Help Me Find a New Laptop - $3.2k Budget

I'm looking to upgrade my 4.5 year old laptop. Processor is a gen7 i7 so too old to support Win11 and it's starting have the odd conniption where onboard devices aren't detected. Being an ultrabook with soldered on everything, it's not upgradeable and cost of any repair now => value of machine.
New machine will be used for daily work, occasional older games and tinkering with VMs. Expectation is that this will be daily driver for 4-5 years.

Minimum spec:
1 TB, or 512GB with 2nd drive option.
32 GB RAM or 16 and possility to upgrade
Minimum g11 i5 or equivalent Ryzen
14 - 16" screen with a decent display
USB-C, 2 or more USB-A ports and HDMI out, or a hub/dock option that offers this

Nice to have
Weight < 3.0 kgs, including charger

discrete graphics card (doesnt need to be a beast, just something that will support some light photo and video editing and playing the Sims or fallout on something higher than potato quality )

touchscreen - not a deal breaker, but I've gotten used to the conveneince of it

So far I have been looking at the Microsoft surface laptop 4, Dell XPS 15 And Lenovo Thinkpad P15 or P1, but the surface laptop doesn't have discrete graphics, XPS build quality has reportedly dropped in recent years and the thinkpads get a bit heavy once you factor in the charger.

Budget ideally 3.2k can go to 3.5k max


  • Thinkpads are well built but priced higher than they are worth IMO.

    The surface devices are VERY well built, pricing more suitable than Thinkpads IMO.

    I can vouch for the XPS line - opinions on the build quality differ depending on what devices people are coming from.

    The biggest thing to watch out for is reports of thermal issues on the specific model you are checking out. I have the XPS 15 9570, and the thermal throttling is bad enough that I'm planning on doing some thermal mods soon.

    • The surface devices are VERY well built, pricing more suitable than Thinkpads IMO

      Currently 20% off too

  • The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro hits all of those marks except for weight and touchscreen:

    2.57 kg + 1.15 kg for the charger + cables.

    • Or if you sacrifice some of the graphics power to get bang on 3kg including charger, there's the Thinkbook 16p Gen 2:

      While it's the same graphics chip, the Thinkbook one has a smaller power draw so it's less powerful.

      • Both look like feasable options with some tweaks but no Edu account for me.

        • Hit up Doveyy. He can hook you up with a code. Look on previous Lenovo edu store posts

  • +3

    Get a MacBook Pro 14"

    • I have considered a new macbook pro, but it's been about 15 years since I had my last one and cannot be bothered re-learning, plus so much software I'd have to repurchase. Does boot-camp work on the M1 chips?

      • No you can't dual boot Windows with the M1.

    • It's worth the small learning curve in my opinion… those things go like stink. At least try one for a few minutes and give it some thought, particularly considering your budget

  • It's a shame you can't get the new M1 Apple chips in Windows machines. Super super happy with my new Macbook Pro, honestly, there's no comparison. I work the thing to death and the hottest I've ever gotten the CPU is 36 degrees

Login or Join to leave a comment