Looking For Laptop For Writing And Zoom Calls (17", £1200 Budget.)

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Union Jack, Jul 13, 2021.

  1. Union Jack

    Union Jack Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi everyone.

    I'm looking for help to buy a new laptop to use for work (I'm a writer.) Any help greatly appreciated, details below.

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget? Up to £1200.

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen

    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?
    United Kingdom.

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like:
    b. Dislike: Not interested in Apple/Mac.

    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    No.

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Professional writing, web browsing, Zoom calls, watching videos/streams, maybe light gaming.

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

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?) Perhaps a little, but I already have a gaming laptop so not essential.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need? No preference.

    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 generally buy online.

    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.)
    1920 x 1080 on a 17 Inch Screen. (My gaming laptop is 1920 x 1080 on a 17.3” screen.)

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.) Definitely Matte/non-glossy.
    My home office gets quite a lot of natural light, especially in the afternoon, so I need the screen to be clear even when used on very low brightness settings (I have light sensitivity/photophobia, so have to use screens on low brightness settings.)

    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?
    I'd like at least 400GB, as while word documents don't take up a huge amount of space, research images and videos can take up quite a bit.

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity

    16) When are you buying this laptop?
    Soon. Preferably in the next month or so.

    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop?
    Long term. Say 5+ years.

    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?
    Quite a while. I could go back to using my gaming laptop for work, but I'd rather not.

    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 for it to be sent away.

    Additional Details/Features.

    Firstly as I mention above I suffer from light sensitivity/photophobia, so I really need a matte screen that is clear even when set to low brightness levels and doesn't have much glare even in a bright room. I'm limited in how I can rearrange the furniture in my office, so it's almost impossible to find a darker area to use the laptop. Ideally I'd also like it to have a around a 17” screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution as that is what I am used to.

    Secondly as this will be primarily used for typing it needs to have a keyboard that is comfortable to use for extended periods and is quiet.

    Thirdly I will also be using this laptop for Zoom calls and other digital conferencing, so I would prefer a laptop with a decent webcam. Doesn't have to be spectacular, but I want the people I'm talking to to be able to see me clearly.

    As for my experience level, I've been using computers for many years now so while I'm not completely immersed in all the tech (I couldn't build a computer myself for example,) I'm not an absolute beginner either. Lets say intermediate.

    Thank you in advance for any help. If anyone needs any further details please feel free to ask.

    All the Best,

    Union Jack.
     
  2. kojack

    kojack Notebook Prophet

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  3. rahasyavadi

    rahasyavadi Notebook Consultant

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    Is the screen on that Inspiron matte?
     
  4. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    For writing, you need a good keyboard. I personally think Asus and Lenovo are the best of the best, even at the low end of the price spectrum. Look at something like the Asus Vivobook 17.3 or Lenovo IdeaPad 3 17 if they are available in your region.
     
  5. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    If you are mostly using this on a desk, what does spending £1200 get you that your current gaming notebook does not offer?
     
  6. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    If you're only working at a desk then get a tablet / docking station / monitor of your liking. Save the cash for something else.

    For work I'm using a SP3 Pro / docking station / 2 x monitors. While the SP3 Pro wasn't matte the monitors were and 23" 1080 widescreen which makes it easy on the eyes. When you feel the need to detach just pull the USB cable from the side and you're on your portable way. If you have a favorite keyboard for writing it will attach tot he docking station through one of the multiple UISB ports.

    The only downfall for the SP3 would be needing an external drive for storage but, those are cheap these days and you can even get a flash drive instead of mechanical at the size you're looking for. Even the I5 version vs I7 performed well enough with standard Office apps though some would take a bit longer like Visio diagrams but overall it was nice and compact for a desk or taking into meetings and such.

    Otherwise look for a 15 / 17 inch that has the HW i.e. CPU/GPU you're interested in and shop after purchase for a good panel, memory., wifi card to beef it up to your standards. I find the Clevo / Sager options to be effective for this with dual NVME slots + 2.5" SATA for up to 3 drives for storage or backing things up at a reasonable cost.
     
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  7. Union Jack

    Union Jack Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks everyone. Sorry for the slow reply, been busy. I'll take a look at everyone's suggestions properly over the weekend, and if anyone else has any thoughts please feel free to add them.

    @ZaZ Good question. One of the main advantages is not having to lug my gaming laptop up and down steep stairs every time I want to write. I game in the family room, but find it easier to write when I'm on my own, and my home office (aka a desk in the corner of my bedroom, but home office sounds more impressive ;) ) is upstairs. Also it would mean that I'd have it all set up whenever inspiration strikes, which would be a plus.

    Oh and the £1200 is a maximum limit, not a price I'm aiming for. I get what people are saying about there being cheaper alternatives to a laptop, but I like the flexibility it gives and I'm not exactly sure on tablets (I have one, but hardly use it.)

    All the Best,

    Union Jack.
     
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