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sigma 6
Nov 27, 2004

the mirror would do well to reflect further



dissss posted:

I'm not sure if there is anything better (for CAD purposes at least) - the K3000/4000/5000 require quite a lot more power.

Then again who knows what the situation will be by the next W530 refresh - I doubt its going to happen anytime soon (really it isn't going to help a full sized laptop anywhere near as much as it does on an ultrabook)

drat. Guess I will be looking a bit closer at Clevo or Sager.

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Queen Fiona
Jan 8, 2008

Of all evil I deem you capable: therefore I want the good from you. Verily, I have often laughed at the weaklings who thought themselves good because they had no claws.


So it's finally come time for me to admit that my frankenstein workflow isn't working and, with classes coming in the fall, I need a new laptop. I got one two years ago but without anyone to tell me Acer was dogshit, and its monitor crapped out a few months after the warranty ran out. I realized that I needed to stop using Remote Desktop on my tablet and get another goddamned laptop again.

I don't have any crazy requirements. Going to be doing work with InDesign and Photoshop, lots of writing, and the occasional game (nothing demanding so no need for a space heater). My last laptop was a Sandy Bridge with a discrete graphics card which worked remarkably well. I'm looking for a similar setup - either Haswell in the mid-end i5 (HD5000 looks pretty drat good) or a heavily discounted Ivy Bridge i5 with a discrete card (low-end with Optimus or something). Budget is $1000 absolute max with taxes, $800 preferable, as close to $500 as possible. 1366x768 is pretty good for me.

I live in Canada, so I could use advice on where to find the best deals north of the 49th. One potentially money-saving issue is that I have a Windows 7 Pro key on my current Acer...installed overtop an existing key (ie, not OEM). Is it possible to recycle Windows licenses like that? I plan to wipe the Acer clean and restore its Home Premium OEM key, so the Pro key should remain unused. (And I'm not opposed to junking the Acer to get the key back). I know you generally can't get laptops without OSes unless you go the Clevo route, and while I'm willing to go the Clevo route, I'm not sure price/performance is in the cards after a quick look at local supplier Eurocom.

EDIT: I was also planning to rip the SODIMMs out of the Acer (I bought 2x4GB a while back, so they dodn't come with the laptop) to augment and/or replace memory in whatever I get, if that would also help save money at all.

Queen Fiona fucked around with this message at 01:58 on Jul 7, 2013

dissss
Nov 10, 2007

I'm a terrible forums poster with terrible opinions.

Here's a cat fucking a squid.

FM posted:

1366x768 is pretty good for me.

That's a mistake even without mentioning Indesign and Photoshop in the same post

Hadlock
Nov 9, 2004





If he's doing graphic design work, he's probably plugging the laptop in to an external display, otherwise his primary graphic design clients must be ants or something.

Revol
Jul 31, 2003

EHCIARF EMERC...
EHCIARF EMERC...


Yeesh. I can't imagine using Adobe software with that low a resolution.

Hadlock posted:

If he's doing graphic design work, he's probably plugging the laptop in to an external display, otherwise his primary graphic design clients must be ants or something.

Why use a laptop at all?

...is a question I end up asking myself for about one out of every three laptop calls I get. So many Dell Workstation laptops never, ever leave their docking stations.

Revol fucked around with this message at 02:37 on Jul 7, 2013

22 Eargesplitten
Oct 10, 2010

Certified Centrist Trash


When will Lenovo be coming out with haswell thinkpads? I've got an old inspiron that I got as a graduation present. Its second battery is dying, its second charger is dying, the hinges are dead, it overheats easily in the summer, I'm ready for something better. I wanted a thinkpad because I remember how loving bulletproof the old ones were, but the OP is saying not to bother with something that isn't haswell. I'm a CS student, I would probably occasionally run some low-stress games (most demanding would be Killing Floor), but mostly it would be for getting work done and watching netflix in bed. I just want something where the body is going to last long enough that I'll get frustrated with the performance first.

edit: Also looking at the cheaper end of the thinkpad range unless there are good reasons to get something more expensive.

