If you had to buy your own laptop for work which one would you choose?

wsrookie's picture
Rank: Senior Monkey | 91

I work for a lower MM bank that has employees provide their own laptops and whatnot. My $500 middle of the road laptop isn't cutting it. It is generally slow, crashes Microsoft Office a good bit, Internet freezes somewhat often, CapIQ plug-in practically makes the laptop unusable, etc. In short, it is a terrible laptop for banking, even at the unknown boutique level.

What kind of laptop should I get? Preferably under $1,500 (ideally in the $1000-1200 range but not trying to go too cheap on this).
I am also be looking to buy 1-2 monitors for extra screens.

I've heard a lot of people use Lenovo Think Pads and a couple people in the office use them now but one of my friends in banking has one as his personal laptop and he doesn't like it very much.

I'm not a huge computer/tech guy (hence why a $500 Dell was perfectly sufficient for my personal computer needs) so any feedback is appreciated. Long battery life is a plus and my current laptop has an i5 processor (not sure what generation) so I think I'll need to bump up to an i7 and I guess make sure I get one of the newer generations of processors. This will also double as my personal computer.

Open to anything other than a Mac since I'm living in Excel/PPT most of my days.

Thanks!

edit: Yes, I'll most likely be carrying this back and forth to work everyday so something that isn't a tank is preferred. I wanted my current laptop to have a number pad but that adds some size and sometimes I wish I had a smaller one.

Comments (43)

Jul 26, 2017

Lenovo P51 with a xeon processor

Jul 26, 2017

Personally love my HP Spectre x360. Get one with an SSD and you'll have a very light/portable and powerful laptop.

Jul 26, 2017

ASUS Zenbook, added points for it's good looks. That link is their top-line, there are more affordable options as well.
Goes for just under $1,000.

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Jul 26, 2017

Sb'd, but seriously max 16GB ram is their top of the line?

Jul 26, 2017

They have heavier duty options esp. in gaming options but I was thinking in terms of their general consumer-oriented options.

Top of line was probably a mis-characterization, the ROG line runs near $3,000 and are some of the more powerful gaming laptops

I wouldn't want to carry that around to and from work however

Jul 26, 2017

My bank has Lenovo X1 Carbons and I would totally use that as my personal. I pretty much do already, barely use my own one from college.

Jul 26, 2017

Anything that has a SSD and is up-gradable to 16 or 32 GB of RAM is going to cut it. Lenovo/IBM are probably the best for a normal looking work laptop.

Jul 27, 2017

Im pretty dubious of why your employer requires you to provide your own laptop. I'd be curious what security there is of proprietary/confidential information.

With that being said, I'd recommend you get a docking station as well if you're going to be traveling with your pc a lot. You're going to want a fast processor, sufficient high quality ram (I would think 16gb would be plenty) and a solid state hd to at least boot from as others have said. I would look at what's being installed in gaming laptops At like cyberpowerpc or some other sites and emulate them. You won't need the extreme video cards or overclocked cpus, water cooling or wtf other gimmicks.

Jul 27, 2017

Can't go wrong with Thinkpad X1 Carbon.

Jul 27, 2017

Definitely not a MacBook. I recommend anything with high RAM and CPU. Best combo ever.

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Jul 27, 2017

If you are running multiple monitors out of a laptop you will need a good docking station. I use a Pluggable dock, coupled with a widescreen monitor.
Laptop needs to be at least 32Gb if you are running big models, with a Core i7 CPU. X1 carbon is a good option, plus its lightweight for carrying to and from the office

Jul 28, 2017

I recently just had to buy a new laptop. I love my new MacBook Pro. My experience with PC has been no matter what anti-virus program you're using, you inevitably will get a virus and performance will decline a couple of years after purchase. I originally had a MacBook in law school and loved it. Had no problems and kept it for years. Eventually, I had to switch to a PC laptop, because at the time QuickBooks would have major issues moving data from a Mac file type to a PC file type which made it a nightmare for my accountant. Then I went through like 3 PCs in the span of five years. Now that I'm on the road more often for my business and no longer have to handle bookkeeping or have to deal with trust accounting, I was in a position to buy what I wanted and elated to be back on a Mac. I know it sounds cliche, but I really like the Apple products because they just work and don't give me headaches.

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Best Response
Jul 28, 2017

Macs are recommended if you are a hipster, college girl, in graphic design or just need to waste money.

