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Old 12-22-2018, 09:00 AM   #1
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Is there a reliable laptop?

Many years ago, when laptops were expensive and in the knowledge I was a hobbyist, a friend gave to me a large number of laptops he had found at the rubbish tip/dump. They were all 486 Toshiba that had a hole drilled in them for the purpose of rendering the hard drive unusable but out of that it was possible to restore about 6 or 8 machines in a working order after purchasing and fitting new hard drives. At the time it was also possible to trust some reviews and one of them was very enlightening in that the laptop brand of Toshiba was at the bottom of the scale in almost every test, compared to about a dozen of other brands, usually only by a small margin but was in every case at the top of the scale for reliability. The morality was that, laptops being mainly used manually, their internal speed was irrelevant and Toshiba was the top choice.

My question: is there presently any laptops built for reliability? I suspect there is no trustworthy review.

Thank you for your help.
Old 12-22-2018, 09:15 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by rblampain View Post
I suspect there is no trustworthy review.
In that case I have to say there is no trustworthy answer too.
But anyway we use dell and hp high-end laptops at our company and they work 3 years perfectly (when they were replaced) and even more. The only question is the battery pack which can hardly serve our needs.
Old 12-22-2018, 09:41 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by rblampain View Post
My question: is there presently any laptops built for reliability? I suspect there is no trustworthy review.
I always used to have issues with laptops that came with Microsoft Windows. Even when I was dual booting. In the end stopped using Windows alltogether, and ever since, my laptops have never failed me. Never again have I experienced "burnt out" processors that deteriorate over time and in the end just does not work reliably anymore.

This could be a coincidence, and be a change with Intel processors, but it is a bit strange that it came at a time when I started only using GNU/Linux. My current laptop is about 5 years old, and it works like it did the first day, minus the battery that has degraded about 40%, which I consider normal.

I just bought a new laptop, and I expect to move over to this soon, but I also expect my current laptop to continue working until the battery just has fully degrades. Perhaps 5-10 years more, who knows.

In any case, both these laptops are Acer machines, delivered with an installation of GNU/Linux and without any connection to Windows. The build quality relative to the price when I got them was excellent. This is probably not the case for ALL Acer machines that are delivered with GNU/Linux as standard, but it is worth looking into these types of machines. My experience is very positive.

That could be due to the general hardware choices/build quality, or it could be due to improved Intel processors, but my general feeling is that it is due to these machines never having touched Windows whatsoever, perhaps in combination with excellent hardware choices for these machines.

Anyways, my experienced when I used Windows as main with dualboot, or GNU/Linux as main with Windows dualboot was very bad indeed. Always, always did the processors deteriorate over time, overheating was common, and in the end they would become pretty useless, some would not even boot with Windows anymore and just shut down after a few minutes of using Windows. Anyways, those same machines still worked with GNU/Linux, abeit poorer than they did at the start, most likely due to a processor that had gradually been destroyed by Windows. Knowing Microsoft for decades have cooprated with a handful of hardware manufacturers, it is valid speculation to think of Obsolescence as something that would both benefit Microsoft AND the hardware manufacturers.

I've seen this same trend occur among friends and family who still use Windows. It is not science, no, just my observations.
Old 12-22-2018, 08:58 PM   #4
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Is there a reliable laptop?

Windows certainly thrashes hard drives. It isn't as obvious as it used to be, since SSDs are quiet... but I remember noticing how much quieter my computer was when I booted into Linux. This was a long time ago.
Old 12-22-2018, 09:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by pan64 View Post
we use dell and hp high-end laptops.
I am the one asked by most everybody around me to make recommendations based on spending limits. I found over the years, it's not necessarily the bells and whistles calling card features that make a good laptop, it's the combination of components. You can find a kick ass processor on a low end MOBO with low end memory, and another unit will have lesser processor on a stable MOBO with decent memory which is priced less yet outperforms the unit advertising kick ass components.

When Dell was owned by the Dell family, their hardware combinations were well configure and performed. I still use my 2005 model XPS Gen 5 desktop, and the 2005 XPS Gen 2 laptop still works but only use it when there is lots of processing to do and I don't want to tie up my current MSI. Those two were top of the line 13 years ago and I paid top price, but got what I paid for. Not sure what they are like since being bought out, prices for type of hardware included was too high when I looked into them with new owner.

HP in my opinion, also know which component combinations work best together, but it's best to wipe out the default Windows installation and go with a naked install and only add the software needed. HP seems to be excessive in the bloat-ware department. But reliable hardware combinations. Only issue with HP is in the mid to lower priced units, they use 5400 RPM drives where most others use 7200 RPM drives for the units with mechanical/mechanical + SSD drives.

