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etalian
Mar 20, 2006



For my own laptop croaking experiences

MacBook Air (7 years)

Died from DC fast charge no longer working and also the logic board going south.

Dell XPS 15 (3 years)

Only had for 3 years and sold used.

The WiFi was always flakey (killer wif lol) but no major failures like a power on bricking failure

Asus G14 (3 months )

Died after 3 months, most likely a motherboard power electronics beginning of life failure.

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bull3964
Nov 18, 2000

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




My Dell e1505 still runs (and upgraded to windows 10!) That thing is 14 years old.

I will say, if all your devices are dying due to power related faults, I think it's time to start looking at your utility connection and house wiring.

Hadlock
Nov 9, 2004





I've had probably two dozen laptops over the past 20 years, the closest thing to a failure I've ever had was the cast titanium hinge on my PowerBook G4 Rev. A failed after like 5 years, it still powered on when I plugged it in a couple months ago, it's 19+ years old at this point. The CFL backlight is starting to look pretty yellow. I have a bunch of old laptops from 2007-2012 that I haven't thrown out for stupid reasons, they all still power up.

And yeah if you're having a bunch of power failures, I'd look at your local neighborhoods power quality, you might have dirty power.

FCKGW
May 21, 2006

aaaaaaaaaa
AAAAAAAAAAA
HHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!




etalian posted:

For my own laptop croaking experiences

MacBook Air (7 years)

Died from DC fast charge no longer working and also the logic board going south.

Dell XPS 15 (3 years)

Only had for 3 years and sold used.

The WiFi was always flakey (killer wif lol) but no major failures like a power on bricking failure

Asus G14 (3 months )

Died after 3 months, most likely a motherboard power electronics beginning of life failure.

If this trend continues your next laptop will last about 90 minutes.

Mr. Lobe
Feb 23, 2007

... Dry bones...



Hey thread, I was thinking of getting a really cheap laptop for a roadtrip I have planned for next year. Something that doesn't need to do anything more than word processing for keeping a journal and maybe running Skype. I'm talking bottom of the barrel here, something practically disposable. Does anyone have recommendations?

Statutory Ape
Sep 12, 2017




Mr. Lobe posted:

Hey thread, I was thinking of getting a really cheap laptop for a roadtrip I have planned for next year. Something that doesn't need to do anything more than word processing for keeping a journal and maybe running Skype. I'm talking bottom of the barrel here, something practically disposable. Does anyone have recommendations?

some chromebook with USB-C charging and a roughly 2 lb weight

https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...hreadid=3838891

atomizer made a solid OP and likely looking for refurbs of any of those models would be a good idea. i would just ask that question verbatim in that thread tho


if you extremely dont want a chromebook (you should go for it in this case it sounds like) some kind of used/refurb lenovo probably off ebay then.

Hadlock
Nov 9, 2004





What's your budget

You can get a Lenovo T450 Thinkpad for $185.00 on eBay, that is 14" screen

If you're looking for something smaller, the X250 has a 12" screen for the same price

Otherwise if you're looking for something sub $150, you might want to check out the Chromebook thread, although I dunno if they can do Skype, but they can do Google meet, zoom etc. The Chromebook will have a better battery life

Statutory Ape
Sep 12, 2017




skype has a web portal with, as you might imagine, pretty good chrome compatibility these days

Hadlock
Nov 9, 2004





The last time I saw someone refer to Skype in a serious sense, besides this thread just now, was two years ago by some bulgarian Java developer who thought Java 8 was too new and not stable enough (I'll save you the Google - Java 7 went EOL 18 months ago)

Apparently it's wildly successful in Bulgaria though

Statutory Ape
Sep 12, 2017




skype seemed like a bad n outmoded way to keep in touch even in 2010 when my also non-american partner insisted on it

i knew then that their propensity for video chatting was a glimpse into the future and its grimmer than i ever thought

E: for clarity, the idea that we need to see each other on video like, we're as a society, phoning admirals in star trek is the grim thing

Mr. Lobe
Feb 23, 2007

... Dry bones...



