Buying a new laptop sucks

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by DRTigerlilly, Jul 5, 2020.

  1. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    @dstrauss so the Macbook also has a crappy webcam...with the caveat it costs more than any other option
     
  2. wytn

    wytn Scribbler - Standard Member

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    "Buying a new laptop sucks..."

    I concur...

    I went through the same thing a few months ago this year...

    [This is one of my rambly posts... Ouch. Sorry, should have had coffee or something before posting. Clear the headache. It's rambly and venting too? Sorry really, i understand the exhaustion - and i don't have any good suggestion really. - it's a 'my expericence/me' post and shhh. Skip/skim...]

    I used to use Mac/Macbook Pro laptop as a main PC/laptop for ~ 10 years or a bit more, but decided to let go of any Mac hardware -- many reasons, among them the main one is that i've been really annoyed by the state/way macOS evolved for years and years. i used Linux distros & Win 8/10 on the side for all these years so i decided i was going to forget entirely about macOS. [ Hardware that gets more and more expensive, Apple forever trying to lock users more and more in their ecosystem - for me that'd mean never using any Apple 'stock app' or similar software from them, stupid decisions all around, hardware with terrible issues for models more recen than my latest rMBP 13" 2015. The famous keyboard problems, i've seen users having to get them replaced every year under warranty until warranty runs out. I believe the display issues weren't great either. And/but mostly Apple is a stubborn entity. And if one of their decision, to change a keyboard tech (for instance, again), turns out bad, you gotta wait a few years before they revert it because they would never admit something was a "bad decision" or "not great, etc... macOS/MacOSX over these 10 years perhaps got under-the-hood improvements as more "more security" -- even to the detriment of the user experience; gotta love it when Apple wants to protect the users against themselves -- but apart from those, at best it's been features/stuff i didn't need or didn't want and was allowed to not use. Uhm, sorry, i didn't mean to rant that much, i could go on sadly, but would prob also have to detail some things... Anyway. They are too many "minus" now for me regarding macOS. And i've still been staying/lagging on purpose on two years older major macOS versions to avoid too many problems. Now we've come to macOS versions i don't want to run, ever. So yeah, TLDR: have enough of Apple and macOS with a development that follows iOS lead.]


    Back to the buying a new laptop 'experience'.. I was going to replace my main PC/MBP with a Dell XPS at first but between the too common issues, the high price and not much repair/upgrade possible, plus being limited(?) to those USB-C/TB3 ports (would have had to add an expensive TB3 dock to the cost), i decided to skip the XPS range. In the end now i suppose having only (or almost only) USB-C/TB3 ports wouldn't be that terrible as i have/would have to get a TB3 dock anyway... but...
    (The XPS had the 3:2 display ratio that's dear to me tho, on the + side)

    I also looked at several HP envy/etc laptops and skipped them...

    I was very tempted to get another Thinkpad Yoga as i was a fan of my S1 2015 12.5" model
    [except for the aspect ratio in 12" and the battery life - Oh and the i5 CPU wasn't that great in my model... If it was at least on par with my 2015 MBP, i would go back to it and use it a main PC/laptop even these days...Although its fans gets heard too easily now/these days, too often/too loud, for nothing, i will check dust in case, but i think it's mostly Windows.]

    I haven't really looked at the X1 (well i don't remember, i don't think i did), i assume it's still OK, but my configuration was at least at 1800€, with some AES and i didn't think i really needed/wanted a convertible in this case. All the other Yogas/Thinkpad Yogas that weren't as expensive didn't work for me, i skipped many models because of thermal issues/laptops that would throttle super easily/fast... - In that case i didn't need/want to buy a recent i5 laptop if it's going to run like an older one.

    I decided to go for a Thinkpad with repairability/etc in mind [and some compromises].

    What i got (earlier this year):
    A T480S, 8gb soldered ram with one free RAM slot (up to 24gb total in theory, more in practice), replacable/upgradable SSD, WIFI card, pcie something slot etc. 2 USB-C including one TB3, full side HDMI, 2xUSB3, full sdcard slot...
    Overall way cheaper brand-new, something that looked like a decent & recent enough common i5 cpu (saw it on many high(-ish) end laptops, sometime with thermal issues too tho.. ) no thermal/throttling issue on this one, or at least not too common and not isssue on my model -- most of the time the fans don't even kick-in, even for some light-ish 3D games when it's set-up in a sort "passive cooling mode". When i hear them in "performances modes" i don't find it terribly annoying and rarely anyway. It's not heavier than my 2015 rMBP nor my 2015 TPY.
    The 51Wh batter has a good (great for me) life on both Windows AND Linux (it's the most amazing to me tho, a very good battery life on Linux.)

