Laptop recommendation for work

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by ChrisDA, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. ChrisDA

    ChrisDA Newbie

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    I'm looking to replace my current laptop, an Asus K501U for work. It's been a pretty good machine so far but it's starting to show its age. The major knock is that the screen doesn't seem to reproduce colors well and I have to use an external monitor to verify how everything looks. I'm looking for a newer laptop which will be used for primarily development in AV automation. I would also like it if the new machine doesn't need any dongles for things like hdmi or ethernet and a keyboard with a numpad.

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    However, I am flexible so if that budget is not reasonable for what I'm looking for, let me know and give some other laptop suggestions.

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen

    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like: Asus, Lenovo
    b. Dislike: HP, Dell, Acer
    I've had some very good overall experiences with Asus and also with Lenovo so I would like to stay with them. I am open to other brands however.
    I've had build quality issues with HP, Dell, and Acer, so I would like to avoid these brands, if possible.

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

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Primarily development work with HTML5, javascript, Crestron panel and code development, Visual Studio 2019, Jetbrains Rider, VirtualBox VM to test beta releases. Secondary usage would be conferencing (both video and audio) and other software like Lutron QS that I need to work with.

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    Both, but I would say 70% stationary and 30% traveling.

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

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    I guess it doesn't matter as I'll carry a 2nd power adapter for traveling.

    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?
    Buying online just based on pictures and any video reviews would be ok.

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

    Screen Specifics

    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer?
    4K capable on the HDMI Out, but if it's not within budget 1080p will be fine.

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.)
    Glossy is fine, screen needs to be able to reproduce colors fairly accurately

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    Somewhat yes. The laptop would be taken to residential and commercial job sites so it will be client facing. I would strongly prefer if it looked plain and not obnoxious in front of clients.

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?
    Ideally I would like for it to have 2 drives, one ssd and an option to add a 2.5" drive. I would like the SSD to be at least 512GB and the 2.5" drive to be at least 1TB, although I can acquire the 2.5" drive separately and install myself to save on some cost.

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity

    16) When are you buying this laptop?
    Ideally around end of summer, beginning of Fall, so around August or September.

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

    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?
    I will still have my old laptop so if the new one needs to be sent in for repair, I can use my old one for backup. With that said, I generally can not be down for more then a work 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 need for on site warranty.
  2. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    The Dell XPS 15 has a good screen and can be had for around your budget from the Dell Outlet. (Be sure to use their coupons.) For something more robust, you can look at a Dell Precision Mobile Workstation or an HP ZBook 15. They'll push your budget (in fact, the only way they'll be remotely affordable is by outlet shopping, see our guide) but for getting several years' usage out of it, it'll be worth spending a little more if needed. Make sure the notebook has at least 16GB of RAM for what you do.


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