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Looking for Laptop Recommendations for Graduate School

goodylee
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Hello, everyone! I'm a graduating college senior looking at graduate schools in physics. I'm currently looking for laptop recommendations based on my specific use case. Any information you guys could provide would be greatly appreciated!

  • I have a need to do moderate to demanding computational tasks such as running Matlab code, C, python, or possibly other languages in the future.
  • I need the ability to run the full Office suite for presentation designing etc.
  • All-day battery would be a nice thing to have, but I can work with less than that.
  • I need a nice keyboard. Trackpad isn't as vitally important.
  • I would like to have a dedicated graphics card for any free-time gaming I can do
  • I want a device that is great for multimedia consumption as well (primarily YouTube)

I've been looking at devices such as the Dell XPS 13 and the Surface book as my potential next buys, but I figured I could crowd-source some knowledge out of an informed community! Please if there's any more info you'd like I'll provide it as soon as I can. I appreciate everything!

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Definitely take a look at the XPS 9570, maybe 9575 (the 2 in 1 model) - It checks off everything you want.

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CPU: R5 3600 || GPU: RTX 3070|| Memory: 32GB @ 3200 || Cooler: Scythe Big Shuriken || PSU: 650W EVGA GM || Case: NR200P

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I love an active board! Thanks for the quick replies! I'll add those to the list of devices to check out. I'll take all the input I can get!

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3 minutes ago, goodylee said:

I love an active board! Thanks for the quick replies! I'll add those to the list of devices to check out. I'll take all the input I can get!

And I love someone who mentions or quotes me so I get a message that someone reacted to me. Please don't forget next time.

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10 minutes ago, LukeSavenije said:

And I love someone who mentions or quotes me so I get a message that someone reacted to me. Please don't forget next time.

Sorry! New here

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5 hours ago, goodylee said:

snip

Where are you from? Budget? Do you need Quadro? Min how many hours of battery life and max weight you prefer?

5 hours ago, Slottr said:

Definitely take a look at the XPS 9570, maybe 9575 (the 2 in 1 model) - It checks off everything you want.

XPS 15 has many issues. The 2 in 1 model doesn't really have a good keyboard

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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15 minutes ago, GeneXiS_X said:

Where are you from? Budget? Do you need Quadro? Min how many hours of battery life and max weight you prefer?

XPS 15 has many issues. The 2 in 1 model doesn't really have a good keyboard

I'm in America, and I'm looking to really invest in my next laptop. I'm looking at the top-of-the-line Surface Book 13'' as one of my options. I'm not planning on doing machine learning or anything that fancy, just need to do some moderate number crunching with the time comes. Battery life is secondary, but the longer the better. I'm also planning to lug this thing around campus all day, so weight is pretty high on the priority (I'd like it to be fairly light).

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1 hour ago, goodylee said:

snip

So you're fine with short battery life? Max weight preferred in kg/lbs?

 

Personally I don't like Surface products due to their anti-consumer behavior - extremely difficult maintenance, no hardware upgrades (everything soldered), poor record of reliability, high price

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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3 minutes ago, GeneXiS_X said:

So you're fine with short battery life? Max weight preferred in kg/lbs?

 

Personally I don't like Surface products due to their anti-consumer behavior - extremely difficult maintenance, no hardware upgrades (everything soldered), poor record of reliability, high price

they are actually very good at customer service once you get into their physical store. you can replace your device for a new one right there with almost any reason you can think of. the thing is you have to be in warranty. buying warranty extension is a must for surface line.

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1 hour ago, goodylee said:

I'm in America, and I'm looking to really invest in my next laptop. I'm looking at the top-of-the-line Surface Book 13'' as one of my options. I'm not planning on doing machine learning or anything that fancy, just need to do some moderate number crunching with the time comes. Battery life is secondary, but the longer the better. I'm also planning to lug this thing around campus all day, so weight is pretty high on the priority (I'd like it to be fairly light).

well how serious you want to go into gaming area, does mx150 level good enough for you.

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I would say the Matebook X Pro based on your needs for programming, all day battery life, nice keyboard, and the dedicated gpu. I've owned this computer for around 4 months now and I've gotta say its the best laptop I've ever owned. I can play games on it when i'm bored due to its MX150 but of course its not a gaming PC. It has a 4 by 3 aspect ratio for the screen so its great for programming. The keyboard is extremely stratifying to type on and the track pad isn't half bad. Its equipped with quad 4 speakers with dolby atmos so media like youtube and netflix sound awesome. As well as I can get a full day of battery life when I'm not gaming. On top of all that the build quality is amazing and it's under 3lb.