Hadlock posted:

What's your budget

You can get a Lenovo T450 Thinkpad for $185.00 on eBay, that is 14" screen

If you're looking for something smaller, the X250 has a 12" screen for the same price

Otherwise if you're looking for something sub $150, you might want to check out the Chromebook thread, although I dunno if they can do Skype, but they can do Google meet, zoom etc. The Chromebook will have a better battery life

When I say Skype, I was just kind of broadly gesturing towards some kind of VOIP, so yeah, I think I will ask in the Chromebook thread. Thanks everyone

sephiRoth IRA
Jun 13, 2007

"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality."

-Carl Sagan


Hadlock posted:

What's your budget

You can get a Lenovo T450 Thinkpad for $185.00 on eBay, that is 14" screen

If you're looking for something smaller, the X250 has a 12" screen for the same price

Otherwise if you're looking for something sub $150, you might want to check out the Chromebook thread, although I dunno if they can do Skype, but they can do Google meet, zoom etc. The Chromebook will have a better battery life

Related to this, is there a good way to ensure you're getting a quality product from eBay? We're looking for a laptop for school use and I figured one of the old school thinkpads would be ideal, but I worry about security, or that the laptop will come with malware, etc.

Amazon has their "renewed" section, as well, but buying used just feels sketchy to me despite knowing you all recommend it

Hadlock
Nov 9, 2004





sephiRoth IRA posted:

Related to this, is there a good way to ensure you're getting a quality product from eBay? We're looking for a laptop for school use and I figured one of the old school thinkpads would be ideal, but I worry about security, or that the laptop will come with malware, etc.

Amazon has their "renewed" section, as well, but buying used just feels sketchy to me despite knowing you all recommend it

Look for a seller with 1000+ transactions in the last year and 99.95%+ positive feedback. Buying from one of those guys is safer than buying new as they want to keep their rating

FCKGW
May 21, 2006

aaaaaaaaaa
AAAAAAAAAAA
HHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!




Hadlock posted:

Look for a seller with 1000+ transactions in the last year and 99.95%+ positive feedback. Buying from one of those guys is safer than buying new as they want to keep their rating

Yeah, anyone who is doing a large volume of transactions of computers on eBay is usually going to be a competent refurbishing company who knows how to either restore from the restore partition or reinstall Windows.

If you're really paranoid you can do a Windows 10 reinstall in less than an hour and with only a couple clicks.

sephiRoth IRA
Jun 13, 2007

"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality."

-Carl Sagan


Thanks for advice, friends. I was looking at this one: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-T44...4gAAOSwzatfhNMi

Seems okay? Certainly checks all the boxes for what we're looking for. Regarding paranoia, our dummy roommate downloaded a virus that gave someone remote access to our pc and it has scared the poo poo out of us. We caught it early (we think, we've done a bunch of ID theft protection and other stuff) but it's made us not feel so great about PCs as of late.

etalian
Mar 20, 2006



FCKGW posted:

If this trend continues your next laptop will last about 90 minutes.

I’m hoping my next laptop explodes during unboxing...

Hadlock
Nov 9, 2004





sephiRoth IRA posted:

Thanks for advice, friends. I was looking at this one: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-T44...4gAAOSwzatfhNMi

Seems okay? Certainly checks all the boxes for what we're looking for. Regarding paranoia, our dummy roommate downloaded a virus that gave someone remote access to our pc and it has scared the poo poo out of us. We caught it early (we think, we've done a bunch of ID theft protection and other stuff) but it's made us not feel so great about PCs as of late.

The T440 and X240 have notably bad trackpads, which is why I explicitly suggested the T450 and X250, as the trackpad design was reverted/fixed. The T440 trackpad was so bad, people posted tutorials on how to retrofit a T450 trackpad in their T440

Since you have the luxury of choosing the correct trackpad from the start, and the price delta between the 40 and 50 is so small, I'd not recommend that T440

Other benefit of the 50 is it's a year newer, and lithium ion batteries degrade over time, so you're getting a much healthier battery as a result

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Grimey Drawer

Verdict still good on the Gen 11 XPS13?

I'm debating between that or getting one of the T450's Hadlock mentioned.

It'll be light gaming, spreadsheets stuff, some 3d modelling / photo work.

