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New laptop upgrade - seeking advice

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I am sure that everyone will have a different opinion, but I am seeking some general advice for upgrading my laptop. I will begin graduate school in just over a month. This will be used for school and everyday tasks. I am not a gamer, though I do sometimes run some memory/cpu intensive software. My current laptop is roughly 10 years old and I desperately need to upgrade before school starts. I haven't kept up with which manufactures are good and which ones to avoid. My budget is around ~$1000 and am hoping that possibly there may be a student discount offer I could take advantage of. My courses will be 100% online. Below are some features I am looking for in the laptop.

  • Need laptop rather than desktop
  • Interested in Windows, and not interested in Apple.
  • I prefer hardware capabilities and don't care how the laptop looks or how thin it is.
  • I like larger screens (15"+, 17") and full keyboards with a numeric keypad.
  • I'd say minimum 8GB RAM, but I'd definitely prefer more if I can afford it.
  • Would prefer SSD to improve speed and I guess 250GB minimum?
  • Not sure which CPU I should be looking for?
  • Would integrated graphics be enough, or do I need to upgrade the graphics card?
  • Battery life is lower priority since I anticipate I'll mostly be working while I can plug in. But prefer larger battery over thinner laptop.
  • Prefer laptop with ports, rather than the thin laptops with less ports

I'd appreciate any advice and recommendations for upgrading to a new laptop. Thanks

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Hello Net,


In  my experience, HP offers the best bang for the buck when it comes to mid-tier performance laptops, which should meet all of your criteria. 


You can go to there website and select the laptops banner and then you can look around for a machine that meets your needs.  Here are a few considerations to think about as you do this:


Because you are not intending to use the machine for gaming, I would recommend getting a 7200RPM HDD + Optane Memory Accelerator stick instead of an SSD, since it costs less and will allow you to have a lot more storage space and performs almost as well as an SSD once the AI on board the Optane stick figures out which files to cache (which in my experience usually took less than 2 min. and once finished, loads/runs those apps at the improved speeds as long as its files remained in cache.)  If you want better performance than that then you can get a SSD but you'll probably have to settle for less storage space overall at your price point.


Optane does require a newer Intel CPU and motherboard to run properly (8th gen+), but HP won't let you select that hardware if it won't work on the machine you are trying to customize, so if you want to go with my recommendation, pick a laptop that lists Optane as an option in its base specs and you should be good to go.  Compare the various machines they offer and use the Customize feature when available to make part choices so you can get a feel for how much computer you can buy for $1000. Since you will be running CPU intensive software, I would recommend a build featuring an i5 or i7 CPU as opposed to an i3.  I would have recommended an AMD Ryzen CPU except that these do not currently work with Optane, but if you choose to go with an SSD instead, the Ryzen option may be better for you.



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