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thing about surface book is it wasn't actually that portable compare to other 'slim gaming laptop', 15 inch book 2 weight 4.20lb and razer blade 15 weight 4.60. the main reason to get a surface book is for the ultra utility, the pen & detached screen stuff. if you don't care about those and cannot afford warranty extension, don't buy surface book. my 1st gen replaced surface book has connection issue after half years again, it a design flaw.

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3 minutes ago, techiemind said:

I would say the Matebook X Pro based on your needs for programming, all day battery life, nice keyboard, and the dedicated gpu. I've owned this computer for around 4 months now and I've gotta say its the best laptop I've ever owned. I can play games on it when i'm bored due to its MX150 but of course its not a gaming PC. It has a 4 by 3 aspect ratio for the screen so its great for programming. The keyboard is extremely stratifying to type on and the track pad isn't half bad. Its equipped with quad 4 speakers with dolby atmos so media like youtube and netflix sound awesome. As well as I can get a full day of battery life when I'm not gaming. On top of all that the build quality is amazing and it's under 3lb.

how was the cooling thu.

 

and even as a Chinese, their customer service wasn't that good, don't know how bad it will be in us.

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Quote

how was the cooling thu.

 

and even as a Chinese, their customer service wasn't that good, don't know how bad it will be in us.

I got mine through the Microsoft store and got the warranty. I've heard that the customer service is great from Huawei though because their trying to get into the american market. 

 

The cooling is great when i'm not gaming. When i'm gaming or designing 3D models it can get a bit hot in the 70-79C but its never really that loud. You can also under volt it with intel XTU and get better performance.

  

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8 minutes ago, techiemind said:

I got mine through the Microsoft store and got the warranty. I've heard that the customer service is great from Huawei though because their trying to get into the american market. 

 

The cooling is great when i'm not gaming. When i'm gaming or designing 3D models it can get a bit hot in the 70-79C but its never really that loud. You can also under volt it with intel XTU and get better performance.

  

image.png.0400b642a0ff5f4c4c93cf15d2616652.pngimage.png.3782d4a122dc6d2338793f66263f886e.png

 

this are the reviews I saw, looks pretty toasty on hand, kinda worries me

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1 minute ago, appleache said:

this are the reviews I saw, looks pretty toasty on hand, kinda worries me

I did some 3D designing for around 4 hours yesterday on it while running a second display and I never felt any heat unless I put my fingers above the keyboard. I'm also under-volting my CPU and I've seen it improve temps by 10C or more. Plus its an AU body and they design it to take some of the heat away from the internal components. 

 

The cooler design imo is kinda impressive. Its heat pipes that are attached to a large AU heat sink that goes across the entire laptop including the NVME SSD. The fan then draws heat in and creates negative pressure in the case to cool it off from all angles. 

 

The only real problem that I've had this this laptop is the fact that Ubuntu wont work with the fingerprint censor that is built into the power button and that when i got my first model it had a very small dent/warp on the bottom from the factory. The microsoft store replaced it the next day and gave me my $150 off for being a student. making it $1350 for the best laptop that I've ever owned. I sold my MBP15 (2017) for this computer and I haven't regretted it once. Plus the Razer Blade 14 (2015) I had B4 that was trash and i had to get something with a better battery life. 

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4 minutes ago, techiemind said:

I did some 3D designing for around 4 hours yesterday on it while running a second display and I never felt any heat unless I put my fingers above the keyboard. I'm also under-volting my CPU and I've seen it improve temps by 10C or more. Plus its an AU body and they design it to take some of the heat away from the internal components. 

 

The cooler design imo is kinda impressive. Its heat pipes that are attached to a large AU heat sink that goes across the entire laptop including the NVME SSD. The fan then draws heat in and creates negative pressure in the case to cool it off from all angles. 

