thin, light, cheap, decent keyboard and screen, possible?

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Punchdrunk, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. Punchdrunk

    Punchdrunk Notebook Consultant

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    I work in IT support and have a powerful desktop and laptop from work. However the laptop is very heavy and it's keyboard is dying.

    I would like to get a cheap laptop for travelling / sitting on the sofa / my wife to use. It will mostly just be doing web browsing, light office. But it does need to support SSLVPN (openvpn mainly) and remote desktop to windows servers (as my backup device).

    It needs to be thin and light, minimum 13" screen, 14 or 15" even better.

    A lenovo thinkpad x1 carbon would be my dream machine, but is way outside of my price range, and more powerful than I need. I was considering a chrome book, but the good ones are surprisingly expensive.

    Keyboard quality is very important to me. hence the lenovo being my dream machine.

    I'd be happy with a refurbished device if it was significantly cheaper and reduced the cost a lot. I can live with some dings and scratches.






    General Questions

    1) What is your budget? up to £400

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?

    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen

    3) Which country will you buying this notebook? UK

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like:
    b. Dislike:
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?

    yes

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

    web browsing, word / excel, remote desktop to windows servers, sslvpn

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

    travelling quite a bit, or using on lap

    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?

    8+ preferable, but not too important if power supply is light

    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?

    willing to buy online, if numerous positive reviews

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

    as long as it can do the vpn and remote desktop stuff, any.

    Screen Specifics

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

    13" minimum size, prefer 14 or 15. resolution - full hd.

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

    not too fussed

    Build Quality and Design

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

    not at this budget

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?

    will keep data in cloud, so not much

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity


    16) When are you buying this laptop?

    soon

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

    would like to get several years of use

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

    will not be my primary device, I have a powerful desktop and a big heavy laptop

    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?

    important to keep costs down. ok to ship for repair

    ==========
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  2. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    A Lenovo ThinkPad E or L series may be more affordable, look into those. I'd also look at the Dell Latitude 14 5000 series and 15 5000 series and the HP ProBook line.

    If they're too expensive then you may need to increase your budget.

    Charles
     
  3. Punchdrunk

    Punchdrunk Notebook Consultant

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    Ok, thanks I'll have a look at those. Do they have the same quality of keyboard as the X1 carbon?

    What about chromebooks? I've never used one, but on paper they look promising
     
  4. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    Chromebooks work if you can do your work through the Chrome web browser, which sounds like it's possible for what you mentioned. Realize they have little local storage and you would need to be connected to the Internet almost constantly to get work done. (Though some apps have offline modes.)
    Also realize that there is a learning curve with Chromebooks - their keyboard layouts are different than Windows PCs, for instance.

    The keyboard feel on all the ThinkPads should be similar. The Dells and HPs I mentioned offer solid typing experiences as well. If keyboard quality is that critical to you, buy from a place that allows returns.

    Charles
     
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