Laptops...

David L

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Wow-- I am finding more and more laptops with hard-soldered RAM you can not upgrade.

Honestly-- what would a SODIMM socket cost to put on a motherboard? 10 cents? 30 cents? 2 cents???
Yeah, it is not about that, they don't want you opening them, Support Issues, Future Sales, etc. What gets me is laptops with only 8Gig Memory and a 256Gig HD/SSD/M.2 that your stuck with. I was extremely disappointed in my search, that is why I moved my goal post a few hundred dollars. My MSI Rocks...for me :) I probably will not even play any games on it. I am just amazed at how lightning fast it is and very low heat, I am sure if I played games on it the fans would kick in. I like it's cooling system, fans push from back bottom UP and out 2 slots on back and 2 slots on sides.
 
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David L

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Lots of good advice here. I use to buy HP and Compaq's....just bullet proof. I also liked Toshiba's, but they did sometimes run hot. Acer's are like the cheap ones you buy at Walley World, IMO. My buddy/co-worker is our supply guy at my job, and he buys Dell's constantly because he is told to. He certainly wouldn't if he didn't have to.

It's been a long time since I purchased a laptop, haven't had the need to do so. Can't believe they are soldering in the RAM and m.2 sticks. Wow. Sorry to hear that. But that's like I won't buy a phone if I can't put a SD card in it either. Sounds like MSI is the way to go to me now.
You won't regret it. I know a handful of others who have used MSI for the past decade with good results. There are plenty of videos on upgrading them. Have to say this is the only reason I like YouTube...No more guess work...

 

TonyR

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I have a Dell and a Lenovo like that, didn’t give it much consideration when buying but will never buy another where the RAM and HDD can’t be changed, this is one the reasons why I hate my Surface.
I've taken apart and re-assembled probably 100 Dell, HP, Compaq, Gateway and Acer laptops to replace hard drives, screens, hinges, power jacks, CPU fans...you name it, I've replaced it. Up until lately HDD and or RAM access was easy, just remove a screw or top, pop open a door or slide the drive out/in or put in a stick of RAM. And of course, the battery was at the bottom rear and you'd unlock it and slide out.

Enter a Dell Inspiron 15/5567...sold to them in Nov. 2017, I talked them into replacing the 1TB spinner with a 500GB Samsung 870 2.5" SSD. There are no doors for drive or RAM, not even a battery at the bottom/rear.....the entire bottom was one big, solid piece of plastic. Even the battery is hidden inside. My first thought was...oh, CRAP ! But long story short, it was a breeze and actually easier and faster than the more traditional ones. Dell's online HTML or downloadable PDF of the process with illustrations got me started. All the screws were on bottom and all the same size and length. Popped open, replaced the drive, re-assembled, all in probably 15 minutes, screw removal and replacement probably took the longest but was easy. This was probably the last version to have a built-in optical drive that also would slide out with the removal of one screw.

The revived laptop, an i57-7500U with 8GB RAM, boots up from dead OFF to waiting for your input in less than 20 seconds. :cool:
 
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David L

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I've taken apart and re-assembled probably 100 Dell, HP, Compaq, Gateway and Acer laptops to replace hard drives, screens, hinges, power jacks, CPU fans...you name it, I've replaced it. Up until lately HDD and or RAM access was easy, just remove a screw or top, pop open a door or slide the drive out put in a stick of RAM. And of course, the battery was at the bottom rear and you'd unlock it and slide out.

Enter a Dell Inspiron 15/5567...sold to them in Nov. 2017, I talked them into replacing the 1TB spinner with a 500GB Samsung 870 SSD. There are no doors for drive or RAM, not even a battery at the bottom/rear.....the entire bottom was one big, solid piece of plastic. Even the battery is hidden inside. My first thought was...oh, CRAP ! But long story short, it was a breeze and actually easier and faster than the more traditional ones. Dell's online HTML or downloadable PDF of the process with illustrations got me started. All the screws were on bottom and all the same size and length. Popped open, replaced the drive, re-assembles in probably 15 minutes, screw removal and replacement probably took the longest but was easy. This was probably the last version to have a built-in optical drive that also would slide out with the removal of one screw.

The revived laptop, an i57-7500U with 8GB RAM, boots up from dead OFF to waiting for your input in less than 20 seconds. :cool:
Yeah that got me too in my search. Did find Lenovo still allows for hardware upgrades. Many of the new Inspiron are soldered now. One way I could tell, but not always, was in laptop specs, if you see RAM 128 listed, more than likely it can be upgraded. Again not always so I went to YouTube to look for upgrade videos on the model questioned. From what I read, around 2018 forward is when the soldering started, maybe it was 2019.
 