Bob Morales
Aug 18, 2006

I love the succulent taste of cop boots

T450S seems to have the best/brightest screen out of the T450/460/470 machines

You used to be able to buy them all day for < $200 but now they are like $400 on eBay

If you have some CPU/RAM laying around as well as already have a Lenovo power cord that will save you some $.

Once you get into the T480 you get a quad-core CPU (the older ones are just dual-cores that aren't very fast) but they start to get more expensive. People are asking NEW prices for used ones.

MichiganCubbie
Dec 11, 2008

I love that I have an erection...

...that doesn't involve homeless people.



Yooper posted:

Verdict still good on the Gen 11 XPS13?

I'm debating between that or getting one of the T450's Hadlock mentioned.

It'll be light gaming, spreadsheets stuff, some 3d modelling / photo work.

I got the Gen 11 XPS 13 a couple days ago. It seems to handle light gaming and spreadsheets fine. No idea about modelling and photos. Watch for QA issues, though. I have a couple dead pixels, so I'm exchanging.

MichiganCubbie fucked around with this message at 13:37 on Oct 14, 2020

Hadlock
Nov 9, 2004





If you're doing a lot of photo editing, then yeah get the XPS 13, if not I'd look at the X13, X395, X390, X280

XPS models still have a weird thing where they don't actually sleep, so if you close the lid the battery will run down overnight, eating up an entire charge cycle (of which you only get about 400)

Which reminds me, I need to slap my XPS 15 back on the charger, it's been more than 12 hours (not even joking)

bull3964
Nov 18, 2000

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




Hadlock posted:

XPS models still have a weird thing where they don't actually sleep, so if you close the lid the battery will run down overnight, eating up an entire charge cycle (of which you only get about 400)

You keep saying this as if it's a truism and it's not.

My XPS 13 has slept for upward of a week without losing much charge.

Hadlock
Nov 9, 2004





Which model do you have specifically

bull3964
Nov 18, 2000

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




XPS 13 2-in-1 7390

Statutory Ape
Sep 12, 2017




your xps 13 will do that if you elect not to force it to hibernate for some reason yeah

its worth noting afaik this is a windows/MS experience change not a dell thing

Fruits of the sea
Dec 1, 2010


So I finally picked up the Legion 5 I asked about earlier in the thread. Trip report thus far: OK with some caveats.

Lenovo continues to be less crap than other manufacturers but still kinda crap when it comes to pre-loading shovelware onto computers. In this case the only things I had to remove were MS Solitaire and a Mcafee trial.

Getting a SKU with a decent screen continues to be incredibly confusing. I did manage to get a model with decent brightness and 100% srgb. The tradeoff which I was not aware of, is that unlike the more discrete floor models, the better screen also comes with a big glowy LED star on the back which pulses when the computer is in sleep mode. I can't fathom who would want a giant pulsing LED lighting up an entire room at night. The LED crap doesn't show on Lenovo's specs for individual SKUs so far as I can tell, so buyer beware.

The fans are pretty loud. On the plus side, the gpu never broke 64c under load and the cpu maxed out around 73c which isn't bad for a laptop under stress.

This is a model with a 10th generation i5, 2060 and 16gigs ram and it runs stuff just fine. I wasn't able to source a model with the same screen and specs with a Ryzen processor in my country, so I'm not one of the cool kids.

The build quality is great, no flex in anything, solid hinges. Keyboard is a bit cramped, consequence of having both a numpad and a goofy language that needs extra keys.

Harvey Baldman
Jan 11, 2011

ATTORNEY AT LAW
Justice is bald, like an eagle, or Lady Liberty's docket.



I've been watching prime day to see if any good high end laptops went up for grabs but I'm not really sure I want to pull the trigger yet... was looking for something that could do video editing /3d modeling /rendering for work.

This has my attention but I'm not sure about the 1660 GTX versus something like the 2060 RTX.

etalian
Mar 20, 2006



Statutory Ape posted:

your xps 13 will do that if you elect not to force it to hibernate for some reason yeah

its worth noting afaik this is a windows/MS experience change not a dell thing

Yeah windows 10 has some issues with sleep/hibernate power saving.

