Looking for a good laptop for business school w/ live online classes


Aug 20, 2015
I'm looking to get a new laptop for business school. So far I've been looking at the Lenovo t450s and the Dell xps 13, but I wonder if I'm not missing some other good options. As mentioned in the title of the post, I'll be using the webcam a lot, which I know should sort of rule out the XPS. But I'm ok with an external camera if needed.
Basically, I'm looking for something reliable from a company with good product support. I'd also like it to have a decent amount of computing power, as I'll often need to run multiple programs at the same during my classes.

1. What is your budget? $1000 - $1500

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 13"-14"

3. What screen resolution do you want? Not all that important - I will often use an external monitor

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Portability is important, but it doesn't have to be the lightest one around.

5. How much battery life do you need? More is always better, but I'll often be using it plugged in.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)? No

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) Lots of video conferencing; otherwise, just your basic school stuff: lots of Excel work, Powerpoint, etc.(but at the same time as the video conferencing).

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? At least 256 GB (I'd really prefer to go with an SSD)

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. No specific sites.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? 3+ years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? None

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons. Leaning towards Dell or Lenovo, but open to others.

13. What country do you live in? USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. Needs to be a PC. The school recommends at least 2Ghz processor and 8 GB of RAM. I'd also like to go with a brand that provides good support, as any significant downtime will be a very bad thing.

Thanks for any and all suggestions!
Both the ThinkPad T450s and the Dell XPS 13 are good laptops. The XPS 13 has a camera in the lower left corner of the screen so an external camera is not necessary. Not the ideal location for a camera, but it's a concession you need to make if you want a laptop with a 13.3" screen and very thin bezel that is actually about the size of a 11.6" laptop.

Between the two I prefer the ThinkPad T450s because it is a more durable laptop. I you don't want to worry about accidentally dropping a laptop onto a hard floor, or spilling water onto your laptop, then the ThinkPad is the one to get. The keyboard is isolated from the rest of the laptop and there are drain holes so if you accidentally spill water on your laptop it will be fine.

If you want a lot of potential storage capacity, the T450s has you covered. In addition to the standard 2.5" drive bay which can accommodate up to a 2TB SSD (if you are willing to shell out $750 - $999 based on Amazon prices), there are also two M.2 slots each of which can accommodate a M.2 format SSD. M.2 SSDs have capacities up to 512GB at the moment. However, the higher the capacity the longer the drive will be and not all M.2 drive bays are long enough to accommodate 512GB M.2 SSDs. So potentially, you can have up to 3TB of solid state storage... if you are willing to shell out the $$$.


Mar 4, 2015
I would suggest either HP ProBook or Lenovo Z41, as both are fairly bulletproof and feature anti-glare screens. Anti-glare makes for exceptionally comfortable viewing. Look for at least dual-core, if not quad-core, at least 2 GHz. Pricing is far underbudget, so you can afford to max out your RAM and drop the Windows Paging File.

Currently, I'm using the larger Lenovo Z70-80, which has a 17.3 inch screen. I put 12 GB of RAM, and I regularly run a number of programs as a freelance writer. Previously, I used an HP ProBook 4340 and an HP ProBook 4540, both of which served me well. The only reason I switched to Lenovo is because an anti-glare 17 inch screen on an HP.