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Thread: Need a new workhorse laptop..

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    Need a new workhorse laptop..

    Really need a new work laptop as my Samsung Ultrabook is struggling to cope!

    Main uses:
    Editing large files in Photoshop and Illustrator
    Massive excel sheets
    Video editing so may benefit from a grfx card

    Need a matte screen as I can't stand glossy screen! Also nothing too "gaming" looking as I sometimes get it out in front of clients.

    I am thinking a Lenovo as I had a ThinkPad which had incredible built quality and the keyboard was very good. X1 Carbon perhaps?

    Budget £600-£900

    Any ideas?

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    Re: Need a new workhorse laptop..

    Quote Originally Posted by 360bhp View Post
    Any ideas?
    Well, is portability near the top of your list? Because the X1 Carbons do sacrifice a lot of upgradeability and repairability because of the Ultrabook form-factor. Also, photo and video editing to me is something where a 13.3" or 14" is possibly too small?

    For ThinkPads the two ThinkWiki's are a good place to compare things
    http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Category:Models
    http://thinkwiki.de/ThinkPad-Modelle

    Then if you want extra info like screen quality and batterlife, go to notebookcheck.net and search for the specific model. Notebookcheck also has a search feature where you can specify matt screen, business class etc.

    Don't forget to check out HP's Elitebook (or ZBooks) and the Dell Latitudes. Both generally have a more 'modern' look (that is not just black). The Haswell Elitebooks (820 G1, 840 G1, and 850G1 for the 12.5", 14" and 15.6" respectively) had one major advantage compared to equivalents ThinkPads (X240, T440, and T540) in that they all had two SoDIMMs.

    The Dell E6xxx series has worse workmanship IMO, but the E7xxx series are a bit better. Dell's tend to be more customisable (think I read somewhere that Dell will still honour a warranty where someone's swapped out the display panel for instance).

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    Re: Need a new workhorse laptop..

    If you are doing image work you really need to make sure the screen quality is decent and look for an IPS or VA type panel too.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: Need a new workhorse laptop..

    I like my Zbook 15, really its getting a good deal. I got my 2nd hand from Ebay for a steal at £450. Thats not a normal price. I got a Quad i7 8GB ram 320hdd quadro K6100m and 1080P IPS screen. Have since upgraded to a 256GB SSD along side the original HDD, optical is swapped for another HDD. Really easy to upgrade and work on.

    So for Zbooks think about your CPU, GPU and Screen, everything else is easily upgradable.

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    Re: Need a new workhorse laptop..

    Thanks for your post guys. Lot to think about!

    I used the Dell XPS 15 at PC World today and it was really quick and nice to use. The HP Spectre keyboard was unreal! But both out my budget.

    Narrowed it down to these three options...

    Lenovo ThinkPad-E570
    Intel Core i7 (7500U) 2.7GHz dual core processor with 4MB L3 cache
    8GB (1x8GB) 2400MHz DDR4 memory
    256GB M.2 Solid State Drive with PCIe NVMe support
    15.6 inch (1920x1080) Full HD IPS LED-backlit display
    Microsoft Windows 10 Professional (64-bit)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950MX Graphics, 2GB DDR5 memory
    802.11a/c Wireless LAN (1x1)
    Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950MX
    £659 (Refurb)

    Lenovo-Z70-80
    17" Screen 1920 x 1080
    Memory 8GB
    Processor Type Intel Core i7 5th Gen.
    Processor Intel Core i7
    Processor Speed 2.40GHz
    Hard Drive Capacity 1TB
    Operating System Windows 8.1
    Graphics Processing Type Dedicated Graphics
    Primary Drive DVDRW Super Multi
    Solid State Capacity 8GB SSD
    Webcam Integrated HD Webcam with Microphone
    Network Cardcard Gigabit Ethernet LAN
    Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0
    HDMI 1 x HDMI Port
    USB Ports 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0
    Battery Lithium-ion - 3-4 Hours (up to 4 hours with power management)
    Speakers Integrated Sound System
    Weight 3.01 Kg
    Special Features Intel Core i7-5500U / 2.4 GHz (3.0 GHz Turbo) Processor, NVIDIA GeForce GT 840M 2GB Dedicated Graphics, 17.3" Full HD (1920 x1 080 Resolution) Display
    Warranty 1 Year
    £579 (Refurb)