22 Eargesplitten fucked around with this message at 04:02 on Jul 7, 2013

Progressive JPEG
Feb 19, 2003



My early-2008 Thinkpad T61p finally gave up due to some nvidia flaw after over 5 years of faithful service , but annoyingly a couple months before Haswell becomes widely available .

Criteria for a replacement:
  • Not super concerned with price if the new machine can last a similar amount of time (5+ years). Replaceable battery would be pretty cool since that was what gave the T61p an extra lease on life when it was 2 years old. Price ceiling would probably be in the territory of $1600-$1800, anything beyond that feels ridiculous.
  • The T61p, equivalent to a current W-series, was a bit large/heavy in hindsight, and I'd prefer something in the range of 13"-14" (the magic balance of not being cramped while still being reasonably portable).
  • I really want dedicated pgup/pgdn/home/end on a reasonably good-feeling keyboard. I used those keys all the time on the T61p, as well as on my work-issued X230. I tried a Vaio Pro 13 in a Fry's and found its keyboard, particularly the arrow keys, to be way too spongy, so I guess I'm a bit of a keyboard snob now.
  • Resolution equal to or greater than the T61p's 1680x1050 would be pretty nice, though I guess everything's 16:9 nowadays. The aforementioned X230's 1366x768 is way too low.
  • I prefer matte displays, don't care about touchscreens, and am pretty annoyed that Microsoft (presumably) threw a bunch of money at Intel to get them shoehorned into the new Ultrabook requirements.
  • Battery life isn't a huge deal, albeit nice to have regardless. The laptop will honestly spend most of its life plugged into something. IGP should be sufficient as well.
  • It'll be running Linux, so system compatibility there is pretty important. This seems to be less of a concern nowadays, especially on an IGP system.

If I were buying something right now, the candidates would likely be, in order of preference:
  • A T431s, giving up on display quality/DPI and some portability.
  • A non-touchscreen X1, giving up on the replaceable battery.
  • An Acer Aspire S7, since they apparently also put dedicated pgup/pgdn keys in the arrow key area, not to mention the nicer screen resolution, albeit on a reflective touchscreen. Keyboard doesn't feel as nice though, and who knows how long the thing will live.

Anything else I should look at? Not in a huge rush/can hold out a couple months, it's just a mild inconvenience not having a personal laptop right now. I'm currently leaning heavily towards the T431s or its Haswell refresh, which I'm assuming(?) will happen in September/October or thereabouts.

OXBALLS DOT COM
Sep 11, 2005

by FactsAreUseless


Young Orc

22 Eargesplitten posted:

When will Lenovo be coming out with haswell thinkpads? I've got an old inspiron that I got as a graduation present. Its second battery is dying, its second charger is dying, the hinges are dead, it overheats easily in the summer, I'm ready for something better. I wanted a thinkpad because I remember how loving bulletproof the old ones were, but the OP is saying not to bother with something that isn't haswell. I'm a CS student, I would probably occasionally run some low-stress games (most demanding would be Killing Floor), but mostly it would be for getting work done and watching netflix in bed. I just want something where the body is going to last long enough that I'll get frustrated with the performance first.

edit: Also looking at the cheaper end of the thinkpad range unless there are good reasons to get something more expensive.

The Thinkpad Edges are honestly pretty bad and the more I see/use them the more I dislike them just from a design standpoint. However, if you live in Europe it seems like they're the only ones that are close to affordable.

It seems like the haswell update may actually carry over a lot of features from the Edge. I can only hope the delay is because they went back to the drawing board after the uproar over their new design direction. Though this is mostly wishful thinking and more likely it's just to burn off old stock or just conventional supply/manufacturing issues.

OXBALLS DOT COM fucked around with this message at 04:09 on Jul 7, 2013

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

22 Eargesplitten posted:

edit: Also looking at the cheaper end of the thinkpad range unless there are good reasons to get something more expensive.
The working assumption right now is that Lenovo won't be refreshing the full ThinkPad lineup until the i5 Haswell CPUs drop, which'll be September time-frame. If you can wait that long, it'll give you a laptop that'll have a lot more GPU power to play with, as well as noticeably better battery life (admittedly, that may come with some sort of crazy trade-off, like Lenovo switching to an even more terrible screen ). If you absolutely cannot wait, even a T430 with the HD4000 will play Killing Floor and a lot of other low-stress indy games. If you drop in the dGPU it'll actually perform alright on modern games, too.

