Author Topic: Recommendations for good laptops?  (Read 6340 times)

Genevieve

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Recommendations for good laptops?
« on: August 06, 2016, 08:30:30 AM »
Any recommendations on laptops that strike the balance between price and longevity?

My husband and I have ASUS laptops that have slowly fallen to pieces, with buttons breaking, hinges breaking, and screens breaking all right at the two year mark.

I've even thought about buying a Mac because they don't break all the time, but I really don't want to have to relearn the operating system. Plus I really like Excel and it works really well on Microsoft computers. And they're really expensive.


innkeeper77

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2016, 09:16:47 AM »
I would recommend you look into used Lenovo Thinkpad, which are pretty rugged. I have a six year old Thinkpad I abused in college, and it is still going, with only a couple of scars which are because I abused it and threw it around in my backpack etc. However, if you think the problem might be how you treat the computers rather than it being just light wear and tear, a Panasonic toughbook may be an option...
Are the asus laptops some of their lower end models? In my experience, the lowest end models in a laptop lineup also are the flimsiest, due to using cheaper astic, thinner parts, and etc. How do you transport them? It might be better to change your habits rather than spending more for an expensive rugged piece of equipment. My Thinkpad isn't getting any more scars now that I am no longer carrying it to classes in an overfull bag with textbooks anymore. If I had used a proper laptop bag, it would probably still be in pristine condition.

Frs1661

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2016, 09:22:08 AM »
Posting to follow,  my laptop is also on its last legs at about the 3yr mark

Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk


radram

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2016, 09:22:35 AM »
I bought 2 of these in April.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834319796

I paid $379.00 for refurbished.  They have since sold out of the refurbs, but I would get another at the price I paid.  I would not pay the $725.00 for "new". This is my litmus test of specs moving forward, as well at my entry price point.  Touch screen was important to me, as I planned to wall-mount the laptop in the kitchen to act as a recipe holder, music center, broadcast TV, etc.

With regard to longevity, I am much more on the side of pay less now, and with the money you did not spend, buy another sooner rather than later if you need to.  For example, I can buy the $379.00 model, then buy another one in that price range in 2 years if I need to, and still be within $25 of buying the new one today.  Plus, the $379.00 models in 2 years will be twice as fast as today's models.

Hope this helps.

GrumpyPenguin

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2016, 09:46:08 AM »
In 2011 I bought a Macbook Air.  I really enjoyed it, and it's actually still kicking strong and being used by my girlfriend daily.  A couple months ago I needed something a little more powerful for work and that could run Windows 10 natively (MBAs can run Windows via bootcamp great, but Windows 10 is only supported by 2012 versions and newer), so I looked long and hard for something to purchase.  Dell Outlet periodically has deals around 35% off, and I purchased an XPS 13 from them for about $800 after tax, for what is about $1300+tax new.  So far I have been very satisfied with it and would recommend it, though can't speak to its longevity yet.

I don't recommend or purchase laptops with crappy screens, keyboards, weight and battery life.

FYI, thewirecutter.com is pretty good with electronics recommendations. Their current "best laptop" is the Macbook air, and "best Windows ultrabook" is the XPS 13, so it seems like both of our choices are in alignment there.

Genevieve

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2016, 10:32:33 AM »
I'd really prefer a 14" or larger screen since I use it instead of a desktop. Personally, I don't want a disposable laptop.

Consumer Reports recommends in the 14" category:
  • Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga - $1900
  • Lenovo Yoga 710 14"- $1000
  • Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga Carbon - $1150
  • Acer Aspire - $700
  • Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Ultrabook - $1150
  • Lenovo Yoga 700 -$800
  • LG gram - $900
  • Lenovo Ideapad - $750
  • Lenovo Flex 4 - $680
I'm seeing a theme with these Lenovos! And the Thinkpads do undergo durability testing.

For 15 inch:
  • Apple Mackbook Pro 15in - $1800 - listed as the most reliable, though overdue for an update
  • Samsung Notebook 9 - 1200
  • Lenovo Yoga 710 15 in - $980
  • HP Spectre - $1150
  • Samsung Notebook 9 Pro - $1400
  • Asus Zenbook Pro - $1500
  • Dell XPS 15 Touch - $1800
  • Dell XPS 15 Non Touch - $1200
  • Dell Inspiron 15 - $850
There were more with lower rankings.