SMERSH Mouth
Jun 25, 2005



I see laptops for sale with an extra feature of “with Amazon Alexa built in” and it seems like they’re maybe slightly cheaper than the non-Alexa equivalents. Is the preinstalled virus.exe badware that They call Alexa fully removable, or is it going to be bound to the Windows license or some poo poo like that so that even a wipe & fresh reinstall will always include Amazon’s little spy?

Lockback
Sep 2, 2006

All days are nights to see till I see thee; and nights bright days when dreams do show me thee.


SMERSH Mouth posted:

I see laptops for sale with an extra feature of “with Amazon Alexa built in” and it seems like they’re maybe slightly cheaper than the non-Alexa equivalents. Is the preinstalled virus.exe badware that They call Alexa fully removable, or is it going to be bound to the Windows license or some poo poo like that so that even a wipe & fresh reinstall will always include Amazon’s little spy?

I know of no Amazon/Windows mix like that so I assume it's just like any other bloatware. I can't say how easy it would be to remove, but if you intend to just wipe it anyway you're probably good.

SMERSH Mouth
Jun 25, 2005



Lockback posted:

I know of no Amazon/Windows mix like that so I assume it's just like any other bloatware. I can't say how easy it would be to remove, but if you intend to just wipe it anyway you're probably good.

Thanks, good to know. Buying a new laptop, retail is probably not the best idea in the first place but I might do it if my local used options continue to be as sparse as they have been lately.

What bad things can be said about the Inspiron 15” 7000 with a 10th-gen i7, or the same but 13” with the 4K panel? I understand the speakers are not very good, that the build quality isn’t at XPS level, and that even the 4K panel has a kind of limited color gamut, but it seems like something that would handle HD video editing in adobe premiere and can do a lot more browser/zoom/teams action than my current surface pro 4 with 4GB of RAM.

Was considering the Ryzen 7 version but I’ve read that Premiere can’t utilize the integrated GPU on AMD systems so rendering will be much slower? Maybe this last question is too specialized for general laptop thread but figured I’d throw it out there.

FCKGW
May 21, 2006

aaaaaaaaaa
AAAAAAAAAAA
HHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!




SMERSH Mouth posted:

I see laptops for sale with an extra feature of “with Amazon Alexa built in” and it seems like they’re maybe slightly cheaper than the non-Alexa equivalents. Is the preinstalled virus.exe badware that They call Alexa fully removable, or is it going to be bound to the Windows license or some poo poo like that so that even a wipe & fresh reinstall will always include Amazon’s little spy?

Looks like it's an app that you can download and install/uninstall just like any application
https://www.amazon.com/b?node=17549366011

It doesn't even hook into the OS or control Windows at all, it's strictly for interfacing with other Alexa devices

bull3964
Nov 18, 2000

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




I REALLY cannot overstate how much I hate my work T480.

I get to choose:

Max performance so my keystrokes show up in realtime, but I get to listen to fans ramp up to max every time the mouse moves and eventually the USB-C controller overheats and drops the dock.

Mid performance so things lag like crazy because CPU frequency is capped, but at least the dock stays somewhat stable.

And this is my 2nd one, first one died completely after 9 months.

Uthor
Jul 9, 2006

Gummy Bear Heaven ... It's where I go when the world is too mean.

I picked up some old computers for recycling and one of them was a Chromebook. It boots right up, but says it has reached end of life and not getting any more updates.

How bad is this? Go ahead and surf, but don't go on banking sites? Fine for YouTube? Log off immediately and burn it in a fire?

I don't have much use for it, was thinking about giving it to my sis or her kids or leaving it around my parents house for when the kids visit and wanna watch videos.

Basically, I'm not sure if Chrome itself is getting updates beyond the OS.

bull3964
Nov 18, 2000

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




Uthor posted:


Basically, I'm not sure if Chrome itself is getting updates beyond the OS.

It is not. That's something that Google is reported to be working on, but it's not a thing yet.

Best bet would see if you can run Linux on it.

Hadlock
Nov 9, 2004





bull3964 posted:

I REALLY cannot overstate how much I hate my work T480.

I get to choose:

Max performance so my keystrokes show up in realtime, but I get to listen to fans ramp up to max every time the mouse moves and eventually the USB-C controller overheats and drops the dock.

Mid performance so things lag like crazy because CPU frequency is capped, but at least the dock stays somewhat stable.

