Seeking Advice For New Laptop

Apr 3, 2018
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Based on suggestion, revising post to reflect updated information.

I've had pc towers my whole life. I own/run two websites... looking for a laptop to replace my current rig.


1. Budget: Can go up to 3K... perhaps a little more for the right setup
2. Screen-Size: 15" & Higher
3. Screen Resolution: At least 1080p
4. Battery Life: Not relevant as will be connected to home office 95% of the time
5. Will not be a gaming machine. Most intense program I run is Abbyy Finereader (OCR)
6. Tasks: Normal work/pc. Scan/convert books, normal browsing, etc.
7. Storage (Hard Drive capacity): Would love to have 2 internal 1TB drives. Possible?
8. I'd hope to use new laptop for years to come... until forced to upgrade
9. Do not absolutely need optical drive, but would prefer CD/DVD RW.
10. No brand preference, just want as much speed/processing as possible without sacrificing reliabiliy.
11. Reside in USA.
12. Will want docking station for current monitor/kb/mouse/prn/etc. Suggestions?
13. Looking for Drive Tower for my 3.5" SATA Drives. Suggestions?
 

GreyCatz

Admirable


Re 1 and 6:
$3,000 ("perhaps a little more...") for a laptop that you'll be using for "normal work/pc..."? You do realize that you can get laptops that will handle these tasks comfortably for $400?

Re 7:
Do you mean 2 internal 1TB SSD drives? If so, you might actually need $3,000.

Re 9 and 12:
If you're going to use a docking station (95 % of the time as per 4), there's no reason to go for a built-in optical drive. Get an external optical drive and plug it into the docking station.

Re 13:
I have no idea what you mean by "Drive Tower" in this context. Is this a separate request, or do you expect the laptop to feature this as well?
 
Apr 3, 2018
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Re 1 and 6:
$3,000 ("perhaps a little more...") for a laptop that you'll be using for "normal work/pc..."? You do realize that you can get laptops that will handle these tasks comfortably for $400?

--My 'normal' work pc is one I use ALL the time. I've no intention of working on a slow machine for the next several years. Plus, my OCR software is not exactly notepad.

Re 7:
Do you mean 2 internal 1TB SSD drives? If so, you might actually need $3,000.

--I mean two internal hard drives. Not up on the lingo.

Re 9 and 12:
If you're going to use a docking station (95 % of the time as per 4), there's no reason to go for a built-in optical drive. Get an external optical drive and plug it into the docking station.

--It's not a requirement, but I've many of my programs and such on CD/DVD. Would make life easier it was built in.

Re 13:
I have no idea what you mean by "Drive Tower" in this context. Is this a separate request, or do you expect the laptop to feature this as well?

--Was a side-note: I'd be using for storage, back-ups, etc. My current rig has 4 internal hard drives. I know can't do that with laptop, so figure 2 internal (if possible), and a drive tower that would connect to a 'docking port' of some sort would do the trick.

 

GreyCatz

Admirable




First of all, my apologies if some of comments came across as patronizing or borderline arrogant.

1. The reason I mentioned $400 laptops was that the tasks you listed seemed very straightforward and 'basic'. While I'm sure scanning software, including dedicated OCR programs, are quite sophisticated, it will be down to a decent CPU and a decent amount of RAM, both of which are readily available at prices far below the budget you suggested.

2. As for the storage issue: If you're "not up on the lingo" - then I presume you're thinking of mechanical harddisks (spinning at 5400 or 7200 rpms). SSDs, or Solid-State Drives, are alternatives with no moving parts that offer lightning transfer speeds and reaction times, e.g. when you turn on the computer, open applications, or copy large files between disks. They are also more expensive than mechanical HDDs, especially when you move beyond 500GBs.

3. So, the docking station and drive tower are separate requests - to be perfectly honest I did suspect as much, but I wasn't entirely sure.

OK, enough 'lecturing' for now - let's try and meet as many requirements as possible:

From Lenovo, there's this ThinkPad P51 workstation:
https://www3.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/thinkpad-p/P51/p/20HHCTO1WWENUS0/customize

From a base price of $1,489 you can customize this laptop with lots of additions and upgrades. I would recommend 16GBs of RAM and two 1TB Solid-State Drives (that's 2 internal 1TB harddisks of the type mentioned above). All told, you'll land at $2,240 - which is admittedly rather more than $400 - but then you do get an insanely powerful workstation that will easily see you through the next 10 years.

The CPU and GPU are both far beyond your current needs, but should you ever need to do complex graphics simulations or heavy-duty computational runs, it will be no problem whatsoever. And just in case you decide to use the laptop as a laptop, the 6-cell 90Whr battery should give you around 10 hours of battery life.

ThinkPads have their own line of accessories including docking stations and drive towers. Take a look around the web site.

But you can also go for docking stations that are not tied to specific brands, like these:
https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/best-docking-stations

This January 2018 article is from a review site that is part of Tom's Hardware Forum.

As for drive towers, Western Digital and Seagate are pretty big on these, and probably also the best know brands, but there are lots more to consider.

Best of luck,
GreyCatz.
 
Apr 3, 2018
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I'll take a look at the Lenova model you suggested. Also looking at an upgraded Asus model. Good thing time isn't critical... lots of research and such still to do. Appreciate your input & suggestions. :)
 
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