Some of these models are no longer available, but at least there are themes.

Seems like the Lenova Thinkpad one, maybe with the Yoga for the tablet capability, might be a good fit for me. Sturdy, good enough performance, medium price - especially if I can get a refurbished one. It's 60% of the price of the Macbook too.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2016, 10:34:04 AM by Genevieve »

Shane

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2016, 10:50:23 AM »
Two years ago I bought an Acer Chromebook, which I use every single day, for only $186, and it's worked flawlessly.

Acer and other manufacturers also make Chromebooks with 14" & 15" screens. Acer's 14" model is selling for $299 on Amazon.

What I like about the Chromebook is that you never have to worry about losing or damaging it, because it's so cheap and all of your data is stored in the Cloud, anyway. You can toss your Chromebook in the ocean this morning, order a new Chromebook from Amazon on your phone, and have it delivered to your house tomorrow morning.

When your new Chromebook arrives, all you have to do is type in your Google password, and you're right back where you were on your old Chromebook. All your data is still there. Your bookmarks in Chrome are still there. Nothing's changed. No backups. No anti-virus software. It's easy, and it works.

Google Sheets is better than MS Excel, once you get used to using it.

Once you try a Chromebook, you'll never go back to a MS Windows based laptop.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2016, 10:54:28 AM »
I have a 6 year old 15" Macbook Pro that runs just as well as the day I got it. I never had to update/install/do anything to it to keep it that way.

The only thing that is starting to go is the battery, I get about 90-120 minutes on a charge vs 5-6 hours when it was new.

Genevieve

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2016, 10:56:33 AM »
Here's the Wirecutter guide:
http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/what-laptop-should-i-buy-the-best-laptops-for-every-need/

Looks like the top contenders are the same ones already brought up, just small tweaks based on needs & preferences.

Kwill

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2016, 11:16:36 AM »
Walmart.com has a lot of refurbished Lenovo and Dell laptops. I looked for old reviews for the best office / desktop-replacement laptops, and I picked a refurbished one that was about three years old but had gotten great reviews when it was new. I've had it a year now, and it's worked out pretty well.

Greenway52

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2016, 03:58:43 PM »
If price and longevity are your main concerns I second all of the recommendations for Lenovos. My personal laptop is a Lenovo T61, which I bought used 3 years ago for $180. The laptop itself is more like 7 or 8 years old and it still works fine. They're used most in professional setting and are considered business laptops.

Genevieve

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2016, 05:48:56 PM »
I really don't like any of the options on the market. : (

The Dell X13 seems reasonable, but I really want at least a 14" screen. The 15" version is much more expensive.

A Macbook Pro is long overdue for an update. I don't want to buy 4 year old design that will get upgraded soon.

I was looking at the Lenovo Thinkpad T460s, but it's got a 6 week lead time. Too long since my computer just up and died this week. I tried ordering two Lenovo outlet ones but they said "out of stock" just as I went to buy... something funny going on.  The other recommended Thinkpads above are last year's models and aren't found anywhere any more.

Ugh. This is why I like to buy reliable things... then I don't have to shop!

daverobev

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2016, 05:57:11 PM »
The difference between a consumer and professional laptop is ginormous.

I would avoid anything Lenovo just because they are known to put malware on. They are NOT a nice company.

I used to hate Dell. But now... if you get a Latitude, they are ok. Metal frame.

Avoid Acer, HP like the plague.

undercover

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2016, 09:10:13 PM »
Lenovo if you're truly adverse to learning Mac OS (honestly, not all that different). Otherwise, buy a 13" rMBP and use Bootcamp to dual-boot Windows until you can ween yourself off of it ;)

dang1

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2016, 09:51:09 PM »
I love my ASUS Chromebook Flip. You can convert Microsoft Excel files to Google Sheets.

ketchup

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2016, 07:56:39 AM »
I've had good experiences with Dell Lattitudes and Lenovo Thinkpads.  Typing this on a Lattitude E5530, about four years old and works like new with no issues.

