New Laptop

Since Denise is heading down to Alabama, it will mean she will be taking and using the Microsoft Surface Pro. Which will leave me without a laptop that is worth anything.

I have an old VAIO ultra-portable (at the time) but that is a 32-bit machine and slow as molasses now. I still like the machine but the screen pixels are limited now, working on it is no longer a joy.

Denise has an old chunky Lenovo but she has not turned that thing on in ages, ever since her HD crashed in that machine and I sent it off to a recovery place to get whatever they could off of it.

I also have an old white iBook PPC machine which is utterly worthless other than ripping CDs that nothing else seems to be able to read. No new software can run on it. It cannot even visit many websites because the latest web browser for it is not supported by anyone or is so old that it cannot handle all the modern HTML.

On top of this Denise likes to work on my main desktop which I have tricked out quite nicely with 3 monitors and such. Which often leaves me working on the Surface. Ugh, nothing wrong with the surface but I really miss my hydra’esk beast of a desktop, with its RTX card…

I will be getting the beast back but eventually, I will be joining Denise down in Alabama which means the beast will likely stay up here and I will need something of my own to play with.

Required: UHD display. I have been looking at what is out there and dreaming about what I would like. I think I will not settle for anything less than UHD (3840×2160). I have gotten spoiled with UHD monitors at work. And reading text on a high res monitor is sooo nice. That thins the options down quite a bit. The Surface isn’t exactly UHD either but it is quite a bit higher resolution than 1080p. And it is such an improvement. Even with its 3:2 aspect, working inside Visual Studio is so much nicer at the higher resolution than on the older Sony with less than 1080p resolution.

Preferred: IPS LCD over OLED. There seems to be a trend to go toward OLED. I know the benefits bit I know I will have burn-in issues within the year if I ever got an OLED display. Even my IPS monitors attached to the beast shows afterimages of interface lines and such. I know those will become permanent if I was going to be using an OLED display. OLED is great for movies and photos. But for static images displayed over a long period of time? I do not think we are there yet with the technology.

Preferred: 11th Gen Intel CPU. Not much to say here other than, since I am going to be spending quite a few dollars just because of UHD, I might as well opt for the more current generation of CPU.

Preferred: 32 GB Ram. 16 minimum. Hopefully, the laptop will be somewhat user upgradable so that I could put in 32 or more GBs.

Preferred: 1 TB HD. Most are now SSD-based and NVMe instead of Santa. Programming does not generally take up much space but the data for those programs is another matter.

Required: Touch display. I enjoy them. I prefer that over any form of the trackpad. I would really love a 2-in-1 but screen sizes are not really that large in that category. If I cannot find a 2-in-1 that I like then I will want a 17″. My eyes are not thanking me when dealing with small things anymore. The problem of getting old.

Does not matter. Camera? Don’t really care how good it is or if it has one. Speakers? I use headphones, they will be way better than any speakers found in a laptop. Battery life? I think most will be fine for my use. I will most likely be using the computer plugged in anyway. Multi-monitor support? It just needs to support just one external monitor when I am down in Alabama. Otherwise I will be using the beast. The laptop needs to be usable without.

So the above reduces the list of options to…

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1. +Fast ram. +Screen is 16:10 so a little more pixels to work with. -Small screen. -Availability not until end of Sept. -Just USB type C ports, which means I will need a dongle to connect to an external monitor. -Costs about $200 more than if I bought in the US even with the exchange rate; might need to wait for Black Friday.

Dell XPS 17. +Screen is 16:10 (I think) so a little more pixels in the height. -Availability not until the beginning of Sept. -Cost issue similar to the XPS 13.

ASUS ZenBook Duo. +Second monitor would be really useful with Visual Studio. -Aesthetics, reminds me of the TRS80, Keyboard placement might annoy me. trackpad location will not. -OLED screens, burn-in worries.

ASUS ZenBook Flip. +2-in-1. +15″. +Cheap, why is it so cheap (compared to some of these other ones in the list)? -OLED.

Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR. +Keyboard, namely the cursor keys! Oh, how I HATE half-height keys. My fingers are not that fat but I use those keys all the time and making mistakes when mishitting them drives me crazy. There is a reason why regular keyboards have tapered in keys, to prevent accidentally hitting the neighboring keys. With laptop keyboards, I feel like I make a ton more mistakes. Arrow keys should not cause me grief! -I cannot say I am a huge fan of the look. The XPS laptops above look a lot better.

MSI GS76 Stealth (or similar, So many model numbers and changes). +Keyboard, the cursor keys! See Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR. -I cannot say I am a huge fan of the look. The XPS laptops above look a lot better.

Microsoft Surface Book 3 15. +2-in-1 +If my Surface Pro is any example, it will just work and feel great. -Screen not completely UHD. -Freaking expensive!

Nothing from LG or Samsung. Lenovo and VAIO are now Chinese (I am ok Taiwanese). I have never been a huge fan of Lenovo’s designs though. Toshiba and Fujitsu you cannot find anything from them anymore, not that Fujitsu had much of a presence here in Canada. NO APPLE! I am a Windows guy. I have a few Apple products but they end up languishing on the shelf and never used. Plus I hate them. Keyboard navigation of their apps and OS is just horrendous compared to Windows. The OS has quirks I hate (Maximize does not maximize to the whole screen, WTH?) Yeah, just no.

But having said all that… It does not make a lick of difference anyway. Other than maybe the Microsoft Surface Book 3, which I will probably not go with because it costs so much and feature for feature is offering too little for that cost, there is no stock! I may look again when I am in Alabama. Buying in the States may actually save me quite a few dollars but I suspect I will still have a problem of no stock.

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