New laptop advice
Autor wątku: Kathy Freeman

Kathy Freeman  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:10
niderlandzki > angielski
+ ...
Feb 19

Having limped along with an increasingly flaky laptop for too long, I am looking for a new one. It has to be Windows. Does anyone have any advice? I've been advised to look for solid state disk for speed. The Acer Aspire 5 looks interesting, but before I decide, I'd value hearing from anyone else who has been through this process recently.

 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
Wielka Brytania
Local time: 05:10
Członek ProZ.com
od 2009

niderlandzki > angielski
+ ...
some suggestions Feb 19

Here are my minimum specs these days:

RAM: 16Gb or more
Only SSDs (no old mechanical hard drives!)
Processor: i7 (maybe i5, no i3 or lower)
Screen resolution: Be careful with screens with very high resolutions! Especially if you are going to use the laptop without an external monitor. The trend is to make the resolution higher and higher, but all this does for those working with text like us translators is make everything
... See more
Here are my minimum specs these days:

RAM: 16Gb or more
Only SSDs (no old mechanical hard drives!)
Processor: i7 (maybe i5, no i3 or lower)
Screen resolution: Be careful with screens with very high resolutions! Especially if you are going to use the laptop without an external monitor. The trend is to make the resolution higher and higher, but all this does for those working with text like us translators is make everything TINY. That is, you will need a magnifying glass to see the buttons in memoQ/Studio. High res is great for watching movies but not for Windows-based business software. E.g., I would suggest not exceeding around 1920x1080 or 1920x1200, preferably on a 17 inch screen.
Keyboard: This is highly subjective, but I am very particular about keyboards. E.g., I want the arrow key to be as big as possible, not flush with the rest of the keys, and have the traditional shape: i.e., the inverted T.
Touchpad: I want separate buttons on my touchpad: i.e. no integrated clicking on the touchpad itself. Quite hard to find these days, but will make doing actual work a lot easier, especially when you want to grab something and drop it elsewhere.

I always get Dell Precisions (previously had a Precision M6800 for like 5-6 years, now have a very powerful Precision 7740), from their business range. They are quite expensive, but very good, and last. Also, the full sized Precisions have a proper keyboard / navigation cluster / touchpad layout. I actually used my trusty old Precision M6800 for around 5 years and then gave it to my mother (also a translator), who is happily using it still. It just won't die.

This is what my current Dell Precision 7740 looks like:

dell-precision-7740

[Edited at 2021-02-19 10:32 GMT]
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Wioleta Kwiatkowska
Ivana Kahle
Vladimir Morozov
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Hiszpania
Local time: 06:10
hiszpański > angielski
+ ...
Laptops Feb 19

The last laptop I had was an Acer, and I had no problems with it. I recently got a new one, a Toshiba, I've had them before and never had any issues. After getting the old Acer serviced, I passed it on to a friend whose own was becoming increasingly outdated and slow.

I usually wait until there is a special offer from the stores like Mediamarkt (here in Spain, other outlets are available) and get a cheap one. Then I take it to my tech guy and get him to remove all the bloatware tha
... See more
The last laptop I had was an Acer, and I had no problems with it. I recently got a new one, a Toshiba, I've had them before and never had any issues. After getting the old Acer serviced, I passed it on to a friend whose own was becoming increasingly outdated and slow.

I usually wait until there is a special offer from the stores like Mediamarkt (here in Spain, other outlets are available) and get a cheap one. Then I take it to my tech guy and get him to remove all the bloatware that usually comes with them and install the OS and other software and plug-ins that I need for my work.
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Hans Lenting  Identity Verified
Holandia
Członek ProZ.com
od 2006

niemiecki > niderlandzki
Fan ⁕ Feb 19

Michael Beijer wrote:

This is what my current Dell Precision 7740 looks like:



So you're no longer a fan of the fan-less ones?

You prefer to use a touchpad over a decent mouse?


 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
Wielka Brytania
Local time: 05:10
Członek ProZ.com
od 2009

niderlandzki > angielski
+ ...
‘Two Mice and Touchpad’, by Michael Beijer Feb 19

Hans Lenting wrote:

Michael Beijer wrote:

This is what my current Dell Precision 7740 looks like:



So you're no longer a fan of the fan-less ones?

