Buying someone a new laptop

My partner's been running with a 2015 MacBook Air for a few years now, but it's no longer doing what she needs. That is to say, it rapidly converted from “ok” to “very stinky” over the last year-ish. YouTube videos stutter. It's madness. We even re-installed MacOS, and no dice. An upgrade was in order, and with all the remote work stuff, it needed to be a sizeable one.

Now, my current laptop is a Dell Precision M4700 from early 2013 (that I bought in 2018). It's a fat boy. Nearly an inch and a half thick, and not exactly chamfered. Priorities for that purchase include: number of hard drive spots, number of RAM slots, can play Factorio.

My partner did not want a Dell Precision M4700. She has frivolous requirements like “battery life more than an hour”, “un-terrible webcam”, and “less than 6 pounds”. This narrowed down the options significantly. Of course, what narrowed it down more was that I insisted on finding something with swappable RAM and storage, but I stand by that.

The search for new technology is kinda fun, but I spent way too much time on it, and it got to be pretty draining. There exist far too many devices with good specs and terrible trackpads. We also try to buy used where possible for not-being-wasteful reasons, but her work uses very poorly-optimized software, so we bit the bullet and found something new.

And when I say “we”, I mean “she”. I spent hours on the search (and picked up plenty about the current laptop “market” or whatever) but ultimately she found it, tucked away on a manufacturer's website. I gave it the know-it-all computer-guy seal of approval, and we ordered. It looks pretty cool, and should totally blow mine out of the water.

But it hasn't arrived yet, so maybe it's terrible.


PS: For those interested it's an Inspiron 15 5000 with the Ryzen 5 4500U.

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