Best laptop for R18k, and best time and place to buy

bakerbakura

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Joined
Dec 30, 2019
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8
Hi there!

I have about R18k budget to buy a laptop, and would like to get the best possible laptop for that price.

What is the best place to get the best laptop for that price?

Also, are there any particular periods during the year you would recommend I wait for?
Unfortunately I did not get this money in time for Black Friday 2019... should I wait for Black Friday 2020?

I'm planning on installing Ubuntu onto this laptop, so coming with Windows installed or not is no difference. However, if you know of any laptops that have a bad reputation with Ubuntu/Linux, please let me know!

Here are some highly preferred features:
  • recent-ish core i7 (or AMD equivalent)
  • at least 1080p resolution
  • at least 128GB SSD (possibly a SSD/HDD combo)
  • discrete graphics card (the better the better, of course)
  • at least 1 USB type C port and 1 USB type A port
  • backlit keyboard
  • HDMI port

Nice optional features:
  • fingerprint reader
  • gigabit ethernet
  • touch screen
  • completely foldable hinge with stylus
 

Johnatan56

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Aug 23, 2013
Messages
27,598
Mostly work (in data science & machine learning, which necessitates the graphics card and good CPU), as well as some light gaming.
If you can CUDA accelerate, the RTX line is substantially faster for a lot of workloads, but out of your budget. For larger ML stuff you'd rather build a desktop, if quick/easy stuff that doesn't work fast enough on a CPU, it might be cheaper to throw it on AWS/Google Cloud/Azure. Just saying that GPU might not be needed/good enough that it actually mattered/was better than going cloud or it.
 

RedViking

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Feb 23, 2012
Messages
30,420
Evetech is usually the cheapest but their after sales support has many reported issues. But if you get something like a Dell Notebook it will come with 1-3 year onsite warranty, so you won't need to worry about Evetech's after sales. Just be warned that Dell warranty means what ever goes wrong, even if it is a new laptop, they will fix or replace it with a refurbished product. This is now standard practice for Dell it seems.



Other notebooks like MSI, Lenova, Acer, HP etc. deals with Partserve for warranty and after sales. I have read some negative things about them.

As for Linux, you can probably do a dual boot and leave Windows on there if you need to use it for Dell Support or have driver issues etc? Will need to get advice from someone more experienced for this.

If you want to go for a Desktop I would avoid Evetech completely, even if they seem to be cheap, and use Wootware or Rebeltech.
 

mr_norris

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Jun 12, 2007
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2,811
With a 3 year warranty and 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD, this goes just over your budget of 18k.
 

mr_norris

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This is nice and configurable! I might stick with a 1 year warranty and instead get a bigger SSD or more RAM. Thanks, this is definitely going to be considered.
I just wish they made 17" variants, I would buy one too if they did.
 

Ancalagon

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Are you set on a laptop or would you consider a desktop? You could get a much more powerful desktop for the same amount of money.

Unfortunately I did not get this money in time for Black Friday 2019... should I wait for Black Friday 2020?
I personally don't think there is any point. I live in the UK by the way, so I was looking at Amazon, currys, those sorts of places.

I was looking at a laptop to buy about a month or two before Black Friday. When Black Friday arrived, nothing was actually cheaper. They were marked as being on sale but the price was the same. So I bought what I would have bought anyway and paid the same price.

The only reason that you might want to wait is for new laptop chips from Intel and AMD to become available, which would be more powerful and more efficient. But, that generally takes a long time.

Worth it? Depends on you. If you want this for work, I'd probably say no. Spend the money now, get working, get making money, get learning. If its for sh*ts and giggles, then maybe wait.

I will say that by Black Friday 2020, AMD might have new chips that are SUBSTANTIALLY better than what they have now. They released 7nm chips for desktop and server last year - 7nm being more powerful and more efficient. But that technology has not made it to laptops yet. It will have made it to laptops by Black Friday 2020, which means that AMD laptops could be substantially faster by then. I'd probably say a good 15-20% faster for the same amount of money, and probably more efficient at the same time.
 
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bakerbakura

New Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
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I was looking at a laptop to buy about a month or two before Black Friday. When Black Friday arrived, nothing was actually cheaper. They were marked as being on sale but the price was the same. So I bought what I would have bought anyway and paid the same price.

The only reason that you might want to wait is for new laptop chips from Intel and AMD to become available, which would be more powerful and more efficient. But, that generally takes a long time.

Worth it? Depends on you. If you want this for work, I'd probably say no. Spend the money now, get working, get making money, get learning. If its for sh*ts and giggles, then maybe wait.
I figured things would be this way, so thanks for the confirmation!

I will say that by Black Friday 2020, AMD might have new chips that are SUBSTANTIALLY better than what they have now. They released 7nm chips for desktop and server last year - 7nm being more powerful and more efficient. But that technology has not made it to laptops yet. It will have made it to laptops by Black Friday 2020, which means that AMD laptops could be substantially faster by then. I'd probably say a good 15-20% faster for the same amount of money, and probably more efficient at the same time.
Hmmm that's good to know. I'm not sure whether I'm willing to wait until Black Friday 2020 though (that depends on whether or not I can keep the laptop I'm currently lending until then).
 

bakerbakura

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Dec 30, 2019
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If you can CUDA accelerate, the RTX line is substantially faster for a lot of workloads, but out of your budget. For larger ML stuff you'd rather build a desktop, if quick/easy stuff that doesn't work fast enough on a CPU, it might be cheaper to throw it on AWS/Google Cloud/Azure. Just saying that GPU might not be needed/good enough that it actually mattered/was better than going cloud or it.
Thanks for the pointers. The company I work for has some servers, some of which have beefy graphics cards which I can use once something goes into production; in the meantime, I can perhaps use this laptop for testing before moving over to the servers. Given that info, do you reckon that a GTX1660Ti or 1650 would suffice?
 

bakerbakura

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Dec 30, 2019
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Another option (instead of waiting for Black Friday 2020) could come up in the next few months. I may be going to the US for a few weeks around March/April (Massachusetts, to be more specific); do you guys reckon I could get a significantly better laptop for this price if I wait until then, and buy it in the US?
 

paulrr

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Sep 15, 2006
Messages
23
Just contact @Flashgear you won’t get a better deal in the USA or anywhere else than what he will give you.

Another option (instead of waiting for Black Friday 2020) could come up in the next few months. I may be going to the US for a few weeks around March/April (Massachusetts, to be more specific); do you guys reckon I could get a significantly better laptop for this price if I wait until then, and buy it in the US?
 

Johnatan56

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Aug 23, 2013
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Thanks for the pointers. The company I work for has some servers, some of which have beefy graphics cards which I can use once something goes into production; in the meantime, I can perhaps use this laptop for testing before moving over to the servers. Given that info, do you reckon that a GTX1660Ti or 1650 would suffice?
Definitely, I would say though that for most workloads when you're trial/error still, just throwing on the CPU is fine, write a quick script to export stuff for on server if it will take more than a minute or two.
 

Sl8er

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Aug 12, 2010
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8,708
Side Note:
If Linux is going to be your thing, they (the few Linux pro's I've come across) swear by Lenovo...so you might want to research that a bit more as well.
(Just some food for thought -maybe some of the Linux pro's on this forum could comment as well. Good luck! :thumbsup: )
 
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