Seamonster
Apr 30, 2007

IMMER SIEGREICH


Does anyone have experience with the ideapad U series (particularly the 14'' size)? The haswell models are coming sometime this month or next and they seem pretty attractive with a 1080p option and dedicated graphics or at least better graphics than a lot of other ultrabook models out there barring the pricey pricey 14'' Razer.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



dissss posted:

Yeah. I've actually found the battery life on my T430s to be fairly bad - its like 4 hours of light usage with the 6 cell.

Aside from that and the display its a good little system but it seems a little unfair to offer it alongside a rMBP given its somewhere under half the purchase price of a base 13" rMBP

I'd love the rMBP but as an EE who only has to dip into software rarely, the rMBP would spend most of its life in Windows, and I would really prefer a native windows keyboard (and the BIOS ability to swap Fn/Ctrl on ThinkPads).

OXBALLS DOT COM
Sep 11, 2005

by FactsAreUseless


Young Orc

Seamonster posted:

Does anyone have experience with the ideapad U series (particularly the 14'' size)? The haswell models are coming sometime this month or next and they seem pretty attractive with a 1080p option and dedicated graphics or at least better graphics than a lot of other ultrabook models out there barring the pricey pricey 14'' Razer.

I would be very skeptical about dGPUs in an ultrabook since they usually have terrible cooling which will kill the performance after the first 30 seconds of starting the game due to thermal throttling.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

Seamonster posted:

Does anyone have experience with the ideapad U series (particularly the 14'' size)? The haswell models are coming sometime this month or next and they seem pretty attractive with a 1080p option and dedicated graphics or at least better graphics than a lot of other ultrabook models out there barring the pricey pricey 14'' Razer.
The IdeaPad series are generic plastic junk-piles, just like the low-end offerings from Toshiba, Dell, etc. There's a very good reason that they are able to manage an attractive price while still packing reasonably good hardware: they are built like poo poo.

Progressive JPEG
Feb 19, 2003



movax posted:

I'd love the rMBP but as an EE who only has to dip into software rarely, the rMBP would spend most of its life in Windows, and I would really prefer a native windows keyboard (and the BIOS ability to swap Fn/Ctrl on ThinkPads).
FWIW I vaguely remember the best hardware reviewer mentioning that she got worse battery life/performance when running Apple hardware in Windows, so the super battery life may no longer apply if you aren't running OSX.

Seamonster
Apr 30, 2007

IMMER SIEGREICH


Cream_Filling posted:

I would be very skeptical about dGPUs in an ultrabook since they usually have terrible cooling which will kill the performance after the first 30 seconds of starting the game due to thermal throttling.

I hadn't considered this and it would absolutely be a deal breaker. I could live with slightly less than ideal thinkpad t series durability and the U series seem to be aluminum and not plastic for what its worth (not a whole lot) but throttling in my gently caress that noise.

EDIT: The 730m seems to be a 33-35 watt part so I guess it depends on what TDP CPUs they slap in there. Time to wait for reviews.

sports
Sep 1, 2012


movax posted:

I'd love the rMBP but as an EE who only has to dip into software rarely, the rMBP would spend most of its life in Windows, and I would really prefer a native windows keyboard (and the BIOS ability to swap Fn/Ctrl on ThinkPads).

Seriously what kind of horrible dwEEb poo poo does windows have? Eagle PCB worksforme on osx, but I guess everything else I do is in ParaView and general MHD code. Isn't multisim on macs too?

Duck and Cover
Apr 6, 2007


Can we please stop posting until the Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus gets a release date/pricing that'd be nice. I mean seriously gently caress you Samsung, if you're going to show off something you should have the decency to tell me when it's going to be out as well as for how much.

Sendo
Jul 26, 2011



I don't think I'm going to ever be able to prevent myself from laughing every time I see that stupid name, it's something you would expect to see in a topic title here.

fookolt
Mar 13, 2012

Where there is power
There is resistance


Duck and Cover posted:

Can we please stop posting until the Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus gets a release date/pricing that'd be nice. I mean seriously gently caress you Samsung, if you're going to show off something you should have the decency to tell me when it's going to be out as well as for how much.