    Don't know what i forget, but i got it used (with only one month missing from its 3-year warranty, around 650€ - versus 1100 or 1200 brand-new iirc), as-new, not battery wear at all, replaced/upgraded the m2 SSD, added some ram.
    In terms of compromise? I knew the display wasn't great at all (ok maybe bad?) but i also knew i would use it with an external monitor most of the time. Speakers are bad too. BUT... I never listen to music (nor watch films) on laptop speakers so i don't care, is what i thought.

    Turns out: nowawadays i sometimes want to listen to stuff on laptop speakers without external speakers nor using earphones/headphones. Nowaways i also found myself using the laptop more without an external display than i thought i would; even outside (!?) -> ouch, yes this display isn't bright at all. I believe my TPY can be a lot brighter than that. (Only FYI: this laptop's display isn't usable outside in the shade 1 meter from walls/some house... Prob could be problematic inside in terms of reflections too, not sure.)
    The speakers are indeed terrible. It IS really bad, as the reviews said. I don't know how to they managed to be that bad.

    Some disappointments/things i didn't fully anticipate? Yes.
    Mainly the 'build quality'. It feels a lot cheaper than my TPY. The keyboard isn't as good. It's an OK one i suppose, still nothing comparable at all (i think the keyboard part/area is waterproof/splashproof on this model? Not sure). But yeah, it overall feels/seems a lot less durable and cheaper than my 2015 Yoga (and it's initial brand-new price was a little less than this one...) It is a huge letdown for me, somehow. (When many several times more expensives laptops have worse keyboards or no better build quality? Heh i don't know).

    Now something else... even when i didn't think i needed a convertible as i wasn't going to use it to draw, just use it as a laptop/PC. Well i do miss the convertible aspect! (Oh...)

    Well, any personal conclusion? I don't know, it looks like i'm hard to please/demanding too much...
    Maybe i should have got that X1 Yoga instead? I didn't spend that much on this laptop but i did sink/lost a ton of time in research... (which is excruciating, prob as much as this post)

    Am i doomed to compare any laptops to this 2015 TPY (and also my last 2015 MBP?), apparently, yes...
    And problably to the Surface Go now too.

    It also looks like i should listen to my own 'advice/s' and just keep working with what i already have even when i think it's too old/not good enough anymore now or other things like that.

    Geez/Shh

    (Sorry for this post again... I'm going to get that coffee, eat something as i can't even reread myself for now to fix typos/sentences.)

    Edit: Another thing and it's Windows/OS thing, i run this T480S more on Linux than on Windows, i'm used to run Linux (since the late 90s) but i hoped that i could get used to Windows 10 (Pro) on this one, just stick to Windows as dual booting never was the most practical to me (but i need many Unix/Linux tools etc - So: WSL or VMs). For some reason i don't have any Win10 problem on the sGO (slightly different uses might be the reason. Also still on 1903 on the GO, 1909 on T480S) but Windows on the T480S always end up enfuriating me with some new bug/problem. Lately: broken start menu & broken search [Win key shortcut or Win-S shortcut, couldn't type to launch software anymore, like typing "[WIN] Fire..." to launch Firefox. It wouldn't let me do that anymore, the menu/search crashed after 2 or 3 letters. I did without this feature for some time as it took me a while to randomly fix it (not knowing exactly how). - now i also have bugs with an external SSD, & it's only on Windows (& fine on linux). Not the best experience.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2020
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  3. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Yes - like most (even the supposedly 1080p on my Spectre x360) pretty much suck. Without a doubt the camera in the Surface Go 2 is the best laptop camera I've ever used (better than our Logitech c920 - which is always out of stock anyway).

    I am going to give some more props to the SG2 (at least the m3 business SKU with 256gb that I tried). It is SILENT (saying that because my x360 fans still get noisy at times); virtually no bigger than my iPad Pro 11 + Smart Keyboard; Type Cover is FAR BETTER than the Smart Keyboard and even a little better than the Magic Keyboard (heresy, I know); performance actually a little better than my GB12. My "third career" plans have still not firmed up but I keep thinking about going back to the SG2 and ditching everything else...

    That doesn't resolve your repair issues, but thought I'd share anyway for what it is worth.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2020
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  4. wytn

    wytn Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I suppose i could concur too in a way, to compensate with all that can't stand anymore with macOS... I got most of my Macbook/Macbook Pro as refurbished (only to save something like 100 or 200€ tho each time), they were as new, never got any problem with their state, always perfect, when i got a problem with iOS/Mac devices, i found the experience OK in the end. (Even when it took them years to recognize a common defect with an iPhone... in the end it turned out ok). My exchange of an Apple Pencil bought sealed on ebay but dead wasn't a problem at all. (Still had a not absolutely great experience with a problem with a Mac Mini, but it wasn't actually a hardware problem... it just was macOS bugs/problems that took some years to be fixed. Different thing.)

