Time for a Laptop Upgrade


#1

Hi There!
I want to upgrade my laptop. It will be 100% dedicated to my consultancy work (Electronics and Software development).
Must have:

  1. need to be a laptop, preferably 15 inches!
  2. need to have a compatible docking station at a reasonable cost
  3. Intel I5 or I7
  4. At least 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD
  5. Windows 10

Any suggestions?


#2

I have been using a Lenovo X1 carbon Gen 6. I just swapped over and realized I was able to use the Thunderbolt 3 dock with Ubuntu after I upgraded to 18.04 (had been on 16.04 LTS). I have since upgraded to 19.04 as well to get a few other features from the new kernel as part of my VM adventure.

Display and processor are all pretty good, I like the keyboard and the unit by itself is quite light for traveling around. The dock has the video card built in, which I feel is almost a necessity for doing anything with 3D modeling or video editing.

Mine is an i7, 16GB, 256 SSD (too small), Windows 10. I paid 1400 for the laptop and another 350 for the dock. Model type 20KHCTO1WW.


#3

Hi,
If you’re not looking for an ultrabook, I’d suggest T series Thinkpads, especially T480 or T580. I do not own any of the mentioned models, but as a long-term Thinkpad user (x230) they’re one of the best laptops for us engineers.


#4

I’ve never had a bad experience with an Asus product, and they tend to come with less junkware than some other brands. Thinkpads look great, but are $$$.


#5

I 2nd the x1 carbon for a 14, or a x1 carbon extreme for a 15. I have both. Check the Lenovo site and the factory outlet, they are on sale.


#6

I’ve got an CUK GE63VR Raider Gamer Notebook (Intel i7-7700HQ, 16GB RAM, 500GB NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD, 15.6" Full HD IPS 120Hz 3ms 94% NTSC, NVIDIA GTX 1070 8GB) running Windows 10 – which I acquired in Dec 2017.

This enables me to run VMWare’s Workstation to create various development toolchain VMs, and it has enough resources to run both the native machine and whatever VM I’m running without any hit in performance. This laptop is an upgrade of an MSI laptop.

The only warning I’ve heard about MSI based laptops is that they can run hot, especially if you have an upgraded video card in it. So from the beginning I’ve been running it on a cooling pad. I’ve taken it on both business and pleasure trips to provide customer support in the field, and its worked very well for me.

Oh, and by the way, it seems to do very well for gaming too which my wife says is the only reason I bought it.


#7

I have a Razer Blade Stealth 13in (8th gen i7, 16GB ram) After purchase I upgraded to a 1TB NVME SSD Bought the laptop for $800 and then kicked in a $300 SSD

I always buy laptops factory refurbished, they have a deep discount and honestly the same return policy and quality as new.

It is very thin and light, pretty powerful too so it is good for traveling. The keyboard is ok but not wonderful, I’ve also had some buggyness with the drivers and display. I wouldn’t rave about it but for the price, it was quite a deal. My daily driver is a beefy desktop which I really love and OneDrive keeps all my important files in sync beautifully.


#8

gigabyte aero 15 here, 8th i7, 32GB ram 2TB of SSD, and nvidia gtx 1070 in about 4lbs. they just refreshed it for the 2070. adobe rgb ips, almost bezelless display, long battery life, usually 4 hours in work mode, 10+ hours in power save

keyboard isn’t spectacular since its a thinner laptop. audio is tinny. usb3 usbc ,thunderbolt so i can run external gpus too, full size ethernet which is nice, hdmi


#9

My past work laptop was a ASUS ROG Strix with 7th gen i7 and a 1070, OMG this thing was a boat anchor and got like 1.5hours of battery life. It was quite powerful but lugging it around was not fun. The power supply was also about the size of a cinder block (ok exaggerating a little, but not a lot).

This experience was ultimately what made me decide on the desktop plus ultrabook route.


#10

If anyone is looking at going with a ThinkPad, there’s a neat website that watches the Lenovo Outlet and reports the offerings in a simple tabular form: https://lw.ofwiz.com/

I’ve used and continue to use ThinkPads for work. In my experience, they’re engineered and designed well, perform solidly, and they travel well. Batteries for them seem to be on the market forever. I just bought a new pack for a T500 that I still use – that thing is more than a decade old now!

My current daily driver is a W540 from about 5 years ago. It started out with 16GB of RAM, but I found that 32GB made it so much better. It’s been a solid performer for years until the Spectre related patches started to come out and the drop in performance was bad enough that I’ve been looking for an upgrade for a while.

So, I just very recently got an outlet P52 w/ 64 GB and a Quadro P2000. I need to get my aftermarket Samsung 1TB NVMe SSD installed to replace the stock HDD and then go through the whole software install process – so too early to give a review. There was a 128 GB configuration that was not much more, but I hesitated and someone already bought it.

There’s really no need for docking anymore – wireless mouse and keyboard plus a miniDP cable takes care of my needs most of the time. If I need USB peripherals connected, I do have the one USB 3 hub.

Whatever you get, make sure you have a system that you can easily upgrade to at least 16GB and preferably 32GB or higher.


#11

#12

Great hints folks!!!
I have been always using thinkpad T series for my corporate jobs; I think I will end up sticking with it also for my consultancy activity.
What about data storage? Do you rely on a personal NAS or a cloud based service?


#13

I have used a DS412+ Synology NAS for over 6 years now. I had one HDD go bad and swapped it without any issues. I set my parents up with a smaller version at about the same time, and they have had two HDDs go bad over the same period, again with no data loss. The Synology NAS is easy to administer and just works.


#14

Really quite happy with my Dell Precision 7530. I got mine refurbished from the Dell outlet. Refurbs usually terrify me, but we used them all the time at the desk job and never had a problem. Dropped in a few NVMe drives and its a rocket.


#15

Oh, but avoid the official docking stations. They blow. The dual TB cable is WAY too stiff and stresses the connectors. Unless you actually need all the bandwidth of dual TB, any generic TB dock works fine. The Lenovo dock does a MUCH better job dealing with that exact issue.