Can't Wait

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2016, 08:16:16 AM »
Maybe you should get a Panasonic ToughBook hahaha.

http://business.panasonic.com/toughbook/laptop-computers.html

You'll never have to worry about those breaking down on you.

Genevieve

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2016, 05:15:21 PM »
Maybe you should get a Panasonic ToughBook hahaha.

http://business.panasonic.com/toughbook/laptop-computers.html

You'll never have to worry about those breaking down on you.

:)

Wow that is heavy duty!

I ended up calling Lenovo and ordering the one I saw on their outlet website over the phone. What a crappy website.

It's the Thinkpad t560 -- 15", long battery life w/ the battery that can be easily swapped, durable. Apparently, the downsides are that the screen isn't great and it's 5 pounds -- heavier than many on the market. At $750, it will work out to be the same amortized cost as a refurbished Macbook Pro if it lasts 4-5 years.

I guess I'll see! I'll report back.

dilinger

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2016, 07:02:55 PM »
The difference between a consumer and professional laptop is ginormous.

I would avoid anything Lenovo just because they are known to put malware on. They are NOT a nice company.

I used to hate Dell. But now... if you get a Latitude, they are ok. Metal frame.

Avoid Acer, HP like the plague.

Same here.  A decade ago, I would've recommended a Thinkpad.  Nowdays, get a 7000-series Dell Latitude.  New, they're $1k+; but you can get last year's model on ebay for around $350.  For me at least, $250-$350 is the sweet spot for laptop prices, and Latitudes that are 1-2 years old can be had for that.  I'm typing this on an E7450 that was originally released in Apr 2015.  I purchased it a month ago on Ebay for a little under $350 (including S&H).

Syonyk

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2016, 07:56:22 PM »
Any business grade laptop should be fine.  I'm not a fan of Lenovo after their "Hey, uh, we're just gonna install our own certificates on here so we can... do stuff..." shenanigans, so I won't buy their stuff.  Dell, Apple, or the Chromebooks.

Business grade laptops usually have a strong internal frame with everything bolted to it.  Cheap consumer laptops tend to have plastic shells with the mainboard as a structural element.  Printed circuit boards are not designed to be structural elements.

Apple hardware holds up amazingly well - anything unibody is excellent, build-quality-wise.  I've got an 8 year old one I still use for some stuff.

Basically, you get what you pay for.

MsPeacock

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2016, 05:28:31 AM »
I have a Dell laptop. It is not about 8 years old. I have replaced the battery twice, the power cord once, and the keyboard once. It is running great. Just upgraded to Windows 10. 17" screen. I would definitely buy another Dell if/when this one does. (I am not sure of the model. I think it was about $700 new).

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2016, 05:54:50 AM »
A used Dell Latitude or Thinkpad T-series are what I'd recommend.  Lenovo's shenanigans are easily resolved with a clean Windows install (something I recommend for *any* computer, really), and usually the used laptops you get off eBay will come with a clean install.

FWIW, I've noticed that a lot of 15" laptops have the same hardware inside as the 14" versions, and just use a larger frame.

mikedom

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2016, 07:14:31 AM »
Just bought a T440 off of ebay for $399. It's working great. I have only heard good things about Thinkpads.

Tiger Stache

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2016, 07:51:03 AM »
We got an HP laptop and it's been great. I think I paid about $600 for it.

Rightflyer

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2016, 08:44:58 AM »
I have a Lenovo T520, purchased 4.5 years ago.

It gets used everyday and has been on numerous trips. Not exciting but solid.


Rubic

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2016, 08:45:40 AM »
Just bought a T440 off of ebay for $399. It's working great. I have only heard good things about Thinkpads.