I'm currently using a high end MSI gaming laptop, I don't play games but I know my hardware and this GT72 6QD Dominator G is impressive, as for longevity, we'll see in the future. One thing I can say with utmost confidence, you get what you pay for. I have picked out 6 cheap units for folks over the 13 years since I bought my Dell XPS units.

If you're an avid Windows user and want to keep current, you may want to purchase mid grade at the most, because hardware requirements for next generation OS is typically far more demanding, I can only run Windows 7 on the XPS units, nothing higher, but run the latest Debian testing without issues.

Last edited by Brains; 12-22-2018 at 09:41 PM. Reason: Added
Old 12-22-2018, 09:39 PM   #6
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I got my money's worth out of several Dells, but it's been a while since I purchased one. I have a Zareason that has proven quite reliable; it has the best laptop keyboard I've ever used.

A number of members of my LUG swear by Lenovo laptops.
Old 12-22-2018, 10:25 PM   #7
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As far as reliability in newer laptops, I haven't been all that impressed. Most of them are designed around thin & light, not durable. The last laptop that I used that I would consider to be super durable was the Dell Latitude E6x40 lineup. I've still got an E6440 myself because they're basically indestructible. The ones after that I've had a bunch of, and they're GREAT laptops, but if you abuse them, they don't last very well in my experience (I also run an IT department for a small company, so see lots of examples).

Thinkpads are, IMO, slightly more durable than their Dell/HP cousins, and I do absolutely ADORE my newest Lenovo Thinkpad A485.

Acer/Asus/MSI/etc (small OEM's) are extremely poor reliability if punished physically as a generalization (there's always exceptions). Although perfectly fine laptops if they are cared for. I have a Acer that works FANTASTIC for it's quite humble specs.
Old 12-22-2018, 11:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Timothy Miller View Post
Thinkpads are, IMO, slightly more durable than their Dell/HP cousins
I've worked on and troubleshooted most every make around except Thinkpads and Sony Vaio, so can't back you up on that.

I wonder why?
Old 12-23-2018, 12:18 AM   #9
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I think ASUS laptops are the most reliable, I have a K53E that is still working in great condition both at rest and under load - after 3,380 power on hours and a total of around seven years. The only issue it has is a broken LVDS cable which was entirely my doing during a disassembly and touch-up.

Last edited by RickDeckard; 12-23-2018 at 12:20 AM.
Old 12-23-2018, 12:31 AM   #10
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The ThinkPad T61 (circa 2008?) I'm typing this on is and has been rock-solid reliable. Don't know much about the newer stuff. I can take this thing apart and replace everything in it very easily, if necessary. Never had any problems with it, it is built like a tank. It spends it's time running Slackware, Gentoo, and Devuan. I don't, and never have, run Windows on it personally, but I know it probably did before I purchased it.

I keep thinking I'd like a nice newer laptop one day from the likes of System76, Zareason, or Purism, but the incentive to spend the money just isn't there, when this one does everything I need it to. It's just so eminently serviceable and reliable.
Old 12-23-2018, 03:43 AM   #11
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My Acer, Aspire, Model #: 5750-6664, Windows 7 is still running strong. I only use the Acer, Asus, laptop due to the website that I created with Microsoft Web Expression 4, on it. I do not run it on battery power at all if I can help it.

The casing, hardware, touch-pad, and ports are working fine. The screen is still in good shape. I will have to mention though I do not use it much, do not abuse it, and it stays in my bag most of the time. And, I guess I better mention that I do not do any gaming on it nor much else. So, my power requirements are not high.

Since I started with Linux Mint, 17.3, Rosa, a few years back I do not use the laptop for my everyday work. Once I find a web creator on a Linux OS that I can change over to I will probably install the latest Linux Mint onto it and delete the Windows 7 OS. I do like the Acer, Asus,laptop, and it has proven reliable for me.

Old 12-24-2018, 06:40 AM   #12
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My question: is there presently any laptops built for reliability? I suspect there is no trustworthy review.
Thgat question is so vague it's borderline trolling. Yes, there are. Try google for industrial and unburstable laptops.
Old 12-27-2018, 08:51 AM   #13
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May be this will help:
Old 12-27-2018, 09:59 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by dc.901 View Post
Lenovo, ftw.
Old 12-27-2018, 10:31 AM   #15
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I loath laptops but since I must use adobe reader for work and must digitally sign pdf's, I was forced to buy a cheap windows laptop. It is an HP Ultrabook with an i5. I replaced the slower than molasses spinning hard drive with an ssd and bumped ram to 16gb. I must admit that even though it runs windows 10, it is a little workhorse and fast as heck. Cost me $300 before upgrades - had it less than a year so we'll see how it works in the long run. It will only always run windows because that is the only windows install in my home and is for a single purpose only.


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