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I'm switching from Mac to Windows, need recommendations for a new professional laptop.
Thread poster: Rachel Musselle

Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Thinkpad Sep 27, 2018

Rachel Musselle wrote:
I really like Lenovo laptops, but a few people have told me that they are not good.



Rachel


Hi Rachel,
I got an E560 15.6 Thinkpad directly from Lenovo just over two years ago and so far I'm happy with it. I switched the fn and ctrl keys in Bios and it only took me a day to get the system up and running more or less like the old one.

I configured it with the best IPS high res display which is great btw, no flickering when dimming. A 17 inch one will be big.
I got one stick of 8GB RAM so I could chuck another 8 GB in if needed but haven't yet, and an i5 as for what we do there are no performance gains with an i7 and on average an i7 will give you about 1 hour less battery life than i5 on anything but idle.

The Thinkpad cost me just under €700 (before VAT) so I got a Samsung EVO 500 GB SSD for €165 (VAT included) with an enclosure, cloned the drives and use the original HD as a new backup. The cloning process is really smooth and easy.

Like this the system is fast, runs silents, no fan or heat to speak of, and the battery lasts around a day with the matt screen on about 50% brightness and about 6 hours on full brightness. You can use it outdoors no problem.

Allow about 2/3 weeks for the Thinkpad to arrive as they build them to order in Singapore then ship them with UPS.


 

Ivana Kahle  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:30
Member (2007)
German to Croatian
+ ...
Professional Dell laptop Sep 27, 2018

Hi,
I have a Dell Precision 7710 laptop with 17" screen and it works just fine. The only negative side is it's weight (approx. 4 kg). If you don't intend to carry it around, that shouldn't be an issue.


 

DZiW (X)
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
the purpose Sep 27, 2018

One should really bear in mind the purpose, for a desktop configuration will always work faster than an equal notebook (including hi-end ULTRAbooks, let alone budget netbooks) option--with the same CPU, video, memory, HDD model and so on--due to its design. Considering external hardware, notebooks is often a smart choice.

Notebooks are like minimized PCs with UPS (battery), where performance is deliberately sacrificed for stability an
... See more
One should really bear in mind the purpose, for a desktop configuration will always work faster than an equal notebook (including hi-end ULTRAbooks, let alone budget netbooks) option--with the same CPU, video, memory, HDD model and so on--due to its design. Considering external hardware, notebooks is often a smart choice.

Notebooks are like minimized PCs with UPS (battery), where performance is deliberately sacrificed for stability and safety, which is ok for CAT tools (word processors and data base maintenance).
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Hans Lenting  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Member (2006)
German to Dutch
Adding a layer of complexity versus making the use of Windows easier Sep 27, 2018

Dan Lucas wrote:

OP - I think you are very sensible to get a Windows machine for professional use. That should immediately remove an additional, unwanted layer of complexity in comparison to the Mac + Parallels combination.


While this is indeed true from a technical point of view, from a practical point of view this 'additional layer of complexity' allows you to make things easier:

  • Use the Mac version of specific apps, like Adobe InDesign (a very common app to prepare source documents and translations)
  • Isolate your Windows from the internet, while keeping access to mail etc.
  • Easily reset your Windows configuration after an update that screws up certain apps
  • Use different Windows versions for different apps

The last two items are possible with certain versions of Windows too (the ones that allow you to use virtualisation).

So I wouldn't say: ignore Mac, but see it as a possible interesting alternative.

While the underlaying technology of virtualisation is complex, the set up and use of it is very simple and robust.


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Quality inside Sep 27, 2018

Some people seem to think that it's all the same inside, but it isn't. The brands choose their components from a range of low to medium quality up to top quality. Cheap brands are likely to choose cheap components, but one cannot always judge it on price alone.

A friend had Packard Bell where the on/off button broke within the first year.

I have changed internal components such as screen, keyboard and heat sink in both my old Samsung notebook from 2011 (soon to be retir
... See more
Some people seem to think that it's all the same inside, but it isn't. The brands choose their components from a range of low to medium quality up to top quality. Cheap brands are likely to choose cheap components, but one cannot always judge it on price alone.

A friend had Packard Bell where the on/off button broke within the first year.

I have changed internal components such as screen, keyboard and heat sink in both my old Samsung notebook from 2011 (soon to be retired) and my daughter's Lenovo from a year later.

In the Lenovo, it's clear that it is designed with ease of maintenance in mind. It's easy to get to the components, and the keyboard can be changed with just two or three screws. There is a detailed service manual that explains everything, and one can buy components from the brand.

My Samsung is a mess inside. There is no service manual. To change the keyboard, it is necessary to gut the entire machine first. The heat sink with the fan had a fault that prevented proper heat transfer from the CPU, and the heat from the graphics processor passes over the CPU before reaching the fan. The machine has overheated and stopped because of overheating ever since I bought it. The Lenovo has separate heat paths for the two processors.

Even if most translators are unlikely to open their laptops, it also reduces service costs that it's easy for the technician to fix broken components.

It may be a good idea to look around online for comments from technicians about the internal quality of the brands one is considering, although this is not necessary for a MacBook.
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Dan Lucas
 

Rachel Musselle
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:30
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Just purchased a Lenovo Thinkpad Sep 27, 2018

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

Some people seem to think that it's all the same inside, but it isn't. The brands choose their components from a range of low to medium quality up to top quality. Cheap brands are likely to choose cheap components, but one cannot always judge it on price alone.

