Question Need help finding new laptop

Feb 16, 2024
1. What is your budget? -- I would like to keep it around $1K but could go up to $1.2 to 1.3K if it makes sense

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? -- 14" probably for easier portability.

3. What screen resolution do you want? -- This isn't a major issue for me, I would pick lowest cost option since I primarily will use laptop docked to Monitor, etc (I need to move between locations which have similar docking setups so portability and a solid build that can handle being carried around a fair amount in a backpack)

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? -- I like easy portability but will take heavier option for better value and similar performance

5. How much battery life do you need? -- Not important to me since I will use it plugged in the vast majority of time.

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 - this is not important to me

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) - -- The most demanding use is when I have multiple Excel and Word docs (4 to 5 of each) and 3 different browsers open with up to 30+ tabs in each browser. I may occasionally stream youtube, music or a movie. I am willing to pay for better responsiveness to some extent. I'm retired so this will not be used for work. As mentioned above, I'm not a gamer. I may occasionally use it for Photo Viewing/Editing as well but not professionally and no video editing.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? -- 512Gig is plenty

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. -- I would most likely purchase from manufacturer (e.g. Dell, Lenova, Asus, etc) so I have maximum flexibility in configuration. Its the configuration that is frustrating and confusing me.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? I'd like it to last at least 5 years and longer would be great. That's one of the reasons I am looking at higher specs (e.g. 13th gen i7, 16G ram, etc.)

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? -- None - I have external drive to use if necessary

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. -- I have almost always used Dell and will be replacing a 4.5 yr old Dell Vostro 5390 with 8th gen i5 cpu (this has always been slower than I expected when I purchased it - this is why I'm asking for help on the forum here). I would consider Dell, Lenovo (I've been exploring options from Lenovo in the Thinkbook and IdeaLab lines) and Asus (I had one of their laptops prior to my current Dell and it worked great for several years). I believe these are all reputable suppliers with good support if there are problems and with solid, well built machines. I am option to other suppliers if there is a good reason to do so.

13. What country do you live in? -- US

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. -- Though I am older than most on this forum I'd guess (I'm retired), I used to be an engineer (chemical) and am not afraid of technology -- I just don't have the experience or depth of knowledge in this area to figure out the best options for myself these days. I've decided to replace my current laptop because of slow performance when switching between applications, tabs, etc (It was never as fast as I expected when I purchased it and I want to avoid another disappointing purchase). My current Vostro is perfectly functional and doesn't crash and it is very portable but it is about 4.5 yrs old - Memory usage is almost always in the 90% range and performance isn't satisfactory. My current laptop was originally Win 10 but I upgraded it to Win 11. As I've looked for a new laptop, I've focused on the Intel Core i7-1355U CPU with only the onboard GPU (not a separate GPU chip) and with 16 Gig RAM because those seemed to be the best trade offs for my needs of performance and value based on what I have looked into. If 16 Gig RAM is borderline, I would be comfortable upgrading to 32Gig down the road so a laptop with the ability for future upgrades would be of interest but not required if ya'll think 16 gig will be plenty. I do have a 20 year old x86 program (Act!) that has to run in compatibility mode now (I think it is setup for Win XP sp2) and would like to be able to use this application on new laptop (I suspect that will be straight forward since it will be the same OS basically)
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