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About ggk

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  1. Hi all, I have a follow up question specific to configuring the T14 (I've found an active discount). I'm planning to order one through the customize option as the pre-spec'd one's all have the base 250nit screen and I'm wanting to get one with the low power 400 nit screen. Regarding RAM, I expect I'll likely only need 8GB, but do have the thought that if I end up doing some more music oriented work than expected on this thing having 16GB available would likely be beneficial. If I'm understanding correctly, I believe that non-soldered RAM can be added to the T14, which has me thinking that it may make sense to order it with 8GBs of soldered RAM (vs 16), leaving me with the (more price effective?) option of adding additional RAM after the fact. My thought is that this would save me the cost up front, and potentially entirely in the event I don't feel the need to upgrade, but will give me the flexibility to upgrade down the line. Is this viable/does this make sense as an approach? I also saw passing mention (I believe on reddit) of the approach of ordering it with the 128GB SSD, and then upgrading with a larger SSD bought from a 3rd party, with the idea that this would be more price effective. The part of this I'm unclear on is what this would mean for the windows install (ie can it be backed up somewhere then thrown on the new SSD, would it require a fresh install and new key, or something else?)--does this make sense as an approach/is it relatively straightforward or a bit of a potential headache/am I potentially better off just grabbing a larger SSD from the get-go (the 512GB one would be ideal)? Thanks again
  2. Hey aiHAL. Before chiming in I'll flag that I don't do audio work professionally, so weigh this as you will, but it has been something I've been a primary interest of mine outside of my career, and I've spent a lot of time (15 years-ish)/money/research in this world. Re the need for i/o for audio equipment, you'll end up using some sort of external sound card (ie, presumably you'll be using multiple mics with XLR outs that need phantom power, line-level ins and outs, etc, and no laptop will be able to interface with these on its own). There is a ton of variance in what these look like, from ones that just do analog to digital conversion/digital to analog conversion which you would then hook up to a separate mixing board/external pre-amps/headphone amps etc vs ones that have onboard pre-amps, controls and outputs for headphones and monitors etc. As to be expected, there is also a wide variance in quality and price-range. Here is a link to moog's page with audio interfaces for a quick reference: https://www.moogaudio.com/en/all/audio-interfaces I wonder if it's possible to check with your music engineering program to see if there is 1) any expectation that you have access to your own interface vs accessing the programs equipment, 2) if there is a way to check to see if you'll need to be hooking up your personal computer to an interface the school provides, and if so, what that might be so you can check for compatibility. 3) even if there isn't an expectation that you have and audio interface, it might be worth thinking about if you want one anyways. I'm guessing you won't have unlimited access to a studio and having even a basic interface would give you a lot more freedom to work on projects/experiment at home on your off time (assuming you want to use external analog equipment, with microphones being the most obvious candidate here), or do mobile/location recording. Maybe you've already done this, but I'd really encourage you to do some research on windows vs macOS for audio work. I understand that a mac won't hit a bunch of your requirements, but for audio-work this feels like an elephant in the room for me as a mac is very well suited to this purpose and is, I think, the default answer to picking a machine for this use-case. In general, I prefer windows computers, however after about 12 years of doing audio/music production in windows, switching to a mac really streamlined things, and until something changes in the windows eco-system, I'll be living on a mac for music related projects. With windows it’s been my experience (which I think is echoed on the internet if you have a look) that there are often problems with getting smooth audio in a digital audio workstation (ie. pro-tools, logic, ableton, reaper, etc)—clicks and pops in the audio are a common issue. I have been able to optimize windows machines to address this, but it’s a headache, and I was never completely confident the issue had resolved. When working with audio there are a lot of opportunities for clicks and pops to be introduced into the signal chain (ie at the audio source, the mic, a faulty mic cord, an issue with the pre-amp or a compressor, or whatever), and if this is happening on the computers end, trouble shooting the above becomes more complicated. It becomes an even bigger issue if you're working with live talent in a finite window of time—technical issues need to be resolved quickly. MacOS just works for this stuff without the hassle. I think this is a question of use-case. Is there an expectation that heavy-audio work on your personal computer will happen primarily at home, or will you be mobile, in studios, on locations, etc (my guess is if you’re planning to work with live talent, the latter will happen)?
