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Offline robgronotte

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Need a new laptop...any advice?
« on: June 05, 2023, 11:22:15 PM »
I have the worst luck (or maybe the worst skill) at choosing laptops.  I have disliked the last two I have bought from when I started using them, but I kept them because they were slightly better than my old one or the old one was completely dead.  Now that there are barely any computer stores left, I can't even get a feel for them before buying.  I really need help selecting a new one, and since I have been using it for audio editing more than anything else recently, I thought I would ask here.

I'm looking for a windows laptop. preferably one with a fairly large screen as my eyesight isn't what it used to be.  I would actually prefer for it not to be a touch-screen, but since they seem to becoming ubiquitous, I can live with having one if it gets everything else working well.  I would prefer it having as close to a "real" keyboard as possible, instead of a "chiclet" style keyboard.  I don't need a huge hard drive, as I have good external units, but it would need to have enough space to hold several different music editing programs.  I would like something that could run the music editing programs without too much delay or getting very hot, even when also having some internet windows open as well.  Finally, ideally it would have good sound from the built in speakers, though I normally will be using headphones for actual music editing.

Of course I would prefer to spend less than more for the same performance levels, but I would be willing to spend up to $1000 or so if it has everything I like and would be likely to be happy with for at least several years.

If anyone has any advice for me, I would love to hear it.  Specific model recommendations from someone who has them would be great, but also any advice on which brands I might be most likely to be happy with, or even what specs I should be looking at or the best place to shop.  Or even a different forum I should be looking at, or an old thread here with a similar topic.

Surely many of you have faced this decision in the recent past, unless nearly everyone uses desktops or macs around here.  If this is the wrong subforum for these questions, I would appreciate knowing where would be better.

Offline BlueSky71

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Re: Need a new laptop...any advice?
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2023, 08:24:42 AM »
Chiming in because I just read about this laptop yesterday. It's a bit more than the 1K you mentioned, but would be worth every penny. The M series chips from Apple are insane, at least for the money. If you are a windows guy, there would be a couple challenges with your existing drives, but they can be overcome. But from what I read, nothing will touch this laptop for the 1299 when it comes out. Processing audio with the M2 chip and the internal storage is crazy ( I run a Mac mini M2) What used to take minutes, takes seconds.

https://www.theverge.com/2023/6/5/23739220/apple-macbook-air-15-features-specs-price-release-date-wwdc-2023

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Need a new laptop...any advice?
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2023, 11:04:35 AM »
We usea lot of laptops where I work. We are mainly Dell business class users though, so nothing would fall into your price point. (Latitudes mainly)
For your usage mentioned, music editing, I have found 16GB RAM is the minimum you can get away with these days. Also, the fastest processor, the better (i.e. choose i7 vs i5. I prefer Intel but others have more knowledge of INtel vs AMD. In my experience, you don't need 16 cores, etc, most music editing software will only use 4-8 cores.
summary of my advice (For music editing):
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Offline kindms

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Re: Need a new laptop...any advice?
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2023, 11:11:52 AM »
I have the worst luck (or maybe the worst skill) at choosing laptops.  I have disliked the last two I have bought from when I started using them, but I kept them because they were slightly better than my old one or the old one was completely dead.  Now that there are barely any computer stores left, I can't even get a feel for them before buying.  I really need help selecting a new one, and since I have been using it for audio editing more than anything else recently, I thought I would ask here.

I'm looking for a windows laptop. preferably one with a fairly large screen as my eyesight isn't what it used to be.  I would actually prefer for it not to be a touch-screen, but since they seem to becoming ubiquitous, I can live with having one if it gets everything else working well.  I would prefer it having as close to a "real" keyboard as possible, instead of a "chiclet" style keyboard.  I don't need a huge hard drive, as I have good external units, but it would need to have enough space to hold several different music editing programs.  I would like something that could run the music editing programs without too much delay or getting very hot, even when also having some internet windows open as well.  Finally, ideally it would have good sound from the built in speakers, though I normally will be using headphones for actual music editing.

