I’m reminded by a piece in Digital Trends that this is back to school laptop buying season. So, I have some advice.
1) Don’t go back to school. There is a pandemic.
2) But you still need a laptop, but don’t get suckered into buying a “gaming laptop” so you can game and oh, also, do your school work on it. See the above linked commentary for a convincing argument, but here I’ll just point out three problems with a gaming laptop for school.
a) They are expensive, and even if you get a cheap one, the resources you are buying are mainly for super fancy graphics, which are not homework.
b) They run hot and burn through batteries like [insert metaphor here when I think of it later].
c) There are cheaper and easier ways to demonstrate to your new friends at college that you are a gamer geek.
3) I recently bought a laptop, and in so doing, narrowed the good ones down to two, one by Dell (Dell XPS 13 9310 Touchscreen or some version thereof) and one by HP (Envy x360 2-in-1 15.6″ Touch-Screen or some version thereof). Check out the different options and sizes. I got the HP a few months ago because at the time it was the only 17 inch available). A third option is the one by Lenovo mentioned in the above cited piece (Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano), but I don’t have research on that. At one time Lenovo was the only laptop I’d buy, but then IBM sold them off and the quality range shifted. I don’t know of the current status of that make.
2 thoughts on “Back to School Laptop: The Gaming Mistake”
When we went virtual in March 2020 I needed to borrow a Windows laptop from our IT depart since I don’t have a Windows machine at home. I got a Thinkpad and still have it (2nd one, really, since the lease agreement for computers ran out this past spring so I got a new one).
No complaints at all about build quality. Keyboard is nice, screen is readable (no touchscreen, thankfully). R, SPSS, LaTeX, all good. I can’t comment on how it handles Office applications since I don’t use them.
Good advice, but sadly the choice is out of the hands of most people. Schools down south are already having to quarantine crap-loads of kids and staff (Hillsborough County in FL has 5,915 students and staff out, thanks to deathsantis’ asinine trump dedication), Alabama is down to 2 open ICU beds in the state. You really have to hope that when the history of this is written the role of the trump and his sycophants in intentionally making this far worse than it had to be is stated and repeated clearly.
Wait — an HP Envy x360 2-in-1 15.6″ Touch-Screen Laptop haas a 17″ screen? I must be misreading the specs somehow.
At least it has a 10th-generation Intel core i5 CPU, so you can probably run Windows 11, should you choose to accept it. (I’m guessing you’ll go with Linux instead.)