I love the older Lenovo ThinkPad models.  They're built like tanks.  They're also easy to upgrade cheaply:

http://www.crucial.com/

It's easy to upgrade your RAM with about 10 minutes and a screwdriver.  Just enter "T440" in the search box.  Crucial also sells SSD drives.

dilinger

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2016, 09:53:00 AM »
A used Dell Latitude or Thinkpad T-series are what I'd recommend.  Lenovo's shenanigans are easily resolved with a clean Windows install (something I recommend for *any* computer, really), and usually the used laptops you get off eBay will come with a clean install.

FWIW, I've noticed that a lot of 15" laptops have the same hardware inside as the 14" versions, and just use a larger frame.

Note that Lenovo's shenanigans extend to their BIOS as well, and is not something you can get rid of with a windows reinstallation:
http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Problem_with_unauthorized_MiniPCI_network_card

This is the reason I stopped using Lenovos.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2016, 10:20:27 AM »
A used Dell Latitude or Thinkpad T-series are what I'd recommend.  Lenovo's shenanigans are easily resolved with a clean Windows install (something I recommend for *any* computer, really), and usually the used laptops you get off eBay will come with a clean install.

FWIW, I've noticed that a lot of 15" laptops have the same hardware inside as the 14" versions, and just use a larger frame.

Note that Lenovo's shenanigans extend to their BIOS as well, and is not something you can get rid of with a windows reinstallation:
http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Problem_with_unauthorized_MiniPCI_network_card

This is the reason I stopped using Lenovos.
I don't think Lenovo are unique in whitelisting certain wireless cards, though, and such a whitelist doesn't have the same security/privacy implications as their other monkey business.

ketchup

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2016, 10:20:52 AM »
Another Lenovo thing to keep in mind is that they now have cheaper lines of "ThinkPads" that aren't really ThinkPads beyond the badge and are just consumer-grade garbage.  We bought one at work because "it was a cheap Thinkpad and we know those are good" and it's been a turd.

Go for a T-series if you go ThinkPad.

dilinger

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2016, 10:37:51 AM »
A used Dell Latitude or Thinkpad T-series are what I'd recommend.  Lenovo's shenanigans are easily resolved with a clean Windows install (something I recommend for *any* computer, really), and usually the used laptops you get off eBay will come with a clean install.

FWIW, I've noticed that a lot of 15" laptops have the same hardware inside as the 14" versions, and just use a larger frame.

Note that Lenovo's shenanigans extend to their BIOS as well, and is not something you can get rid of with a windows reinstallation:
http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Problem_with_unauthorized_MiniPCI_network_card

This is the reason I stopped using Lenovos.
I don't think Lenovo are unique in whitelisting certain wireless cards, though, and such a whitelist doesn't have the same security/privacy implications as their other monkey business.

Sure, they're not unique, but that doesn't make it better when you're pulling your hair out trying to get a new wireless card working on a Lenovo laptop.  Dell allows you to swap hardware, so I use them instead now.

Comar

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2019, 06:47:01 AM »
I'm reviving this thread for suggestions. A laptop in the 800 dollar price range with which I could do the normal stuff of browsing the bet, homework, bills etc. but run recent games decently. I'm interested in the newest total war game. Any tech geeks got recommendations?

ketchup

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2019, 07:08:46 AM »
I'm reviving this thread for suggestions. A laptop in the 800 dollar price range with which I could do the normal stuff of browsing the bet, homework, bills etc. but run recent games decently. I'm interested in the newest total war game. Any tech geeks got recommendations?
Something like this would do the trick.  https://www.ebay.com/itm/DELL-XPS-15-9560-16GB-512GB-SSD-GeFORCE-GTX-1050-WIN-10-GOOD-CONDITION/392310515681?hash=item5b578767e1%3Ag%3AEkYAAOSw3Spc-uYr&LH_BIN=1  GF has the previous generation XPS 15 to that and it's great.  You're not going to get flawless gaming (good luck in a laptop for less than a million dollars) but it should work.

getwiththeprogrammer

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2019, 07:41:19 AM »
I wouldn't recommend a MacBook pro anymore. They are now famous for keyboard issues, and it's less well known but the ribbon cable to the screen is also weak. My wife was lucky they covered the repair because they ended up replacing most of the internals. Both of those issues are because they tried too hard to be thin.

