1. Mr MnmlEngr's Avatar
    Apologies if this is a commonly asked post, and feel free to direct me to previous answers...

    I've owned 3 laptops in my adult life. The first was a Macbook that gave me a good 4 years, then a Samsung book 8 that I hated almost immediately. I currently own an HP Envy that is ok, but the hinge is starting to degrade, separating the screen from the frame. I don't travel with it much, so I was surprised.

    I've never looked for the craziest specs, and as a result tend to look for hardware in the sub $1k price range (MacBook excepted). But I'm starting to wonder if that price point doesn't last as long.

    So that leads me to my question. For a fairly average laptop (highest demand task is photo editing in Adobe Lightroom), am I expecting too much from a sub $1k laptop? Am I not buying the proper brands, or should I be investing in the extended care contract?

    At the end of the day I just want a relatively affordable laptop that will give me a good 4 to 5 years before it starts degrading.

    Thanks!
    06-08-2020 01:44 PM
  2. spicypadthai's Avatar
    Depends what you mean by "degrading". If you mean running slowly, then resetting Windows will give you more mileage in general. Every 2 to 3 years at least to keep it running optimally. Some folks do it every feature update which is probably overkill. Any battery has a finite number of charge cycles so you'll probably need to replace it once to get 5 years out of the laptop. It's tough to say what you need to spend to be happy with it for that long but I suggest looking at something like the Dell XPS and plan on spending closer to $2,000+. Depending on the size (13" will be less than 15" but I'd want the bigger screen), try for a 512+ GB SSD, 16+ GB RAM, and a current-gen i5 or i7. You'll also probably want something with a discreet GPU.
    06-09-2020 11:41 AM
  3. Mr MnmlEngr's Avatar
    I should definitely be more specific. I do partly mean the software slowing down, but I also mean there hardware itself. The battery replacement makes sense, but what should I look for in terms of build quality? What do I look for so I can rest assured that (barring accidental damage) the laptop isn't going to start falling apart in just over two years?

    On the topic of resetting Windows, is that the equivalent of "factory resetting" a phone? Apologies if I'm not as smart on PCs as I am phones.

    Thanks!
    06-10-2020 12:14 AM
  4. spicypadthai's Avatar
    Check out the WC laptop buyers guide. While the main article is 1.5 years old, several of the "best of" links have been updated within the last few months. As with most things, you get what you pay for. A $2,000 laptop will generally be built better than a sub $1,000: better screen, more durable (metal vs. plastic), and better quality components. I've been buying and supporting systems (desktops/laptops/servers) for 20+ years. Most of the stuff we purchase is Dell and I'm a big fan of their laptops. There are options at every price point and you can usually configure it to exactly what you want. I can't remember any "falling apart" even after several years but we take very good care of our equipment (store them in carrying cases when not in use, don't expose them to extreme temperatures, etc.)

    Re: resetting Windows, yes, similar to a phone, another WC article with details
    .
    06-10-2020 05:28 AM

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