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Jul 28, 2017

I guess I needed to waste money, because I make more in one month than most of you guys make in a year ;)

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Jul 28, 2017

Macs are great for anybody who needs to write code. It's not just about Excel everyday, contrary to what people on this site seem to think.

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Jul 28, 2017

Jesus christ how non-technical can you be. Mac laptops are literally the best in almost any field.

They optimize RAM better than most laptops. Unix is the best OS. The processor usage is parallel to none. The battery life, as a result of their power consumption and very low amounts of bloat-ware, is the best on the market. Macs use the newest forms of data transfer and heat transfer....

IBM, Lenovo, HP, Asus, and Dell all make the processors 'fit' to their hardware, whereas Apple makes their hardware fit around the processor.

Jul 28, 2017

Lenovo thinkpad if only for the removable battery. Buy an extra one and carry it around in your bag. The position of the ctrl key is annoying though, they swapped it with the windows key.

Aug 23, 2017
LongandShortofit:

Lenovo thinkpad if only for the removable battery. Buy an extra one and carry it around in your bag. The position of the ctrl key is annoying though, they swapped it with the windows key.

Are the batteries heavy? Granted, it's been 10 years, but I remember my Dell replacement battery was, like, 3 lbs.

Aug 23, 2017

The basic ThinkPad battery isn't heavy and it fits within the laptop's frame. The larger capacity ones (9 cell in particular) are heavier and bulkier as they protrude from the case.

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Jul 28, 2017

I think you people are in over kill mode about RAM...no you dont' need to have 1TB of RAM.

I won't say minimum, but a decent setup that will provide you with the most utility per dollar is an i5 processor, 16GB RAM at the most(nothing under 8GB), for the price DDR3 is fine but I do see everyone has slowly started transitioning into DDR4. A must is a SSD, you will notice boot up speed measured in seconds not minutes. A dedicated graphics card would be nice but that is an extra.

Jul 29, 2017

It really just depends on the size of the data set you are going to be using. I'm sure in this case 16gb will be fine, I was just commenting on (and have since been corrected) that I was surprised their "top of the line" maxed 16gb.

Personally I use a P51 with a docking station and 3 monitors. It's heavy but the Xeon processor in a laptop makes it a nice replacement for my desktop. I bought my monitors at digitaltigers.com however you can package the laptop with a monitor array for potential savings.

An SSD will likely be a big improvement from what you have now, and potentially load times. I personally boot off of an SSD but now I just store files in the cloud/ a network's harddrive.

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Jul 28, 2017

I don't mean to take away from the primary focus of this thread, but I would love some recommendations on computers relatively (<$2000) inexpensive that have served you monkeys well for IBD/PE work. Just something dependable, well protected from viruses, and that works well with the various software tools our industry uses on a day-to-day basis.

Jul 29, 2017

My apologies. I would second the Dell XPS. I just personally appreciate how Lenovos keypads are set up for spreadsheets.

Jul 28, 2017

Dell XPS are fairly good.

Also make sure to future proof it and look for a USB Type C port on the thing, phones and computers are slowly transitioning over and if you plan on using the computer for more than a few years it will be helpful to have.

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Jul 28, 2017

Thank you for the advice, will look into this.

Jul 28, 2017

Dell Latitude 7000 series

Jul 28, 2017

If you need a good workstation I'd recommend the HP Elitebook G series. The RAM and internals are pretty easily upgradable and the docking station lets you have 3 external monitors. I would recommend the Windows 7 version though, simply because Windows 10 comes with a lot more bloat-ware.

Jul 29, 2017

Thank you @geology rocks and @MarkBaum , will look into both of these as well

Aug 5, 2017

Lenovo Ideapad 5 or 5s. Can go up to i7 in processor, and is reasonably lightweight so good for carrying around. Reasonable price. Excel runs well, but one downside is that the Pg Up, Pg Dn, Home and End buttons on the keyboard are paired up with the arrow keys which is inconvenient.

Aug 23, 2017

Get a ThinkPad T or P series -- preferably a T570 or a P50. They're reliable, well constructed and upgradeable (even the CPU can be upgraded relatively reasonably). RAM and HDD can be swapped out in a matter of minutes. The chassis of the laptops themselves are strong and the keyboards are waterproof.

The 15" displays are nice for Excel compared to a 13 or 14.

Aug 23, 2017
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Oct 5, 2017