Best business laptop for someone with eye strain problems

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Dr.Zen, Oct 21, 2020.

  1. Dr.Zen

    Dr.Zen Newbie

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    Hi everyone,

    I’m in the market for a new laptop and I’d appreciate your expert advice. Unfortunately I’ve had a lot of problems with eye strain and it’s impacted my productivity. It’s not fatigue, on a bad monitor I’ll have problems within 10 minutes. I’m not clear on the cause, perhaps pixel density or something else. With that said, my 14’’ FHD Lenovo has mostly been okay and I’ve never had problems using an iPhone. Since desktop monitors have been problematic I intend on working off a laptop exclusively rather than a desktop.

    The two laptops I’m most closely considering now are a MacBook Pro 13 or a Dell XPS 13 UHD. I’ve got a feeling the Retina display on the MacBook will probably do a good job. I’m less sure on the XPS. I was considering a Lenovo X1 Carbon UHD, but I read they sometimes cause eye strain. :(

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget? $1,800

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    a. Ultraportable; 10" - 12" screen
    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen

    e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen
    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?
    USA
    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like: Apple, Dell
    b. Dislike: Acer
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    No
    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook? Working. Programming, data science, excel, etc.

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    Both
    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?)
    No
    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    Don’t care
    10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?
    Online is okay.
    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
    Windows or Mac

    Screen Specifics

    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? (See further below for explanations.)
    Anything that doesn’t cause eye problems.
    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.) Matte is preferable

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    No

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need? Not much, 256gb should be plenty.

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity


    16) When are you buying this laptop?
    By end of 2020.
    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop?
    6 years.
    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?
    1 day.
    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?
    No
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
  2. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    If you don't know what the issue is perhaps you should head on over to Best Buy where you can probably see a XPS or MacBook and can judge for yourself if they're going to work.
     
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  3. Dr.Zen

    Dr.Zen Newbie

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    Thanks, that's a good suggestion! Are there any other business laptops I should consider with a good display aside from the Macbook Pro or XPS?
     
  4. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    Since you don't know what's causing the issue, how can you say what's good. It's been my experience that a lot of the recent 14" ThinkPads, though not all, have unremarkable LCDs, so when you say you have a 14" ThinkPad and it's good, it makes me wonder what's good for you? A good display is typically defined by having wide viewing angles, rich colors(contrast ratio) and high brightness. A recent 14" ThinkPad is likely an IPS screen, so you'll get angles, but they're average in terms of colors and brightness. That may be what you need. There are some exceptions to this with 14" ThinkPad, particularly the X1 Carbon, but they have multiple screens and makers, so it's a bit of a lottery. It's very hard to see a ThinkPad in a store. You can of course order one, but if it doesn't work, you have deal with the hassle of returning it. Some of the 15" ThinkPads have very good 4K screens. I don't think Dells Latitudes are any better than what you'll get with a ThinkPad. unless you want to look at a workstation, which have better screens, but again, without knowing what the issue is, it's hard to give guidance. I suspect the same of HP, but am not as familiar with them, despite owning one.
     
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  5. Starlight5

    Starlight5 Yes, I'm a cat. What else is there to say, really?

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    For what it's worth, these are premium consumer laptops, not business. Since you'll be using it for work, and plan to keep it for years to come, I'd suggest getting a proper business laptop - Thinkpad, Elitebook, Latitude, etc. They are built to last withstand abuse and have on-site warranty options, unlike consumer stuff.

    PWM may well be the cause of your eye strain. Notebookcheck.net tests laptops for PWM, but with some manufacturers, Lenovo in particular, you should check serial number or at least model number to determine which display exactly is used in particular machine, and whether said display uses PWM for brightness control or not.
     
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  6. Dr.Zen

    Dr.Zen Newbie

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    Thank you ZaZ! You make some great points. I will check out workstations, I've never heard of them but they look like quality laptops.

    Thanks a lot Starlight5! PWM may indeed be the problem, but either way I want to surely avoid it so Notebookcheck.net will be a very valuable resource. You make a good point on the legitimate business laptop rather than a premium consumer laptop too.
     
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  7. Ed. Yang

    Ed. Yang Notebook Evangelist

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    First thing of all, IMO, should put our focus on the key problem of eye stress and aging factor that adds more pressure to the strain in years ahead, here i'm pointing to the typical use of the gear for another 5yrs ahead.

    Most 13inch makes serves as very portable and good business tool due to its compactness and portability as well as moderately comfortable to see font size and good key size.
    Most 14inchers are just a little heavier and bulkier, with comfortable screen size, yet packs with other pros from the 13inch makes... after all, it's just mostly 0.7inch bigger on screen size.
    However, both will give same problem to the aging users, on daily use will see users often hv to slouch and look closer to the screen where the brightness and blue light emission from the screen can be hurting.

    If we're to sacrifice on portability, go for bigger screen, such as those 15.6inch makes, the 1.6inch upsizing of the screen is nearly 2x of 0.7inch one gets from 13.3inch goes up to 14.

    My suggestion, go big. But not too big, until the day comes when one needs.
     
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  8. Starlight5

    Starlight5 Yes, I'm a cat. What else is there to say, really?

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    @Dr.Zen are you using your 14" FHD machine at 100% scaling?
     
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  9. kojack

    kojack Notebook Virtuoso

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    Just to toss out the obvious XPS recommendation, since they have one of the best monitors available, are very well built and have onsite warranty as well. As I mentioned in MANY posts here, I have a mid range dell inspiron 2 in 1 notebook, It's been on planes, boats, in the back of my overland jeeps bouncing around, used in our camping rig, on the road alot for writing, editing photos, videos, creating content and more. It's like the day it was bought. As long as it's not a 200 dollar notebook from a no name brand, durability is fine in consumer notebooks, as long as you actually look after your gear and treat it with respect. Anything will break if you are an Ahole who just tosses crap around. If you are an actual adult who treats their things with respect it will be fine buying a consumer based notebook and get more bang for your buck.
     
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