Are laptops from other manufacturers as good as lenovo's?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by hajime, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. hajime macrumors 603

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    #1
    I don't remember why I chose Lenovo. Probably because I had good experience with IBM and Thinkpad over 20 years ago. I think it was also like the keyboard, higher chance of Linux compatibility, easy of upgrading, good after sale services, reliability. At least these are the reasons I heard few years ago. How about now? Are laptops from other manufacturers (e.g. ASUS, MSI, Acer, Razer, HP) as good in terms of Linux compatibility, good after sale services, reliability, speed of repairing?
     
  2. skaertus macrumors 68040

    skaertus

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    #2
    I think it may depends. I live in Brazil and Dell is far better than Lenovo in terms of after sale services and repairing. Apple is also very good, as I suppose it is always. As for the materials, Lenovo ThinkPad did not impress me at all, they seem too cheap.
     
  3. hajime thread starter macrumors 603

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    You are very right. It depends on the country also. I just chatted with Razer. They said that if it is the customer's induced issues, customers pay for the full shipment. If I were in the Far East where they have official stores, then I don't have to worry about such cost.
     
  4. pika2000 macrumors 601

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    #4
    On the consumer side, all the PC OEMs have roughly similar quality in the end as most of them use the same OEM and outsourced their support to the same group of companies.
    If you want somewhat better quality and support, then don't look at the consumer products. Look at the corporate/enterprise products (eg. Dell Lattitude, HP elite, etc). They won't carry the blings you see in the consumer product line and they will carry a price premium, but the support offered tend to be better.
     
  5. TSE macrumors 68030

    TSE

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    #5
    You get what you pay for, really. Accounting for build quality & reliability, a $500 notebook is very different from a $2000 one. All PC brands are roughly the same & made at the same factories. What you should really pay attention to is the brands within each brand - as that's far more an indicator than just the company. That's kind of why I don't like what Lenovo did with Thinkpad, as they dilated the whole brand. There are new Thinkpads that would make IBM proud, but there are also many that are just budget builds with the Thinkpad aesthetic.

    A Dell Latitude's reliability is much better than a Dell XPS's. An HP EliteBook's reliability is much better than an HP Pavilion's.... in general you are paying more, and in some case even paying more for worse specs, but with that you get better support and better reliability.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #6
    I'd say there are a healthy number of makers that are on par with Lenovo.
    I've not done much research lately but from what I recall Razer, Asus, MSI, Dell, HP and Gigbit all were solid machines.

    have your dropped silent running from your must have requirements? I say this not to take a shot at you but rather discerning what are your true must haves.

    HP, Dell, and Lenovo all have great customer support imo. I was satisfied with Razer's customer support but many people have complained about issues with them. They've said they've re-focused on customer support in 2018 and I think they have. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them.

    Also consider System 76 if you are intent on running linux, you will probably get the best user experience from a company who's providing both the hardware and OS (Pop!OS)
    --- Post Merged, Jun 10, 2019 ---
    Also, don't you own a Yoga? What is wrong with that laptop and what will a HP, or Asus or Dell, etc, give you over what the Yoga provides?

    I'm sure if I keep looking, I'll drive myself crazy at what might work better then the Thinkpad, but it does what I need it too and its solid machine. So as long as the Yoga gives you what you need, why mess with success, i.e., why fix what's not broken
     
  7. hajime, Jun 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019

    hajime thread starter macrumors 603

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    #7

    Around the time you considered the Razer, I also checked their customer services. From what I read, customers have to spend a lot of time and effort to get things done the right way. Now they are 2nd in customer services. Maybe they have improved. However, from my chat with them last weekend, they mentioned that if it is not their fault, customers have to pay for all shipment costs.

    For my first Yoga C930, it had defective screen, issues with connection to external projectors and display. Lenovo acknowledged these issues. It was dead silent say 90% of the time when it was on battery. Don't recall noisy fans on AC adapter. So I had good impression on this model in terms of fan noise. For my 2nd Yoga C930, the screen issue and connection to projects issue have fixed. However, when on AC adapter, I hear fan noise 90% of the time even the CPU load is just a few percent. (Already moved the battery performance setting to the middle.) When it is on battery, it is about 70% dead silent. So for strange reason (perhaps ****** thermal paste job or lottery), my 2nd Yoga performs worse than the 1st one in terms of fan noise. Whoever made my laptop also stupidly tightened the screw on the SSD so much that I cannot take t out to swap my SSD. Given that even the Yoga C930 has fan noise when doing non intensive tasks, I wonder if I should just get a laptop with a dGPU for more future proof.