Sibley

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #33 on: June 12, 2019, 08:09:22 AM »
Considering I was just chatting with my IT guy at work and asked him... he said stay away from Dell; some HPs are good (not the cheapest lines), and Asus is good. He really like Asus.

Tuskalusa

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #34 on: June 12, 2019, 08:09:40 AM »
Iíd recommend a Lenovo ThinkPad with aCore i5 processor. PCs with Intel processors tend to have slightly better components. ThinkPads are durable machines. There should be specials for Fatherís Day now and again around Labor Day.

Syonyk

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #35 on: June 12, 2019, 09:35:16 AM »
Don't bump a 3 year old thread to ask for advice.  Start a new one.  Literally everything in this thread is out of date by now.

ketchup

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #36 on: June 12, 2019, 10:01:10 AM »
Considering I was just chatting with my IT guy at work and asked him... he said stay away from Dell; some HPs are good (not the cheapest lines), and Asus is good. He really like Asus.
As an IT guy myself, I can say that generally Dell's business class stuff (Optiplex, Latitude) is good but their consumer grade products (Inspiron, etc) are often hot garbage.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #37 on: June 12, 2019, 10:04:38 AM »
Considering I was just chatting with my IT guy at work and asked him... he said stay away from Dell; some HPs are good (not the cheapest lines), and Asus is good. He really like Asus.
As an IT guy myself, I can say that generally Dell's business class stuff (Optiplex, Latitude) is good but their consumer grade products (Inspiron, etc) are often hot garbage.
Actually, some of their consumer stuff is pretty good. You just need to stick with the Inspiron 7000 series or 9000 (XPS) series. The 5000 series is the cheaper, lower-quality line. We recently bought a used 7000/series notebook, and it's fantastic.

GoHokies

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #38 on: June 12, 2019, 10:06:02 AM »
I'm reviving this thread for suggestions. A laptop in the 800 dollar price range with which I could do the normal stuff of browsing the bet, homework, bills etc. but run recent games decently. I'm interested in the newest total war game. Any tech geeks got recommendations?

Laptop discussions always are a bit funny to me.  Everybody has their opinions on brands that are good/bad, and I think the opinions are mainly shaped by having a bad experience with a particular product (I bought an HP and 6 months later the screen starting flickering! Avoid HP!). In reality, you get what you pay for in the laptop world and a lot of people that complain about a particular brand are the types to go to BestBuy and get a $300 crappy laptop and get surprised when it breaks or becomes unusable a year later.

Basically, all laptops at a particular price range are going to be similar in terms of build quality and specs regardless of the manufacturer, with the main difference being where the manufacturer takes shortcuts.  For example, two laptops are priced at $500.  They both have similar specs, but one laptop sacrifices screen quality (720p display instead of 1080p) to have a better processor (i7 instead of i5).  While the other has the weaker processor (i5), but a better display (1080p).   As a consumer at the $500 price point, you need decide which is more important to you - a better display or a more powerful processor.  Deciding between laptops should be focused more upon the relative tradeoffs you have to make at a particular price and what is the most important to you as a consumer.  It should be a lot less focused on the particular manufacturer.

Sorry - just a bit of rant as I see this as a constant theme across similar threads.  For your needs, I would look for the following:

- SSD (Solid State Drive) storage.  Looking for 256 GB minimum, especially if you are holding multiple games on the HD and don't want to deal with an external HD. SSD is a must in 2019 (instead of a normal Hard Drive).  It just makes the entire laptop experience feel much faster.
- 8 GB of RAM minimum. At $800 budget, you could easily find a 16 GB laptop which could be helpful if you run more demanding games or running several programs at once. But 8 GB should be sufficient to do all basic web browsing and should be sufficient for the game you want to play as it does not appear to be a very demanding game.
- i5 or Ryzen 5 processor minimum, preferably 8th generation.  Again, could get an i7 or Ryzen 7 at your price point, but it will be overkill for your needs.
- Dedicated graphics card.  For the game you want to play, you really just want a very basic dedicated graphics card. Something like a GTX 1050 or an MX150 will do just fine.  If you ever want to run more demanding games, you might want to look into a more powerful dedicated graphics card like a GTX 1060.
- 1080p display. This should be a given at your price point, but just make sure you have a 1080p display.
- Weight and measurements. You need to decide this for yourself.  Generally, a smaller, thinner, and lighter laptop will have worse specs than a similar price more thick/heavy laptop. Lots of people value thin and light laptops as they are easier to travel with, but others use laptops mainly at home and don't travel with them often, so it's not as important.  If you want a more thin/light laptop, I'd look for a laptop 15' or smaller and weighing 5 lbs or less minimum.  If you do not care as much about this, don't worry about it.

