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Recommendations for users who want thin, light, powerful laptop with good IO?

I do the purchasing for  IT hardware for a small company in Canada (50-ish employees) and I always have a hard time picking laptops for users who want thin, light, powerful laptops. Generally, they need to run demos on these laptops, so they need to be reasonably powerful, with SSDs, a good i5 or i7 CPU, and ideally on-board Ethernet (because at least one of our offices has the WORST WiFi ever), the ability to drive two monitors, and a couple other USB ports for keyboards and mice. I do not like using docking stations because a) decent ones are expensive b) expensive or not, they tend to be wonky and never seem to last long and c) only the REALLY expensive ones look good without a mess of cables, etc. Price is another big factor, as I have to keep the budget in check. My boss likes me to keep the price in the $1400 range, taxes in. 

 

I find its pretty much impossible to get all of these things for that price. Lately I have been getting HP ProBooks 450 G5, but I am not crazy about them because they aren't that good looking, the keyboards are pretty meh, and they aren't exactly light. And users are asking for docking stations anyways, because they don't like having to plug in 4 cables. So I am thinking maybe something with 2 USB C connectors and good docking stations might be the way to go?

 

Any recommendations on how to get my users the best of all worlds in my budget? Thanks!

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GIgabye Aero 15(X)

CPU: Core i9 12900K || CPU COOLER : Corsair H100i Pro XT || MOBO : ASUS Prime Z690 PLUS D4 || GPU: PowerColor RX 6800XT Red Dragon || RAM: 4x8GB Corsair Vengeance (3200) || SSDs: Samsung 970 Evo 250GB (Boot), Crucial P2 1TB, Crucial MX500 1TB (x2), Samsung 850 EVO 1TB || PSU: Corsair RM850 || CASE: Fractal Design Meshify C Mini || MONITOR: Acer Predator X34A (1440p 100hz), HP 27yh (1080p 60hz) || KEYBOARD: GameSir GK300 || MOUSE: Logitech G502 Hero || AUDIO: Bose QC35 II || CASE FANS : 2x Corsair ML140, 1x BeQuiet SilentWings 3 120 ||

 

LAPTOP: Dell XPS 15 7590

TABLET: iPad Pro

PHONE: Galaxy S9

She/they 

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Demo’s of what? Demos of code?

 

Most suggestions your gonna be given is gaming laptops, however a large chunk of the price in those is going to be for the gpu which you don’t need if your just gonna run code.

 

Probooks are gonna be your best bet (I think they look fine) but if you need them to look presentable your best bet is buying MacBook pro’s. You could probably buy a load of 13 inch ones around the 1.5k point.

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Also why are you plugging 2 monitors mouse and keyboard into a laptop? Wouldn’t it be better to get a desk top? Or if workers need to take data home just buy them all portable hard drives?

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Any preference on weight and battery life?

My Desktop specs:

Spoiler

AMD Ryzen 5 5600 Nvidia RTX3060Ti 8GB PNY XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB 16GB (8X2) 3200MHz CL16 Team Group MP33 Pro 1TB
ID-Cooling SE-224-XT White Gigabyte B550M DS3H mATX Tecware Forge M2 mATX White Case Montech Century 650W Gold

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just to add that for USB ports, a laptop with Thunderbolt support can use a hub to get you a lot more extra ports.

CPU: i7-2600K 4751MHz 1.44V (software) --> 1.47V at the back of the socket Motherboard: Asrock Z77 Extreme4 (BCLK: 103.3MHz) CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 RAM: Adata XPG 2x8GB DDR3 (XMP: 2133MHz 10-11-11-30 CR2, custom: 2203MHz 10-11-10-26 CR1 tRFC:230 tREFI:14000) GPU: Asus GTX 1070 Dual (Super Jetstream vbios, +70(2025-2088MHz)/+400(8.8Gbps)) SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB (main boot drive), Transcend SSD370 128GB PSU: Seasonic X-660 80+ Gold Case: Antec P110 Silent, 5 intakes 1 exhaust Monitor: AOC G2460PF 1080p 144Hz (150Hz max w/ DP, 121Hz max w/ HDMI) TN panel Keyboard: Logitech G610 Orion (Cherry MX Blue) with SteelSeries Apex M260 keycaps Mouse: BenQ Zowie FK1

 

Model: HP Omen 17 17-an110ca CPU: i7-8750H (0.125V core & cache, 50mV SA undervolt) GPU: GTX 1060 6GB Mobile (+80/+450, 1650MHz~1750MHz 0.78V~0.85V) RAM: 8+8GB DDR4-2400 18-17-17-39 2T Storage: 1TB HP EX920 PCIe x4 M.2 SSD + 1TB Seagate 7200RPM 2.5" HDD (ST1000LM049-2GH172), 128GB Toshiba PCIe x2 M.2 SSD (KBG30ZMV128G) gone cooking externally Monitor: 1080p 126Hz IPS G-sync

 

Desktop benching:

Cinebench R15 Single thread:168 Multi-thread: 833 

SuperPi (v1.5 from Techpowerup, PI value output) 16K: 0.100s 1M: 8.255s 32M: 7m 45.93s

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Business ultrabooks will probably be outside of your price range unless you're buying in bulk so you can make a bid. With that said the you should be able to get the Lenovo Thinkpad t480s which I quite like, it is decently light, the keyboard is probably best in class and the port selection should suit your needs.

 

Docking solutions became a lot better during 2018, I have tried Dell, Lenovo and HP thunderbolt docks and the HP is by far the best one of those. But I'm currently running monitors with built in USB-C docks and I think it's the best way to get a decently clean desk and only one cable to the laptop.

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They are demoing our .net web app, with a local SQL server DB (hence the need to be reasonably powerful). We are a total MS shop. Desktops are not an option due to travel to do said demos. Agreed that USB C docking staions arw a lot better in 2018, but the extra cost is my concern. But maybe that's just the way it has to go. Appreciate all the thoughts! Will check out that Aero. As for battery life, everyone of course wants good battery life, but in my book, this is the least of my concerns, because they will need to be plugged in during demos, which is my main concern. They all want light laptops and complain constantly about lugging their laptops around in airports. 

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10 hours ago, gboucher said:

snip

Give a range on max weight and min battery life (kg/lbs, hours)

My Desktop specs:

Spoiler

AMD Ryzen 5 5600 Nvidia RTX3060Ti 8GB PNY XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB 16GB (8X2) 3200MHz CL16 Team Group MP33 Pro 1TB
ID-Cooling SE-224-XT White Gigabyte B550M DS3H mATX Tecware Forge M2 mATX White Case Montech Century 650W Gold

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Under 4 lbs and battery life doesn't matter much at all. Any serious work is going to be done plugged in.

 

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Maybe you can consider TongFang GK5CN5Z/6Z (Eluktronics Mech-15 G2, Walmart OP 15 etc). Slightly heavier than 4 lbs but with i7-8750H CPU and good cooling

My Desktop specs:

Spoiler

AMD Ryzen 5 5600 Nvidia RTX3060Ti 8GB PNY XLR8 Gaming Epic-X RGB 16GB (8X2) 3200MHz CL16 Team Group MP33 Pro 1TB
ID-Cooling SE-224-XT White Gigabyte B550M DS3H mATX Tecware Forge M2 mATX White Case Montech Century 650W Gold

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On 1/7/2019 at 9:43 AM, OrbitalBuzzsaw said:

GIgabye Aero 15(X)

uh, $2500... looking to spend $1000 less than that.

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