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Advice Needed on Replacement Laptop

The Scribbling Man

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Looking for some relatively urgent advice on a new laptop, if anyone can offer it.

Nearly 2 years ago I bought a Lenovo Legion 5 which has never really performed as I would expect a machine of that caliber to. From the off I had problems (lag/freezing up during basic tasks) and in the last year it's been much worse (not starting up due to hardware fails). It's gone through 4 repairs in the last few months and has now been declared defunct and I am getting a full refund.

It's come at a really bad time and so now I feel pressure to very quickly buy a replacement machine so I can get on with my work (I am doing a masters, and am also in the middle of a band campaign that I need to create content for). Equally, I want to make sure I get a fitting replacement that will be more reliable than this one has been.

The model I had was the Ryzen version with 16GB ram, 500GB SSD and a dedicated graphics card. I think it was a gaming laptop, but I don't really care about gaming. All I really want is to be able to comfortably edit HD video content (for life as well as fanediting). When I'm not doing that I generally have antivirus in the background while I (admittedly) browse multiple chrome tabs, and use word processing tools like evernote and Microsoft Office. I might also be in a video meeting on discord or zoom. So relatively demanding, but not too much to ask of a machine that's usual function is HD video editing (I'd have thought?).

I'm getting refunded around £950 approx (roughly 1,300 USD), so that's my budget. But if I'm going to be better served pushing a little above that, I will certainly consider it. Given my experience with lenovo my preference would be to not go with a lenovo model. I had their premium warranty which is meant to be fast and on-site, but the reality is it spent most of its time away from me/in a depot and i would not see it for weeks.

Thanks in advance.
 

DigModiFicaTion

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The only real problems I've ever had with laptops involved two brands, HP (heatsink and hinge issues) and AMD (my GPU would desolder and float off the board and another failed CPU). I've heard great things about RYZEN, but I've personally never had much luck with AMD. For me it's Intel or bust.

HP laptops are very hit and miss. You can get great specs for a good price, but he build quality is very iffy. I've had more lemons than not.
ASUS is similar to HP.
All the ACERs I've used have been relatively decent, but it feels like driving a Hyundai. You wonder if it's really going to hold out like a Honda and it does feel a bit cheap.
Samsung was probably my favorite build quality and form, but the computer died on me unfortunately. It had the build quality of macbook pro, but it was more expensive than other brands when looking at power for power.
Dell has good quality control for what I've used and the machines are sturdy. They're the Honda or Toyota of computers. I don't personally own one, but use them every day at work and I throw a lot of multi tasking and 30-50 tabs at them constantly.
Lenovo is my go to. I bought my refurbished Lenovo Z710 (i7-4th gen quad core, 16gb ram, 1tb HD, BD drive) for $325 on eBay around 7 years ago and it has held up to constant use, extreme pushing (video editing, multiple apps open at once, etc. and only lately started to have hiccups (this is probably due to the HD having very little space left though). It's a work horse. The only thing that has gone wrong with it is is that my BD drive stopped interacting with Windows 10, but this seems to be a driver issue for my particular drive and a problem within Windows 10 itself. I had to buy an external BD drive. My laptop before it was a Lenovo Y510p (same specs but with a dual graphics card). I only sold it because I wanted to recoup my money before the next generation made the resale value super low. My current rig is nearly as powerful and cost a fraction of the $999 I spent on the Y510p.

For me I'd go with another Lenovo. I know you just had a lemon so that makes buying another one probably not the most appealing right now. Personally, for my next set up I'm thinking that I might go with a desktop that I can then access from a laptop via remote desktop. You get the power and the mobility that way. You also have more security as your machine isn't walking around with you. I've tried it with my laptop and remotely accessed with a chromebook and even my phone and was still able to edit in Vegas Pro and watch iTunes movies.

The most important thing is to make sure it fits your needs and has the most power, performance and ram for your buck. My tech at work recommended RYZEN, but again I'm biased due to my experience.