Of course I would prefer to spend less than more for the same performance levels, but I would be willing to spend up to $1000 or so if it has everything I like and would be likely to be happy with for at least several years.

If anyone has any advice for me, I would love to hear it.  Specific model recommendations from someone who has them would be great, but also any advice on which brands I might be most likely to be happy with, or even what specs I should be looking at or the best place to shop.  Or even a different forum I should be looking at, or an old thread here with a similar topic.

Surely many of you have faced this decision in the recent past, unless nearly everyone uses desktops or macs around here.  If this is the wrong subforum for these questions, I would appreciate knowing where would be better.

I work in IT and we get this a lot. for our corporate customers we typically suggest Surface Pro 16GB ram or Dell XPS similar specs. 3 years support etc which will be about 2x your budget but we recently recommended a machine closer to your budget.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1723882-REG/lenovo_21dj000vus_thinkbook_15_g4_i7_1255u.html

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Offline Fatah Ruark (aka MIKE B)

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Re: Need a new laptop...any advice?
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2023, 11:17:16 AM »
Chiming in because I just read about this laptop yesterday. It's a bit more than the 1K you mentioned, but would be worth every penny. The M series chips from Apple are insane, at least for the money. If you are a windows guy, there would be a couple challenges with your existing drives, but they can be overcome. But from what I read, nothing will touch this laptop for the 1299 when it comes out. Processing audio with the M2 chip and the internal storage is crazy ( I run a Mac mini M2) What used to take minutes, takes seconds.

https://www.theverge.com/2023/6/5/23739220/apple-macbook-air-15-features-specs-price-release-date-wwdc-2023

Sort of 2nd this option. And for below the OPS budget you can get a M1 Macbook Air (about $800 at Best Buy now). The M1 chip will also crush audio processing. You can run Windows with Parallels which works fantastic under most situations. I do have a problem running foobar+Live Show Tagger, which takes FOREVER to tag a show (like hours). But there are options to tag in MacOS as well, so not a deal breaker.

The Apple hardware just wins for the price now (IMO).

All that being said I'm sure there are plenty of Windows laptops that will work fine as well without jumping through the extra hoops. If the heaviest thing you're going to do is process audio just about any current laptop will work fine.

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Offline morst

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Re: Need a new laptop...any advice?
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2023, 02:37:38 PM »
  Now that there are barely any computer stores left, I can't even get a feel for them before buying. 


Bestbuy has laptops in stock that you can go look at and touch, if you are near one of their locations.


If you don't need portability, and especially if you already have a monitor, mouse and keyboard, an intel NUC or mac mini is a nice option.


I personally do NOT like HP products but I think Dell, Asus, and Lenovo are all ok. Lenovo bought the old IBM thinkpad line, and we see a lot of those at my (convention center/hotel) work.
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Offline kindms

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Re: Need a new laptop...any advice?
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2023, 04:38:21 PM »
  Now that there are barely any computer stores left, I can't even get a feel for them before buying. 


Bestbuy has laptops in stock that you can go look at and touch, if you are near one of their locations.


If you don't need portability, and especially if you already have a monitor, mouse and keyboard, an intel NUC or mac mini is a nice option.


I personally do NOT like HP products but I think Dell, Asus, and Lenovo are all ok. Lenovo bought the old IBM thinkpad line, and we see a lot of those at my (convention center/hotel) work.

i use a NUC as my DAW and I have one for work (supplied by the company). Love them
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Offline robgronotte

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Re: Need a new laptop...any advice?
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2023, 04:49:58 PM »
Chiming in because I just read about this laptop yesterday. It's a bit more than the 1K you mentioned, but would be worth every penny. The M series chips from Apple are insane, at least for the money. If you are a windows guy, there would be a couple challenges with your existing drives, but they can be overcome. But from what I read, nothing will touch this laptop for the 1299 when it comes out. Processing audio with the M2 chip and the internal storage is crazy ( I run a Mac mini M2) What used to take minutes, takes seconds.

https://www.theverge.com/2023/6/5/23739220/apple-macbook-air-15-features-specs-price-release-date-wwdc-2023

It looks nice, but I have never used Apple computers and I don't know which of my programs even have an Apple version.

