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Need to Buy a Windows Laptop
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Need to Buy a Windows Laptop

raindog308raindog308 Administrator, Moderator

Everything I buy for myself is either Mac or old laptops I turn into Linux.

But now my daughter needs a Windows-based laptop for school and other projects. If you were going to buy a laptop today, where would you look?

I don’t have any preset notions or brand preferences – just something that won’t fall apart, has an SSD or NVME drive, and is an i3+ (she needs more horsepower than an Atom).

If I asked her about requirements, she'd add "can play Sims 4 and Minecraft".

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Comments

  • SpryServers_TabSpryServers_Tab Member, Provider

    Budget? $7?

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  • SpryServers_TabSpryServers_Tab Member, Provider
    edited August 21

    For real though, if I were to buy a laptop today I'd buy a Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Gen2 (AMD). Biggest downside here is soldered RAM. See below for model without soldered RAM.

    If I were able to wait a few weeks until Lenovo gets off their ass and posts the ThinkPad L15 AMD, I'd buy that.

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  • dustincdustinc Member, Provider

    Just last week I purchased a laptop for my dad, he didn't need anything special, but for the price and specs I felt this wasn't a bad deal:

    "ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6” Full HD, AMD Quad Core R5-3500U CPU, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD, AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics, Windows 10 Home, F512DA-EB51, Slate Gray"

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QQB7552/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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  • raindog308raindog308 Administrator, Moderator

    Well south of $1000, ideally.

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  • Buy a macbook and Install Windows (bootcamp) on it.

  • @raindog308 said:

    Well south of $1000, ideally.

    IdeaPad Slim 7 selling at BHphotovideo for $769.

    1.0 GHz Intel Core i5-1035G1 Quad-Core
    8GB of LPDDR4X RAM | 512GB SSD
    14" 1920 x 1080 IPS Display
    NVIDIA GeForce MX350
    microSD Card Reader
    USB 3.2 Gen 1 | Thunderbolt 3 | HDMI 2.0
    Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) | Bluetooth 5.0
    180° Hinge
    Backlit Keyboard
    Windows 10 Home (64-Bit)

    Only downside I can see is soldered RAM. Otherwise have great features for the price, this is aluminum built, have really good 100 sRGB display and thunderbolt. MX350 for occasional games.

    Thanked by 1raindog308
  • SpryServers_TabSpryServers_Tab Member, Provider

    @raindog308 said:

    Well south of $1000, ideally.

    I'd go with ThinkPad for best durability. You can get for under $1k easily. (Look at E and L series) They REALLY last. The downside of the other Lenovo's, IdeaPad, etc, in my experience, is they don't last near as long.

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  • @SpryServers_Tab said:

    @raindog308 said:

    Well south of $1000, ideally.

    I'd go with ThinkPad for best durability. You can get for under $1k easily. (Look at E and L series) They REALLY last. The downside of the other Lenovo's, IdeaPad, etc, in my experience, is they don't last near as long.

    IdeaPad 700 or 7 series are above midrange laptops and have good build quality. Thinkpads on the other hand built solid but are ugly and have low brightness display. You won't find ideapad 7 quality display on any thinkpad below $1500.

    Thanked by 1raindog308
  • jsgjsg Member

    @raindog308 said:
    ... just something that won’t fall apart, has an SSD or NVME drive, and is an i3+ (she needs more horsepower than an Atom).

    If I asked her about requirements, she'd add "can play Sims 4 and Minecraft".

    Any other requirements, e.g. sturdiness, coolness (she is young after all), weight, etc?

    Thanks no.

  • jarjar Provider
    edited August 21

    Because of MacBooks I’ve had a really hard time with trackpads on windows laptops. None of them are anywhere near as comfortable and accurate, they’re just not. After trying again and again I found one laptop brand that I enjoyed using the trackpad, and everything else about it’s build quality as well: Razer.

    I really regretted going cheaper with an ASUS Ryzen laptop that was just as good as my Razer on paper, but the build quality wasn’t great. If I picked it up while it was on, the case would actively bend to its weight and the fans would hit against plastic, making an awful noise. Trying to accurately click on things with the trackpad made me look like an old man trying to use a computer for the first time. It cost less, and I paid a lot more for having to replace it because I made a mistake by buying it.