  3. Thank you both, sounds like the move is to hold tight into August watch the price on the T14.
  4. Hey all, catching up on this thread, thank you everyone for the input. The information regarding the PWM flickering is particularly helpful, this wasn’t something on my radar, I've now read up on it a bit and it will factor into my decision. With PWM flickering in mind, I’ve been cross-checking options on notebookcheck.net. Regarding the idea of waiting for the T14 price to drop, although I don’t have a ton of flexibility regarding my timeline, I do have some. I’m stepping out of my job towards the end of August and would like to have something to replace my X1 carbon I’m currently using for work asap. Is it realistic to think prices will drop by then? Outside of the T-14 and X13 are there any other viable options with next gen specs? The ideapad 5 and HP envy are on my radar, but I’m not sure they nail the keyboard and build quality I’m prioritizing (the “business-class” style machine, I think, is the thing that has me covered). I’m also seeing the Asus G14 all over, but the lack of webcam seems like a hassle (and while the specs are impressive, I don’t think I’ll use them—even with the music production luxury in mind, trouble-shooting audio issues on a windows machine is something I’ve been very happy to leave behind since starting to work on a mac, so I wouldn't switch over to this thing for music full-time, despite it blowing my mac out of the water). Overall, while I understand the Ryzen Renoir chips are where it’s at, given the laptops available with it and my use-case, I’m worried that placing the priority on getting the new tech will end up landing me with a machine that doesn’t deliver on my higher priorities (or I bite the bullet and pay a bundle on the AMD T14 and get it all). I’ve also had the thought that while I plan to be mobile, the fallout of the pandemic will mean I’ll be doing more work from home than I typically would, and hovering in a lower price-point could free up some funds for an external monitor/keyboard/mouse setup for use at home. And although the specs are pretty underwhelming on something like the X1 carbon, given what I’m planning to get up to on this thing I’m still not convinced this matters too much, and on the flip side, keyboard, build quality, screen brightness, lack of PWM flickering are all there—am I out of my mind here?
  5. Thank you kevinhall05 and panzersharkcat for weighing in, I appreciate you sharing your perspectives. A couple of thoughts/questions have been sparked on my end: Regarding the suggestions to grab an AMD Ryzen variant, the new AMD T14 (which is, as far as I can tell, the only thinkpad outside of the e series that has the new Ryzen 4000 chipset in it) hits $2280 if the SSD is upgraded to 256gb, and my inclination is to target a 15.6 inch screen if I push the price up around the $2000 mark as I don’t think, that for my purposes, I’ll necessarily make a lot of use of the performance gains. Unfortunately it also looks like all the 15.6” offerings are intel based. However, the T495 sits at a compelling price point, $1205 with a Ryzen 5 pro 3500U, which I understand to still outperform the i5 in the X1 carbon. I’m wondering though if the trade off in screen brightness is worth it—I don’t really have a sense for how to gauge the T495’s 250 nit screen vs the X1 carbons 400nit—for the sort of workflow described (mostly working in text/documents, I’ll be mobile so lighting will vary), does this matter? Eye strain is an important piece for me and if there is reason to think that a particular screen may be less fatiguing to look at it would likely swing things in favour of that machine (and I wonder about the appropriateness of the T15 with the “UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS, anti-glare, with Dolby Vision™, 500 nits” because of this—does the higher resolution have any implications for eye fatigue?).
  6. Hey Lord Vile, thanks for your input, it’s appreciated. Regarding the stat work, I’m anticipating I’ll be spending some time on whatever I get in SPSS, but these likely won’t be giant projects. I’ll have a closer look at the surface. I had been weighing the macbook pro 13” but had moved away from it on a couple fronts. For work related tasks, I really prefer windows, but the macOS does make things a lot more straight forward for music-production, hence there is a draw from that standpoint of having access to both (although I do appreciate that running windows in bootcamp is an option). The LTT review flagged thermal concerns in the new 13" and suggested this may have implications for longevity, which has sparked some worry in me. Also, a 13" screen, I think, is smaller than I want to go. Maybe this part makes less sense, but I do like the idea of having separate work-life and music production computers (which is a set-up I've had for years)—I think the break-up is helpful for carving out separate work and creative spaces and keeping me productive in both, but I can't justify to myself having multiple macs. If I go the route of grabbing a new mac, there will be a focus on making it capable for heavier music production, which I think would push it to a price point higher than I want to go right now (I think a 16” macbook pro would be the thing to grab). Regarding thinkpads, is Lord Vile’s take on these is a general sentiment? Is this maybe specific to the e series which I understand to represent the entry-level machines of the thinkpad line (vs T and X series I've been eyeing). I do appreciate that, in general, thinkpad screens leave something to be desired but given my use case, as long as they don't get in the way of working in documents I'm not convinced that matters too much. In the past I had a T510, which I really liked, my X1 carbon I currently have through work has served me well, and it’s been my impression that thinkpads generally have a good rep for build quality and longevity.
