A relatively portable writer's dream laptop?

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by mnd99, Dec 30, 2019.

  1. mnd99

    mnd99 Notebook Consultant

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    1) What is your budget?
    up to $3000

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    it needs to be relatively lightweight to be in a bag and then the actual writing would happen in various locations - library - park bench - starbucks - anywhere really. The laptop would be in the bag ALL the time!
    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?
    United States of America
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?

    Absolutely. 90% of my laptops have been refurbished. Let the money savings begin.

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?

    Writing. Multimedia consumption. Webcam conferencing. Now I understand most modern laptops don't have good webcams, so I probably would have to invest in some sort of lightweight external solution? The good thing is I would know in advance those times I would need to use the webcam and it doesn't need to be in the bag ALL the time.

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?

    Taking it everywhere with me except in the bathroom.

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?)

    Nope.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?

    As long as possible without sacrificing a good keyboard and a good screen.

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc. s

    I have never used a MAC OS or linux

    Screen Specifics

    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? (See further below for explanations.)

    When I'm writing, I usually oversize the letter size. I just like looking at big letters :D I could do that with any resolution really.


    19) Would you be willing to pay significantly extra for on-site warranty, or would it be acceptable to you to have to ship the laptop to the vendor for repair with perhaps a week or more outage?

    I would definitely pay extra for on-site warranty.

    Are there any OLED screen laptops in the market right now with a great keyboard? Most of the work would be writing and consuming media. A great audio system would be great. I guess a lightweight multimedia brilliance with a genius keyboard is what I'm looking for. Not asking for much, right? :D Any help regarding this search would be appreciated. Thank you good souls.

    ==========
     
  2. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    The closest option would be the ThinkPad X1 Extreme. ThinkPads are known for their keyboards, but the OLED screen on the X1 is touch, which mean glare in well lit areas like a park or office and you'd be paying for a graphics card you don't need. The XPS 15 has a matte OLED screen, but also sports dedicated GPU. I thought the XPS is a nice machine, though the keyboard is somewhat subjective.

    OLED is the best screen you can get at the moment, but it's not like it's a ten and there's nothing else above a 2. Five years from now everything will probably be OLED, but for now you should probably seek a better balance between your competing needs. Something like the ThinkPad T490s with the 400 nit low power LCD will offer an excellent bleend between performance, keyboard, portability and battery life.
     
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  3. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Surface Laptop 3 or a MacBook Pro 16. With their respective 3:2 and 16:10 aspect ratio displays, you'll get more screen real estate for productivity tasks. The Surface has a better built-in webcam while Apple has its incredibly tight ecosystem. If you have an iPhone, being able to send and receive calls and text messages right from your computer is awesome. I also think Apple has better apps available for writers. The built-in word processor, Pages, is pretty solid, while Scrivener takes it to the next level. Yes, the latter is available for Windows as well, but it was designed primarily with the Mac in mind. Unfortunately, the 16-inch model has yet to hit Apple's refurbished store so it's going to be more expensive, but its available hardware is superior if you ever find yourself needing to do more intensive tasks like photo or video editing.
     
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  4. CocoLoco

    CocoLoco Notebook Guru

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    Have a look at LG Gram 17. Or Dell XPS.

    The problem with $3,000 laptops is $1,000+ of it goes to a gaming video card. And even if you opt for the lesser model without the crazy video card, cooling system is built for it. So it's heavy. There really are no exceptions that I know of. Expensive Windows laptops suck if you are not a gamer right now.
     
  5. kojack

    kojack Notebook Virtuoso

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    Dell xps 13 2 in 1. You could even write on it in tablet mode. I am also a writer and use my dell inspiron like that, but I only can use a basic stylus, I would love to have a real stylus based laptop to create more on. Next one will be the xps 2 in 1. I want the creativity available with that system. The keyboard is the new maglev and it should be awesome. Much better than the crappy apple offerings now.
     
  6. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    The HP Elite Dragonfly is expensive but under your budget. It's a very lightweight 2-in-1 with a metal design. It even has available built-in LTE if you need that. HP offers an onsite warranty.

    OLED screens have made on and off appearances in notebooks over the last few years (the circa 2017 Alienware 13 comes to mind), but only in mid-2019 did they start becoming consistently available. The circulation is limited, though, and I believe all the current ones are 15.6-inchers. The 14" ThinkPad T490 (not T490s) is available with an excellent 14" WQHD (2560x1440) screen if you want something nice to look at. Its high brightness and anti-glare coating make it very usable outdoors.

    I think it's very important that you decide how practical an external webcam is for you. You'll likely end up buying one with either of the notebooks I recommended. If it's that much more convenient to have a good one built-in, I wouldn't hesitate to limit your search.

    Charles
     
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  7. mnd99

    mnd99 Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. I have been doing some research on the above mentioned laptops.

    Thinkpad X1 Extreme = I do have experience with thinkpad keyboards. Glossy screen might be an issue but not a dealbreaker. OLED + keyboard does seem nice but I would indeed be paying for a graphics card that I wouldn't need like many have pointed out.

    Brilliant perspective. Thank you. "A better balance" I will keep this in mind as I go along.

    I will try to get my hands on the Surface Laptop 3. The better webcam as you have pointed out really interests me. I know at the end of the day, things like keyboards can be very subjective so I will try to test it out myself. From my past experiences, I do like keyboards with a nice amount of travel. Although I have never used a apple laptop before, it is nice to hear that they have apps optimized for writers. It sounds like Apple is switching away from their "problem keyboards" on the Macbook Pro 16 and I have always wonderful things about their screens.

    What an interesting little laptop! massive battery. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Massive real estate. I would need to check the keyboard out.

    Fantastic little beast! Thank you so much. Writing in tablet mode sounds really interesting. The maglev keyboard, that's what Dell introduced with the XPS 15 2 in 1, right? I have heard consistent good things about them. I will go to BestBuy and see if they have the maglev keyboards for me to test out.


    Thank you so much. The elite Dragofly is really sweet especially with the built in LTE! That's going to be really useful on the road! T490 also has LTE with the WQHD resolution. Thinkpad does scream like a writers laptop. I really like the Dragofly. I have been thinking about the webcam thing a lot. I would know beforehand when those days are where I would need to use a webcam. I have been looking at some of the external solutions but nothing is really convenient like a good built in cam - At the same time, I'm also finding out laptop webcam technology hasn't really caught up with the rest of the components
     
  8. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    Any decent external webcam would have better quality than the best built-in one. (Not to mention you could use it on other PCs if the need arose.)

    It wouldn't be hard to find out if an external webcam is practical. In your predicament, I'd buy an external webcam from a place that accepts returns and experiment for a few days.

    If you're still on the fence, consider your method of transporting your PC. An external webcam might not be as inconvenient if you have a laptop bag/backpack where you can store it. My minimal footprint laptop travel arrangement is a sleeve and a small "piggyback" bag clipped to it where I keep the power adapter and a mouse. I could easily fit an external webcam in there.

    Opting for the external webcam opens up your notebook options to, well, any one that you want.

    Charles
     
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  9. kojack

    kojack Notebook Virtuoso

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    The xps has the camera back up top so you don't have the up the nose look in your video calls for work. Its a high definition camera too.
     
  10. JRE84

    JRE84 Notebook Deity

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    lenovos lineup should be all that you consider. nothing comes close to lenovos keyboards and since your a writer this is a no brainer
     
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