You prefer to use a touchpad over a decent mouse?


Fan: Sadly, no, I had to give up on that dream. In the end, my amazing shiny new fabulous fanless laptop wasn't quite powerful enough for my crazy requirements. Also, the integrated buttons on the touchpad are pretty crap. I actually sold it to my brother, tegen een vriendenprijs.

Re: mice, far from it. This is my current setup:

mice

Michael

Also recently got a (touchscreen) Dell Latitude E7270 as backup laptop. Got it refurbished, and stuck a 1TB SSD and 32GB RAM in it. It's a fantastic little laptop. Basically the Precision chassis shrunk down:

Dell Latitude E7270



[Edited at 2021-02-19 11:29 GMT]


 

Ivana Kahle  Identity Verified
Niemcy
Local time: 06:10
Członek ProZ.com
od 2007

niemiecki > chorwacki
+ ...
Dell Precision 77.. series with 17" monitor Feb 19

I've been using my Dell Precision 7710 for some 4 years. I've been thinking of getting a new one (it will certainly be a Dell Precision again), but this one just won't die like Michael said.
Instead of investing in an additional monitor, I bought a quality keyboard and put the laptop on a box, so the screen is at the height of my eyes and some 50 cm away from my upper body. It works perfectly.


 

Adieu  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:10
angielski > rosyjski
+ ...
Disagree Feb 19

Michael Beijer wrote:

Keyboard: This is highly subjective, but I am very particular about keyboards. E.g., I want the arrow key to be as big as possible, not flush with the rest of the keys, and have the traditional shape: i.e., the inverted T.
Touchpad: I want separate buttons on my touchpad: i.e. no integrated clicking on the touchpad itself. Quite hard to find these days, but will make doing actual work a lot easier, especially when you want to grab something and drop it elsewhere.

I always get Dell Precisions (previously had a Precision M6800 for like 5-6 years, now have a very powerful Precision 7740), from their business range. They are quite expensive, but very good, and last. Also, the full sized Precisions have a proper keyboard / navigation cluster / touchpad layout. I actually used my trusty old Precision M6800 for around 5 years and then gave it to my mother (also a translator), who is happily using it still. It just won't die.

This is what my current Dell Precision 7740 looks like:

dell-precision-7740

[Edited at 2021-02-19 10:32 GMT]


Re: keyboards with numpads

Be absolutely SURE you want one before getting it.

I, for one, utterly detest keyboards with numpads. Even fullsize ones. And afaik, there's a lot of smaller laptops that "squeeze" the regular keys to fit in a numpad, which to me is the greatest sin against anyone who types.

[Edited at 2021-02-19 14:59 GMT]


Sara Massons
 

Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Hiszpania
Członek ProZ.com
od 2005

włoski > angielski
+ ...
Lenovo L15 Feb 19

Matte display, bright enough to work in full sunshine
New touchpad isn't as good as the old E560 one imo (you have to use two fingers to scroll)
Backlit keyboard (useful in the morning/evening)
Only two USB ports
500 Mb SSD (a LOT faster than the Samsung I had in the E560)
Starts up in seconds
i5 is fine and uses a lot less battery than i7
Battery lasts for ages (like a day with the display almost full power)
Fan is almost never on
No bloatwa
... See more
Matte display, bright enough to work in full sunshine
New touchpad isn't as good as the old E560 one imo (you have to use two fingers to scroll)
Backlit keyboard (useful in the morning/evening)
Only two USB ports
500 Mb SSD (a LOT faster than the Samsung I had in the E560)
Starts up in seconds
i5 is fine and uses a lot less battery than i7
Battery lasts for ages (like a day with the display almost full power)
Fan is almost never on
No bloatware
About €800 from Lenovo two weeks after ordering (with a 12V power adaptor)

The only problems I had with the E560 was I wore two keyboards out so I've now got a wireless mouse + keyboard I use occasionally when I plug it into a bigger monitor.

