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Advice on new laptop

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Apr 19, 2005

I am looking to buy a new laptop, budget is max 1200$. Laptop will be used for school, programming and some heavy computations.

Desired specs approx:

fastest cpu in budget, 6th gen i5 or i7?
8gb+ ram
128gb + SSD
minimum 1080p screen
onboard graphics (intel HD)
14 or 15" screen
good battery life

What would you guys recommend?

I would prefer a lenovo, so far the e560 seems like a good choice although it is a bit bulky, t450 and x1 also being considered

Any suggestions?

Thanks :attn:

Super Nade

† SU(3) Moderator  †
Aug 30, 2004
Santa Barbara, CA
If you are not going to game, then I'd suggest a Surface Pro 4 that fits your budget. I have stopped using paper to write notes with my SP3. The pen is excellent, it is light and portable, decent battery life and I've not had any issues with running Matlab/Mathematica/VC++/JMP (for stats). I don't think I will ever buy a laptop. Surface for work and desktop at home. :thup:


Jan 27, 2011
Beautiful Sunny Winfield
I have a Lenovo Y50. I'm not a huge fan. The bottom housing is cracked near the hinge. I had to replace the TN panel with an IPS panel because the TN panel had abysmal contrast making the screen hard to read. (Lenovo switched to an IPS panel a few months after I bought mine.) A little over a year old I had to repaste the CPU (yesterday) because it was shutting down under load. The touchpad is horribly unresponsive to two and three finger taps (though that may be more the result of Linux drivers and configuration settings than actual H/W.)

I haven't had this one in for service but I sent my previous Lenovo in for service (loose charging port) and it came back with the same problem. I sent it in again and it came back with the same problem.

The laptop I'm lusting after now is the Dell XPS. I'm not sure if I'd go with the 13 or the 15. And even though I'm a Penguinista I'd probably pay the extra $100 for the Windows edition because it's easy to add Linux after the fact and work occasionally requires Windows. It's hard to know if going from a 17 or 15" screen to a 13" screen is going to be a good idea.

Good luck with your choice!