New laptop seach


Feb 16, 2011
Am going to be in the market soon (probably within a month) for a new laptop/ultrabook since I haven't been able to fix a random shutoff issue with my existing Lenovo Ideapad 730S, even after replacing the battery. Definitely want something lightweight. Have been curious about going to a tablet style (ie Microsoft Surface), but not sure about them and haven't looked at them in person at Best Buy or Micro Center.

1. What is your budget? Want to stay under $900; have no issue buying refurb

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 12"-14"

3. What screen resolution do you want? Doesn't matter

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Portable, with ability to connect to external monitor

5. How much battery life do you need? Hard to say because my current personal laptop seems to be shutting down with plenty of battery life left; going to say at least 12 hours

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)? No, productivity only

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) A lot of web based stuff, plus some moderate use of Gimp, Inkscape, Sketchup

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? 256gb or 512gb is fine

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. Dell, Dell Outlet, Lenovo, Lenovo Outlet, Newegg and MicroCenter

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? 5+ years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? No optical needed

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons. Have had two Lenovos personally, one that I think I got close to 7 years out of, and the second, which has an issue with battery drain about 18 months in. I replaced the battery and tried several other fixes, but am ready to move on. I also have a Lenovo Thinkpad X1 through my office and it's been a solid performer for going on three years. So I like Lenovo, but am not married to the brand. Would also consider Dell, possibly HP, ASUS, Microsoft.

13. What country do you live in? USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. Am looking for something lightweight that will get a lot of use over the long haul. Under 3lbs would be preferred. I travel for work, as well as run a business with my wife, and would like to be able to have my personal laptop with me in addition to the Lenovo X1 that my office has provided. Again, weight, price, quality, probably in that order. Ability to connect to an external monitor is a must (either via built in port or some sort of adapter). I was told I could connect my 730S to one, but I've tried two HDMI adapters and it doesn't work (ideapad 730S only has USB-C type ports). I'm OK waiting until the Christmas returns/open boxes start showing up if anyone has thoughts on that as well.

Thanks in advance.


Dec 2, 2021
First thing I'd do is go to a major outlet, maybe Newegg.

They have pretty good screening and filtering capabilities when shopping. Better than Amazon.

Plug in your approximate budget level and your major requirements (hard drive size, screen size, maybe one or two other things).

See what it kicks out.

Make a list of those and then go to the individual manufacturer's web site for more info on those particular models. Look for stuff that would disqualify them.

All things equal, try to buy from the "corporate" or "business" line, rather than the consumer line. I'm not sure if all manufacturers have multiple lines.

Decide yes or no if you would attempt to get inside the case for whatever reason or if you would instead leave all maintenance issues to someone else.

If you get down to 3 or 4 candidates, pound Google for formal reviews or comments by actual owners.


Almost too many choices, here are a few from I will peruse Newegg here in a minute (it does have the best search for laptops)

Here is an interesting one:

$980, 13.3" touchscreen, i7-1165G7, 52Wh battery (4-cell, vs the typical 3-cell in this class), 16GB of dual channel memory (they claim), 512 GB SSD for $980.

$899, a more powerful processor, likely to have less battery life overall, but may give you a little more oomph in your software when plugged in.

$750, same processor as the first one, and a low end Nvidia GPU. Everything else isn't as good:

$550 HP Envy at Walmart:


$880 1TB SSD, low end Nvidia GPU, 10th gen:

$920 Lenovo, very similar to that Dell XPS.

$950 AMD Lenovo:

$950 Gigabyte, beefiest of the 11th gen i7-G, 14" Thunderbolt 4 (which should allow you all manner of external devices)