Question Need a new laptop, have a few ideas but unsure of what's best.

Oct 11, 2020
I think I recently zapped the mobo of my 7 year old MSI GS60 Ghost while cleaning it out. The chassis was cracked and warped from years of heat, and it's hinges had broken about 2 years into it's life, I had it duct taped lol- so I'm not interested in fixing it. I am, however, having trouble finding/choosing a replacement laptop that can last like it did. I'd like to keep it in the >$1000-$1700 range in price.

I have a few requirements for a new laptop.

• I'm a student and would like it to be portable. This means in build quality, size, and battery life. If the charger box/brick is small enough or if it can charge via usb-c, (enough to do light work while out or in class) the battery life is not a huge issue.

• I'd like the construction to be metal.

• I don't want to carry around an epic gamer laser show of a machine. I'd like it to look a professional as possible because-

I don't even game. The only reason I had a 860m and i7-4700HQ in my laptop was because I make 3D stuff in Blender as a side gig. I don't render, I just make assets and characters and upload them to sketchfab. I do pbr paint, sculpt, and retopologize. I also use GreasePencil to make 2D animations, and Photoshop to paint. I use a Wacom tablet and have little need for a 2-in-1. I'd like my new laptop to be able to run Blender and handle pbr painting better than my old one, which could run it, but slowed down to a near unusable state when texturing or sculpting.

• As a designer, I'd like at least a 15" screen and in the upper 90's in percentage of sRGB coverage.

• If I'm spending just under $2k on something, I want it to last. I think I'm decent at maintaining and troubleshooting my own laptops, I've never needed to call support or anything, and have kept every laptop I've owned well beyond the 2 year lifespan projected for "consumer" laptops. I'd like to keep it that way with this one, especially since I'm taking it to college, going to be a 'broke student' ect.

I was looking at the 2020 Dell XPS 15 with a 1650ti and i7-10750H.

• I like that this one is metal, has a discreet design while having a discreet gpu, and has a beautiful screen. What scared me off of it were the numerous complaints about QC, thermal preformance, and reliability of the XPS line, and especially this model. I don't want to buy it only to discover it shoots up to something like 100C and throttles/chokes the CPU. I also don't know if the 1650 ti is a powerful enough GPU for my use. It also lacks older ports on board and I'd need to remember to bring dongles.

The Razer Blade 15 Advanced. On sale here
• Really the only thing scaring me off this one is everyone saying Razer makes bad laptops and they don't last. If anyone has an old Razer Blade please speak up? I'm wondering if they die from too much gaming use because of the demographic they're marketed to or if they're really just straight up bad.

I also thought of the Zephyrus G14 but I don't really want another plastic-based laptop, especially with people saying the bottom of the laptop gets hot. To add to that it's only 14 inch, and if you do any type of design, that's very small for an all in one machine. It also lacks a webcam and thunderbolt 3.

I'd like to avoid Macs. I used to be a fan but with the T2 chips and inability to service/upgrade them, they don't look so great anymore.

I dislike Lenovo as a brand and I'd like to avoid MSI, their hinge designs have failed me twice personally and I've seen it many more times on the internet.

I'd especially like to hear people's opinions on the XPS 15 and Razer Blade.
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Start with the following link:

Look at the laptop's hardware specs - that is what is important to you. The hardware must support the applications you plan to use.

Most software provides hardware requirements in the form of some minimum, recommended, and best listings.

You do not want minimum and you do want as much best as you can afford.

If the hardware specs meet your requirements then some "gaming" label is moot.
Oct 11, 2020
Tbh, I've read into almost every laptop on the market, I think. And I'm still not sure what specs I need. I haven't bought one in 7 years. I do know I need to be able to use it for school, so it can't be an absolute chungus that won't fit into my bag. Before the pandemic, I brought my laptop with me every day, and I plan to use it after restrictions have lessened.

Blender will run on just about anything if you go by software requirements- but the key word is run. How it runs depends on what you do. This is why I tried my best to describe what I do with Blender- hoping someone out there uses it in a similar way.

More goes into laptops than specs too- the reliability of the model and the quality of materials. Laptops aren't a throwaway buy for me, I don't simply want great specs if I only get to use it for a year or two before shelling out another $1.5k.
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Sep 12, 2020
..................I was looking at the 2020 Dell XPS 15.........................What scared me off of it were the numerous complaints about QC, thermal preformance, and reliability of the XPS line...................
Folks who are happy rarely post comments so the negative ones you've read may not be a true indication of the reliability of the XPS lineup. For peace of mind you could add a few extra years of Premium Support at the checkout.

Your requirements are quite modest so you're unlikely to be stressing the hardware components that much.

I agree with you that the new XPS's lack of useful ports is disappointing and is likely to be a nuisance.