I've spent a few weeks looking for the best deal I could find for a photography-centric laptop (for my
needs, not necessarily yours!) for under or around $1,000. This is the best I came up with. In my search, these were my minimum requirements:
- 8th Gen quad core i7
- 16GB ram
- Discrete GPU
- Double storage (SSD + HDD, SSD ideally @ 256GB or more)
- Min 1080p resolution
- Under 4 lbs
- Under 15"
- IPS display
- Anti-Glare - nice to have, not required
- Touch - nice to have, not required
- Pen capable - nice to have, not required
- Extended warranty - nice to have, not required
- Up to $1,200 or $1,300 max all in (tax, accessories, shipping, etc)
After extensive search and lots of comparisons, the best I found - and the one I bought - was the Lenovo 14" Flex 5 from B&H. Main specs:
- 1.8 GHz Intel Core i7-8550U Quad-Core
- 16GB DDR4 | 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
- 14" 1920 x 1080 Multi-Touch Anti-Glare IPS Display
- NVIDIA GeForce 940MX (2GB GDDR5)
- Fingerprint login
I threw in the Active Pen and a 2 year SquareTrade Drops and Spills warranty. Free shipping and no tax (everywhere but NJ and NY). Total was $1,203.04.
I know there are plenty of computers out there, and plenty of good computers. Plenty of good ultrabooks or lightweight laptops, from the Spectre 360 to the XPS 13, to other Lenovos and Dells and all the rest. I looked closely at all the XPS 13 deals that have been featured lately, but they all lacked one or more of my requirements. This was the best machine I could find that had all the high end specs I wanted, and none of the specs I didn't need. For example, an ultra high res screen would have been nice, but on 14", 1080p works just fine for me. Similarly, there are plenty of higher end dedicated GPUs, but this one met my needs - I'm not a gamer. Just want Lightroom and Luminar to fly. Some folks might want lots of USB-C ports ... this one only has 1, which is fine for me.
PS: Apparently this price ends at Feb 24 '18 at 11:59 pm ET.
PPS: FYI the 2-year drops and spills Squaretrade warranty is cheaper when bundled and bought from B&H than from Squaretrade direct. The B&H one is no-deductible.
PPPS: I received it a few days ago. Super fast, which was my top priority. Had to remove Lenovo's bloatware, and spend the standard first few hours doing updates, but so far the machine is as good in hand as it's specs seemed on paper. Keyboard is great. Stylus (and associated functionality) are good enough ... not for an artist. Fans seem to run a lot, but that's fine for me. It's small but not ultrabook tiny. Fingerprint sensor is really a nice convenience.