Despite it being a decent computer this will most probably be my last one because of the state work camp horror stories.

[Edited at 2021-02-19 15:45 GMT]
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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Holandia
Local time: 06:10
Członek ProZ.com
od 2006

angielski > afrikaans
+ ...
@Kathy Feb 19

Kathy Freeman wrote:
The Acer Aspire 5 looks interesting, but before I decide, I'd value hearing from anyone else who has been through this process recently.


I was unable to figure out what's the difference between Aspire 3 and Aspire 5. But if your budget is about GBP 750, and if you're leaning towards Acer, I'm sure this Aspire 3 would be perfect for you: full HD resolution, 8 GM RAM, 256 GB SSD (though I suggest you up that to 1 TB), 10th generation i7 processor. Just be careful when buying it: I've seen sites with what appears to be the identical laptop with much lower specs.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Holandia
Local time: 06:10
Członek ProZ.com
od 2006

angielski > afrikaans
+ ...
@Adieu Feb 19

Adieu wrote:
I, for one, utterly detest keyboards with number pads.


You are the first person I've met that has that opinion (-: Most of my CAT tool shortcuts utilize the number pad. It's usually a combination of Shift, Ctrl and Alt, plus one of the number pad keys.

There's a lot of smaller laptops that "squeeze" the regular keys to fit in a number pad...


I've not really seen that happen. What I have seen (which I detest) is if the laptop has enough room for a number pad but doesn't have one, resulting in large unutilized flat expanses on both sides of the keyboard where I suppose the designers had hoped you'd put a cup of coffee and a sandwich.

Oh, and I also detest them arrow keys being squeezed in somewhere -- there is often enough room for the arrow keys, but it "doesn't look cool" to have them stick out at the bottom edge of the keyboard. But there is little to be done about that. It is a good idea, however, to take a good look at the number pad to make sure it is a full-sized one like the one in the picture posted by Michael. The keyboard posted by Michael is near perfect -- the only silly thing is the fact that there are no gaps between the F keys.

Michael Beijer wrote:
Here are my minimum specs these days:
RAM: 16Gb or more
Only SSDs (no old mechanical hard drives!)
Processor: i7 (maybe i5, no i3 or lower)


The ability to upgrade to 16 GB RAM or more is nice, but I don't think you need more than 8 GB. More than 8 GB RAM makes browsing faster if you have many tabs open, but has little other benefit.

Not all SSDs are fast. And if your SSD is slow, you can usually buy a faster one.

Generally speaking, the difference between i3, i5 and i7 is the number of actual and virtual cores, so you can also look at the number of cores that the laptop's processor has. A good way to compare processors is to google for their full names and look up their scores on sites like cpubenchmark.net. This will also allow you to compare Intel with AMD processors on a level playing field.

Someone mentioned that i7 will consume more battery power, but in my understanding that is only true if you use the processor at maximum power constantly (and translators don't do that unless they're procrastinating).

[Edited at 2021-02-19 17:16 GMT]


 

Kathy Freeman  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:10
niderlandzki > angielski
+ ...
NOWY TEMAT
New laptop advice Feb 19

Thank you all very much for the very helpful replies. Especially Michael for so much detail and useful tips. Needless to say my old Dell Inspiron 5558 is behaving again now, but when I see the spec and compare it, an upgrade is a no-brainer.

At the moment, I think this is the best option for me:

https://ao.com/product/x413faek591tbun-asus-lapt
... See more
Thank you all very much for the very helpful replies. Especially Michael for so much detail and useful tips. Needless to say my old Dell Inspiron 5558 is behaving again now, but when I see the spec and compare it, an upgrade is a no-brainer.

At the moment, I think this is the best option for me:

https://ao.com/product/x413faek591tbun-asus-laptop-black-77864-251.aspx

Thanks for link also, Samuel, which I have just seen. The Acer 3 and 5 were were confusing! You certainly have to scrutinise the spec. The one I am going for has 8GB RAM but I think with the processor that should be fine.

I use a wireless keyboard and mouse and an external monitor so this smaller screen also suits me.

But with another weekend of lockdown ahead I may have found something else by Monday!