I would go to Amazon and do a filter for those minimum requirements and see what pops up. You should have absolutely 0 trouble finding a good laptop that meets those minimum specs at your budget. Don't be too particular on the manufacturer and if you find one that meets the minimum specs, read some of the user reviews to see if there are any major red flags. There are also sites like slickdeals where users will post good online laptop deals, which could save you $50-$100 if a really juicy deal comes up on a good laptop.  Just have to be more patient and have to spend a bit of time monitoring for a good deal, which may or may not be worth it to you.

Good luck!

FIRE 20/20

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #39 on: June 12, 2019, 10:40:36 AM »
@GoHokies - great post!   I agree, but want to emphasize a couple of things.  First, how you use the laptop is going to make an enormous difference in what you should spend.  If you're using it mostly for web browsing, simple Excel files, and don't do a lot of multitasking, then I would stick with something pretty low end.  However, if you keep a bazillion tabs open, run complex spreadsheets, do picture and video editing, and do some moderate gaming, then you do need to pony up for a $1k or more laptop.  In that case you probably need 16GB of RAM, an i7 or equivalent processor, and a larger SSD. 
I think where most people go wrong when buying laptops is to not fully understand what their usage looks like and to look for hardware matched to do those things efficiently without overkill.  The person who loves their Chromebook has no need for a $1500 laptop, and the person who pushes their $1500 laptop to the limit would hate a Chromebook.  That doesn't make either a good are bad option or the people right or wrong - they are just different tools for different people.
Just about the only thing I can say (almost) absolutely is to *only* buy a laptop with an SSD.  There's almost no reason to ever buy a spinning hard drive any more. 

aalferez

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #40 on: June 13, 2019, 09:37:37 AM »
Computers processors are pretty decent this days. Even from 6 years ago.
The problem with computers is always the slowest component. Hard Drive. Specifically, the access time is around 9-15ms.
I have a macbook pro from 2011. It was slow...so slow that it would drive me crazy. So I changed the HDD with a SSD (35-100 micro seconds access time).
Solid State Drives are crazy fast compared with HDDs.
I also upgraded the RAM from 4GB to 16GB. This totals to $200 (4 years ago, now it's definitely cheaper) for the upgrade.
I still have that 2011 Macbook pro and it works perfectly fine.

TL;DR: If you are a little techy, buy the components and upgrade your laptop.

innkeeper77

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #41 on: June 18, 2019, 09:44:31 AM »
One thing that has changed, modern laptops seem even more dependent on thermal management than before. I upgraded (from a craigslist laptop to a refurbished one..) my laptop because I was pushing it WAY past its limits, but I had plenty of processing power and RAM, just not enough cooling. (An i5-7200 wasn't enough for me, but if it were in a bigger laptop or a desktop it would have been plenty)

Refurbished laptops have become insanely cheap in some cases. I ended up with a 6 core 32gb Nvidia-1050 monster for only a small amount of money more than my minimum requirements in a replacement machine. I'm happy with it, but I have some oddly high power requirements (Lots of VM's mainly)

Basically, look up reviews for your exact laptop before buying it!

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #42 on: June 22, 2019, 12:50:50 AM »
Considering I was just chatting with my IT guy at work and asked him... he said stay away from Dell; some HPs are good (not the cheapest lines), and Asus is good. He really like Asus.
As an IT guy myself, I can say that generally Dell's business class stuff (Optiplex, Latitude) is good but their consumer grade products (Inspiron, etc) are often hot garbage.
Actually, some of their consumer stuff is pretty good. You just need to stick with the Inspiron 7000 series or 9000 (XPS) series. The 5000 series is the cheaper, lower-quality line. We recently bought a used 7000/series notebook, and it's fantastic.

