[RndTbl] Advice on finally buying my first laptop

Adam Thompson athompso at athompso.net
Sat Sep 26 19:48:40 CDT 2020

Thunderbolt 3 (actually USB-C, but both, really) can die in a fire.  Preferably a very painful one.
Great in theory but a giant PITA in practice.

I think you should pick your laptop based on the case/product series (e.g. do you need a titanium-reinforced unit?), then screen, then keyboard, then GPU (if it matters to you).  CPU differences are minimal unless you're doing something unusual... and you're not getting a mobile GPU to run 4k games at 120Hz anyway.

I would never buy another HP, even if it was half the price of everything else.  Multiple negative experiences with several HP product lines over the last 10yrs.  ASUS and Acer make better laptops than HP does, both physically and driver-wise.

If you want a docking station for multi-monitor or PCIe or serial or whatever, plan your entire purchase around that.


On September 26, 2020 6:25:09 p.m. CDT, "Bradford C. Vokey" <brad at fsi.ca> wrote:
>Hi all!
>I want to purchase my very first laptop in the next few days. :) I've 
>purchased several for the wife and kids over the years but I've always 
>stayed "desktop forever" for my daily tasks, mostly due to the 
>cost/performance of desktops vs laptops.
>However, I am now spending so much more time outside remote connecting 
>to my various desktops on mobile devices that maybe it is time to 
>finally just get a decent laptop.
>I've always hated the small screen real estate available when using 
>laptops when compared to a multi-monitor desktop that I am really drawn 
>to a dual screen laptop like the ROG Zephyrus Duo 
>(https://www.asus.com/ca-en/Laptops/ROG-Zephyrus-Duo-15/). However, I 
>don't want to invest so much $$$ ($4K+!) into my very first laptop.
>So I have given in (for now) and narrowed it down to a much more 
>affordable Ryzen 7 laptop from HP (I know, lots of bloatware coming my 
>way from HP):
>Looks like the HP Omen 15 line has lots of future upgrade ability (at 
>least for a laptop) with 2 internal NVMe M.2 connectors, and up to 64GB 
>of DDR4-3200 memory max. Plus it is fairly portable vs beefier "gaming" 
>laptops and I can easily get it at Costco so I will have a no hassle 
>return if needed (at least for the first 90 days).
>Looking over reviews on the web, the Ryzen 7 "H" series seems to give 
>1.5 - 2.0 x the battery life vs a similar speed Intel i7 / i9 "H" variant.
>Of course I will have to give up getting Thunderbolt with any of the 
>current generation Ryzen laptops and will usually be stuck with low to 
>mid-end discrete graphics with the current Intel vs AMD laptop politics.
>For you laptop users out there, is Thunderbolt worth the Intel tax and 
>the Intel battery draining premium?
>During the summer, I want to be able to play AAA games by the pool and 
>on the docks with this laptop so at least an entry level or better 
>discrete graphics card *and* a matte or > 300 nit display will be mandatory.
>Thoughts and comments on your favorite laptop(s) are welcome!
>For the MUUG Roundtable topic police: I intend to install WSL2 so :P.
>Bradford C. Vokey
>Manitoba Unix User Group

Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.
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