Computers & Electronics

Is there a Windows laptop that fits the bill?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 4th, 2020 4:44 pm
[OP]
Member
Jun 30, 2016
225 posts
151 upvotes
Etobicoke, ON

Is there a Windows laptop that fits the bill?

I'm in the market for a new laptop and I'd prefer it be a Windows laptop for the possibility of having some control over the components (replace dead SSD or RAM) and OS (ex: put Linux on it).

I have a few requirements, but I haven't been able to check these boxes on any laptops in the 1000-2000$ range (tax included if possible). I'm hoping you can help!

- I use my laptop a lot throughout the day so I'm looking at the screen for hours in all kinds of lighting. I'm looking for a 2K or higher resolution on the screen to reduce strain on my eyes.

- Screen must be matte or have anti-glare coating. I don't use or need touch screens. I like the anti-glare coating on Macbooks, or will happily use a matte screen.

- I don't plug it into a monitor or external anything, so I end up using the laptop's keyboard and trackpad exclusively. I can adjust with whatever keyboard you throw at me, but I cannot stand mushy or imprecise trackpads. My current dead Dell latitude has a glass trackpad with seperate buttons for left and right clicks, and it's very good. The new-age trackpads that push down for clicks don't seem to be tuned for good feedback.

- i5 or AMD-equivalent will do. My personal workload is light, mostly with Chrome / video consumption, and ocassional self-learning using virtual-machines. I'll be running WSL for this.

- Upgradeable RAM or atleast 16GB of it

- Upgradeable SSD or atleast 512GB of it

- Throw in one or two type-C ports for future proofing.



So far, I only found a few laptops that satisfy the 2K OR no-glare requirement. I found the Acer Swift 3 but the 8GB RAM is non-upgradeable. The Acer Spin 5 has a touchscreen and has no anti-glare coating because it needs to support a pen. The LG Gram fits the bill mostly, but I purchased it and returned it because of the horrible trackpad and keyboard backlight that shines into your eyes. The Surface 3 laptop seems great, but opting for the 16GB RAM version pushes it into 2.4K$ territorry and I _still_ get no anti-glare screen.

Looking at my options, the MBA ticks all my boxes for around that the 2K$ price, and I love Apple products' build and hardware, but generally shy away from locked-down devices. Are there no devices that can check all these boxes?

Like Clarkson says (if you've watched Top Gear), "How hard can it be?"
11 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 6, 2014
1133 posts
1980 upvotes
0 downvotes (Maple,O…
Don't buy Acer. Buy Lenovo Thinkpad like Gee said. They make premium laptops unlike Acer.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 12, 2005
5048 posts
1694 upvotes
Mississauga
Thinkpad as other have said. Their CS sucks, but it's a very dependable product (Not thinkbook or their other brands)
[OP]
Member
Jun 30, 2016
225 posts
151 upvotes
Etobicoke, ON
Thanks guys! I am checking out the X1 Carbon. It does seem to offer a 2K matte screen or a 4K glossy one. I'm perfectly alright with 2K. It's also seems to have everything else I am looking for. Sweet.

One thing I noticed is that it's RAM is DDR3. While I understand DDR4 is better and faster, is there any downside to choosing DDR3 in 2020?

Edit: I'm likely going to choose an extended warranty because I've heard about and experienced Lenovo's CS, so better safe than sorry.
Deal Guru
Jun 20, 2020
12046 posts
14521 upvotes
Toronto
urover wrote: Thanks guys! I am checking out the X1 Carbon. It does seem to offer a 2K matte screen or a 4K glossy one. I'm perfectly alright with 2K. It's also seems to have everything else I am looking for. Sweet.

One thing I noticed is that it's RAM is DDR3. While I understand DDR4 is better and faster, is there any downside to choosing DDR3 in 2020?

Edit: I'm likely going to choose an extended warranty because I've heard about and experienced Lenovo's CS, so better safe than sorry.
Which generation X1 Carbon are you looking at?

The CPU determines which DDR memory to use.

DDR3 and DDR4 Laptop Memory Compatible? No.
Destiny is all
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Nov 4, 2008
7077 posts
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Richmond Hill
Look out for pre-built/express-ship models. They're usually cheaper that user-configured models, and often come with three years of warranty
When given enough time, all threads on RFD can and will go off on a tangent.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 30, 2003
6087 posts
813 upvotes
Toronto
If you can wait - wait like half a year. Apple have fired the shots - today Intel released what they will be doing to counter than (israeli tech). I think the whole industry is about to shift 30 year performance in 6 months! No one wants pre i5 / i7 laptops ... well soon no one will want these old gen laptops.

If you must get now - Gee suggestion get another vote!
GTA Housing: Supply is the only Metrics that Matters
Active Listings has been the limiting factor for past 10 years.... and will be for next 10
Hence I pull exclusive data from MLS and update GTA HOUSING SUPPLY - Daily!
Deal Guru
Jun 20, 2020
12046 posts
14521 upvotes
Toronto
urover wrote: I noticed both 7th and 8th gen X1s have DDR3.
If you go with X1 Carbon it will be LPDDR3 soldered memory.
Carbon does no have memory slots.

ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7 (14”) laptop
https://www.lenovo.com/ca/en/laptops/th ... 2TP2TXX17G

ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 (14”) Laptop
https://www.lenovo.com/ca/en/laptops/th ... 2TP2X1X1C8
Destiny is all
Deal Guru
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Jun 27, 2004
13845 posts
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Vancouver.bc.ca
FYI, 2K = 2048x1080.
Stick with using QHD and UHD, and you won't go wrong.

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