Business and Gaming Notebook

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Yngwiiee, Nov 23, 2020.

  1. Yngwiiee

    Yngwiiee Newbie

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    Hello Laptop Gurus,

    Looking to replace both a ThinkPad T570 and Alienware 17R4. Mainly because I replace my business laptop every 3 years and keep the old one to make sure I always have a reliable backup that has all my software installed and is already configured the way I need it.

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?

    About $3,000

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?

    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?

    US

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?

    Not really. As using for business, do not want Alienware or other brands that scream "gaming laptop."

    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?

    Sure, as long as it is super reliable and will last at least 5 years.

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

    Business: Outlook, Word, Excel, and Visio. Accessing web portals for business.
    Gaming: See answer to 8) below.

    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?)

    Gaming: Virtual Reality with Oculus Rift CV1, some apps are processor intensive (yes, processor, not just graphics card). Eventually tethering Oculus Quest 2.

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

    6+. Occasionally/rarely fly internationally. (Of course, not doing so right now).

    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?

    Both okay.

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

    Windows.

    Screen Specifics

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

    At least high resolution. OLED okay for tradeoff of lower frequency for gaming to get good display viewable in bright environments. Otherwise, will be connected to 42" monitor at office for business and VR headset for gaming. Okay to take tradeoff otherwise.

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.)

    Matte better for bright environment. Okay to take tradeoff otherwise.

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?

    DEFINITELY do NOT want a flashy gaming notebook. Gaming notebook okay, just not with alien head, flashy lights, or other gaming indicators.

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?

    1TB+. Some VR and games take up lots of space. Possibly two HD slots so can add more storage in future.

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity


    16) When are you buying this laptop?

    Less than a month.

    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop?

    5 years+. At least 3 primary, then another as a backup. I have 6+ year old laptops I still use.

    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?

    Very important to not fail. Will have backup, but downtime would cost $.

    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?

    Fortunately, never needed it over 20 years. Would consider it to reduce downtime. Have used local shops for repairs out of warranty.

    20) Other considerations.

    This laptop will usually be attached to a 42" external monitor, full keyboard, USB-C docking station. However, a good keyboard would be nice for travel. Similarly, there is a tradeoff between weight and size for travel and power for gaming. Do not want a full size workstation, but also do not need an ultra-thin laptop.

    Mechanical keyboard could be cool, as I use an external one with Cherry MX Brown switches. However, I just found out a soft key backup should be used for teleconferences, as the keys can be annoying for listeners on the other end! Not sure what the mechanical keys are like on the laptops.

    Full SD card reader would be nice, as I do some photography. I'm sure some peeps use mini-SD, but all my cameras have full SD, so I would think there is more of a market for that. Even though eliminating the full SD saves some space on a laptop, I have no clue why some newer laptops sacrifice the full SD but still include the mini-SD reader based on the larger market for full SD and smaller for mini-SD.

    Was considering RTX2080 Super Max-Q, i7-10875H, 16GB, 1TB SSD:

    Gigabyte AORUS 15G YB - mechanical keyboard!
    Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED - similar to AORUS, but without the cool keyboard.
    Eluktronics MECH-15 G3
    MSI GS66 Stealth
    MSI Creator 15

    EDIT: Just noticed the Legion 7i 15 has better specs than the above laptops at a potentially little less cost at $2,729.99. No smart card reader, but RTX 2080 Super Max-Q 8GB and everything else is better including i9-10980HK, 32GB RAM, 1 TB PCIe SSD + 512 GB PCIe SSD. Also, I think Lenovo might be more reliable. EDIT2: Lenovo might be generally more reliable, but not with the Legion 7i... Apparently lots of hinges are breaking!

    However, am not too sure about the reliability of any of the above, as I've used ThinkPads for the past 15 years, but their video cards do not support VR.

    Thank you for any help.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
  2. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    How about the Thinkpad P15, with 10875H and Quadro RTX 4000 MaxQ? I have not heard much about it but the hinges are likely better than the Legion 7i.

    I have used the Dell Precision 7740 with a Quadro RTX 4000 for gaming this past year, it is on par with the RTX 2070. VR should work fine so long as the HDMI port is directly connected to the Nvidia GPU (this is the case on the Precision, but you should verify it with Lenovo on the Thinkpad P15).
     
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  3. Yngwiiee

    Yngwiiee Newbie

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    That's a good point. I had been looking at systems that use the Quadro, but apparently the Quadro is optimized for precision, whereas the GeForce is optimized for speed. From what I read, a Quadro would cost up to 3x of comparable GeForce in terms of gaming performance. If I otherwise had a need for the Quadro, such as for rendering, it would be great.

    Thank you for your input.
     
  4. Yngwiiee

    Yngwiiee Newbie

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    Update: Went with the Lenovo ThinkPad P15g. It checked all the boxes!
     
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  5. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    Good find, I did not realize they made the P15 (T15g?) with a Geforce card.
     
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