And this is my 2nd one, first one died completely after 9 months.

Sounds like your IT department overloaded your laptop with too much monitoring crap, and you have a garbage docking solution

Also it's possible your laptop is full of pet hair/dust clogging the cooling. What you're describing is abnormal

Adun
Apr 15, 2001

Publicola

Fun Shoe

Are there any Windows laptops that have the same screen quality as a Macbook Pro?

bull3964
Nov 18, 2000

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




If you look around at T480 and T480s overheating, it's actually pretty common. If they are connected to AC power, they seem to idle VERY hot. The thermal management on them seems to be pretty terrible. They'll do this thing where they idle super hot on AC, spin up the fans full tilt which drops it below a threshold, they they basically stop and start the process over again. Over time the whole chassis heat soaks and weird stuff starts happening.

I've had it connected to three different docks including the official one and all exhibit the same issues. Only way to resolve is bounce the machine and it will behave on AC for a little while.

Inside is as spotless as a clean room. It's 100% a firmware bug that people have been complaining about since 2018.

Beyond that, the capabilities of the external monitors is just terrible because they made too many compromises with the way the internal displayport is handled to stick a dumb HDMI port on the thing.

You can choose dual 1080p monitors, anything beyond that is on your head. If you are LUCKY, you can get the thing to settle down for a bit and knock a 4k monitor down to 1080p60 or 4k30 to allow a second monitor to be detected and that config might be stable for awhile. But then the AC bug will hit which drops and reconnects the dock over and over again, confusing the poo poo out of any monitor configuration.

The most stable solution I've found is to drop back to a USB-C dock with Displaylink rather than try to use thunderbolt. It's actually able to use the monitors without issue if the USB-C port is behaving.

My first T480 lasted about 9 months before it developed a memory fault. I know before we closed down the office (pre-covid, we all just went remote 100% of the time) there wouldn't be a week that went by without someone sending back one that failed.

Kikuchiyo
Apr 24, 2003

Shuttle of joy never forget.

bull3964 posted:

If you look around at T480 and T480s overheating, it's actually pretty common. If they are connected to AC power, they seem to idle VERY hot. The thermal management on them seems to be pretty terrible. They'll do this thing where they idle super hot on AC, spin up the fans full tilt which drops it below a threshold, they they basically stop and start the process over again. Over time the whole chassis heat soaks and weird stuff starts happening.

I've had it connected to three different docks including the official one and all exhibit the same issues. Only way to resolve is bounce the machine and it will behave on AC for a little while.

Inside is as spotless as a clean room. It's 100% a firmware bug that people have been complaining about since 2018.

Beyond that, the capabilities of the external monitors is just terrible because they made too many compromises with the way the internal displayport is handled to stick a dumb HDMI port on the thing.

You can choose dual 1080p monitors, anything beyond that is on your head. If you are LUCKY, you can get the thing to settle down for a bit and knock a 4k monitor down to 1080p60 or 4k30 to allow a second monitor to be detected and that config might be stable for awhile. But then the AC bug will hit which drops and reconnects the dock over and over again, confusing the poo poo out of any monitor configuration.

The most stable solution I've found is to drop back to a USB-C dock with Displaylink rather than try to use thunderbolt. It's actually able to use the monitors without issue if the USB-C port is behaving.

My first T480 lasted about 9 months before it developed a memory fault. I know before we closed down the office (pre-covid, we all just went remote 100% of the time) there wouldn't be a week that went by without someone sending back one that failed.

I feel like there's just a recurring issue with Thinkpads and Thunderbolt/USB-C stuff these days. My old X1 Carbon had issues with receiving power/video from a single USB-C cable (had to put it on lowest performance or it would flicker on and off) and my current X1 Yoga seems to have the same issue, as well. Able to work around it well enough (USB-C to HDMI adapter and separate power or just lock it at max battery) but a bit annoying, and seems fairly common from googling around.

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Uthor
Jul 9, 2006

Gummy Bear Heaven ... It's where I go when the world is too mean.

bull3964 posted:

It is not. That's something that Google is reported to be working on, but it's not a thing yet.

Best bet would see if you can run Linux on it.

Trash it is!

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