Friday, November 27, 2020

The Time Has Come to Replace Our Laptops With Faster Ones

 The two Lenovos have performed well, but I know my x140e was a bargain priced for students model, and uses an USB ac WiFi--less than ideal when I am on the road. Something blindingly fast would be nice.  Ditto for my wife's slightly newer Lenovo.  I really like my x140e's very compact size, but an internal CD-ROM would be nice (reduce the mating ball of cables on my desk. 

My wife's never goes on the road.  Hers could be a desktop.  I am not sure if the Lenovo dock will work with non-Lenovo laptops or not.  It is just a USB corrector to let me hook up three monitors, and a few USB devices.  (You do not want to see the collection of devices on the USB bridge that plugs into it.)

I have resisted doing this because the prospect of reinstalling dozens of applications was too frightening.  Fortunately there are several apps that do both data and application transfers.

Suggestions?  Apple: no.  Linux I like, but I have yet to see a release that will not drive my wife mad; none have reached Windows ease of use yet.  I also want easy sharing of Word files with my students.  I guess I need to experiment to see if LibreOffice will do this well.  Write works well enough.  Calc and Base are the other big concerns.  Base cannot import Access data base.   Calc imports Excel just fine.

Oh yes.  At least 1TB of disk space, ideally SSD.

Quadcore is obvious.  What numbers should I look for besides more RAM to get maximum speed?

It appears that a gaming laptop with the Ryzen 4800H processor is the hot tip.  These all seem to be 15.6" displays.  My current laptop is a 14" screen and is just perfect for the road.  But I can see why gamers don't want a dinky screen.  (Why anyone considers gaming on a computer a useful activity eludes me.)

Is the Intel i7-8665U a pretty fast CPU compared to the Rhyzen 4800H?  Is there a performance chart?  I do not want a laptop 10% faster.  Here's the table.  AMD's Rhyzen 9 500X looks like the winner.


  1. Before going in to City of Hope for a spell (which turned out to be a little over two weeks), I bought a new laptop. My older computers were lacking in power.
    I paid extra for a gaming quality laptop -- HP - OMEN Gaming 15.6" Laptop - AMD Ryzen 7 - 16GB Memory - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti - 1TB SSD - Mica Silver.
    It cost me right around $1500, but I figured the extra power that comes with a gaming system means I won't need to upgrade for another decade or so.
    This machine runs Zoom with no trouble, and is capable of using virtual backgrounds without the need for a green screen. (I did not get really good background shots of the City of Hope grounds in time for my stay.) (I also wound spending a lot of time watching videos and listening to music over the laptop. I wasn't quite as energetic as I would like to have been, but at least I wasn't quite as fatigued as I was afraid I'd be.)
    I also use Libre Office, and it works quite well with Word files. (I, too, am disappointed by the lack of compatibility between Base and Access.)
    I have one Excel spreadsheet on my hard drive that gives Calc trouble, but this is a spreadsheet that probably pushes the limits of Excel.

  2. While it's not generally thought of as professional grade, I have had several ACER laptops and had excellent service out of all of them. One (the first) did duty as a 3D CAD machine for a time without serious trouble.
    My experience: YMMV.
    Best of luck getting what you need!

  3. My sister in Rupert had to replace her computer in the last month. All they were concerned about was that they could play world of warcraft and be able to run certain tax preparation software. And they were surprised that the new machine did not come with a DVD drive or a true hard drive. My brother-in-law was expecting to take up December manually loading the software from Multiple DVDs.

  4. The Ryzen 4800H and 4800HS are supposed to be really powerful 8-core CPUs (the difference is the H has a higher max power level so it should run faster longer). The 4000U series are similar but use lower power so will have longer battery life. There are 6- and 4-core versions of both lines as well.