Hah, I feel like Samsung, Lenovo, and Asus are completely dragging their loving feet with their Haswell ultrabooks. All I've seen so far is plastic poo poo from Lenovo.

It seems like Windows PC manufacturers have caught up to Apple since Ivy Bridge...except for the whole bringing their drat products to market.

fookolt fucked around with this message at 06:56 on Jul 7, 2013

Duck and Cover
Apr 6, 2007


Sendo posted:

I don't think I'm going to ever be able to prevent myself from laughing every time I see that stupid name, it's something you would expect to see in a topic title here.

Shutup my Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus Platinum Edition is going to be the bee's knees.

Progressive JPEG
Feb 19, 2003



Duck and Cover posted:

Shutup my Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus Platinum Edition is going to be the bee's knees.
Plus Platinum Silver Anodized All Access Extreme Convertible Graphite Edition With Beats By Dre Personal Premium Pro For Professional Home Users

Hadlock
Nov 9, 2004





fookolt posted:

Hah, I feel like Samsung, Lenovo, and Asus are completely dragging their loving feet with their Haswell ultrabooks. All I've seen so far is plastic poo poo from Lenovo.

It seems like Windows PC manufacturers have caught up to Apple since Ivy Bridge...except for the whole bringing their drat products to market.

It looks like Apple has an exclusivity deal with Intel for the i3/i5s, which gives them a big head start on the midrange ultrabook market, and leaves Samsung, Lenovo, and Asus fighting for leftover scraps of the market Apple already dominates (macbook air is drat sexy device)

Progressive JPEG
Feb 19, 2003



Surely the exclusivity deal doesn't require Lenovo to only put their Haswell allocation into plastic poo poo?

Sendo
Jul 26, 2011



Sony have had Ultrabooks with i5 Haswells out for a couple of months now also .

fookolt
Mar 13, 2012

Where there is power
There is resistance


Yeah, but I've only heard bad things about Sony, especially their new Haswell VAIOs.

Hadlock
Nov 9, 2004





I would imagine that they're putting the i7s that they have access to in to their "plastic poo poo" lines that corporations don't buy a whole lot of.

From a sales perspective it's probably a lot easier to say "new thinkpad lineups are just around the corner" rather than "uhh, well they're just available with i7s for the moment, no, I can't sell you any haswell i5s, you'll just have to have Ivy Bridge i5s and Haswell i7s. I know that doesn't make a whole lot of sense... look -- let's chat in 2-3 months when I can tell you more about our i5s that I can't tell you about right now due to a NDA. No, wait, please don't go to dell, I'll do anything..."

ninja edit: is Sony actually shipping their i5 haswell ultrabooks?

fookolt
Mar 13, 2012

Where there is power
There is resistance


Hadlock posted:

I would imagine that they're putting the i7s that they have access to in to their "plastic poo poo" lines that corporations don't buy a whole lot of.

From a sales perspective it's probably a lot easier to say "new thinkpad lineups are just around the corner" rather than "uhh, well they're just available with i7s for the moment, no, I can't sell you any haswell i5s, you'll just have to have Ivy Bridge i5s and Haswell i7s. I know that doesn't make a whole lot of sense... look -- let's chat in 2-3 months when I can tell you more about our i5s that I can't tell you about right now due to a NDA. No, wait, please don't go to dell, I'll do anything..."

ninja edit: is Sony actually shipping their i5 haswell ultrabooks?

https://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&identifier=S_VAIO_Duo13_CTO

Not yet it seems? At least there's a date for it.

signalnoise
Mar 7, 2008


What attributes do I look for in a laptop that can take abuse? My last laptop was an alienware m11x that was basically unkillable. They don't make alienwares under 14inch at the moment though, also they're alienware and are hella expensive. The one I had was a full metal shell with a magnesium frame. Where can I get something like that, without going into the cost bracket and bulk of poo poo that is "ruggedized" or whatever?

