First post, by keenmaster486
I have been searching around to try to find a good laptop for 2020 and beyond.
Currently I have a Dell 17-inch laptop with an i7 Skylake, 8 GB RAM, and SSD from 2015, running Linux Mint, and a 2012 Macbook Pro (the form factor of which I consider far superior to newer MacBooks) that I have upgraded with 8 GB RAM and SSD.
Now, both of my current machines are working excellently right now. I have no complaints about the performance of each of them. The only performance concern that I have is in future-proofing.
I have been gravitating towards the MacBook for things like writing, also it is the laptop I tend to take with me places due to its smaller size and case that feels very indestructible. I am beginning to think that the 17-inch Dell is just too damn large! I am also dubious about the 16:9 screen ratio - I really prefer 4:3 but I don't think anyone makes those any more. I have heard about 3:2 screens. In any case the Dell is the most powerful machine I own, and it is my main Linux machine so it is the one I end up using for any and all serious development, photoshop, desktop publishing, etc.
But I think that sometime in the next year or so, I will be thinking about consolidating and only having one primary laptop. The MacBook I would retain, solely so I can run Apple-only things like Logic Pro X (when I am making music at home, for example).
Here are the requirements I'm tenatively thinking about:
- CPU: higher-end Intel i7, upgradeable (is this still a thing?)
- RAM: 8 or 16GB, upgradeable
- Video: preferably discrete graphics but not absolutely necessary. Are any of these modular these days?
- Screen: 13 or 15 inch, or thereabouts. resolution is not crucial. But does anyone make a 4:3 laptop screen any more? The answer is no. A 16:10 or 3:2 screen would do ok. Also, matte? They all seem to be glossy nowadays. I do not like reflections very much, although they are very pretty little distractions for when I am trying to work.
- Audio: not crucial
- Storage: SATA solid state drive, probably 1 TB. Not crucial as I would be providing drive and/or OS myself.
- Optical drive: Having an optical drive would be VERY nice. I understand most new laptops do not have one, but still. I have an LG Blu-Ray drive (currently in the Dell) I would be swapping out so I can play Blu-Ray disks.
- Keyboard: now, this is very important to me. Most keyboards nowadays are what I would call "sufficient". But if I'm going to buy a new laptop, I want to find something more than just that. Also, some modern keyboards are very crappy - case in point, the new MacBook keyboards which feel like typing on little pieces of scotch tape. It would be nice if the keys were taller, closer together, and had a very solid feel.
- Touchpad: not crucial but a crappy touchpad would also be a minus, obviously. I'd mostly be using an external mouse.
- Case: This is another important factor for me, I'm looking for something that feels like you could drop it from 6 feet and it would be just fine, or you can quickly lift it up by the side without it bending (many new machines fail the latter test!). The 2012 MacBook fits this description. This rules out new thinner laptops, as that seems to be the trend nowadays - often they feel like you could snap them in half with your bare hands!
- Ports: USB 3 (3x or more), HDMI, SD card, ethernet, headphone jack
- Battery: having long battery life, comparable to or better than the 2012 MacBook, would be great. My Dell laptop lasts maybe 2 or 3 hours. The MacBook lasts longer, maybe 4 hours. I see a lot of claims about "9 HOUR BATTERY LIFE" or whatever - not sure how many of these are actually true!
Another thing I am unsure about is whether ANY laptops nowadays have upgradeable CPUs.
As far as the OS goes, I can think of a couple ways to set this up that would work for me:
- Single partition with some Linux distro, virtual machines for legacy OS's and Windows 7, or possibly macOS
- Dual boot Linux and macOS ("Hackintosh")? Is this still possible? I have heard of people doing this before, but I don't know how risky/flaky it is. If this were possible, I might not need the MacBook any more.
I am still searching around to figure out what might work. I'd appreciate suggestions from anyone who has experience with laptops that might fit the bill!
I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.