    That was my most recent venture into Windows laptops and my purpose was gaming, so it’s not a 1:1 comparison. Hopefully it’s some interesting data points though.

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  • ricardoricardo Member
    edited August 21

    Bought this one a few months back https://www.johnlewis.com/hp-pavilion-15-cs3009na-laptop-intel-core-i5-processor-8gb-ram-512gb-ssd-15-6-inch-full-hd-mineral-silver/p4870223

    Quick Google suggests you could get it for ~$780 (I only saw GBP prices)

    Has a GPU, decent battery life (about 14 hours when streaming). My only gripe I'd say is that the ventilation isn't great. I mainly run Linux on it, where battery life is poorer and the fan can stay eternally on if the computer is turned on hot. Runs absolutely fine on windows though.

    /edit, that's not the same one I have but quite similar. Have 256GB SSD / Nvidia 1050M

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  • @raindog308 said: If you were going to buy a laptop today, where would you look?

    These days eBay is so full of different lovely offers, I'm unsure when I'll be buying brand new hardware for personal use again.

    However I don't compile chrome each hour and don't render 8K trinitro-quad-ultraHD videos at home. Tasks like that will surely involve extra spending.

  • NanoG6NanoG6 Member

    Surface pro is a solid choice

  • LordSpockLordSpock Member, Provider

    I would highly reccomend Lenovo. Fantastisk quality for the price. There are a good chunk of Ideapads on BestBuy's site that may fall within price range. My personalish laptop is a Hackintoshed Ideapad from eBay and that thing has survived countless drops and other abuse.

  • mxroute = prem
    thinkpads = prem

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  • Any Lenovo thinkpad

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  • Thinkpad T14/L14 AMD. You can get T14 with Ryzen 5 Pro 4650U (6c12t) for 1100-ish

  • vyas11vyas11 Member
    edited August 22

    @raindog308
    Refurbished Lenovo thinkpad on Newegg. Typically they bump up processor or ram or both. Great specs for sub- 500 600 USD. Warranty used to be one year not sure now

    Many come with Win10 licensed. Random examples

  • mhosting_inmhosting_in Member
    edited August 22

    @raindog308 said:
    Everything I buy for myself is either Mac or old laptops I turn into Linux.

    But now my daughter needs a Windows-based laptop for school and other projects. If you were going to buy a laptop today, where would you look?

    I don’t have any preset notions or brand preferences – just something that won’t fall apart, has an SSD or NVME drive, and is an i3+ (she needs more horsepower than an Atom).

    If I asked her about requirements, she'd add "can play Sims 4 and Minecraft".

    Acer Swift 3 Laptop **16-17 hours battery backup **
    8 Gb Ram [ ram is solder so don't go with 4gb ram]
    i5 processor
    512 GB SSD
    Nvidia graphic cards

    very positive reviews about this laptop.
    this laptop battery may be 1+ days or 2 days battery.
    I think its world-first laptop which claim16-17 hours battery backups.

  • @mhosting_in said:

    @raindog308 said:
    Everything I buy for myself is either Mac or old laptops I turn into Linux.

    But now my daughter needs a Windows-based laptop for school and other projects. If you were going to buy a laptop today, where would you look?

    I don’t have any preset notions or brand preferences – just something that won’t fall apart, has an SSD or NVME drive, and is an i3+ (she needs more horsepower than an Atom).

    If I asked her about requirements, she'd add "can play Sims 4 and Minecraft".

    Acer Swift 3 Laptop **16-17 hours battery backup **
    8 Gb Ram [ ram is solder so don't go with 4gb ram]
    i5 processor
    512 GB SSD
    Nvidia graphic cards

    very positive reviews about this laptop.
    this laptop battery may be 1+ days or 2 days battery.
    I think its world-first laptop which claim16-17 hours battery backups.

    That's not possible unless it runs on arm also advertised is not always true most intel laptops can last 10 hour in best case scenario

  • Lenovo. Lenovo. Lenovo.

    You can take over it five years later, put Linux on it, and it still runs like brand new.

