Computers & Electronics

Laptops are so hard to understand! What should I be looking for? 8th gen CPU? onboard graphics? Help!

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  • Jun 4th, 2019 10:46 am
[OP]
Member
Nov 10, 2006
433 posts
123 upvotes
montreal

Laptops are so hard to understand! What should I be looking for? 8th gen CPU? onboard graphics? Help!

Title says it all! I am a business user who is mostly using my computer for general emails, a little programming, CRM and website design and such. Occasional data mining operations and python scripts running off it but nothing major.

Currently on a 5 year old acer with a core i5 touchscreen and it's great but the body on it is SO beat up it's starting to look a little shabby when I visit clients.

What I am trying to understand is what makes a great laptop today.

Ideally I need:
Lightweight so anything 15" and under (better to be in the 13 or 14" range
Long battery life
A little power to be able to open apps and what not efficiently and the occasional large data mining exercise and python apps
Nice to have would be the USB-C charging port as I have a 20K MAH external battery I would love to use in conjunction with a laptop.

Would you have anything to recommend? Lenovo privicing is so confusing! Like everyone here I would love a deal but don't know what I am looking for to start.
One side of me just wants to buy the bullet and buy a refurb macbook and call it a day!
10 replies
Sr. Member
Jan 15, 2010
514 posts
147 upvotes
Toronto
Other than the usual internal specs I like to tell people to look at the keyboard layout and screen resolution.

I've tried a lot of laptops where they have moved keys that I use very often into very annoying places. For example, on my Dell Latitude 7480 the Home and End keys are put on the right left keys and you need to pres Fn to use it. Really annoying when I want to quickly go to the start/end of a line as I have to remember that. When you move from computer to computer often this gets annoying. I also find the dual language (French/English) layouts really throw me off too.

The screen resolution is another thing I would check. Otherwise things just don't fit on the screen nicely. I like to see more when working on my laptop.

Other than that, make sure you get an SSD.

As per the Dell XPS 13 mentioned above. They are very highly loved laptops. I got to check out the latest iteration of it recently and it feels really nice. Battery life on the newer laptops are great as well, on my 7480 it pretty much runs all day without me plugging it in.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 31, 2017
6447 posts
2808 upvotes
Any of the Lenovo X1 carbons would be suited for you because of the lightweight portability factor, the professional slick look, the inclusion of HDMI port on the 14" laptop for presentation, and the long battery life.

Touch screen isn't necessary as it uses up battery power even when you aren't touching the screen.
Deal Addict
Feb 12, 2010
4403 posts
1882 upvotes
AB
Another vote for Thinkpad X1 in either 14" or 15" version.
Don't like Dell's keyboard layout and typing feedback.
Jr. Member
May 24, 2012
169 posts
32 upvotes
Toronto
GavinCampbell wrote: Other than the usual internal specs I like to tell people to look at the keyboard layout and screen resolution.

I've tried a lot of laptops where they have moved keys that I use very often into very annoying places. For example, on my Dell Latitude 7480 the Home and End keys are put on the right left keys and you need to pres Fn to use it. Really annoying when I want to quickly go to the start/end of a line as I have to remember that. When you move from computer to computer often this gets annoying. I also find the dual language (French/English) layouts really throw me off too.

The screen resolution is another thing I would check. Otherwise things just don't fit on the screen nicely. I like to see more when working on my laptop.

Other than that, make sure you get an SSD.

As per the Dell XPS 13 mentioned above. They are very highly loved laptops. I got to check out the latest iteration of it recently and it feels really nice. Battery life on the newer laptops are great as well, on my 7480 it pretty much runs all day without me plugging it in.
Where can I check out the latest iteration for myself??
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 10, 2002
2028 posts
111 upvotes
Toronto
Get...
Lenovo Thinkpad T480 with 1080p IPS,
whatever storage size you would need/want.
Upgrade to larger secondary external (rear) 72Wh battery for even longer battery life.

Build quality is excellent.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 28, 2005
3168 posts
1187 upvotes
Montreal
get a ThinkPad!
Either T series or X1 Carbon are awesome laptops
Client at: Tangerine, VoIP.ms, Virgin Mobile
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jun 27, 2004
12418 posts
1925 upvotes
Vancouver.bc.ca
Since the dude cited battery life, a ThinkPad T would serve better than X, I believe.

Yeah, s/he cited "lightweight", but then said that 15" is okay, and I don't know anyone who would choose a 15" when lightweight is a priority :) .

BTW, when looking at ThinkPads versus others, you can't just compare stats. The ThinkPad will cost more. There is no stat for quality and (internal) design.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 28, 2005
3168 posts
1187 upvotes
Montreal
All ThinkPads are built very solid.

Especially T series, which are a little thicker than X1 Carbons.

I carry my X1 Carbon in a padded messenger bag, but I'm super careful. If you have it in a backpack and sit/recline, the screen is easily breakable.
X1 carbons are so slim. But they also have the latest tech, like the best screen IPS IIRC.

As others said, don't get touch screen, it's useless.
Client at: Tangerine, VoIP.ms, Virgin Mobile
Sr. Member
Jan 15, 2010
514 posts
147 upvotes
Toronto
weirdlogic wrote: Where can I check out the latest iteration for myself??
Unfortunately it was through work that I got to check it. Not sure where you can get your hands on them otherwise.

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