A friend had Packard Bell where the on/off button broke within the first year.

I have changed internal components such as screen, keyboard and heat sink in both my old Samsung notebook from 2011 (soon to be retired) and my daughter's Lenovo from a year later.

In the Lenovo, it's clear that it is designed with ease of maintenance in mind. It's easy to get to the components, and the keyboard can be changed with just two or three screws. There is a detailed service manual that explains everything, and one can buy components from the brand.

My Samsung is a mess inside. There is no service manual. To change the keyboard, it is necessary to gut the entire machine first. The heat sink with the fan had a fault that prevented proper heat transfer from the CPU, and the heat from the graphics processor passes over the CPU before reaching the fan. The machine has overheated and stopped because of overheating ever since I bought it. The Lenovo has separate heat paths for the two processors.

Even if most translators are unlikely to open their laptops, it also reduces service costs that it's easy for the technician to fix broken components.

It may be a good idea to look around online for comments from technicians about the internal quality of the brands one is considering, although this is not necessary for a MacBook.



I've been doing a lot of research on the Lenovo laptops and I really like how they can be customised and as you mentioned, how you can easily upgrade/change parts.

After much research, I have decided to go ahead and purchase a Lenovo Thinkpad T580 this morning. I have customised it quite a bit (intel i7 processor, 8GB ram, 256GB Solid State Drive) and it cost me 999 GBP in total. The original price was 1110 GBP, but since I'm currently studying part-time on a Master's course I technically qualify as a student and I received a 111 GBP discount (extra bonus). The laptop also comes with a three-year warranty which is great.

There were some negative reviews online about battery life and screen brightness, which I'm sure I can live with since I have sensitive eyes and usually work with the brightness down anyway. It also doesn't weigh too much (1.97 kg) which was also a deciding factor as I travel a lot and and I'm used to travelling with my Macbook Air which only weighs 1.34 kg, so not too much of a difference there. I'm also upgrading from a Macbook 13" screen to a 15.6" screen with the Lenovo, which I'm very excited about. Again, I know most people prefer to work with bigger screens but as previously mentioned anything larger than a 15.6" screen would be too large for me to carry around personally, and I do have two desktop computers (one iMac and one Windows) at home with dual monitors.

Overall I'm quite optimistic about this new laptop and I'm excited to see how things go. I'll return to this thread at a later date with an update to see if it lives up to expectations.

Thanks for all your suggestions and comments!

Rachel


Dan Lucas
Thomas T. Frost
 

Daniel Frisano  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 17:30
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Sep 27, 2018

Rachel Musselle wrote:

After much research, I have decided to go ahead and purchase a Lenovo Thinkpad T580 this morning. I have customised it quite a bit (intel i7 processor, 8GB ram, 256GB Solid State Drive) ...



It seems like a good choice, if perhaps a little short on RAM for heavy-load situations (but not for most day-to-day chores).

You won't miss your iMac, they are grossly overhyped anyway.


Thomas T. Frost
 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:30
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Expectations met? Dec 14, 2018

Rachel Musselle wrote:
Overall I'm quite optimistic about this new laptop and I'm excited to see how things go. I'll return to this thread at a later date with an update to see if it lives up to expectations.

Rachel, how have you found it so far?

Dan


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 00:30
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
New laptop Dec 14, 2018

I'm getting a Thinkpad E585 because my current laptop's screen hinge has kicked the bucket, turning it into a desktop.

It's under $800 USD for Ryzen 2500U, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD+1TB HDD, plus a 2x2 wireless card that I'm buying on the side because the one that comes with the E585 has awful reviews. Cheap enough that if I break it or choose to get something beefier when the next generation comes around, I won't feel too bad about it.

I've been told that it should arrive th
... See more
I'm getting a Thinkpad E585 because my current laptop's screen hinge has kicked the bucket, turning it into a desktop.

It's under $800 USD for Ryzen 2500U, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD+1TB HDD, plus a 2x2 wireless card that I'm buying on the side because the one that comes with the E585 has awful reviews. Cheap enough that if I break it or choose to get something beefier when the next generation comes around, I won't feel too bad about it.

I've been told that it should arrive this week, in time for my trip to Japan on the weekend.
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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:30
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Looks like good value Dec 14, 2018

Lincoln Hui wrote:
It's under $800 USD for Ryzen 2500U, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD+1TB HDD, plus a 2x2 wireless card that I'm buying on the side because the one that comes with the E585 has awful reviews.

Even if you only get a year out of it, that's a good spec for the money.

Dan


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:30
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I'd go for the smaller ones, either by Lanovo or Dell Dec 14, 2018

For me, the sizes of laptops matter a lot. I like smaller ones (The 12.5-inch ones are the best).

I cannot bear any laptop that doesn't have a touchscreen.

An i7 processor will be ideal but I may go for an i5 if that is otherwise great.


[Edited at 2018-12-15 16:51 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:30
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Nothing Dec 15, 2018

Rachel Musselle wrote:

.... I'll only be using my Mac in my spare time. I think my life would be much easier if I didn't have to fiddle around with things....


Ha ha - fiddling around? You haven't seen anything yet. Don't throw away your Mac. You'll be back

[Edited at 2018-12-15 09:06 GMT]


 
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