Thin docking laptop for browsing and office

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by FredSRichardson, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. FredSRichardson

    FredSRichardson Notebook Groundsloth

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    This is for my wife who wants a thin, light laptop with a docking station. I have used Dell's that do this well for years. I currently have a Dell 7000 series latitude which is fine, but I'm not up on the latest models and which ones to seek out. Reliability is important and I plan on getting a business warranty for as long as possible that fits the budget.

    The other option is to go really cheap and replace every few years, but I don't think my wife will appreciate this...

    General Questions


    1) What is your budget?
    < $1,000 USD

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    a. Netbook; 10" screen or less
    b. Ultraportable; 11" - 12" screen
    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen
    c. - though thin and light with 15" is probably better (14" is probably what will work).

    3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.
    US

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like: Dell Business latitude or other biz docking
    b. Dislike: non-biz and/or non-docking
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    Yes

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Office, browser, e-mail. Nothing compute heavy.

    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?
    Longer the better

    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 without seeing is okay

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (Windows 7 / 8), Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
    Win 10 (pref Pro)

    Screen Specifics

    12) From the choices below, what screen resolution(s) would you prefer? Keep in mind screen size in conjunction with resolution will play a large role in overall viewing comfort level. Everyone is different. Some like really small text, while others like their text big and easy to read. (Scroll down to see screen resolution information.)
    High rez (> FHD preferred)

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (Scroll down to see explanations.)
    Glossy preferrable (but flexible)

    Build Quality and Design

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

    15) When are you buying this laptop?
    mid Oct

    16) How long do you want this laptop to last?
    5 years

    Notebook Components

    17) How much hard drive space do you need? Do you want a SSD drive?
    SSD, 250 - 500Gig

    18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?
    No

    19) WebCam preferred
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  2. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    The problem you're going to run into is the design for extremely thin notebooks these days is too thin to allow for a docking port, the Latitude E7480 or ThinkPad T470s come to mind. They're switching over to USB docking stations. I think the ThinkPad T470 might offer you the best blend of portability with a docking port. The Latitude E5480 probably offers better value, particularly from the Dell Outlet, but is a bit heavier. If you want a 15", the E5580 might fit the bill, but adds even more weight.
     
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  3. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies TG Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    I'm in agreement with the ThinkPad T470 recommendation. It's one of the best-built notebooks you'll find that still offers snap-in docking. It will probably come in around the top of your budget.

    A refurbished Dell Latitude E7470 comes to mind, too. Look in the Dell Outlet.

    Charles
     
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  4. FredSRichardson

    FredSRichardson Notebook Groundsloth

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    @ZaZ @Charles P. Jefferies Thank you for your recommendations on this! I think my 7470 is pretty good so that might work. I'll also look at the T470.
     
  5. FredSRichardson

    FredSRichardson Notebook Groundsloth

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    @ZaZ @Charles P. Jefferies what do you guys think of the Dell E7370? 6th gen processor but I can get one pretty cheap.

    EDIT: I also see a E7480 which has I think a better screen (though pricey).

    EDIT2: Arrgh... I think the wife is going to want a webcam. And I should have put down that the res should be >FHD (not >HD)
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  6. KLF

    KLF NBR Super Modernator Super Moderator

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  7. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    Nobody likes a know it all. :p Trust me, I know this. The other problem with the T470s would getting it under $1,000 new seems unlikely. The outlet might be an option, but the pickings there have been slim of late.

    I'm pretty sure you can get a E7480 in the Dell Outlet under $1,000.

    I don't know much about the E7370, but would presume like other 7000 series Latitudes, it'll be well built with a three year warranty. They seemed to like it over on Notebookcheck.
     
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  8. FredSRichardson

    FredSRichardson Notebook Groundsloth

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    @ZaZ thank you again for your help! I would love to say the dock is unneccesary, but it is really nice to be able to hit the power button on my dock and start up without even opening the lid.

    I did see some nice E7480's on the Dell Outlet for under 1K as you said. I think these use the tb/usb3 dock. Does that let you power on the laptop without opening the lid?
     
  9. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    My experience with USB docks would be they don't offer power on/off from the dock, but I don't know anything about the Dell docks.
     
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  10. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies TG Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    The Dell Thunderbolt 3 (TB16) dock has a button on it that will let you turn on the notebook without opening the lid.

    USB-only i.e. non-Thunderbolt 3 docks don't have that kind of functionality as ZaZ noted.

    Charles
     
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