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Off Topic :
Laptop - Ideapad vs ThinkPad

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 sisoon (original poster guide #31240) posted at 5:05 PM on Monday, October 18th, 2021

I used to be an IT pro. I've had terrible experiences getting support from Dell and HP for clients, and I've had bad experiences myself with a Toshiba and Compaq laptops, so I've owned ThinkPads for the last 15 years. I've had my current laptop, a T440S, since 2014, and I'm seeing some screen problems. (8GB RAM and an SSD make it still fast enough for me.)

The trouble is that the ThinkPads cost more than I want to spend. Also, my T440S has a 14" screen, and I'm interested in a larger screen, since I almost never travel with it.

Does anyone here have an Ideapad? How does it hold up to fairly constant use?

Does anyone here have experience with both a ThinkPad and an Ideapad? Any thoughts on how they compare, especially in terms of durability?

Thanks.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 26262   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
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Bigger ( Guide #8354) posted at 7:26 PM on Monday, October 18th, 2021

I’m a Dell guy, mainly because that’s the supplier my company partners with. Before that it was IBM / ThinkPad and I have to say I miss them… Having said that the Dell’s are quite good once you get the business-line (Lattitude and above).
I would be fine with the Ideapad / Lenovo. It’s quite popular in the education sector and that generally means sturdy computers. If you don’t do much traveling then consider getting a monitor.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 8:26 PM on Monday, October 18th, 2021

For the screen size, docks and monitor mounts are the way to go. No laptop can compete with a 24+ display or few. I have a quad mount at home (multiple PCs) and a dual at work. It really is the best of both worlds.

All brands have good and bad models. Toshiba at one time was the market target. Lenova currently has a great rep. Dell is what my last two companies have used and we've had good experience with them. We don't use the entry support lines though. You do have to get away from the inspiron into the latitude line. I'd actually push that up from the base latitude now. I have an XPS 15 currently.

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Bigger ( Guide #8354) posted at 5:03 PM on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

I second the idea of avoiding the low-end types of all brands.
I have a 2 monitor + laptop monitor setup both at work and home. Monitors supported by a dual-arm rig so there is no stand taking space off my table. Just the other day I replaced my old Dell laptop with a new Latitude 7420 and have connected everything to a built-in dock in one of the monitors using usb-c.
It’s SO convenient! I no longer have a power-supply lying around, the laptop is powered by the single usb-c cord that attaches to the monitor, and then there is a HDMI cable connecting the two monitors. All the USB connectors for the headphone, conference phone speaker, keyboard and mouse are in the 2 monitors. The old dock and cabling no longer take a third of my desk.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

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 sisoon (original poster guide #31240) posted at 6:07 PM on Sunday, October 24th, 2021

Well, I chose a 15.6" Thinkbook. After 20 years of 14" ThinkPads T4nns, I don't like the silver, I prefer the ThinkPad keyboard, and I prefer the weight of my ThinkPad (just over 3 lbs instead of close to 4).

But - oh boy, oh boy! I really like the bigger screen. Both new and old laptops are 1920 x 1080, but the bigger, newer, brighter screen is wonderful. SI is crystal clear now; it wasn't on my ThinkPad. It makes me wonder if I should send it back for a 14" Thinkbook, but I'll stick with the big screen.

The Thinkbook came in at least $250 less than a comparable T15 ThinkPad, and slightly less than a comparable Ideapad 5. There's no comparable Ideapad 3. ThinkPad E series are cheaper than Thinkbooks but even heavier. I just can't justify the extra expense of a ThinkPad T series ... I'm no longer in business.

I use my laptop on my lap while sitting on a sofa-type futon. No dock necessary or even usable. I can watch TV from the same position. I can lie down to read a book (a now 70+ year way of reading books smile ) or take a nap.

Nam, I used to be able to set up a computer for use blindfolded. I still can't add my printer because it's attached to my W's PC via USB, and I've forgotten how to signon via my network.

