Got a new toy

in STEMGeeks3 months ago

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For a while now I have been thinking about the fact that I need a new laptop. I have all the technology in the world at my fingertips at work, but at home the offerings are not as great. I have an older Linux desktop that is running as my Plex server for the home and my wife has an older HP laptop that struggles with pretty much every task we throw at it.

Beyond that, all of the tech at home belongs to the school district and we are just borrowing it.

In addition to those reasons... I started thinking about the fact that the majority of my crypto work takes place in my office. Many of my wallets and things like that are on my desktop at work. Not a huge deal since I plan on sticking around here for a while longer, but not so great just from a security and personal stand point. I guess at the end of the day, it just didn't feel like good practice.

Additionally, my work as one of the Community Managers for Facings.io has me using programs like Telegram, Slack, and Discord more frequently. While this is is certainly do-able on a mobile device, I just seem to work better on an actual computer sometimes.

Finally, I've been doing more with Uplift World which means I needed a better machine to run the version of Minecraft that it requires.

So I started keeping my eye out for a new laptop. I had a couple things that were must haves. I knew I didn't want it to be bigger than 15". I have had 17" laptops in the past and they are just unwieldly. I also knew I wanted it to have at least 16GB of RAM and an SSD (the size wasn't really that important to me). Finally, I wanted it to be something thin and light so it was easy to use and carry around. I love my Chromebook, but I needed something just a bit more powerful that can run the Anchor wallet and allow my Ledger Nano X to be connected.

I was pretty indifferent about the whole processor thing. I just knew I wanted it to be at least an i5 or a Ryzen 5, I wasn't really tied down to a specific brand.

I found some viable options on NewEgg, but most of them suddenly disappeared or the price jacked up at the last minute when I was just about ready to pull the trigger. I finally got to the point where I wasn't looking so hard and I just figured I would wait for a deal to come to me.

Then my wife and I were walking through Costco when I just happened to glance to the side and see this LG GRAM 15.6" laptop on display. I walked over and picked it up and could hardly believe just how light it was. At less than 2.5 pounds it felt like I was picking up a file folder with only a couple items in it.

11th Gen i5 Processor - Check
16 GB RAM - Check
512 GB SSD - Check

The only thing I wasn't so sure about was the fact that it came with Windows 10 Home instead of 10 Pro which I had wanted. At a price of $799 it was a little more than I had wanted to spend, but still less than the original list price of $999.

It turns out with a little know-how and the right key from an old machine you can do the upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for free.

The laptop also has Intel's new line of graphics called iRIS. I had never heard of it before and I honestly wasn't expecting much, but it seems to run Minecraft just perfectly. I haven't tried installing anything like Diablo 3 yet, but I have no doubt it would handle any lower range game pretty easily.

I also love the fact that it has a ton of ports. Pretty much everything from USB-A to USB-C, HDMI, Thunderbolt, etc. It is pretty awesome.

Build quality does feel a little flimsy, but I think that is due to the materials they used to keep the machine light. When I say flimsy, I just mean I need to be careful when I am moving around with it. I sometimes feel I might ruin the screen if I pinch too hard.

It has taken me a bit, but I have slowly started to move all of my crypto stuff over to this machine. I just need to get a durable sleeve to protect it now. I am loving this laptop so far and if you aren't opposed to a Windows machine, I highly recommend this.

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While I like thin and light, I think manufacturers have gone too far in that direction. If a laptop is too "thin and light" to have a couple of regular USB ports without attaching a dongle, then it has gone too far.

I build my own desktop PCs periodically but I have only purchased 2 laptops for myself. The first was a Pentium M based Acer that I got a great deal on in the early 2000s. I got the second about two years ago when I opted for an Alienware (9th gen i7 based).

