Laptop upgrade advice

AAH

I love blinky lights :)
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It's time that I upgrade as my old laptop is 6 years old, the case it literally falling apart and as it's Win7 32 bit I can't run 2020 versions of xlights.
As a result I'm looking for advice on a lappy and where to get 1.
My preferences
-Win 10 pro (this isn't critical but I've ran Win xx pro for a LONG, LONG time over lots of computers)
-Minimum 8G ram
-Quad core
-Would actually rather not have a DVD drive as I don't use them and this 6yo lappy has had about 3 or 4 in it ever.
-SSD boot drive
-Prefer a mechanical 2nd drive if possible for longterm data integrity. Alternately at least a 500G SSD or 1TB mechanical hdd
-15.6" display as I'm old and blind :D
-Numeric keypad
-A couple of usb3 or usb 3.1 ports
-SD slot
-Gigabyte ethernet
-At least 1920x1080 graphics. VGA/HDMI or both external graphics plugs
-wifi
-low weight is preferable to battery life, processing speed and graphics speed. At least 2-3hrs battery life minimum though.
-webcam/speakers/microphone

The laptop will be used for OLD pcb design software, excel, xlights, pic programming and a tiny amount of sound and image editing. Xlights is by far the most processor intensive app that will be used.

Australia only as freight from overseas is currently incredibly unreliable.

Budgetary cost of $AU700 +/- 50% depending on specs.
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Lenovo-V145-15-6-A4-Notebook-Win-10-Laptop-BNIB-NEW-SEALED/184295677923 is close but misses out due to low graphics res.
 

kevr

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I've been using a Lenovo Thinkpad for 5 or 6 years and it has been super reliable, if you go for a lightweight one they tend not to come with a DVD drive. Mine has a small SSD but I just hook up an external drive I think the last one I got was a 6TB which was around $200.

I'm like you and need a bigger screen now as everything seems to be shrinking, I do my stuff on a desktop with a big monitor which I find easier and then move it to a laptop to run the show. Pros and cons for laptop and desktop so it's whatever is best for you but there are lots of great deals around.
 
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darylc

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I'd echo the Thinkpad's if you can find something in your price range. Not the lightest thing in existence but very good. I like them because you can source spare parts on ebay to repair them and they have a great repair manual online. Model T590 (5 means 15" screen, 90 is the latest generation). T580, T570, T560, T550, T540, T530, T520 etc are older but likely available 2nd hand.

These days I'm using a T490 (14" screen) because the X220 (12" screen) got too small for me. I used a T520 at work a while ago.
 
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Mark_M

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One piece of advice I would give; look at the build quality of new laptops.

My 2018 ASUS laptop chassis is a finger print magnet and is susceptible to marks from the screen bezel that do not come out. The screen also has scratches from the keyboard.
Same goes for a family member's ASUS laptop. This laptop doesn't get put into a bag and has this wear after 8 months since purchase.
These aren't low end ASUS laptops either; they're in the $1,500 range.

Having said all that; my previous ASUS laptop purchased in 2013 has none of these problems and was half the price!

Quality now days has gone down.
 
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Jarrad33

Hmmmmm Pixels
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Try and get a m.2 drive over the sata drive to make the rendering quicker :D

I bought a few new Dell's with m.2 drives for guys at work and they love it.
 

Dreamin

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For a new laptop your budget it a bit low for the spec you want ie the split SSD/mechanical drive. For example I just bought one of these https://www.umart.com.au/Asus-15-6in-HD-R5-3500U-512GB-SSD-Laptop--D509DA-BR208T_53906G.html which has a 512Gb SSD in it with the option to put a another SSD or mechanical drive in it. It's well spec'd, and only $799. Personally I won't spend over $1k on a laptop due to the life span of them, that's just my opinion though. spend $500 or $5000 you only get 1 year warranty! I wouldn't buy second hand, too many things go wrong with them and get passed on to the next person. They get moved around, dented, scratched and die early from my experience. My desktop is kicking along fine, and repairable too with off the shelf parts. :) Cost the same as the laptop when I made it, second hand 22" monitors X2 off facebook, and away we go. :)
Xlights is also CPU intensive so having a decent CPU is quite important, avoid the budget CPUs or the stupid 64Gb SSD laptops that fill in seconds. Due to our weak AU $ we aren't getting value for money in the laptop market at the moment, especially in the Intel range.
 
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AAH

I love blinky lights :)
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For a new laptop your budget it a bit low for the spec you want ie the split SSD/mechanical drive. For example I just bought one of these https://www.umart.com.au/Asus-15-6in-HD-R5-3500U-512GB-SSD-Laptop--D509DA-BR208T_53906G.html which has a 512Gb SSD in it with the option to put a another SSD or mechanical drive in it. It's well spec'd, and only $799. Personally I won't spend over $1k on a laptop due to the life span of them, that's just my opinion though. spend $500 or $5000 you only get 1 year warranty! I wouldn't buy second hand, too many things go wrong with them and get passed on to the next person. They get moved around, dented, scratched and die early from my experience. My desktop is kicking along fine, and repairable too with off the shelf parts. :) Cost the same as the laptop when I made it, second hand 22" monitors X2 off facebook, and away we go. :)
Xlights is also CPU intensive so having a decent CPU is quite important, avoid the budget CPUs or the stupid 64Gb SSD laptops that fill in seconds. Due to our weak AU $ we aren't getting value for money in the laptop market at the moment, especially in the Intel range.
That laptop checks pretty near every box except for being out of stock.
 

Katekate

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Its a really bad time to be shopping for laptops TBH, damn near everything is out of stock. Everything got bought up to get people working from home for the lockdown. My company actually ended up buying a bunch of refurbished laptops because thats all we could get.
 
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AAH

I love blinky lights :)
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also its got a rubbish screen res
Good pickup Kate. It was actually pretty hard to find the screen res. I don't need anything better than the 1366x768 it has as that's the same that my current lappy has. My desire for higher res is driven by xlights and the fact that rows and icons etc in xlights are a fixed size and the 1366x768 has a limited amount of real estate.
 
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