What Notebook to get? Light office work. Decent battery life essential. Budget R8000

PhireSide

Executive Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
8,991
Hi all

I'm in the process of selling my desktop Ryzen PC because I'm giving gaming a break, but I want to replace it with a notebook just for daily tasks. Mobility is important to me as is battery life (upward of six hours), and it needs to have a decent touchpad/trackpad. I am not too concerned with performance but I want something a little stronger than a Celeron if possible. I will be using this mostly for basic office tasks like spreadsheet editing, word processing, emails, the occasional PuTTy session and I'll be using RDP daily too.

I was looking at some of the Chromebooks but I am not convinced that all my software needs will be met, especially since it is mainly Android-based and the few Linux apps that one can load do not support audio processing and hardware acceleration as of yet. They look ideal on the hardware side of things, however.

I'm not familiar with the Apple side of things, but I did like the look and feel of the 2017 Macbook Air. I believe the RAM is soldered on to them, so I would need to spring for an 8GB version from the get go. 4GB will probably get frustrating very quick. Of course in my budget I will consider second-hand.

Any input is greatly appreciated.
 

RedViking

Nord of the South
Joined
Feb 23, 2012
Messages
21,997
I very seldom will suggest MacBook.

But I think if you want good battery life and performance. Go for Mac!

Make sure whatever you get has at least a 240GB SSD.
 

PhireSide

Executive Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
8,991
Make sure whatever you get has at least a 240GB SSD.
Thanks for the reply.

Any particular reason why? I currently make do with a 128GB SSD, and I offload my seldom-used data to an external HDD. Google Drive has the rest of my info that I need on a daily basis.
 

Johnatan56

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
Messages
25,535
Thanks for the reply.

Any particular reason why? I currently make do with a 128GB SSD, and I offload my seldom-used data to an external HDD. Google Drive has the rest of my info that I need on a daily basis.
You will not be able to upgrade later, the OS already takes more than 12GB of it. I don't really like Mac due to the lack of upgradeability/soldering. If you like the OS though and have the spare cash, the 8GB/256GB is not bad in pricing, there are cheaper windows alternatives though, hopefully someone can help with adding alternatives. Are you buying the 2017 Macbook Air second hand if getting it for R8k?

In regards to trackpad, always check the product line, not the brand, e.g. Dell has good trackpads on the XPS line is pretty good, but the inspiron line (at least up until the 2017 model) is crap (though it's been 2 years/product cycles, so might be good by now).
 

PhireSide

Executive Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
8,991
You will not be able to upgrade later, the OS already takes more than 12GB of it. I don't really like Mac due to the lack of upgradeability/soldering. If you like the OS though and have the spare cash, the 8GB/256GB is not bad in pricing, there are cheaper windows alternatives though.

In regards to trackpad, always check the product line, not the brand, e.g. Dell has good trackpads on the XPS line is pretty good, but the inspiron line (at least up until the 2017 model) is crap (though it's been 2 years/product cycles, so might be good by now).
Thanks for the input.

MacOs seems a little more slim than a typical Windows install at least. But I do get what you are saying ITO upgradeability and serviceability. It is something that is putting me off the MacBook too, but I will admit that their hardware is put together well. There is a 2017 one in my area (128GB/8GB) with 100 battery cycles on thats within my budget, but I will first see what typical prices are before considering it. It is a hard sell though with Windows devices being much cheaper.

I have heard the XPS line is pretty good, as is the HP Spectre line. They may be out of my budget though, but I will check on Carbonite as well to see if there are any deals. Not familiar with the Inspiron line to be totally honest. I use a Latitude at work, and the trackpad is quite uninspiring.
 

Johnatan56

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
Messages
25,535
Thanks for the input.

MacOs seems a little more slim than a typical Windows install at least. But I do get what you are saying ITO upgradeability and serviceability. It is something that is putting me off the MacBook too, but I will admit that their hardware is put together well. There is a 2017 one in my area (128GB/8GB) with 100 battery cycles on thats within my budget, but I will first see what typical prices are before considering it. It is a hard sell though with Windows devices being much cheaper.

I have heard the XPS line is pretty good, as is the HP Spectre line. They may be out of my budget though, but I will check on Carbonite as well to see if there are any deals. Not familiar with the Inspiron line to be totally honest. I use a Latitude at work, and the trackpad is quite uninspiring.
Windows is around 25GB on my machine, Pro version, I think you can get it a little smaller though and I have a lot of dev features/tools that are installed.
MacOS I am guessing at 12.5GB, can't really see as e.g. XCode adds to system install size, so on my friend's Mac here next to me the OS is taking up 44GB.

Do note the 2017 MacBook air is a 1400x900p display, the 2018 version it got upgraded. The 2017 version still has the pre-butterfly keyboard, I liked that keyboard on the old Macbook Pro, so typing experience should be good.
 

RedViking

Nord of the South
Joined
Feb 23, 2012
Messages
21,997
Thanks for the reply.

Any particular reason why? I currently make do with a 128GB SSD, and I offload my seldom-used data to an external HDD. Google Drive has the rest of my info that I need on a daily basis.
:thumbsup: I have a 128SSD it is always running out of space. So just personal preference then. Only software on it. The rest of the data and my docs go to the hard drive.
 

CamiKaze

Honorary Master
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
13,544
:thumbsup: I have a 128SSD it is always running out of space. So just personal preference then. Only software on it. The rest of the data and my docs go to the hard drive.
I usually have one hard drive dedicated to Windows only. Whether it be 128 or 250GB max.
Everything else is stored on my other drives. I just like to keep things as clean as possible.
 

RedViking

Nord of the South
Joined
Feb 23, 2012
Messages
21,997
I usually have one hard drive dedicated to Windows only. Whether it be 128 or 250GB max.
Everything else is stored on my other drives. I just like to keep things as clean as possible.
Depending on the setup of course, I prefer to run my Architectural software on the same drive as Windows otherwise there is a delay everytime files need to be transfered, saved etc.
 
Top