi chip 3) won't be the limiting factor for use as a remote connection machine.

Quote :
"i recently got a nice Dell Latitude 3379 Touch refurb for like $300 shipped after one of those 45% off deals"


I've had 50% luck with dell outlet / refurbs. Thought about going that route again.

Quote :
"your use case is probably best served by a chromebook. you'll get excellent battery life, very light, very cheap, and it'll be patched indefinitely"


interesting.... will look

[Edited on January 11, 2021 at 1:42 PM. Reason : /]

1/11/2021 1:40:20 PM

glassssssss
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Quote :
"The butterfly keyboards with 3d touchpads, to me, are appallingly bad when you need to click/type. Mousing around it's fantastic, but I'd rather type an email on a blackberry. Somewhat ironically, the external apple touchpad mouse and keyboard are quite good for non-mechanical. How they screwed up the most expensive product line so badly is beyond me."


You cant buy a macbook with the butterfly keyboard anymore..any mac currently available now uses the newly designed keyboard. Force touch can (and should be) disabled on a macbook..then the touchpad feels just like a mechanical touchpad. I gave my 2017 macbook pro to my wife and honestly, the butterfly keys arent that bad..but the new keyboards are best in class imo.

1/12/2021 9:15:47 AM

synapse
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https://slickdeals.net/f/14773783-dell-refurbished-coupon-extra-40-off-sitewide-239-39

Quote :
"I've had 50% luck with dell outlet / refurbs. Thought about going that route again."


i've bout a LOT of them and havent had to send one back yet

[Edited on January 15, 2021 at 3:54 PM. Reason : ]

1/15/2021 3:54:04 PM

moron
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M1 MacBook Air would be far better than a Chromebook. Only drawback is the current gen only supports 1 video out. But it's going to be faster, have more software, run cooler, run quieter, and have a longer battery life than the Chromebook.

1/23/2021 12:37:25 AM

Novicane
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get a nice Dell Mobile Precision 7 series (you will need the graphics card power for the multiple monitors) and a WD19 dock to tie everything together.

1/23/2021 11:15:05 AM

Lionheart
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My current rig is showing its age(2014 with a few minor upgrades) so been wanting to start planning a new build but damn I don't want to get caught but in the video card craziness going on right now

1/26/2021 8:53:24 PM

darkone
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All hardware is crazy right now. I know at least three Z590 motherboard that retail over a kilobuck.

1/26/2021 11:53:52 PM

smoothcrim
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I had to order my new employee a threadripper pro because it was the only relatively new CPU I could find in stock. I have to mail him my 2nd gpu so he can have a functioning machine day 1

1/27/2021 1:54:39 PM

darkone
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Can I get a Threadripper Pro?

1/27/2021 8:20:38 PM

smoothcrim
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if you've worked in distributed computing/HPC and have a firm grasp of graphdb's, rendering, and have experience implementing distributed consensus algorithms in rust/cpp/golang holla at me

1/31/2021 1:54:17 PM

darkone
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Nope. I just crunch through radar and satellite data in Matlab/Python doing conditional aggregations and the like.

2/1/2021 11:11:50 AM

Lionheart
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Yeah I want to just put together a fresh media/storage server too for backups, kid's photos, videos, and whatnot but even the low end hardware is so damn expensive at the moment.

I could go ultra cheap or just go with a NAS but I'd rather keep my long term option open and not have to rebuild again in 2 years.

2/3/2021 10:09:16 AM

smoothcrim
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for my nas/san, I had great luck with off lease data center gear. I think I paid 240 for a dual socket 12 core xeon machine with 32gb of ram and 6 3.5" sleds in a 2U foot print. has redundant psus too

2/3/2021 6:52:32 PM

Lionheart
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Yeah might be worth looking into. Just want to have something that gives me some options spec wise if I want to use it to spin up a linux VM or a SQL DB on the side or to set up some emulation since I keep my current box by the TV.

Decently energy efficient would be nice too.

2/3/2021 8:48:23 PM

darkone
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^^ That's a nice deal. Where did you pick that up. Also, how it the noise.

I've been tying to pick up a small, low-power consumption machine to run headless to run some small servers for things like mumble and mosquitto.

2/4/2021 12:39:48 PM

smoothcrim
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I got it on ebay from these guys https://www.ebay.com/usr/savemyserver
noise isn't bad at all, but it's in my utility room downstairs under a much louder network cabinet



If you guys want small/quiet/low power machines, you should look at hp micro servers. I migrated to my current server from an HP N40L. They have much more current ones that might fit the bill. My N40L is slower than a phone made in the last 2 years so I'd avoid it, but the newer ones have i3, xeon, and opteron options.

2/4/2021 5:26:10 PM

synapse
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https://bensbargains.com/bargain/46-off-any-item-free-shipping-733840/#comments-wrapper

refurb latitudes starting at $230 (i5,8gb,256gb ssd)

2/12/2021 5:19:44 PM

synapse
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https://bensbargains.com/bargain/45-off-any-dell-precision-laptop-or-desktop-735535

2/26/2021 3:21:54 PM

wdprice3
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got what I hope was a deal on an IBM thinkcentre.

I5
8GB ram
250GB SSD
1TB HDD

$225


[Edited on March 1, 2021 at 1:08 PM. Reason : ^^DANG. wish I would have seen that]

3/1/2021 1:07:37 PM

smoothcrim
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not bad with an OS license

3/2/2021 11:21:23 AM

wdprice3
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yeh, came with a license

3/3/2021 9:40:32 AM

StTexan
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Tell us...how much more awesome is it than what you had before?

3/3/2021 7:22:57 PM

wdprice3
BinaryBuffonary
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it's much faster, that's for sure. All the storage is nice, but something I don't really use.

3/8/2021 9:17:46 AM

glassssssss
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finally found a decent windows laptop..see my thread

[Edited on June 8, 2021 at 8:34 AM. Reason : ..]

6/8/2021 8:30:49 AM

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