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  • @poisson said:
    Lenovo. Lenovo. Lenovo.

    You can take over it five years later, put Linux on it, and it still runs like brand new.

    Can confirm this I have a probably 10 year old lenevo laptop but still work

  • UnixfyUnixfy Member

    @mhosting_in said: Acer Swift 3 Laptop **16-17 hours battery backup **

    8 Gb Ram [ ram is solder so don't go with 4gb ram]
    i5 processor
    512 GB SSD
    Nvidia graphic cards

    There is an AMD Ryzen 4000-series version of this laptop for $600. It has the Ryzen 4700U (very powerful processor).

    I recently picked up the ASUS Zephyrus G14. Ryzen 7 4800HS, GTX 1650, 512GB NVMe for $880. Great deal, and it's super light too (3.5 lb)

    Visit my website || Add me on Discord: Unixfy#3061

  • @Unixfy said:

    @mhosting_in said: Acer Swift 3 Laptop **16-17 hours battery backup **

    8 Gb Ram [ ram is solder so don't go with 4gb ram]
    i5 processor
    512 GB SSD
    Nvidia graphic cards

    There is an AMD Ryzen 4000-series version of this laptop for $600. It has the Ryzen 4700U (very powerful processor).

    I recently picked up the ASUS Zephyrus G14. Ryzen 7 4800HS, GTX 1650, 512GB NVMe for $880. Great deal, and it's super light too (3.5 lb)

    I know Asus is cheaper but not good reviews.
    battery backup 4-5 hours in Asus.

  • HP laptop with DOS, Purchase Windows from Microsoft and install it on your Laptop.

    It will cost around $650 with Windows Home.

    Dewlance
  • @codelock said:

    @mhosting_in said:

    @raindog308 said:
    Everything I buy for myself is either Mac or old laptops I turn into Linux.

    But now my daughter needs a Windows-based laptop for school and other projects. If you were going to buy a laptop today, where would you look?

    I don’t have any preset notions or brand preferences – just something that won’t fall apart, has an SSD or NVME drive, and is an i3+ (she needs more horsepower than an Atom).

    If I asked her about requirements, she'd add "can play Sims 4 and Minecraft".

    Acer Swift 3 Laptop **16-17 hours battery backup **
    8 Gb Ram [ ram is solder so don't go with 4gb ram]
    i5 processor
    512 GB SSD
    Nvidia graphic cards

    very positive reviews about this laptop.
    this laptop battery may be 1+ days or 2 days battery.
    I think its world-first laptop which claim16-17 hours battery backups.

    That's not possible unless it runs on arm also advertised is not always true most intel laptops can last 10 hour in best case scenario

    Acer mentions in their website also https://www.acer.com/ac/en/IN/content/series/swift3
    you can confirm with the Acer company.

  • pedagangpedagang Member
    edited August 22

    for common user, especially boy and girl, still recommend Dell, better sound and graphic, etc
    but for me, i am satisfy with toshiba

  • key900key900 Member, Provider
    edited August 22
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  • UnixfyUnixfy Member
    edited August 22

    @mhosting_in said: I know Asus is cheaper but not good reviews.
    battery backup 4-5 hours in Asus.

    I suggest you read some reviews on this laptop before making a comment. I understand ASUS has some bad devices, but this is not one of them.

    Additionally, I was able to get 9 hours of battery life streaming YouTube at 4K on my machine. Again, please conduct some research before attempting to make claims.

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  • debaserdebaser Member
    edited August 22

    I understand why a lot of people are suggesting to buy a Thinkpad, however this is just a laptop for a (young) teenager. So the use case is not really that it has to last for 10+ years. Also, I don’t think a teenage girl would want that kind of beast. Ideapad range by Lenovo is okay, but has its downsides.

    In my opinion a Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (The 15 5505 to be specific) would be very good in this particular case. Pretty solid, without getting heavy or bulky and they’re pretty to look at too.

    A Huawei MateBook D 15 AMD might be a good deal too, as are various Asus VivoBook laptops with a Ryzen. In that last case you’d want to check them out in store as the build quality varies a bit.