This. I was in a store and the store attendant managed to barely twist the screen on an Inspiron 5000 and it started to come apart. The XPS stuff seems solid enough, and I'm keen on the XPS 15. Unfortunately the non-upgradeable RAM of the XPS 13 is a problem.

Only gripe I have with the Latitudes etc is that they tend to still use the old fashioned trackpads with the separate button (rather than the more modern single-piece one). I love the trackpad on my old unibody MacBook Pro.

rantk81

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #43 on: June 22, 2019, 06:32:44 AM »
I bought a Dell XPS 15 almost exactly 2 years ago.  It's got an i7, 16GB RAM, SSD, 4k 15" touchscreen.  I think it cost about $1800 at the time.

It's on the high end of price, but the computer is amazing.  I use it daily and I am very happy with it.  I'm hoping to use it for several more years to come.

desert_phoenix

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #44 on: June 22, 2019, 07:34:00 AM »
Get something as cheap as you want and then run Linux on it.  Less resource intensive, better security, etc...

Syonyk

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #45 on: June 22, 2019, 09:58:04 AM »
Get something as cheap as you want and then run Linux on it.  Less resource intensive, better security, etc...

I disagree.  There's a minimum viable system for "normal" modern use, and it's not "as cheap as you want."

I recently did a bit of refurb work on an old netbook from 2011 or so: https://syonyk.blogspot.com/2019/06/clank-reviving-ancient-netbook-iphone-6s-rear-lens-repair.html

It's got an ancient Atom processor, and while I've upgraded the rest of it to be respectable (8GB RAM, SSD), it's still too slow for most forms of daily use.  I'll use it as an admin box, I take it on planes because it actually fits on the tray in front of me and lets me work, but I don't use it for daily driver work because even with Linux, it's quite sluggish.

Even a Core 2 Duo is really on the slow side for modern use these days.

But a CPU from the last 5-6 years, 8+ GB RAM, and an SSD of some form is certainly enough for most use cases.  If the system is being mostly used for internet connectivity, I still prefer Chromebooks, though.

ketchup

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #46 on: June 22, 2019, 01:37:07 PM »
Only gripe I have with the Latitudes etc is that they tend to still use the old fashioned trackpads with the separate button (rather than the more modern single-piece one). I love the trackpad on my old unibody MacBook Pro.
Funny you should mention that.  The newest Latitudes have a stupid buttons-integrated trackpad.  It's awful.  I just got a few new Lattitude 3500s in last week at work and the trackbad is beyond annoying.  Maybe Apple does a better job of it, but be careful what you wish for. :)  The previous gen 3590 trackpad is way better.

Eraserhead/pointing stick/nub is still better than any trackpad, of course, but good luck finding one of those these days.

Syonyk

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #47 on: June 22, 2019, 01:54:25 PM »
Maybe Apple does a better job of it, but be careful what you wish for.

Apple's trackpads are invisible - in the best possible way.  They just work - in pretty much all possible situations.  I've not met a single PC trackpad that's anywhere close to what Apple ships on that front.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #48 on: June 22, 2019, 01:57:16 PM »
I use a desktop at work but personally, everything I do except downloading media is done through my tablet. I donít miss the laptop at all.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Recommendations for good laptops?
« Reply #49 on: June 22, 2019, 02:04:43 PM »
Get something as cheap as you want and then run Linux on it.  Less resource intensive, better security, etc...

This didn't work for me. I have a very lean build of Linux running on a refurbished laptop that was pretty high-end when Windows 7 was exciting news. I got it from Comcast back when I was so poor I qualified for charity internet and a charity computer (kids in the school lunch program = $10/month internet and a computer for $150).

I only want something for, like, online shopping (but including ordering photo books and whatnot) and emails. Even for that, the "Linux on an old machine" solution is just not satisfactory. It takes too long to load web pages even if I have only 2-3 tabs. That's why I clicked on this thread!