Sturdy computer brands
Thread poster: Susie Rawson

Susie Rawson  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2014)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Feb 8

To the vast community of translators, here´s a query for you. I need to replace (once again) my laptop computer since the screen went black on me all of a sudden for no apparent reason. It could be repaired, but I can´t rely on this computer any longer. I do have another one as back-up, but that one too is pretty old and shabby. For the past few years, I´ve been loyal to HP, but someone told me recently that Lenovo computers, although maybe somewhat limited as to fancy features, are really strong and sturdy. Anyone with experience in Lenovo that can speak up for it?


Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Good quality Feb 8

I've repaired my daughter's Lenovo laptop a couple of times. It's well organised inside to be easy to replace components, and the company provides detailed service guides for doing this. Components are also of good quality, although I did have to replace an overly noisy heat sink fan.

An old Samsung laptop of mine was not so easy to deal with. To replace the keyboard, it was necessary to gut the computer completely, system board and all. On a Lenovo, you loosen three screws at the bottom, change the keyboard and tighten the screws again. No proper service guide was provided by Samsung, so there was a lot of guessing involved. It was also insufficiently cooled right from day one and kept ‘freezing’. The Samsung heat sink directs the heat from the GPU to the CPU before leading it to the fan, whereas the Lenovo leads the GPU heat directly to the fan.

I wouldn't buy a Samsung computer again, but I wouldn't hesitate with Lenovo.

I have a custom-built laptop from the British PC Specialist now, not least as I needed a non-local keyboard. They call it 'rugged', and I quite agree.

Of course, these experiences are based on a limited number of computers.

Dan Lucas

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:48
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
I personally like/recommend Dell Precision/Latitudes, but ThinkPads are also great Feb 8

Lenovo’s ThinkPad are durable/good, although I always recommend getting a business-grade Dell Precision or Latitude. My Precision M6800 is around 5-6 years old now and still going strong. You can open it up and add up to three internal hard drives, and it has two graphics cards.



Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:48
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Agree re ThinkPad Feb 8

Thomas T. Frost wrote:
On a Lenovo, you loosen three screws at the bottom, change the keyboard and tighten the screws again.

I second the points made by Thomas and Michael, and would in particular recommend one of the ThinkPad T series. They strike a nice balance between expandability and portability.

When I come across queries like these, I like to remind people not to stint on what is usually a freelancer's primary money-making tool.


[Edited at 2019-02-08 17:30 GMT]


Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 08:48
Chinese to English
+ ...
Business laptops Feb 8

Buy a laptop targeted at business users - they tend to be sturdier and last longer than consumer machines, even when they're from the same brand. In Lenovo's case that means getting the Thinkpad line, not the IdeaPad line, for instance, and avoid straight desktop replacement machines even if you don't intend to be on the road a lot


Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 01:48
English to Russian
+ ...
Lenovos are excellent, but not all of them Feb 9

The most important fact to know - not all Lenovos are made equal. The tough and reliable business class machines are the Thinkpad family, and specifically the series T (standard laptops) and X (compact and lightweight). They aren't cheap, but it's OK to buy a slightly older machine - plenty of Thinkpads returned after a corporate lease are overhauled and sold for a good price. You get a machine that's physically like new, just a slightly older model. Most Thinkpads have excellent ergonomics, though some models are somewhat too unorthodox, so get a feel to choose which one you prefer.

The T and X tend to last forever even when you travel with them a lot. I have a 12-year-old X61 as a spare machine for guests, which is still alive and sufficiently fast for office work (albeit after an upgrade to SSD, 4GB RAM and Windows 10). If I were using it for real work, I might just replace the keyboard, the battery and the cooling fan, but these are still readily available and inexpensive. The keyboards are spill-proof, by the way.


Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:48
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Susie Feb 9

Susie Rawson wrote:
Someone told me recently that Lenovo computers, although maybe somewhat limited as to fancy features, are really strong and sturdy. Anyone with experience in Lenovo that can speak up for it?

"Lenovo" is just a brand. They sell low-end and high-end laptops. We have a low-end one (Ideapad 300, 2018, EUR 400), and it's a little less sturdy as some of the other laptops we've had, but: that is normal for modern laptops, isn't it?

I do get the impression that most modern laptops are not really designed for use on any other surface than a table top. In other words, they're easy to transport (light, thin) but the assumption is that you'd be using it on a table or desk at your destination.

If you want to make a laptop last longer, you'd simply have to take better care of it. This means carrying it in a cushioned bag, for example. Or, if you're taking it on a long trip, put it in its original box, for better protection. Also get one with multiple USB ports, in case one of the USB ports break, thus rending your laptop inaccessible. Other ways of "taking better care" include opening and closing the lid from the centre instead of grabbing the corner.

Also, laptop insurance is a good idea. Be careful with insurance policies that "replace" your laptop, because you'll never get a replacement that's the same or better than the one you had (despite what the policy might say).

[Edited at 2019-02-09 16:10 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-02-09 16:11 GMT]


LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:48
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Sony Vaio, Lenovo, NOT Asus Feb 11

For the past 10 years, my go-to model has been various generations of Sony Vaio Z's... fast, destructible only with extreme abuse (mine have survived multiple falls from table height onto hard surfaces and skidding across a concrete underground garage floor, among other things), even the used ones I bought for my kids worked great and are still working, another 11-year-old one with a broken screen is my media server. I wanted to have a "stable" of very similar models in order to be able to interchange accessories (sheet batteries, docking stations) and reduce the need for carrying backup hardware (e.g., backup charger - yes, I am paranoid enough that I always carry one in case the regular one goes bad, which has happened) on family trips. I can also use the broken ones for spare parts - the battery on my wife's Z is going bad, so I am going to pull one from one of the inoperable ones.
Note that these are now made by a Japanese company that bought Sony's laptop business and Vaio name. I have their Vaio Z Canvas, which is their surface book model (they currently make only classic notebook form factors, though). Not thrilled with the surface ergonomics generally, but otherwise an excellent machine.

If I had to replace it would probably be a Lenovo X1 Carbon.

Bad experience with ASUS, especially their terrible service. 11 months in my Flipbook stopped working, but the warranty claim was denied because of "evidence of liquid spillage" (totally false accusation). In the denial, they sent a picture of corrosion on the center of the copper plate covering the back of the motherboard, at least six inches away from any source of liquid ingress (through the tiny speaker vents in the corners of the back casing), with no flow traces of any kind. Condensation, maybe, but spillage no way!


English to Russian
+ ...
any suitable for the work Feb 11

Hello Susie.

Just to make sure--

1) What is the budget?

2) Would you need a new notebook for working while traveling or mostly as an UPS-enabled home PC, connecting a decent monitor and an external full-sized keyboard and a mouse?

3) Mostly latest CATs are very demanding as compared to previous versions; what is your typical workflow: Trados 2017 with local TMs + MS Office?

4) How regularly could the machine be cleaned/maintained?


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