Sendo
Jul 26, 2011




That's the Duo (Tablet/Hybrid), the Vaio Pro's both the 11" and 13" with the i5-4200U have been available (at least here in Australia) for over a month now in retail stores.

bull3964
Nov 18, 2000

DO YOU HEAR THAT? THAT'S THE SOUND OF ME PATTING MYSELF ON THE BACK.




The current theory from Anandtech is all the high end (and therefore higher resolution) ultrabooks are waiting for Win 8.1 due to its better handling of higher DPIs.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

bull3964 posted:

The current theory from Anandtech is all the high end (and therefore higher resolution) ultrabooks are waiting for Win 8.1 due to its better handling of higher DPIs.
As much as I'd like to believe it, I simply don't see a lot of manufacturers picking super-high resolution displays for anything but niche products. It doesn't make a lot of sense to stick anything higher than a 1080p display into a "gaming" laptop, nor does it really make sense for a business or mid-range one, either. I'm sure there are a few super-high res laptops like the ones shown at the last few trade-shows that might be waiting, but those would seem to be the exceptions. Frankly, I'll be ecstatic if 1366x768 at higher than 12" dies off this generation (it won't). It seems far more likely to me that the holdup is the lack of i5 availability, rather than anything else.

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

signalnoise posted:

What attributes do I look for in a laptop that can take abuse?
You look for it to say "ThinkPad" on the top. They're not going to be gaming laptops the way an Alienware is, but that's pretty much tops for reliability and durability without getting crazy. As painful (and expensive) as it may be to admit, Alienware and now Razor really are your only solid entries in the "gaming laptop" category that don't come with the caveat of "will probably fall apart in a stiff breeze."

bull3964
Nov 18, 2000

DO YOU HEAR THAT? THAT'S THE SOUND OF ME PATTING MYSELF ON THE BACK.




DrDork posted:

As much as I'd like to believe it, I simply don't see a lot of manufacturers picking super-high resolution displays for anything but niche products.

That's the thing though. The ones we are waiting on (Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus, Asus Zenbook Infinity) are high DPI models.

OXBALLS DOT COM
Sep 11, 2005

by FactsAreUseless


Young Orc

signalnoise posted:

What attributes do I look for in a laptop that can take abuse? My last laptop was an alienware m11x that was basically unkillable. They don't make alienwares under 14inch at the moment though, also they're alienware and are hella expensive. The one I had was a full metal shell with a magnesium frame. Where can I get something like that, without going into the cost bracket and bulk of poo poo that is "ruggedized" or whatever?

Besides the Thinkpads already mentioned, I think HP Elitebooks are supposed to be decent quality as well, though they're arguably pretty overpriced. Probably any other business-class laptop is also going to be alright. Also Apple, which are quite durable so long as you're alright with tolerating cosmetic damage to those soft aluminum exteriors.

a_m_a_t
Nov 4, 2010


DrDork posted:

The IdeaPad series are generic plastic junk-piles, just like the low-end offerings from Toshiba, Dell, etc. There's a very good reason that they are able to manage an attractive price while still packing reasonably good hardware: they are built like poo poo.

I'm curious about this because I'm looking to upgrade my old laptop with something that can play games half-decently and was looking at an IdeaPad Y500 or Y510p because it seemed to fit what I want pretty well.

I read a bunch of reviews and they said the build quality was satisfactory to good, so I'm wondering why this forum seems to hate them.

(I'm upgrading from an garbage MSI CX600 - now that is bad build quality)

fookolt
Mar 13, 2012

Where there is power
There is resistance


DrDork posted:

As much as I'd like to believe it, I simply don't see a lot of manufacturers picking super-high resolution displays for anything but niche products. It doesn't make a lot of sense to stick anything higher than a 1080p display into a "gaming" laptop, nor does it really make sense for a business or mid-range one, either. I'm sure there are a few super-high res laptops like the ones shown at the last few trade-shows that might be waiting, but those would seem to be the exceptions. Frankly, I'll be ecstatic if 1366x768 at higher than 12" dies off this generation (it won't). It seems far more likely to me that the holdup is the lack of i5 availability, rather than anything else.

