Decent enough mid-grade laptop?

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Token CDN, Oct 20, 2021.

  1. Token CDN

    Token CDN Notebook Evangelist

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    ==========

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    Under $1500 CAD

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen

    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?
    Canada

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

    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    As long as I get full warranty

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

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    Don't want to be tethered to a desk/AC outlet

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?)
    Some. Mostly racing (art of rally, wreckfest), strategy - but honestly I'm getting too old for video games

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    As much as possible

    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?
    I'm fine with online purchase - as long as it's still in Canada

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
    None. I don't want to pay for a Win. licence (esp. Win11)

    Screen Specifics

    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? (See further below for explanations.)
    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.)
    I'm apathetic about resolution and matte/glossy, but I would prefer a 16:10 ratio

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    Something as plain as possible

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?
    ~2TB

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity


    16) When are you buying this laptop?
    nothing imminent, just looking into options

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

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

    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 can wait

    ==========

    I'm just looking at what my options are.
    I'm perfectly happy with midgrade, it can even be a generation or 2 old. I don't care about things like backlit keyboard or raytracing.
    One of the big things I am considering though is that I'd prefer something with a 16:10 (or similar) ratio. I've always hated 16:9 on a laptop. I don't know of anybody other than Lenovo that has that option. If I have to be stuck with 16:9, I'd most likely be looking at a 17" screen.
    Another consideration is a better sound chip than the garbage Intel SST that my current NitroBE has - doesn't need to be fancy, just not that godforsaken PoS.

    A BIOS that doesn't have everything locked would be a bonus too

    I'm planning on running Linux as my primary OS, with maybe a minimalist WinOS (prob. LTSC) as backup

    Cheers
     
  2. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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  3. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    OP would have to pay import duty to get that into Canada, plus warranty service would be a hassle. Sager/Clevo is available there through Reflex Computers, so you would be able to customize one that way.

    Alternatively, are there any AMD Advantage laptops available in Canada? The HP Omen 16 and Lenovo Legion 5 are on the lower end of the price spectrum, at least in the US, and those would probably be your best bet if you wanted to run Linux most of the time.
     
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  4. Token CDN

    Token CDN Notebook Evangelist

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    Barebones would be OK if I could get it domestically. IIRC one of the local retailers in town does Clevo barebones, but I'd be curious about those TongFang ones instead.

    I haven't looked in the HP, but do like what I've read about the Lenovo. That's what got me hooked into going back to a 16:10 display.
    The only problem is the price. Don't know if its just supply chain issues, or sellers are just gouging people, but prices for the Legion 5 are running over $2K CAD on Amazon.ca
     
  5. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    Legion's are nice. I had a Y720 I just sold a couple months ago. Clevo though to me has more value and options that you can modify easily.

    HP is kind of meh but, they do sell globally. Prices don't really vary with the specs being the same and the higher prices ones are typically paying for their advertising budget. Figure out what you want and then hunt down the best price even if it's not the newest thing on the market. I picked up a 9th gen clevo for $740 shipped off eBay. Deals are out there if you put in the effort.
     
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  6. Token CDN

    Token CDN Notebook Evangelist

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    Are there any online retailers that specialize in older models? I'm sure I'd be more than happy with a 9/10th gen. CPU and GTX2060 (along that performance line anyways). I don't mind buying off eBay, but I'd prefer to buy from an actual company over an individual - probably just for the sake of hopefully getting some kind of warranty/guarantee protection
     
  7. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    I don't know of any specifically that do older models. Even e-bay you can get an extended warranty for pennies like Square Trade. Clevo / resellers tend to wipe SKU's as soon as a newer model comes out. I'm sure you can find a reputable seller on EB that has factory or extended warranties though. I ran the SN on mine post purchase and found it has a 3-year attached to it from the original purchaser. There's hope if you do your homework on them. Always use a CC though for better protection when it comes to these things. If you have a Citi card you can get a couple of years more out of it for free.
     
  8. cgilley

    cgilley Notebook Guru

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    Clevo is a driver disaster waiting to happen.... avoid like the plague.

    edits

    Clevo has a pretty good platform - looking at my HP650 3.5 years old. But they are *very* prone to driver issues with Microsoft updating all sorts of ****. So much so that there was a company who wrote an application to keep clevo's from crashing. They gave up.

    do not use clevos for business.
     
  9. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    @cgilley

    Clevo doesn't have a pretty app that keeps things updated and MSFT Update does what it does. Drivers are easier to maintain with a couple of apps like Intel Driver Assistant / Nvidia GeForce Game Experience. Most other drivers are generic and can be applied easily. I have a folder of drivers from prior laptops that contains ~1GB of different drivers to be applied to most systems.

    The first thing I do is go through device manager and check for updated drivers for all devices from that folder in which have outdated generic MSFT drivers and apply them. Once you update these devices then the proper updates get applied when checking through automated means. This approach isn't specific to one brand but to Windows itself. Most of the updates tend to be networking, sound, Intel chipset, and a few other niche items that don't install automagically when installing Windows.

    If you want an OS that keeps things up to date more frequently then Linux is your best friend. If you want to unleash the raw power of your device then again Linux is your friend. There are some other nuanced things you need to update manually like the BIOS, Microcode, and some other random things that pop up on certain HW. Clevo in particular doesn't really issue many updates themselves but, there's a site https://repo.palkeo.com/clevo-mirror/ UN/PW: repo that keeps an updated list of things for each model as they find them. Also, this site provides the CCC app that helps control fans / lighting / performance.

    The whole windows update fiasco of releasing buggy updates forced me to block them by DNS from auto applying their junk and not have to troubleshoot their bad updates. I pick and choose updates after reading up on them or at least look for complaints based on the KB number for them before installing them. I've switched to manually pulling them individually from their catalog site. I recently upgraded to W11 and it's been quieter than W10 was for the constant bombardment of update alerts. Though i don't expect that to last long as more people adopt it and discover more issues as time goes by.
     
  10. N2ishun

    N2ishun Notebook Consultant

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    Funny, I have zero driver issues with my Clevo.
    It runs as stable and solid as any computer I've ever owned, and I've owned many.
    My first computers having a VESA bus when floppies were common kinda says I've been around a lil bit.

    Of course I have the good sense to block windows update thru GPEDIT.
    It's MY computer, I decide what and when to update, not Microshaft.
     
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