Offline kindms

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Re: Need a new laptop...any advice?
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2023, 05:06:08 PM »
Chiming in because I just read about this laptop yesterday. It's a bit more than the 1K you mentioned, but would be worth every penny. The M series chips from Apple are insane, at least for the money. If you are a windows guy, there would be a couple challenges with your existing drives, but they can be overcome. But from what I read, nothing will touch this laptop for the 1299 when it comes out. Processing audio with the M2 chip and the internal storage is crazy ( I run a Mac mini M2) What used to take minutes, takes seconds.

https://www.theverge.com/2023/6/5/23739220/apple-macbook-air-15-features-specs-price-release-date-wwdc-2023

It looks nice, but I have never used Apple computers and I don't know which of my programs even have an Apple version.

you can use bootcamp (its par of the mac os unless something has changed im unaware of). if you buy a copy of windows you can boot the machine in to either windows or mac as an option if you go that route. or you can also purchase something like vmware fusion which would allow you to run windows as a virtual machine inside of the mac (also requires a windows license)
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Offline BlueSky71

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Re: Need a new laptop...any advice?
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2023, 10:24:06 PM »

[/quote]

It looks nice, but I have never used Apple computers and I don't know which of my programs even have an Apple version.
[/quote]

Might be worth investigating, especially with the suggestions about running it in windows mode. I didn't know that was a thing when I moved from windows to mac. Good luck with the search

Offline goodcooker

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Re: Need a new laptop...any advice?
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2023, 12:30:35 AM »

You can get a desktop with way better specs for way less money if you aren't completely tied to using a laptop.
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Offline robgronotte

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Re: Need a new laptop...any advice?
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2023, 02:26:37 AM »

You can get a desktop with way better specs for way less money if you aren't completely tied to using a laptop.

Unfortunately, I would then need to buy a desk and a larger home to put it in!

Offline lynchie

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Re: Need a new laptop...any advice?
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2023, 10:51:16 AM »
you have a Micro Center near you? they usually have excellent deals/prices, especially if you don't need the most up to date versions. I scored a Dell a few months ago ago for $400. Really fast and does everything i need it to do.
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Re: Need a new laptop...any advice?
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2023, 07:41:58 PM »
Chiming in because I just read about this laptop yesterday. It's a bit more than the 1K you mentioned, but would be worth every penny. The M series chips from Apple are insane, at least for the money. If you are a windows guy, there would be a couple challenges with your existing drives, but they can be overcome. But from what I read, nothing will touch this laptop for the 1299 when it comes out. Processing audio with the M2 chip and the internal storage is crazy ( I run a Mac mini M2) What used to take minutes, takes seconds.

https://www.theverge.com/2023/6/5/23739220/apple-macbook-air-15-features-specs-price-release-date-wwdc-2023

It looks nice, but I have never used Apple computers and I don't know which of my programs even have an Apple version.

you can use bootcamp (its par of the mac os unless something has changed im unaware of). if you buy a copy of windows you can boot the machine in to either windows or mac as an option if you go that route. or you can also purchase something like vmware fusion which would allow you to run windows as a virtual machine inside of the mac (also requires a windows license)

No bootcamp on Apple silicon, have to virtualize w parallels.
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Offline robgronotte

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Re: Need a new laptop...any advice?
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2023, 09:43:01 PM »
you have a Micro Center near you? they usually have excellent deals/prices, especially if you don't need the most up to date versions. I scored a Dell a few months ago ago for $400. Really fast and does everything i need it to do.

Unfortunately not; I used to love those stores years ago when I was near one.  Hadn't realized they still existed.

I do live near a Best Buy, but I have found them in the recent past to have not a very good selection.

 

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