Thanks again for the great advice everyone.
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Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
Wielka Brytania
Local time: 05:10
Członek ProZ.com
od 2009

niderlandzki > angielski
+ ...
indeed, it is near perfect Feb 19

Samuel Murray wrote:

Adieu wrote:
I, for one, utterly detest keyboards with number pads.


You are the first person I've met that has that opinion (-: Most of my CAT tool shortcuts utilize the number pad. It's usually a combination of Shift, Ctrl and Alt, plus one of the number pad keys.

There's a lot of smaller laptops that "squeeze" the regular keys to fit in a number pad...


I've not really seen that happen. What I have seen (which I detest) is if the laptop has enough room for a number pad but doesn't have one, resulting in large unutilized flat expanses on both sides of the keyboard where I suppose the designers had hoped you'd put a cup of coffee and a sandwich.

Oh, and I also detest them arrow keys being squeezed in somewhere -- there is often enough room for the arrow keys, but it "doesn't look cool" to have them stick out at the bottom edge of the keyboard. But there is little to be done about that. It is a good idea, however, to take a good look at the number pad to make sure it is a full-sized one like the one in the picture posted by Michael. The keyboard posted by Michael is near perfect -- the only silly thing is the fact that there are no gaps between the F keys.


Indeed, as you said, the Dell Precision 7740's keyboard is ‘near perfect’. I'm a bit obsessive about my keyboards, and have spent a lot of money on external keyboards over the years (mechanical keyboards, original IBM clicky ones, Japanese custom built stuff, ones with touchpads built in, etc etc etc)), and many different laptops just to try them out.

The trend these days is basically to completely ruin all laptops, so, as you said, they look cool. I don't want my laptop to look cool, I want to be able to type on it, and find the important keys without looking. It's a tool I use, to make money. I suppose it also depends on how you use it though. I use my laptop keyboard all day, every day, and have all manner of crazy things I do with my computer that the majority of computer users don't know/care about. The kind of person who confirms every segment in memoQ with the UI button, for example, or has no idea how to quickly drag stuff from window to window, etc.

Navigation cluster (arrow keys) absolutely has to be separate. There is no way in hell I would ever use a keyboard where it's squashed in between the other keys. It's just insane from a usability perspective. It also has to be the inverted T type, not the idiotic crap the previous Macs were using, which is now back to normal thank god.

Do wish the function keys were bigger, and had more space between them.

Travel distance of the keys could also be slightly increased.

Apart from that, it is an amazing keyboard. You can't have it all.

I also use the numpad for a ton of keyboard shortcuts, so definitely want one. It's a big, 17" laptop, so there is space. Also, on some of the small laptops with no numpad, my hand sort of falls off the edge to the right, which is super annoying. IMO, you need the arrow cluster to be sticking out at the bottom, and the area below the numpad then gives you space to rest yr hand on comfortably. I recently bought a Lenovo X1 Yoga 5th Gen Intel i7 Touchscreen, but sent it back for two reasons

lenovo

1. arrow cluster too close to right edge, so hand uncomfortable
2. screen resolution too high, I wasn't paying attention when I bought it, so stuff was too small on screen at native res. 3840 x 2160 on a 14 inch screen is terrible (if you use Windows business software)

But guess what, the absolute top of the line Dell Precisions that came out recently (Precision 7750) now no longer have the inverted T-shaped nav cluster! They also got rid of the trackpoint. I hope the person who decided to do this burns in hell. Just kidding, but it does really piss me off. This means that if my 7740 ever dies, I will NOT be getting the 7750.


 

Adieu  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:10
angielski > rosyjski
+ ...
Wait Feb 23

Samuel Murray wrote:

Adieu wrote:
I, for one, utterly detest keyboards with number pads.


You are the first person I've met that has that opinion (-: Most of my CAT tool shortcuts utilize the number pad. It's usually a combination of Shift, Ctrl and Alt, plus one of the number pad keys.



[Edited at 2021-02-19 17:16 GMT]


Is it mapped to something other than the numbers on the main keyboard? Which CAT and which shortcuts?

[Edited at 2021-02-23 10:54 GMT]


 


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