Not sure any of that was helpful.....:oops:
 

addiesin

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I can recommend one. My new laptop is an Acer Predator Helios 300 and its performance is phenomenal for the price. i7 current gen processor, rtx3060m (the laptop version of rtx3060) graphics card (which so far has run every game i have tossed at it flawlessly even if fans get loud, and also renders, 3d from Blender, and output from AI processes, very quickly), 16gb ram and 500gb ssd. It appears to be a little more than your budget, about 1400, on the US Amazon store. I got mine on some flash sale thing so saved maybe 50 to 100, you may find the same kind of deal if you want to wait. If you can't wait, I think the machine is worth it. It's allegedly "easily" upgradable for ram and hard drive but I'm not the kind of person to open up a laptop, personally.
 

The Scribbling Man

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Thank you both. This is really helpful info and I'll look into both your suggestions. It is entirely possibly that I just had a lemon. I feel particularly suspicious of refurbished models though, since the refurbished parts they kept putting in mine kept failing. Or maybe I've just been really unlucky!

This was my first experience with Ryzen. I guess they're tempting because you (or so I've heard) get more bang for buck, though I did come across a couple of bits of software I wanted to use that would only work with Intel.

I used to have a desktop but portability is important to me. Remote usage probably wouldn't hold up for me as I don't have control over my Internet supplier atm and the connection is pretty weak. Depending on how much I spend, I am tempted to get a 2nd, cheaper laptop though, if only for ensuring a have a spare on hand in case of situations like I'm in now. (so if either of you also happen to know some solid, cheapster options for backups, that could also be handy info - aka, not necessarily a powerhouse, but can cope with these tasks at a push)
 

DigModiFicaTion

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I've only bought 1 new laptop in 15 years. I'd highly recommend buying a sturdy (Lenovo) backup. You can get an i7 that's a few generations old with 16gb of ram for around 300-400 on flipping sites in the US.
 

The Scribbling Man

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I've looked into both your suggestions, which was a helpful reference point. DigMod - your suggested models are discontinued in my neck of the woods, and even at a bargain, I don't think I'd feel comfortable risking a refurbished model (although I might for a backup machine). Chainsaw Ash also gave some thoughts on discord.

Having done some exploring i am rethinking my attitude towards lenovo. It seems that if I want to get something as good as what I had before or better and not break the bank, then they are really my only choice. It seems their thinkpad range are highly regarded and also come with a 3 year warranty rather than the 1 year my Legion had, which probably speaks to what the company themselves think about the difference in durability. From what I've gathered, ideapad are similar, but sacrifice build quality for slick design - I'm all for performance over fashion, and if its portable it's portable. Good enough for me.

Any thoughts on this potential model? People seem to say the P range is better for video editing. I would have to fork out another £350 for upping the ram and processer, but if it performs better and lasts then maybe it'll be worth it??

Ryzen again. I was looking at Intel, but again if I go that route I don't think I can improve on the performance I had before without potentially doubling my budget...

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DigModiFicaTion

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You could probably save some considerable cash by lowering the ssd in size and using an external hd?
 

addiesin

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Can't speak for Ryzen thought it's probably a smart move.
But, I prefer a dedicated graphics card (which you literally cannot find on the market on its own right now, they can only reliably be obtained already installed in prebuilt computers, which is the very thing that led me to get a laptop over building my own desktop like I had been planning for years) even if not for gaming or 3d, most video NLEs allow hardware acceleration in rendering which is where it would come in handy. I got the 500GB internal SSD but also bought a 5TB external SSD w/ USB 3.1 for less than 100 dollars from Best Buy. The machine you're looking at also seems to be about 300-400USD more than my own machine, without a graphics card that price point looks expensive to me.
 
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The Scribbling Man

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Thanks again to you both for your advice. My new laptop arrived today - I ended up going with Addiesin's rec in the end: Predator Helios 300. Did a lot of reading before making the decision. I tend to overthink these things, but hopefully I've made a good choice and it will serve me well! Now comes the long, arduous task of reinstalling all my stuff.... before finally taking it for a proper test drive.
 
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