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Looking for a laptop that suits my needs as i start it for college

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--- Quote from: Sintpinty on Thu, 25 August 2022, 21:01:42 ---Performance is the highest thing i need as i need it to handle Virtualbox, SQL, Windows Server Administration tools, programming languages like Rust, Java and Scala, etc.

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although i have very litle to no experience with those programing languages, i ran a full web server (Apache PHP TSQL) + PHP, C, VB6 and web dev environment + VM off an old HP 4540S (upgraded with a 512Gb ssd and 16GB DDR3 1333) as of last year (at work with windows 10), so yeah performance is good, but everything new will outperform this old HP.

--- Quote from: Sintpinty on Thu, 25 August 2022, 21:01:42 ---I just have one minor question. My father really wants me to go with an apple branded laptop as he says "macs don't fail", however i made a good argument at dinner tonight that the majority of stuff in IT requires windows or performs best on Windows as that is what the majority of the corporate world uses. Should i go with Windows or Mac for this one?

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i would say macs do fail, and when they do they do very badly, i would get a normal pc as you will get better bang for your buck and dual boot it with linux and if you really want to have macOS you could put it in a VM, or no dual boot and put linux with both windows and macOS as VMs (last one was a joke, you should only do that if you feel really comfortable with linux) in IT especially server side linux is quite popular, having experience with it could be valuable, and it works on all pc, apple included.
and if we are going for brand wars, i'd stay away from Dell (seen a pc catch on fire on 1st start up?, seen 3 dell do so at work out of 19 me and my coworker installed), cheap Asus (seen them at work, on all of the one we had the fan exhaust get blocked by the screen when it is opened, leading to overheating and dead fans), Toshiba (had the displeasure of trying to fix 2 of them, they failed rather fast and were near/completely impossible to open without damage) and HP (the consumer part of HP, same issue as Toshiba for repairs) and would recommend HPE (the pro stuff, out of the 9 models i repaired all were pretty easy to take apart and fix and the phone support is rather helpful) and Lenovo after a reinstall of the OS (cause bloatware galore, only had one to repair, but it was easy to take apart). other than those i would also recommend taking a look at framework laptops, seems made to last and are the most upgradable laptops you will find, although i have no experience with them.

granola bar enthusiast:
bro just wanted a laptop recommendation not a whole argument over lenovo and mac lifespan

You want a Macbook Pro. The 14" is light, fast and more than capable. Keep in mind if doing any mobile that you can do Android on the Mac but you cannot do IOS apps on a Windows laptop.

I am a software contractor and have worked at a lot of Fortune 500 companies. I cannot remember the last time that the dev laptop provided by the ompany was not a Macbook.

The new Macbook Pros look like a step back in the right direction, but they're a bit outside of budget if you want new. I would've ruled against the Pros from year 2012-2022 but they're bringing back ports and reparability on their higher up offerings, and that deserves consideration.

Thinkpads are also a great option, and can be a much better bargain, but won't get you the same clean ecosystem as an Apple. They'd suit you better if you're a tinkerer. I've been running a T430 for ten straight years now and it's been a fantastic experience.  With a Thinkpad you get better community support and eventual upgrades (for example, the T430's Achilles heel was its terrible 1600x900 tft panel, but after a few years the community came out with an adapter that allowed any 14" 1920x1080 panel to be swapped in, which really extended the lifespan of the computer.) 


Since you're specifically looking for a new laptop and form factor isn't a priority for you, I'd vote for building out a Thinkpad T14, and maxing out the processor, soldered RAM and screen resolution but keeping everything else base level for later expansion.  With their current sales, this will get you a computer for just around your budget with:

- 12th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-1270P vPro® Processor
- Win11 Home
- 16GB Soldered RAM (has user accessible expansion slot for up to 48GB total RAM)
- 256GB SSD (user expandable down the line.)
- 14" 2.2K (2240 x 1400), IPS, Anti-Glare, 300 nits, International Color Consortium. (A lower resolution IPS touch screen is available for about $300 USD more; if you wanted a touch screen you'd probably have to downgrade the processor to the previous gen i7 and remove a couple other small options for budget reasons.)
- Fingerprint reader (can be removed to save $10 USD)
- Backlit Keyboard (can be downgraded to non-backlit to save $30 USD)
- Smart Card Reader (can be subtracted to save $20 USD)
- 52.5 Wh Battery (can be downgraded to save $10 USD)

Comes to a total of $2022CAD plus taxes and shipping, so just about your budget.  A few things could be subtracted depending on your needs to get it lower.

Budget aside, if it were me looking for a new laptop right now, this is almost exactly the configuration I'd go for. I might tack on Microsoft Office, would consider adding a mobile broadband card, and would probably buy a Samsung 500GB or 1TB SSD separately for a day-of-arrival upgrade (because it's way cheaper to do this yourself and the Samsung SSDs tend to be the market leaders atm.)  I'd probably leave the RAM at 16GB unless I saw a pressing need to upgrade it.

You need to max out CPU and RAM because it's all soldered to the board these days, but the SSD and 32GB of the ram can be upgraded later if you need it. Overall, you'd wind up with a pretty futureproof computer that would probably carry you all the way through college and then some.

Looking at your software requirements I would be inclined to ask your dept's Dean or some of the teachers. I went to college for IT in 2010 and I got a ballin' Sony Vaio. First gen i5, 8gb of RAM, 7200RPM drive. I used it very little for workhorse items. We were using VMware and needed the local horsepower to run servers and VMs. Fast forward to 2023 and most VMs are hosted in a datacenter or a cloud where other people's PCs are processing.

If you do not require a powerful laptop for in class lectures/work then 100% go with a chromebook or other low cost lightweight machine for your word docs, etc. Then have a full size desktop PC in your dorm for any actual processing. The desktop will outperform the laptop at any pricepoint. I have enjoyed my Lenovo laptops in the past as well and use one for work.


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