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New Business Laptop

ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
Okay, so my boss and I are running Dell Studio XPS 1645s for work. They're solid, 15.5" computers that have worked really, really well for the both of us.

My boss is a little hard on his technology, however, and he's starting to see keyboard problems (e.g., he's broken off the "e" key, the return isn't as responsive, etc.), and he'd like to replace his.

I'm not really into the whole laptop scene, so I don't know who's currently making good stuff. So, I turn to my PA friends.

His needs are:
  1. Full-size keyboard, hopefully a little sturdier than the one Dell is / was using
  2. Our current set-up is a little too big and heavy for him, since he travels a lot more than I do. So, something a bit more portable would be good
  3. Current stats - Intel i7 @ 1.73, overclocking to 2-and-change under load, 8 GB memory - are probably more than he really needs
  4. 500 GB hard-drive is fine
  5. Blu-Ray functionality and HDMI out are desired

His budget is flexible, but we paid less than $2k for these a few years back, so hitting a tighter budget today should be pretty doable.

So, who's who in laptops these days?

Elvenshae on
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Steam: Elvenshae // PSN: Elvenshae // WotC: Elvenshae
The FATE of the Rebellion PBP
FotR on Obsidian Portal

Posts

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    I wouldn't try to optimize towards an unbreakable keyboard as I've found laptop generally aren't very durable, especially not compared to a nice mechanical external keyboard. Replacements for keyboard assemblies are usually between 20 and 120 for anything not ancient or bleeding edge, depending on whether or not the topcase also needs to be replaced. Cheapest replacements are on ebay.

    Nicer laptop keyboards have less flex (though I'm not at all sure they are more durable). In my experience Thinkpads, Precisions, Elitebooks and macbook pros usually have nice feeling keyboards, though I wouldn't say they fail at any lesser rate than a much cheaper model.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    Toshiba makes very sturdy laptops. However, what you might want to do is just order a Dell laptop and, at the same time, order a couple of replacement keyboards. They're super-easy to swap out, and if it's only one or two keys that break, you can hang on to the broken one, and loot it to replace any others that break off.

  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    Lenovo Thinkpads and HP Elitebooks seem to be the business laptops of choice these days. Getting a decent config that's as fast as what he has now in a 14" form factor should be doable for $1300-$1500.

    If you don't have to buy right now, you may want to wait until May when the next round of CPUs are coming out. Better battery and performance.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    a5ehren wrote: »
    Lenovo Thinkpads and HP Elitebooks seem to be the business laptops of choice these days. Getting a decent config that's as fast as what he has now in a 14" form factor should be doable for $1300-$1500.

    If you don't have to buy right now, you may want to wait until May when the next round of CPUs are coming out. Better battery and performance.
    The control key on a Lenovo has fucking retarded placement. If he's used to a Dell, and uses keyboard shortcuts at all, I wouldn't get one. They're also loaded with lots of bloatware (seems to be significantly more than Dell).

  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    Thanatos wrote: »
    a5ehren wrote: »
    Lenovo Thinkpads and HP Elitebooks seem to be the business laptops of choice these days. Getting a decent config that's as fast as what he has now in a 14" form factor should be doable for $1300-$1500.

    If you don't have to buy right now, you may want to wait until May when the next round of CPUs are coming out. Better battery and performance.
    The control key on a Lenovo has fucking retarded placement. If he's used to a Dell, and uses keyboard shortcuts at all, I wouldn't get one. They're also loaded with lots of bloatware (seems to be significantly more than Dell).
    Didn't know that. My company buys Elitebooks, FWIW (and IT wipes and loads a standard image after they come in anyway).

  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    Thanks for the comments, all. We've decided to look into a new keyboard for now, which solves the immediate issue, with an eye on the Elitebooks going foward.

    Thanks!

    elvenshae2_zps569236d5.png
    Steam: Elvenshae // PSN: Elvenshae // WotC: Elvenshae
    The FATE of the Rebellion PBP
    FotR on Obsidian Portal
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    a5ehren wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    a5ehren wrote: »
    Lenovo Thinkpads and HP Elitebooks seem to be the business laptops of choice these days. Getting a decent config that's as fast as what he has now in a 14" form factor should be doable for $1300-$1500.

    If you don't have to buy right now, you may want to wait until May when the next round of CPUs are coming out. Better battery and performance.
    The control key on a Lenovo has fucking retarded placement. If he's used to a Dell, and uses keyboard shortcuts at all, I wouldn't get one. They're also loaded with lots of bloatware (seems to be significantly more than Dell).
    Didn't know that. My company buys Elitebooks, FWIW (and IT wipes and loads a standard image after they come in anyway).
    The bloatware thing is straight-up anecdotal (like, just from my experience), but Lenovo (at least on the Thinkpads) puts the Function key in the lower-lefthand corner of the keyboard. So if you're used to a standard keyboard, every time you try to use Ctrl-whatever, you hit Fn-whatever instead. It doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but it's incredibly frustrating, though I guess maybe you'd eventually get used to it. Still, it was enough to totally turn me off of them.

  • EliminationElimination Registered User regular
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  • MadpoetMadpoet Registered User regular

    I used to do tech support for these things. If you think there's a chance you'll accidentally lock your laptop in the trunk of your patrol car, then drive the patrol car into a river where it stays submerged for two days - this is the laptop for you.

  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular

    Yeah, I think those might a little bit of an overkill. :D

    elvenshae2_zps569236d5.png
    Steam: Elvenshae // PSN: Elvenshae // WotC: Elvenshae
    The FATE of the Rebellion PBP
    FotR on Obsidian Portal
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    Madpoet wrote: »

    I used to do tech support for these things. If you think there's a chance you'll accidentally lock your laptop in the trunk of your patrol car, then drive the patrol car into a river where it stays submerged for two days - this is the laptop for you.

    Volvo uses those for service work in their truck dealerships. They are almost indestructible, I say almost, because whilst I have seen one survive a 7 foot drop, another did not survive being driven over by an 8 ton prime mover.

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  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    I have a feeling the Toughbook may not meet the light-weight requirement set out by the OP.

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