Question Boss asking for laptop recommendations

May 3, 2020
TL;DR: Boss is asking for laptop recommendations and hardware reliability is paramount. Any particular brands/models we should consider or avoid?


After a rather catastrophic laptop failure a while ago, my boss has turned to me for recommendations for a new laptop as I'm the most tech-savvy person in the office. By 'most tech-savvy person in the office' I mean 'perhaps slightly more proficient than my colleagues and therefore automatically designated the office computer expert' - so I'm by no means the best person to turn to despite the fact that he has.

Hopefully this will be a rather simple one as he really doesn't need anything fancy - ultimately reliability is paramount and all other factors are secondary, as he's had a rather atrocious track record of laptop failures (to the point where many of us suspect that it's rather his use of them rather than the laptops themselves, but that's beside the point somewhat).

After some digging, am I correct in thinking that it's not strictly a case of any given brand being 'the best', but rather than every brand will have a spectrum of better/ worse models in terms of reliability?

As I said, he really doesn't need anything fancy but also price isn't much of an issue, although I imagine for his needs it's unlikely to need to go above the £600-800 mark. 256-512GB storage should be plenty (SSD preferred but I'd imagine not essential) and 6-8GB RAM should likewise be plenty. I think he was previously on Intel Core i5 or i7, which again was fine for his general use. He's previously had a Macbook and then an E580 Lenovo Thinkpad, so I'm imagining he'll probably not be willing to give anything from Apple or Lenovo another chance.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Been considering the HP Envy and Samsung Notebook 9 but not certain if these are any good.


You must work with your boss to establish firmer requirements and a budget.

What software will be used? Applications often have recommended hardware specs.

Start here:

Identify two or three candidate laptops.

Look for more reviews by verified purchasers.

Go to the manufacturer's websites. Read the applicable User Guides/Manuals. Read the FAQs and Forums (if available).

Look for what is said and what is not said.

Then post your selections in order #1, #2....

Include any specific questions or concerns regarding each candidate laptop.

Then those specifics can be addressed. E.g., "ruggedized".
May 3, 2020
The main reason I haven't discussed anything more specific with him is that it's incredibly minimal - frankly it's really only going to be used for Microsoft Office, Skype and browsing, and given my boss isn't overly tech savvy he's likely to give a 'don't know/ don't care as long as it works and lasts' response (part of why he's asked me to look on his behalf).

For reference his previous laptop was around £600, so I imagine around £600-800 would be about right. That said he has said that he doesn't care about expenses if it means he'll get something good.