    Dell Inspiron 15 7559
    Dell Inspiron 15 7000 series 7559 laptop UK Spec
    Intel® Core™ i7-6700HQ (6M Cache, up to 3.5 GHz, 4C
    1 TB 2.5 Inch SATA Solid State Hybrid Hard Drive (5400 RPM)
    16 GB Dual Channel DDR3 1600MHz Memory (2x8GB)
    4 GB GDDR5 Nvidia® GeForce® GTX 960M
    Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 802.11ac, 1x1, 2.4 & 5GHz + Bluetooth 4.0
    15.6 Inch FHD (1920 x 1080) InfinityEdge Non Touch Display
    1 Year Dell at home Warranty
    £719.00 (Refurb)

    I'm not really a big fan of Dell but pretty good specs.

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    Re: Need a new workhorse laptop..

    I've found Dell laptops to be very reliable (apart from a Vostro my ex had 8-9 years ago that went through 3 motherboards and still didn't work properly).

    Been using a Latitude E6530 3rd gen i7 for a good few years (design/development work, occasional video). Would have upgraded to the same range but they only come in dual core i7 variants these days.

    Got an XPS ordered now, they still look very professional (unlike some of the older XPSs) and have a 15.6" screen (1080p or 4k). Performance is brilliant for a laptop.

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    Re: Need a new workhorse laptop..

    Quote Originally Posted by virtuo View Post
    I've found Dell laptops to be very reliable (apart from a Vostro my ex had 8-9 years ago that went through 3 motherboards and still didn't work properly).

    Been using a Latitude E6530 3rd gen i7 for a good few years (design/development work, occasional video). Would have upgraded to the same range but they only come in dual core i7 variants these days.

    Got an XPS ordered now, they still look very professional (unlike some of the older XPSs) and have a 15.6" screen (1080p or 4k). Performance is brilliant for a laptop.
    When buying laptops, it's all about range you get:
    HP consumer is really poor, but so is Lenovo consumer and mostly Dell too.

    So from HP you'd really want an Elitebook and not a ProBook or any of their consumer stuff (Zbook is more or less an Elitebook for this purpose).
    From Lenovo you'd want a Thinkpad 'T' or 'X' series and not an 'L' range either. 'E' range is between the T and the L.

    Same for Dell, Latitudes are usually fine (but note my earlier comment about the E4000 and 6000 series - although even there it's often not that straightforward: E7000 series looks fancier but is thinner and less configurable/hackable. Also, AFAIK the E7000 series has a max 14" screen), but Inspirion is your usual cheap consumer junk.

    Now, I doubt the OP will get Kaby Lake Thinkpad T or Elitebook for your budget even 'refurbished'. Of course, both of those ranges are really well build so if looking at used (i.e. 'refurbished'), there is no reason not go back to Skylake, Broadwell or even Haswell. IPC hasn't really improved anyhow and even battery life won't make that much of a difference.

    As for the ones the OP picked, why the dGPU? Ever since I got majorly burned by the Nvidia solder defect, I've avoided GPUs in laptops and in other temperature constrained cases. Even at the best of times, they just mean more work for the cooling etc. For a work laptop I would only consider them if I found some trustworthy Photoshop benchmarks with those dGPUs versus Intel HD4600/530/630 etc.
    Last edited by kompukare; 05-07-2017 at 07:27 PM. Reason: Ah, seems the word I chose for the consumer stuff gets censored! Was to be a four-letter word starting in C & ending in P...

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    Re: Need a new workhorse laptop..

    Dell Latitude is the way to go, a workhorse of a laptop that is almost indestructible with a professional design.

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