    For my current job, I just need a lightweight machine for office productivity, presentation and pdf annotation. I don't play games on laptop but on my i9-9900K 64GB RTX2080Ti workstation. I may need to do projects what require CUDA/tensor-core computations so having Nvidia GTX/RTX GPU on the laptop for "occasional" on-the-go prototyping is desirable. I think I read somewhere that RTX mobile GPU run cooler than the old GTX mobile GPU. Not sure if it is really true. So, a laptop with RTX GPU that is dead silent when doing office productivity/youtube viewing and having "non-intrusive, no high pitch fan noise" when running CUDA stuffs is desirable.

    I think I should look for laptops that have "non-intrusive fan noise", "no high pitch noise". Don't know why Acer still has not released their Concept laptops. It is overdue already.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    If that is a requirement, then you will need a passively cooled laptop, not matter what other machine, there will be some level of fan noise. I believe some of Surface devices are passively cooled
     
  9. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

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    #9
    I was issued a new HP EliteBook at work and it is a very good laptop, possibly even better than my T480. The build is solid, the keyboard layout is quite nice, the keys themselves feel pleasant to use, and the display is decent.

    However, there is no middle button. I cannot really use the trackpoint (or whatever HP's term is for it) because scrolling is impossible. Middle button pasting would also be impossible in Unix without some sort of remapping hack. If it had a middle button I would buy one, but sadly, this ruins what is otherwise an excellent laptop.
     
  10. hajime thread starter macrumors 603

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    #10
    In terms of user upgradability, how are these manufacturers compared with each other? I know that Lenovo's laptops can be upgraded by users as we can open the bottom easily. I read that users can also buy the parts (including LCD panel) easily from Lenovo or other 3rd parties to upgrade their laptops few years later. Don't know what will happen if I need the parts from HP, Gigabyte, Razer, Acer, ASUS, etc. So buying from Lenovo seems to have better service protection for a few years. Perhaps 2nd to Apple as Lenovo does not have physical stores in Canada.

    I don't recall the name of the manufacturer (perhaps HP?) who intentionally hide the screws under the rubber feet and have easy-to-break hooks holding the bottom. Even professional reviewer(s) did not want to open the bottom because of this.
     
  11. pika2000 macrumors 601

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    For the consumer models, these OEMs now are as bad as Apple, especially on their flagship thin-n-light models, as they are making sure that user upgrades are difficult so they can sell you higher end models with more RAM/storage. Ironically, their cheaper lower end models tend to be more user accessible for parts, but the spec usually are simply bad (ie. using low-res 768p TFT screens).

    This is why the continuing recommendation for the enterprise/business lineup of laptops as they tend to be more user accessible.
     
  12. trillionaire macrumors regular

    trillionaire

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    #12
    I agree with this - you get what you pay for. Even laptops that have similar specs from different brands, the cheaper one will usually have different issues that come with the price range, such as battery life dropping quicker or worse performance from a seemingly identical spec laptop. That's not to say there aren't deals to be had, but they will always be relative to similar build quality among brands.
     
  13. hajime thread starter macrumors 603

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    #13
    I don't know why manufacturers like to say how thin their laptops are. I would rather have a 2cm thick but light and quiet laptop.
     
  14. TSE macrumors 68030

    TSE

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    #14
    $$$
     
  15. kazmac macrumors 604

    kazmac

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    #15
    Glad to hear Razer is now #2 (as I bought one :p).

    I am also confident that Microsoft will honor the Performance Guard warranty and with that you get two replacements over the course of the warranty - brand new machines - not refurbs.

    I was driving myself crazy (and I am sure some folks here too). :p I’ve been so stressed in real life and trying find the exact right machine did not help. I decided to try the Microsoft store again and was pulled toward the gaming machines.

    Ultimately, I decided to go with the Razer. The responsiveness, 100% RGB screen, the keyboard with the Chroma color system (might as well have fun with with a PC) and the internals, plus the Performance Guard warranty sold me. I’ll just roll with it and hopefully you’ll be patient with my questions.

