Haven't purchased a laptop of my own in a decade.....give me a few hints

punkncat

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Apr 3, 2018
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In my work I have to have a laptop two times a year, for about a week each time, to work from while I am on vacation. On it's own, it doesn't have to be particularly powerful to do what I need done in that situation, as other people in the office take care of tasks I would normally be doing. I have been using a 10 (ish) year old Toshiba with a 2 core/4 thread i5. It's first gen and definitely starting to show it's age. I have replaced the HD with an SSD, and upped the memory a bit, along with a new battery before last years usage. I might be able to get another year out of it, but frustrating slowness and heat are key here.

Before I go I have to get it out, load up all the updates, etc., update the various files I need and then good to go. I don't keep it on because I simply don't use or need it for anything else currently.

The desktop that is being used for the office work is a 4th gen i5, runs well if a little buggy due to age. It's got 16mb of RAM due to the number of windows and processes it is always running, and two screens. It's running (mostly) fine as of now, but slated for replacement within the year or so.

I have been trying to do some reading on the new generations of laptops and docks or port replicators. My uninformed observations are that a dock is preferrable to a replicator for actual port (USB/etc) speeds. My thoughts are to purchase a nice laptop that will perform the work I need, but from a dock that will duplicate the current desktop enviro. I can move storage off to another machine. This way when vacation time comes I can simply un-dock and go.

I have noted over the past several years that laptops have become user inaccessible as far as easily swapping drives or adding memory. I ran into an issue a couple of years ago with purchasing my son a laptop for school that the location we purchased from saying we would void warranty if WE opened it, and wanted about $200 premium on adding a sub par SSD I could have purchased for way less myself. (I know some laws concerning this have changed since this time)
Even aside from that, I am not super keen on having to open up a BNIB laptop to add the parts I want even condidering the superior part selection, performance, cost.

What I envision is a dock that I can set on or beside the desk. Slot the laptop into it, closed and on, and use it "exactly" like it were a desktop. Hook it up to existing dual monitors, kbm, etc. In my experience in attempting to use laptop as an HTPC I realize there may or may not still be barriers to turning the machine on/off without having to physically open it. My assumption would be that various docking stations have that as an option?

Quick look on budgeting for my desired specs shows a 15" 8th gen i5, small SSD, 16gb RAM in the ~$800 neighborhood with a dock coming in around $100.


 

jojesa

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Dec 6, 2006
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Asus VivoBook S510UN $885
Display 15.6" FHD 1920 x 1080
Intel Core i7-8550U 1.8 GHz (4.0GHz Turbo) CPU
8GB DDR4 RAM
NVIDIA GeForce MX150 2 GB
256GB M.2 SSD + 1 TB HDD
Windows 10
USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen 1), USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and HDMI.
Dual band 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Backlit keyboard
3.75 lbs

Asus VivoBook S510UN $755
Display 15.6" FHD 1920 x 1080
Intel Core i5-8250U 1.6 GHz (3.4GHz Turbo) CPU
8GB DDR4 RAM
NVIDIA GeForce MX150 2 GB
256GB SATA SSD
Windows 10
USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen 1), USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and HDMI.
Dual band 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Backlit keyboard
3.75 lbs

Lenovo L580 $799
Display 15.6" (1366 x 768) Display
Intel Core i5-8250U 1.6 GHz (3.4GHz Turbo) CPU
16GB DDR4 RAM
Intel Graphics 620
256GB SATA
Windows 10 Pro
Dual band 802.11ac Wi-Fi
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A / 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C /1 x HDMI
4.46 lbs

Wavlink USB 3.0 Universal Docking $55-$85
Dual Display (HDMI/DVI/VGA)
Gigabit Ethernet
2 USB-C Ports
4 USB 3.0 Ports
 
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