    I normally go for a BTO/tailor made laptop, which usually means a good deal as well. Might be worth to look around a bit in your area.

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  • doghouchdoghouch Member
    edited August 23

    @jar said:
    Because of MacBooks I’ve had a really hard time with trackpads on windows laptops. None of them are anywhere near as comfortable and accurate, they’re just not. After trying again and again I found one laptop brand that I enjoyed using the trackpad, and everything else about it’s build quality as well: Razer.

    I really regretted going cheaper with an ASUS Ryzen laptop that was just as good as my Razer on paper, but the build quality wasn’t great. If I picked it up while it was on, the case would actively bend to its weight and the fans would hit against plastic, making an awful noise. Trying to accurately click on things with the trackpad made me look like an old man trying to use a computer for the first time. It cost less, and I paid a lot more for having to replace it because I made a mistake by buying it.

    That was my most recent venture into Windows laptops and my purpose was gaming, so it’s not a 1:1 comparison. Hopefully it’s some interesting data points though.

    This. I switched from a 2012 MBP to a near max spec IdeaPad 730s (i7-8565U, 2 TB3 ports, 512 GB NVMe) and I still find myself longing for the smooothness of an Apple trackpad.

    Windows Precision trackpads have come a long way but even ten year old MBPs have nicer trackpads than 99% of current-gen Windows laptops.

    tl;dr I’m probably going to sell this laptop and replace it with a quad core MBA.

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  • brycebryce Member

    XPS 13

  • I will give my opinion in support of the macbook trackpad. There is no such level of interaction with the system and the cursor as on a macbook on any windows laptop. However, if you set the task of buying an undersized laptop and basically on windows, then this is definitely Dell XPS, since there is no point in overpaying for a MacBook and installing windows on it. You won't get the full trackpad implementation.

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  • TejyTejy Member

    MacBook Pro 16" 2020.
    No, I would recommand a Thinkpad, with an amazing manufacturing quality...
    Thinkpad X1 is just perfect.

  • raindog308raindog308 Administrator, Moderator

    @Tejy said: Thinkpad X1 is just perfect.

    They're also 30%+ more than my stated budget...

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  • elliotcelliotc Member
    edited August 27

    Ultrabook is suggested if weight and size is important. Zenbook or xps is my personal pick.

    Thinkpad E series is not "ThinkPad".

    Coffee, please.

  • TejyTejy Member

    @raindog308 said:

    @Tejy said: Thinkpad X1 is just perfect.

    They're also 30%+ more than my stated budget...

    Old generations are still really good!

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  • @Tejy said:

    @raindog308 said:

    @Tejy said: Thinkpad X1 is just perfect.

    They're also 30%+ more than my stated budget...

    Old generations are still really good!

    Second this. The X1s look good too, and super light!

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  • nbnnbn Member

    I just got the new acer swift 3 with a ryzen chip. . . geekbenches higher than new macbook pro's at $650

  • nbnnbn Member

    @mhosting_in said:

    @raindog308 said:
    Everything I buy for myself is either Mac or old laptops I turn into Linux.

    But now my daughter needs a Windows-based laptop for school and other projects. If you were going to buy a laptop today, where would you look?

    I don’t have any preset notions or brand preferences – just something that won’t fall apart, has an SSD or NVME drive, and is an i3+ (she needs more horsepower than an Atom).

    If I asked her about requirements, she'd add "can play Sims 4 and Minecraft".

    Acer Swift 3 Laptop **16-17 hours battery backup **
    8 Gb Ram [ ram is solder so don't go with 4gb ram]
    i5 processor
    512 GB SSD
    Nvidia graphic cards

    very positive reviews about this laptop.
    this laptop battery may be 1+ days or 2 days battery.
    I think its world-first laptop which claim16-17 hours battery backups.

    Why on earth would you buy the intel chip version when they make a ryzen for basically the same cost and 1.5x the performance. . . literally. . . compare the intel swift 3 geekbench to the ryzen swift 3, the ryzen destroys the intel.

