Buying a New Laptop

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DaHeckIzDat
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Buying a New Laptop

Postby DaHeckIzDat » June 6th, 2017, 5:09 pm

So, the laptop I've had for about five or six years is starting to show its age. It was never very fancy, and now its struggling to run with two internet tabs open at the same time. It's a Dell, if that matters. I figure it's about time I start thinking about getting a new one. What would you guys recommend? I don't want to spend a fortune, but I'd like the next one to last more than a few years, you know? Maybe even be up to playing some games if I ever feel like it (my current one struggles to run Team Fortress 2). What do you guys thinks is a good price range for a quality machine without having to sell everything I own to pay for it?

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ptdebate
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Re: Buying a New Laptop

Postby ptdebate » June 6th, 2017, 7:23 pm

I'm going to take some flak for this, but the Macbook Pro with Retina Display is still the best all-around laptop. The previous generation (before they did away with a lot of the ports) is getting good markdowns in price. Intel's Iris graphics chipset is at the point where it can compete with dedicated GPUs. You'll be able to run plenty of games from the last couple of years as long as you use medium settings.

On the PC side, it's hard to do better than the Dell XPS 13. PCs generally lack the build quality, software stability, and ease of use of their Mac counterparts, but they will save you some money and if you're dead set on using Windows (for gaming purposes, of course), it just makes more sense. The starting configuration on the XPS 13 is $799 but they're doing a promotion on the mid-tier model that knocks it down to $899, making it a better deal.

What I did when I made my first "serious" laptop purchase is just finance it with the store. The Apple store is the gold standard for this when it comes to options but Best Buy offers a reasonable, no interest offer where you just have to pay it off in a certain number of months (I think it's either 15 or 18). Not bad. All of this is to say--if you want to get a laptop that will last you, don't make too many concessions or you'll just be throwing your money away. $900 to $1100 for a solid multi-purpose machine from Dell or Apple will get you five or more years of hard use. Heck, I still have my original PowerBook from 2002 and it still works great for basic tasks (although it is severely underpowered at this point).

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MoarRipter
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Re: Buying a New Laptop

Postby MoarRipter » June 7th, 2017, 12:30 am

Around $1000, maybe a few hairs more, will get you a nice ultrabook or 2-in-1/convertible. I like Lenovos and the Surface is really good too. The more expensive Dells are good, I think the cheap ones are throwaway. I'm still using a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro that I really like, the touchscreen is a gimmick though. Flipped around, a laptop, even if weighing 2-3 lbs, is too heavy and uncomfortable to use as a tablet. The Yogas have decent keyboards but the trackpads suck. Macs have the best trackpads bar none. For a new Mac laptop you're looking at spending at least $1300 for something decent like a MacBook Pro, stay away from the Air as its outdated and the 12" MacBook is so gutless you'll hate it.

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Stalvern
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Re: Buying a New Laptop

Postby Stalvern » June 7th, 2017, 6:53 pm

I'm not much of a current-gen gamer, but my Toshiba Satellite cost about $800 last year for a model that had discrete graphics at all. I'd imagine that a machine with good performance for games would be $1000 minimum.

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ptdebate
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Re: Buying a New Laptop

Postby ptdebate » June 7th, 2017, 7:55 pm

Stalvern wrote:I'm not much of a current-gen gamer, but my Toshiba Satellite cost about $800 last year for a model that had discrete graphics at all. I'd imagine that a machine with good performance for games would be $1000 minimum.


That's a very good deal for a laptop with discrete graphics.

These days, though, Intel's integrated graphics have made considerable strides such that there's little difference between them and the lower-end discrete cards. The 2017 release Prey actually runs just fine on current Intel HD graphics, as does Tekken 7.

If there's a tradeoff between a better-quality screen or a discrete GPU, I'd favor the higher-quality screen.

For the OP, there's one other important thing I forgot to mention. When it comes to laptops, go Intel or go home. AMD's CPUs can cost lest, but they just don't deliver.

MoarRipter wrote:the 12" MacBook is so gutless you'll hate it.


I actually have one of these at home and I love it! The fanless design is something truly marvelous. True, it's not as powerful as the Pro or Air models, but the screen is gorgeous and it performs every task well. Heroes of the Storm and other Blizzard titles run well at medium settings.

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MoarRipter
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Re: Buying a New Laptop

Postby MoarRipter » June 7th, 2017, 10:07 pm

ptdebate wrote:I actually have one of these at home and I love it! The fanless design is something truly marvelous. True, it's not as powerful as the Pro or Air models, but the screen is gorgeous and it performs every task well. Heroes of the Storm and other Blizzard titles run well at medium settings.


I'm surprised, my coworkers that have 12" MacBooks complain about how slow they are. I've used the Dell Venue that has that Core M chip and it was not good. Even my 13" MBP at work has me wanting to go back to my old 15" MBP retina that they took because it was end of life. I miss the quad-core. I saw they updated the higher end $1599 model to a Kaby Lake i5 instead of Core M, maybe that fixed the 12" performance issues, otherwise I really like almost everything about the 12" MacBook.

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ptdebate
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Re: Buying a New Laptop

Postby ptdebate » June 10th, 2017, 3:43 pm

I found a fantastic deal on a MacBook Air 13". The screen is nowhere near as nice as the other MacBooks but this is still a capable little machine. And the price is just insane for a new Mac.

http://www.microcenter.com/single_produ ... 94b5d62fde

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MoarRipter
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Re: Buying a New Laptop

Postby MoarRipter » June 11th, 2017, 12:25 pm

ptdebate wrote:I found a fantastic deal on a MacBook Air 13". The screen is nowhere near as nice as the other MacBooks but this is still a capable little machine. And the price is just insane for a new Mac.

http://www.microcenter.com/single_produ ... 94b5d62fde


I wish I lived close to a Microcenter, that's a really good deal.

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DaHeckIzDat
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Re: Buying a New Laptop

Postby DaHeckIzDat » June 11th, 2017, 5:34 pm

Thanks for the replies, guys. Honestly, I'd rather stick with something that can run Windows than Mac.

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ptdebate
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Re: Buying a New Laptop

Postby ptdebate » June 11th, 2017, 7:49 pm

DaHeckIzDat wrote:Thanks for the replies, guys. Honestly, I'd rather stick with something that can run Windows than Mac.


In that case, I'd recommend the Dell XPS 13, the Lenovo suggested by MoarRipter, or a Surface book. The Surface books can get pricey, but the screen quality is second to none.


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