We've got the Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus Platinum Tigershark Hydro Copper SE (3200x1800), Asus Zenbook Infinity (2560x1440), Fujitsu Lifebook UH90/L (3200x1800), Dell XPS 11 (2560x1440), Acer Aspire S7 (2560x1440), and god knows what else.

You're right that these are only a few laptops, but at least they're at the top of the bill now.

OXBALLS DOT COM
Sep 11, 2005

by FactsAreUseless


Young Orc

a_m_a_t posted:

I'm curious about this because I'm looking to upgrade my old laptop with something that can play games half-decently and was looking at an IdeaPad Y500 or Y510p because it seemed to fit what I want pretty well.

I read a bunch of reviews and they said the build quality was satisfactory to good, so I'm wondering why this forum seems to hate them.

(I'm upgrading from an garbage MSI CX600 - now that is bad build quality)

"Satisfactory to good" means relative to stuff that's broken when you buy it. Cheap consumer laptops will still not last very long and break easily relative to even entry-level business-class stuff. Most people only look at whatever has the biggest numbers on the spec sheet for the lowest price. The point gets mildly overstated to break through to people who don't seem to get the fact that cheap laptops are usually cheap for a reason, and that reason usually is that corners were cut in places you can't immediately see.

Duck and Cover
Apr 6, 2007


fookolt posted:

We've got the Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus Platinum Tigershark Hydro Copper SE (3200x1800), Asus Zenbook Infinity (2560x1440), Fujitsu Lifebook UH90/L (3200x1800), Dell XPS 11 (2560x1440), Acer Aspire S7 (2560x1440), and god knows what else.

You're right that these are only a few laptops, but at least they're at the top of the bill now.

Which ones have a release date/price.

Bob Morales
Aug 18, 2006


Just wear the fucking mask, Bob

I don't care how many people I probably infected with COVID-19 while refusing to wear a mask, my comfort is far more important than the health and safety of everyone around me!



I have an HP Probook for the last few weeks at work, it's kind of an in-between of the Envy and Elitebook lines. It has a metallic body around the keyboard, but you can tell it's hollow, thin metal. It has a lot of flex to it and it doesn't have a solid feel like a MacBook Pro.

It's fairly thick, and the keyboard includes a number pad, which is a joke. It's incredibly uncomfortable to place your hands on the side of the keyboard instead of the center. The up/down arrow keys are also incredibly small. The touchpoint or whatever HP calls it isn't quite as good as Lenovos, but it's a mile ahead of the horrible trackpad. It's a large trackpad but doesn't pick your movements up half the time. For just moving the cursor, it's not to bad, but scrolling doesn't work 2/3 times and it's very, very bad about filtering out when your palm or something hits it. If the edge of your palm is making contact with the touchpad when you try to move the cursor, it won't go anywhere.

The screen is only 1366x768 (14"), not sure if there's a higher resolution available, but this one doesn't have it. That said, the A6 processor combined with a platter-based HD makes for a miserable computing experience.

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fookolt
Mar 13, 2012

Where there is power
There is resistance


Bob Morales posted:

I have an HP Probook for the last few weeks at work, it's kind of an in-between of the Envy and Elitebook lines. It has a metallic body around the keyboard, but you can tell it's hollow, thin metal. It has a lot of flex to it and it doesn't have a solid feel like a MacBook Pro.

It's fairly thick, and the keyboard includes a number pad, which is a joke. It's incredibly uncomfortable to place your hands on the side of the keyboard instead of the center. The up/down arrow keys are also incredibly small. The touchpoint or whatever HP calls it isn't quite as good as Lenovos, but it's a mile ahead of the horrible trackpad. It's a large trackpad but doesn't pick your movements up half the time. For just moving the cursor, it's not to bad, but scrolling doesn't work 2/3 times and it's very, very bad about filtering out when your palm or something hits it. If the edge of your palm is making contact with the touchpad when you try to move the cursor, it won't go anywhere.

The screen is only 1366x768 (14"), not sure if there's a higher resolution available, but this one doesn't have it. That said, the A6 processor combined with a platter-based HD makes for a miserable computing experience.

Ugh, I cannot stand number pads on laptops; they always make typing on them a lovely experience. Everything you posted is basically what laptop makers shouldn't be doing.

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