David L

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One more thing to think about, which I really did not have it on my list, keyboards, the MSI, being a Gaming Laptop comes with a SteelSeries keyboard, which is nice. I have replaced many keyboards back in my day, displays too.
But what is nice on the Gaming laptops is backlit keyboards, you will find them on Business laptops too, mainly white or red, I like the white...I did not really consider the backlit until I found that when in bed at night, I can leave the lights off, not to disturb my wife. This is really nice. Same on a plane or anywhere else.

Make your way into a Micro Center or Best Buy and put your hands on them.

Also in the Pulse series they include a 10 key, I checked it out and personally I did not like it, too small and the char. keys seemed cramped, that is for the 15.6, maybe a 17 would work fine. But that is just me, I use to have a separate USB 10 key back when I had to enter a bunch of numbers all the time, it fit in my laptop bag easier than bringing a full size keyboard.

Just things to think about...
 

David L

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Another thing that I like about MSI, no Bloatware. Only had Norton installed...I did upgrade to Windows 11, that took some time, but read this is usual...May one day to a fresh install but without all the Bloatware, I may not.
 
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One more thing to think about, which I really did not have it on my list, keyboards, the MSI, being a Gaming Laptop comes with a SteelSeries keyboard, which is nice. I have replaced many keyboards back in my day, displays too.
But what is nice on the Gaming laptops is backlit keyboards, you will find them on Business laptops too, mainly white or red, I like the white...I did not really consider the backlit until I found that when in bed at night, I can leave the lights off, not to disturb my wife. This is really nice. Same on a plane or anywhere else.

Make your way into a Micro Center or Best Buy and put your hands on them.

Also in the Pulse series they include a 10 key, I checked it out and personally I did not like it, too small and the char. keys seemed cramped, that is for the 15.6, maybe a 17 would work fine. But that is just me, I use to have a separate USB 10 key back when I had to enter a bunch of numbers all the time, it fit in my laptop bag easier than bringing a full size keyboard.

Just things to think about...
OMG that pulse is a sweet machine. I am seeing prices up around $1,800 though--- It is just way more machine than I want for a laptop, and double what I want to spend Max. Perhaps someday... but I can't justify the expense right now, especially since I am still in the hunt for a reasonable graphics card for my new desktop build. I put a 12th Gen I-5 system together a few months ago with a Gigabyte board/Antec case. Bought a MSI nVidea 1650ti for now. My desktop is where I am willing to sink some more $$$.

That Open-Box MSI that had a 75 watt power supply is actually more computer than I thought I could get at that price point--- definitely will be looking at that!! I am also looking at some ASUS models right now. The search continues.... but I may pull the trigger by tonight if I can narrow things down.
 
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I've taken apart and re-assembled probably 100 Dell, HP, Compaq, Gateway and Acer laptops to replace hard drives, screens, hinges, power jacks, CPU fans...you name it, I've replaced it. Up until lately HDD and or RAM access was easy, just remove a screw or top, pop open a door or slide the drive out/in or put in a stick of RAM. And of course, the battery was at the bottom rear and you'd unlock it and slide out.

Enter a Dell Inspiron 15/5567...sold to them in Nov. 2017, I talked them into replacing the 1TB spinner with a 500GB Samsung 870 2.5" SSD. There are no doors for drive or RAM, not even a battery at the bottom/rear.....the entire bottom was one big, solid piece of plastic. Even the battery is hidden inside. My first thought was...oh, CRAP ! But long story short, it was a breeze and actually easier and faster than the more traditional ones. Dell's online HTML or downloadable PDF of the process with illustrations got me started. All the screws were on bottom and all the same size and length. Popped open, replaced the drive, re-assembled, all in probably 15 minutes, screw removal and replacement probably took the longest but was easy. This was probably the last version to have a built-in optical drive that also would slide out with the removal of one screw.

The revived laptop, an i57-7500U with 8GB RAM, boots up from dead OFF to waiting for your input in less than 20 seconds. :cool:
The Dell I am replacing-- here is what I have done to it over the past 6.5 years...

New battery (internal)
New Samsung SSD (256) -- as always, dumping the ol' spinning platters for solid state is the number one way to boost any computer
New 15.6 screen (touch kind) -- Note-- the original touch screen NEVER worked right-- I had to disable the touch screen input. Check youtube for "ghost touches" on dell touchscreens. Dell support denied this problem exists, therefore they wouldn't do anything. Of course-- hundreds of people were complaining about the problem that doesn't exist-- didn't matter. The new screen Never had that problem and worked great.
New Ram-- went from 8 to 16 as I kept hitting memory limits and freezing. Why the hell can't I have 40 tabs open damnit! With 16gigs, I could. :cool: That was in February a year ago-- last upgrade I did for it.