  • verovero Member, Provider

    Some Lenovo, Dell models have the ability to use one PCIe drive and one traditional 2.5" disk. I find it quite convenient. Looks like 10th gen Intel laptops are getting slightly cheaper, but that may be only few models I found. Still Ryzen U4500 destroys them. Perhaps worth to wait a bit for laptops with 4000 series Ryzens to become more widespread (at least in my region there aren't many available yet).

  • mhosting_inmhosting_in Member
    edited August 30

    @nbn said:

    @mhosting_in said:

    @raindog308 said:
    Everything I buy for myself is either Mac or old laptops I turn into Linux.

    But now my daughter needs a Windows-based laptop for school and other projects. If you were going to buy a laptop today, where would you look?

    I don’t have any preset notions or brand preferences – just something that won’t fall apart, has an SSD or NVME drive, and is an i3+ (she needs more horsepower than an Atom).

    If I asked her about requirements, she'd add "can play Sims 4 and Minecraft".

    Acer Swift 3 Laptop **16-17 hours battery backup **
    8 Gb Ram [ ram is solder so don't go with 4gb ram]
    i5 processor
    512 GB SSD
    Nvidia graphic cards

    very positive reviews about this laptop.
    this laptop battery may be 1+ days or 2 days battery.
    I think its world-first laptop which claim16-17 hours battery backups.

    Why on earth would you buy the intel chip version when they make a ryzen for basically the same cost and 1.5x the performance. . . literally. . . compare the intel swift 3 geekbench to the ryzen swift 3, the ryzen destroys the intel.

    ryzen is good for gaming. but if you compare for apps open like firefox, chrome intel i5 is better performance.

  • I don't look at Geekbench scores for laptops because I think their main role is to be able to last for as long as possible on battery. If I want to game, I am going with a desktop. As long as the processor is good enough for heavy multitasking of typical working applications, I would look at the power consumption and battery life.

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  • TheKillerTheKiller Member
    edited August 30

    Ideapad slim 7 is available on Staples.
    http://www.staples.com/lenovo-ideapad-slim-7-14-laptop-intel-i5-8gb-memory-512gb-ssd-windows-10-home-slate-grey-82a4000mus/product_24435793

    I would say excellent device for $699. Metal built, Color accurate screen, thunderbolt, USB C charging, slim profile and good battery life.

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  • raindog308raindog308 Administrator, Moderator

    @TheKiller said: Ideapad slim 7 is available on Staples.

    http://www.staples.com/lenovo-ideapad-slim-7-14-laptop-intel-i5-8gb-memory-512gb-ssd-windows-10-home-slate-grey-82a4000mus/product_24435793

    I would say excellent device for $699. Metal built, Color accurate screen, thunderbolt, USB C charging, slim profile and good battery life.

    That's nice.

    @debaser said: In my opinion a Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (The 15 5505 to be specific) would be very good in this particular case. Pretty solid, without getting heavy or bulky and they’re pretty to look at too.

    I've had a variety of Dells and they have been pretty solid.

    @TheKiller said: IdeaPad Slim 7 selling at BHphotovideo for $769.

    Very close to what I ended up getting:

    https://www.newegg.com/gray-lenovo-flex-5-everyday-value/p/1TS-000E-0JS09?Item=9SIA686BF38809

    Largely because it's nearly identical to one her sister bought on her own and sis is happy with it. Considered this ThinkPad:

    https://www.newegg.com/black-lenovo-thinkpad-e15-20rd005hus-mainstream/p/2WC-000J-00B46?Item=2WC-000J-00B46&Description=lenovo laptop&cm_re=lenovo_laptop--2WC-000J-00B46--Product&quicklink=true

    If it had been for me, I probably would have gotten the ThinkPad...OK, if it was me I would get a Mac or an X1 LOL. Anyway, I value ruggedness (I still have a T7200-era ThinkPad that is a tank), but my daughter wants to play some games as well (e.g., Sims and Minecraft) so the more consumer-style graphics is better. Also 16GB of RAM. Touchscreens on laptops are silly and lack of an ethernet irks me but these things won't matter in this case.

    She's a pretty responsible kid so hopefully ruggedness won't be an issue...she's been struggling along with an ancient Acer Atom but all the at-home-zoom-meeting classroom stuff this year kind of pushed it over the edge.

    Thanks for all the advice, folks!

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