I don't actually do much gaming but I opted for the Alienware for a few reasons:

  1. It's fast and has discrete graphics (1660ti...I didn't opt for the 2060 at the time because i didn't care about ray tracing which was about the only advantage)
  2. While it's pretty thin for the amount of power it has, it still has room for some USB ports
  3. It does not throttle even when pushing the CPU, iGPU and GPU to the max...a rare or nonexistent attribute in a non-gaming laptop these days it seems.
  4. I always liked the Alienware aesthetic, I could finally afford one, and it's highly unlikely I would ever get a desktop Alienware as I prefer building my own.
  5. It has a big 4K screen (17-inch)
  6. It might be another 10 years before i buy another new laptop so i figured I would go big now.

It's a bit bigger and heavier than is ideal for a laptop but i'm not really travelling much (or at all right now) and it still compares well to the "thin and light" of 10 years ago. I absolutely love it and the only "negatives" are that it does not have a card reader and i wouldn't mind upgrading it from 16 GB to 32 GB. I'd love to build a new desktop but until GPU prices come down that isn't happening.

I have a Lenovo legion at work that use for some of my gaming. Beyond that my desktop is a custom build. I need to upgrade the graphics card when they are finally available again. I also have a thread ripper box that I built. I use it as a Linux server right now but that may change. My desktop is liquid cooled. The Ryzen is air cooled. The only dongle required for my new personal laptop is if you want to connect to Ethernet. I am actually shocked she supplied one with it for that.

I've never really gotten into the laptops as I prefer having a "war room" with my PC, ergonomic chair, and all my accessories within easy reach. I have played around with a few, however, and it sounds like you got a good one.

What I would like to do is build my own PC as one of the commenters talked about doing. If anyone wanted to write a nice thorough post on how to do that, I'd love to read it....

Have fun with your new toy!

My main machine at work is a custom build. I have a couple of hand made boxes in my office. Laptops are nice because I can still sit on the couch next to my wife and work. As much as I love my desktop, I have to isolate myself to use it.

I read about these a while back and recall them having a really great rating. Fantastic battery life if I remember correctly and far more robust than the few would suggest.

Yeah, the battery life is supposed to be like 20+ hours. I haven't tested it to that extreme yet though.

This is one great laptop. Amazing specification. This should be able handle any work tasks efficient. A great bargain for that price. On the look out for some myself. Guess I will go for something similar

It's not top of the line, but it is nice. I am not even sure if it is the most recent model of processor. The price was right though (kind of).

Oh Wow! Nice. Best of luck with it. I have a Lenovo with much of the same specs except this it is a 10th gen core i5. Otherwise I love this one. Small screen, but I only use it when traveling for work. Otherwise it is hooked up to a 27" wide screen monitor.. plenty of visual room. Enjoy the purchase!!

Thanks! I am loving it so far and the weight is just unbelievable!

You have got a nice laptop with an i5 core and that in 11th gen so I expect that it will perform great in terms of speed. You will be able to do more multi-tasking.

Yeah, basic tasks and Hive stuff should be a breeze!

Nice specs! Congrats on finding the right one for you. The keyboard looks enormous. I got a message from Apple that my new one will be delivered on Sept 1. I hope I can keep from sending this old one airborne before then. : )

Haha, good luck with that. It looks enormous, but it is a little tight. I find myself fat fingering things at times. I like having the number pad though so that is always a necessity for me in laptops.

Looks like a nice one, I hope you get many years of usage out of it.

Thank you!

New toys are always great, especially if you can justify it from a financial standpoint and not just lifestyle. When you can expense it from a business perspective, it gets easy to start collecting toys again.

I have a ledger, gaming pc and a chrome book and that works awesome as a home office toys perspective along with this phone I spend 6 hours a day on.

We still love our toys though!

What video card comes in that machine?

It is onboard graphics with Intel iRIS, yeah, I definitely plan on writing this off as a business expense come tax season. I probably wouldn't have bought it if I didn't.

Enjoy, great when you find something that works perfectly for what you need.

This definitely fits the bill!

Yup looks good, double the price here when taxes are added, makes me crazy!

That sucks!

Totally sucks!

Its so adorable..i was also thinking of getting a new laptop to increase my productivity as the one I have struggles with every task.

I think I have the right motivation to get a new one.

Good luck with that! There are some great deals out there right now especially with it being back to school season!

This is a very nice one too