  7. Hi all, I'm looking for some input on a pending laptop purchase, thank you in advance for any thoughts/advice/feedback. I've been doing some research and I think have a basic lay of the land, but only really pay attention to specs/new tech when I need to make a purchase, so decent chance my sense of what's what is inaccurate. I'll primarily being using it for working in documents, video-conferencing, and likely some statistical work. I won't being using it for gaming, video or photo editing, or even watching movies. This isn't a must, but in an ideal world I would like to be able to do some light music production on it (I have an older macbook pro which I use for music production, I'll replace it down the road with another mac, it's my preference to keep that computer focused around music projects and to keep a separate work-oriented laptop, and use the latter if I'm on the road and want to do some light music work on off-time). Keyboard and build quality are my highest priorities, my hope is to get a computer that will remain solid for years. I've been managing a longer term head injury which eye strain currently factors into the management of, this has me mindful of getting a screen that I won't have to strain to see in different lighting situations. I'm open to a 14" or 15.6" screen, the latter would be nice but is not necessary. Weight isn't too much of a worry as I'll be throwing it in a backpack, but if I have the choice I will choose something lighter. It's my impression that the new AMD chips stomp intel and that a lot of the suggestions around laptops flag this, but given my use-case, I'm not sure how much this matters for me. Faster and more ram would be ideal (with music production in mind) but are in the end, luxuries. I've been eyeing an thinkpad, in part because I've had access to an X1 carbon through my workplace since 2014 which has been solid, it has a keyboard I enjoy working on and is built well (I'm stepping out of my job and am essentially looking for something to fill that space of that X1 carbon). I'm in Canada, budget is around $1000-$2000 CAD, I'd prefer to be on the lower end of that but I'm open to the higher if makes sense. things I'm contemplating (I'm open minded about other options): 1) an X1 Carbon 7th gen - although weight isn't much of a concern, this is sticking out as an option to me as I know I like the keyboard and build quality, and (as far as I can tell via digging through the lenovo website) this seems like one of the more price effective ways to get a 400nit screen. Currently $1350 for 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-8265U Processor (1.60 GHz, up to 3.90 GHz with Turbo Boost, 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 6 MB Cache), 14.0" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, low power, anti-glare, 400 nits, 8 GB LPDDR3 2133MHz (Soldered), 256 GB PCIe SSD. There is also a $1500 version with the 10th generation i5 (which I don't believe is much of an improvement?) but is otherwise spec'd the same, and has a 3 year warranty vs 1. 2) X1 extreme gen 2 is also something I'm contemplating, again largely due too my positive experience with the x1 carbon. The 15" screen is appealing, as is the option to bump it up to 500nits. $2040: 9th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-9300H Processor (2.40 GHz, up to 4.10 GHz with Turbo Boost, 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 8 MB Cache), 8 GB DDR4 2666MHz, 256 GB PCIe SSD, 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, anti-glare with Dolby Vision™ HDR 400 with IR & 720p HD Camera, 500 nits, NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1650 Max-Q 4GB GDDR5. 3) stepping out of the x series and into a friendlier price-point is the T590. My worry here is the screen brightness which is 250 nits--will this become difficult to look at in less than ideal lighting conditions? $1150: 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-8265U Processor (1.60 GHz, up to 3.90 GHz with Turbo Boost, 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 6 MB Cache), 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, anti-glare, 250 nits, 8 GB DDR4 2400MHz (Soldered), 256 GB PCIe SSD. 4) T15: highest resolution screen of the bunch, $1965 (+another $215 for another 8gigs of ram, is a thought): 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-10210U Processor (1.60 GHz, up to 4.20 GHz with Turbo Boost, 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 6 MB Cache), 8 GB DDR4 2667MHz (Soldered), 156 GB PCIe SSD, 15.6" UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS, anti-glare, with Dolby Vision™, 500 nits