    :rolleyes: didn’t ask about Restore Points and making back ups. :confused:

    @hajime if you’re in the United States, you might want to buy from the Microsoft Store. I wish you luck in finding what you need.
     
  16. hajime thread starter macrumors 603

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    #16
    Thanks. Which Razer did you buy?

    I asked them if they have any pen for their touch screen model but they don't. They suggested me to try something with a rubber end! I am in Canada so selection is not as good as people in the USA.
     
  17. kazmac macrumors 604

    kazmac

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    #17
    The

    2019 15.6 with RTX 2070 Max-Q

    Canada. Great country. Hope you can find a laptop that works for you.
     
  18. hajime thread starter macrumors 603

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    #18
    Thanks.

    Just went to MS store to try Razer laptops. 3 in store and all very warm.
     
  19. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #19
    How's the razer working out for you - I did enjoy it when I owned one, though the key placement of ?/ was a bit hard for me to get used too. I could have lived with that, had they illuminated the secondary values of the numbers and function keys
     
  20. kazmac macrumors 604

    kazmac

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    #20
    Yes, I expect mine to be warm too. No
    Having adaptability issues:

    That keyboard layout is harsh. I thought over a few days I could adapt to it, but... my typing is not improving. :( I write a lot and this is the tipping point. I haven’t tried the backlight keys yet, but if I keep it I’ll let you know if they fixed the numbers / fn keys.

    I do like the machine, but that keyboard is veering me toward returning it:confused:. It doesn’t help that I prefer and still use desktops for almost everything (Not to mention, picking my keyboards etc.) :rolleyes::(:rolleyes:
     
  21. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #21
    You can remap the keys to move the ? and arrow keys. For me the tipping point was the backlight as I frequently type in less then ideal lighting and I always need to access the secondary values on the numbers and fn keys.

    Overall I loved the laptop but if you (like me) cannot enjoy typing on it, why bother spending that much money. That was my mindset in all honesty with the MBP as well, though the wrinkle there was peace of mind and keyboard durability.
     
  22. kazmac macrumors 604

    kazmac

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    #22
    It looks like I will be returning it tomorrow. It was $$$, but -yes- the keyboard layout and typing experience is a deal breaker.

    If the Surface Book 2 15” was updated, I’d exchange for that, but I cannot see spending that money on older tech.

    Thanks for your input.

    I should have known when I was having typing difficulties during the set up session that this would be problematic. :(
     
  23. Queen6 macrumors 604

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    #23
    SB2 is more than enough and who knows when SB3 will land or if for that matter it will meet your needs. Lets be straight 15" SB2 will "smoke" your iMac and similar to Apple, Surface your paying for an experience not all up performance...

    Buy what works for you, forget the numbers as your needs are far from the bleeding edge of performance. As long as hardware meets the need who cares, better to be happy with it than forever chasing a number :)

    Q-6
     
  24. c0ppo macrumors 65816

    c0ppo

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    #24
    I can't agree with this statement. At all :)
    First off, SB2 is outdated and overpriced. Just like some products in Apple lineup.

    Secondly, you can't even connect it to two monitors without some overpriced MS dock that doesn't even work like a charm.

    And lastly, most of these problems would be solved with just one TB3 port, but SB2 doesn't have that.

    So, if possible, I would wait for SB3.

    P.S.
    SB2 is a excellent product, I've used one for 10 days or so. Peace of art IMHO. But considering the price and specs, not worth it at all. Unless you need such a specific device, well, then you go out and purchase one :)
     
  25. kazmac, Jun 13, 2019 at 2:26 PM
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019 at 2:31 PM

    kazmac macrumors 604

    kazmac

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    #25
    True.

    My needs certainly do not demand a Razer of that horse power. I’ll see what is available tomorrow. I also need to research system requirements for art apps and a Wacom tablet. Surface Pen is not an optimal experience for me art-wise. The MS reps skirt the Wacom questions constantly. I get it.

    Despite my misgivings about the MSI, the keyboard was excellent.

    @c0ppo Yes. The older specs bother me. Unfortunately, given my real life, I have to get a new computer ASAP or the money will be used for other real life things.
     

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