The thing that killed it--- the hinge mounting points broke on the left side-- plastic fatigue?? There is nothing left for screws to screw into... I am suspicious that a grandson F'd it up. Regardless, when I took it apart and saw the plastic damage, I knew it was a terminal issue. No matter how careful I was with it the past few weeks, the hinge system ultimately pried the lid components apart and messed up that screen I installed. She's done.
 

redpoint5

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Have any of you bought a laptop you really like in the last year or so---???
I've got a few laptops lying around, so if one goes it doesn't create an emergency. When one of mine died after 10 years of daily use (Lenovo T420), I replaced it with a $270 Black Friday Costco special. It's an HP Intel i5, and meets all the specs you mentioned except 14" non-touch display.

If it were me, I'd create a deal alert on Slickdeals for a laptop. If an immediate replacement is needed, you can still get a decent laptop for $900 that meets your requirements. Still wouldn't rule Dell out, as they are probably the best value out there at the moment. HP is good, but their customer service is way worse than Dells. Don't have any recent experience with anything else.
 

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One think I might throw out....
HP has the consumer line and a Pro line. The pro line is different, more rugged and you can get some parts.
I think Dell has the same, although I have not used Dell for a while.
 

redpoint5

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One think I might throw out....
HP has the consumer line and a Pro line. The pro line is different, more rugged and you can get some parts.
I think Dell has the same, although I have not used Dell for a while.
Exactly right. The cheapo $270 laptop I picked up probably will go in the garbage in 3 years. I can pick another one up though in 3 years during Black Friday for ~$270 and it will have the updated tech.

If you want something to last 3+ years, you're going to need to buy at least entry level business line. For Dell that's Vostro. For HP that's Elitebook. Probably all of Lenovo's line starts at entry business class. Lenovo makes some quality stuff, if you can stand the dated design.
 

David L

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I haven't seen it mentioned yet that a lot of newer laptops have dropped the internal NIC. That's a no-go for me.
Yeah that was my big issue too. There are Business class laptops that still offer an internal NIC but I found they were a grand or more. I want my reliable Intel NIC, their Killer NIC will do too.
 
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I usually look over at Slickdeals first.
Slickdeals: Searching for "laptop"

Then Costco.
By Jove you're onto something there! Costco is 230 miles away, but by chance, I am going there this week. I just may come home with this.... unless a Vivobook (Asus) makes me buy it before then.

GAWDAMMIT I love being OUT of goddam California!!!

1649053171082.png


I looked at the same item on Amazon---- it was $14 bucks more. BUT--- they referred my attention to this...
a year older, more or less. a 10th gen i5 instead of 11th gen i7... $108 cheaper.... hmmmmm any thoughts on that??
price tradeoff versus performance... I figure both will last about the same amount of time....

EDIT: SHIT!! Never mind--- this is 1366x768 resolution. NO F-ing WAY am I going back to that shit! Costco Here I come.

1649053414118.png
 
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David L

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By Jove you're onto something there! Costco is 230 miles away, but by chance, I am going there this week. I just may come home with this.... unless a Vivobook (Asus) makes me buy it before then.

GAWDAMMIT I love being OUT of goddam California!!!

View attachment 124325


I looked at the same item on Amazon---- it was $14 bucks more. BUT--- they referred my attention to this...
a year older, more or less. a 10th gen i5 instead of 11th gen i7... $108 cheaper.... hmmmmm any thoughts on that??
price tradeoff versus performance... I figure both will last about the same amount of time....

EDIT: SHIT!! Never mind--- this is 1366x768 resolution. NO F-ing WAY am I going back to that shit! Costco Here I come.

View attachment 124326
Just a note, again I did a lot of research, this 10th Gen. is that last Gen. that will play 4K Blu-Rays. 11th and 12th no longer can...that is the Blu-Ray DISC...from an External Drive in this case. If that matters to you...

 

David L

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Here are a few I found:

4 core Proc.

No Ethernet Port but has Windows 11 Pro

With Touch Screen, no Ethernet Port

No Ethernet, 12Gigs Mem., $720 New under Buying Option...

No Ethernet but has Windows 10 Pro

So forgot to mention, Windows Pro is a must for me, if it is for you, figure $100 for upgrade. From my small search, you should have no problem finding what you want at your price range...

Oh and stay away from S Mode version of Windows, think it started with Windows 11
 
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