BTW, if I worked at a desk, I'd get an off-lease refurbed desktop like a business class HP-Dell-Lenovo, 6th-10th gen Intel i5, 256/512 GB SSD with 512/1024 GB HDD. Under $300, available at a place like Newegg. Not portable, but likely to be very reliable at a relatively very low total cost of ownership.

ANyways, I'm pretty happy with my Thinkbook, with a few reservations that I think will go away when I get used to the new machine.

[This message edited by sisoon at 6:08 PM, Sunday, October 24th]

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 26262   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8694881
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 2:51 PM on Monday, October 25th, 2021

For your use cases I use one of my tablets if not my phone.

BTW, if I worked at a desk, I'd get an off-lease refurbed desktop like a business class HP-Dell-Lenovo, 6th-10th gen Intel i5, 256/512 GB SSD with 512/1024 GB HDD. Under $300, available at a place like Newegg


You'll have to be a lil more careful going forward. Windows 10 goes EOL in fall of 2025 with the introduction of Windows 11. 2025 might sound a long way off but my newest home machines is 9 years old and I purchased it refurbed a couple of years ago. I tend to use the home machines for tasks,eg, one of them is the only machine I use for banking. Another for streaming. One of the things Microsoft is pushing requiring for Win11 is TPM2 support and 8th gen or newer processors. None of my home machines meet those specs since 8th gen intel's were only introduced 4 years ago. Microsoft is back pedaling a bit on those requirements but I don't trust them to support older hardware long term. They really are trying to transition to the apple model of limited OS support for older hardware.

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 sisoon (original poster guide #31240) posted at 7:34 PM on Monday, October 25th, 2021

Windows 11 ... excellent point. I'd make sure any computer I was buying today met the requirements for Windows 11. I don't think I'll actually use 11 yet, but I'd want to be able to. I'd still go refurbed for a desktop machine.

I won't try 11 yet, because I'm still on Office 2013, and I don't want to risk losing it. I'm on Quicken 2011, too. Yikes! Besides, I really like having my taskbar on the left of the screen. I've started experimenting with LibreOffice and Moneyspire, which should solve the software level problem, and I hear MS will add more flexibility to the taskbar, so maybe I'll try it out soon. smile

Phone screens are too small for me. Either the text is too small or I have to switch pages too fast. Tablets are neither here nor there for me; they have the same failings as phones, and I don't like touch screens. To each their own. Hell, I still like 3270s and VTAM.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 26262   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8695004
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 sisoon (original poster guide #31240) posted at 5:36 PM on Monday, November 15th, 2021

I'm posting this because every so often someone asks for laptop recos, and i want to close the loop.

I bought a 15.6" ThinkBook. It's quite a bit heavier than my T440s, but I'm pretty happy with it. I like the bigger screen, which accounts for some of the weight gain. Even though the 'Pad has the same nominal resolution, the 'Book's screen is much clearer. IDK if that's because screens have gotten better or because screens deteriorate over time.

If I had to lug a computer around, I'd have gone for a 14" screen. Vacations might be a little less convenient, but day in and day out, I like the bigger screen a lot.

I like the T440s's keyboard better.

Although the T440s is fast - it's got an SSD - the 'Book is faster. In real terms, the speed difference shouldn't be significant, since what I do with the machine depends on the speed with which I move the cursor, but I like the added speed. It wakes from sleep faster, restarts faster (and with all the security fixes that come down from Microsoft, restarts are common), loads images faster, and I like all that, even though most delays are due to my unchanged speed with the cursor.

The 'Book seems very substantial, robust, and durable. It feels more durable than the IdeaPads and HPS that I handled at my local Office Depot. We'll see.

I've been using LibreOffice instead of Office 2013. For the basic work I do, I like it as much as I like Office. I might like Office 365 (is that what they're calling it now?) better, but I hate to rent software. LibreOffice is open source software.

I've tried Moneyspire and Moneydance as Quicken replacements, but they both fail to convert my Quicken file correctly.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 26262   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8698547
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