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Thread: Laptop searching

  1. #1
    We All Live in a Yellow BRZ The359's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Laptop searching

    I've been wanting a laptop recently to have something that I can easily use alongside my PS4 which is not in the same room as my PC. Reference pictures, video, take on road trips and stuff, etc. Nothing crazy, just something to allow me access to the internet without having to look at a phone screen. My requirements are that it not be crazy expensive, and that it not be a tablet, I'd rather have something sturdy and a physical keyboard. Not necessarily the best laptops in the world, but not something so slow and shitty that it's going to be worthless for any other use. Hovering at or below $2000.

    I've narrowed my searches down to two major players, the Dell XPS and the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3. Trying to get opinions on them and what to aim for. For reference, I've never owned a laptop, always had Dell desktop PCs.

    Dell XPS 13 7390 (2019)
    Comes in two real major flavors for me:
    * 4.7GHz i7 with 12GB cache, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 1920x1080 display for $1200
    * 4.7GHz i7 with 12GB cache, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 3840x2160 touch display for $1500

    2 Thunderbolt and 1 USB-C ports. Battery life is claimed at 19 hours on lower version, 12 hours on higher end.

    Dell XPS 13 9300 (2020)
    Again, two major flavors:
    * 3.9GHz i7 with 8GB cache, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 1920x1200 touch display for $1600
    * 3.9GHz i7 with 8GB cache, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 3840x2400 touch display for $1900

    Just 2 Thunderbolt ports, also not available until the end of February as it literally has launched this week. Battery life is claimed at 19 hours on lower version, unknown on higher end.

    Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13"
    * 3.9GHz i7 with 8GB cache, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 2256x1504 touch display for $1800

    Similar stats to the Dells. Only 1 USB-C and 1 USB-A connectors. Battery life is under 12 hours.

    Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15"
    * 4.0GHz Ryzen 7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 2496x1664 touch display for $1900

    I include this 15" solely because the price is nearly identical, and the 15" Dells become far too expensive.

    Is the extra crisp display really worth it? I'll probably watch some movies on it, but I'm not particularly planning on doing any games with these machines. Is 8GB of RAM going to be enough to get by? Should I stick with the older Dell if the stats are basically the same and save some cash?
    Last edited by The359; January 7th, 2020 at 05:13 PM.
    Nulla Tenaci Invia Est Via

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    I would say this, but if you don't need gaming-level graphics, or the latest stuff, then few things are as good as a Thinkpad T-series, or an X1. They are solid, durable, and have the best keyboards, not to mention good trackpads and, of course, the Trackpoint.

    For USD2K you'll get a really good T-series configuration. The only problem is that the latest generation doesn't have the removable battery. My T470 has the second optional 72Wh external battery, and the battery life is insane. It's so good that when I bring it home for the weekend I am happy to not even bother taking the charger with me. You could get a T480 which would be a fair amount faster and which I think still has the external battery option.

    If you want better colour, then you'll probably have to go with an X1 as I think they generallyh have more photo-editing focused screens.

  3. #3
    Female Masturbatory Aid
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    I bought a Dell G5 (5587) last year for Steph to use for work. I swapped out the 128G SSD M2 for 500G the moment I took it out of the box. It was under $1000 (before the 500G drive).

    It was actually overkill for what she needed (database/Excel shit). Now it's used to surf...

    I'm sure it has a 2020 replacement, but specs should be pretty close.

  4. #4
    What does the Bat say? Jason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Washington, DC
    My only thing to add is that MS has good customer service, and having access to an MS Store is nice too. My Surface Book has been great in ownership so far.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    I have to say that the hardware on my Surface Pro 3 was great, but it suffered from all sorts of random irritating problems. Eventually it stopped detecting the keyboard and that was only fixed by a full reinstall of Windows. Hence back to T-series ThinkPads.

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