 

The only real problem that I've had this this laptop is the fact that Ubuntu wont work with the fingerprint censor that is built into the power button and that when i got my first model it had a very small dent/warp on the bottom from the factory. The microsoft store replaced it the next day and gave me my $150 off for being a student. making it $1350 for the best laptop that I've ever owned. I sold my MBP15 (2017) for this computer and I haven't regretted it once. Plus the Razer Blade 14 (2015) I had B4 that was trash and i had to get something with a better battery life. 

it kinda similar surface book design, stucking so much power under thin chassis without overheat like a MacBook is very impressive, but surface book is on the back of the display so it is fine, while this heat zone is directly on the keyboard, don't know how bad it will feel during gaming.

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1 minute ago, appleache said:

it kinda similar surface book design, stucking so much power under thin chassis without overheat like a MacBook is very impressive, but surface book is on the back of the display so it is fine, while this heat zone is directly on the keyboard, don't know how bad it will feel during gaming.

Yeah but the Surface book has more moving parts to brake, non replaceable storage, a very high price tag for the same internals, as well as a being heavier, and most of all hard to keep clean with it not being able to close fully. On top of all that it doesn't have a TB3 port to use an eGPU. 

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1 minute ago, techiemind said:

Yeah but the Surface book has more moving parts to brake, non replaceable storage, a very high price tag for the same internals, as well as a being heavier, and most of all hard to keep clean with it not being able to close fully. On top of all that it doesn't have a TB3 port to use an eGPU. 

im talking about thermal design, if you read my comment above you know that I actually dont recommend surface book at all unless you want to be fancy.

 

the close fully is actually a big misunderstanding, during the launch event they talked about the gap, that is to let the display have a angle on the drawing board mode so you actually feels comfortable for both your eye and hand, it wasn't that big of a deal on daily use.

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5 minutes ago, appleache said:

 

the close fully is actually a big misunderstanding, during the launch event they talked about the gap, that is to let the display have a angle on the drawing board mode so you actually feels comfortable for both your eye and hand, it wasn't that big of a deal on daily use.

Being the dirty human that I am I feel that this gap would become full of shit as soon as it hit by backpack. Also the hinge looks like it would also attract dirt/dust/lint a lot. 

 

The matebook is basically a macbook pro clone and I've had people tell me it over and over again at school. So I guess you can call it fancy too? But without the macbook price tag ( with the same specs ). 

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Just now, techiemind said:

Being the dirty human that I am I feel that this gap would become full of shit as soon as it hit by backpack. Also the hinge looks like it would also attract dirt/dust/lint a lot. 

 

The matebook is basically a macbook pro clone and I've had people tell me it over and over again at school. So I guess you can call it fancy too? But without the macbook price tag ( with the same specs ). 

for fancy i mean functionality, no laptop on the market have the versatility even close to surface book, until it goes out of warranty.

 

i put my book 1st gen in my laptop and it don't even get dirty at all. mainly because of the keyboard design, it wasn't a sink in keyboard tray like all the other laptop. the key is float above the main surface. so if there is any stuff there you can just wipe it right off. unlike other laptop's keyboard which is basically a dust & human gunk collection tray

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2 minutes ago, appleache said:

until it goes out of warranty

^^^ huh?

 

2 minutes ago, appleache said:

no laptop on the market have the versatility even close to surface book

^^^ any 2 in 1 or tablet with a keyboard

 

3 minutes ago, appleache said:

i put my book 1st gen in my laptop and it don't even get dirty at all

^^^ again.. huh?

 

 

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14 minutes ago, techiemind said:

^^^ huh?

 

^^^ any 2 in 1 or tablet with a keyboard

 

^^^ again.. huh?

 

 

in my backpack I mean.

things about 2in1 is that they have too much compromise. for example, the tablet mode, surface book's screen is actually light enough to use it like an iPad, even more comfortable than a 13 in ipad and it does weight lighter, it won't break your nose if you watch movie with it. most 2in1 including yoga is just too heavy to really use it as a tablet, mostly just use as a "lap tablet" or "table tablet", and your keyboard is going to get dirty, or even some key is going to break off if you are not careful.

but this kind of detachable design don't last long, it is going to break in a year or 2, and they way Microsoft design it means once you go out of warranty there is 0 repair for you. so at the end you just gonna be left with a permanently stucked laptop or a permanently separated tablet.

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2 minutes ago, appleache said:

so at the end you just gonna be left with a permanently stucked laptop or a permanently separated tablet.

This fact alone makes me never wanna look at the surface book again ?

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