    The new ARM announcement is something else tho now :) For me at least, i'm already Not OK with the end of support of 32-bit app/any piece of 32bit software/library on macOS... And i'll stop here! Enough messy ramblings for today
     
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  5. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    I keep going to look at them....
    the laptop is out it's the one with the worse camera
    the book probably has the best keyboard but it's bulkier than I want
    the type cover & I are not friends and i want something lapable...
    AND I don't know how to get over the closed stores & the inevitable replacements....a 4 yr business complete warranty would be a must
     
  6. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    The only answer I can give is the last question - I think three years is max on the business complete warranties. I'm sorry for all the heartache - I sure wish we could design what we need made of indestructible titanium.
     
  7. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    I learned recently they do have 4 eyar warranties, this wasn't the document but this confirms it

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/business/warranty-service-offerings-and-support

    [​IMG] (The Document I had seen)
    Sent from my SM-N9600 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
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  8. dellaster

    dellaster Non-Creative Plebe Senior Member

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    Probably no aid to @DRTigerlilly, but I caught a deal I couldn’t refuse today: last year’s 2nd gen ThinkPad X1 Extreme since the 3rd gen won’t go up for sale until their “Black Friday in July” sale ends and there’s only small, incremental changes. I upgraded the base model to 4k OLED, applied THINK50 and 7% military (vet) discounts, which dropped it from a MacBook Pro-like $2839 to a much more tolerable $1320 plus tax, free shipping. (It’s 53.5% off ‘cause the 7% is applied to the balance after the 50%.)

    As far as I can figure, OLED is the only touch option for gen 2 and therefore a Wacom AES pen will work, should I choose to buy one down the road. Plus I wanted that OLED (drool). RAM and SSD are easily upgraded for a lot less than the configurator cost. I might just strip both from my Hades Canyon NUC since Intel and AMD have disowned Kaby Lake G/RX Vega M systems. It’s an orphaned device.

    This will be my Linux machine (buh bye, MS! It’s been... yeah, well, good riddance). Mostly gaming, modding and some writing. I’ve been wanting a ThinkPad laptop for ages (keyboard to die for!) but never caught one of these absurd sales before. :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
  9. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Could you elaborate on that a little more?

    I literally almost bought a Hades Canyon last week. I decided to finally update my Desktop rig from Windows 7 to a fresh install of Win 10, and was thinking of getting a new device altogether. I've always been drawn to the Hades Canyon, I know it wouldn't be as powerful as a full/proper desktop, but I get by mostly fine with my Surface Pro 5 & Zbookx2 which use 15W cores, so the 100w Hades Canyon and its generous supply of ports, its ability to push 6 monitors made it seem to be the perfect device for my uses. With my current desktop arrangement, I even had a stupidly perfect place to put the Hades Canyon. Even measured it, it would fit like a glove.

    I also looked at the newer NUC 9 and the HP Mini Z2 workstation, which offer more power and desktop class chips, but the Hades Canyon I always found more preferable given its small form factor and its ports. Should I get a new job this year have the relocate, the Hades size and profile can make it easy to take anywhere. Even with the external power supply, its still more laptop Bagable then the newer NUC 9. And the HP Z2 is lacking the Thunderbolt 3 / 6-monitor support the Hades has.(HP offers a single Thunderbolt 3 port as a flex add on, but the price for what I wanted started to exceed what I wanted to pay)

    But with the newer Tiger Lake based Panther and Phantom Canyon NUC's sort of poised to launch sometime this quarter, I decided to hold off on buying a new computer and wait for the fall. Instead I just got a new 1TB SSD and did a clean Win10 install to use on my old desktop hardware. But with the Tiger Lake NUC rumored to only be using a 28w CPU instead of the 45w used in the Skull and Hades, and a leaked photo(that might not be real) even shows they will offer fewer ports, and presumably lesser monitor support. So even if I waited, it the price on the Hades dropped enough, I might have still preferred getting the Hades even later.

    But this of talk of AMD/Intel disowning it....now I'm glad I did hold off.
     
  10. dellaster

    dellaster Non-Creative Plebe Senior Member

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    @darkmagistric, I’m referring to the graphic driver updates. Important to me because I game. Back in February, a year after their last driver release, Intel instructed owners to download the AMD Adrenaline drivers.

    https://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-graphics-driver-update-hades-canyon-amd-12-month-delay

    Good news, or so everyone thought. But in May the Adrenaline drivers stopped working for Kaby Lake G/RX Vega M systems and that’s been unchanged since then.

    https://community.amd.com/thread/252425 and numerous other places.

    It’s EOL to Intel and AMD doesn’t consider it worth their effort. So its days as a useful gaming rig are numbered. It should be fine for those okay with a steady-state configuration. If you can wait till I finish my motorcycle tour in October I can give you a good deal—that is, if the 65W HNK suits you. The more powerful one was measured in reviews sucking down 180+Watts under load and my solar power system can’t support that. :confused:
     
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