I Need A New Laptop. What Should I Buy?

Four years ago I got an HP Spectre x360 and love it but it died after about a year. Three years ago I replaced it with a Lenovo C930.

Now I’m considering replacing the laptop again. It’s presumably fixable, but:

  • I’m on my second battery and it needs to be replaced again. I swapped the battery a year and a half ago after it stopped holding much of a charge. Now it’s again down to where at nearly the dimmest screen settings I get less than a couple of hours out of the battery. When I changed the battery the first time I somehow disconnected the fingerprint reader, but I’ve been fine without it.

  • Keys are sticking. My ‘T’ key is a problem. Sometimes I hit it and nothing happens. Other times I hit it and it gives me two or three t’s. Typos are enough of a problem with my writing as it is. The down arrow is also a problem.

I figure that after three years new machines may be better and it likely isn’t worth investing a lot of money into fixing an old one.

I could use your help with what laptop I should get. Here are key drivers of any decision for me.

  • I use one device, for the blog and also everything travel-related as well as for my job (I get special dispensation to use a personal device). I use it at home and on travel. I use it from the early morning into the evening every day.

  • I want a very good battery, speed, at least a 512gb hard drive and a good keyboard experience. It needs to be rugged because 3 years of use for me may be the equivalent of six of more years of average use. I’m taking it with me everywhere and I’m not gentle with it.

  • I chose the Lenovo Yoga last time – the only value I find in a convertible tablet and touch screen is takeoff and landing on planes. When laptops need to be put away and stowed, I flip it over and there’s never been a crewmember that’s objected to using it in tablet mode.
  • I’m not a gamer. I care about readability, but high resolution isn’t important to me when I watch movies. I’d love it if sound volume could be super loud – I’m such a one device guy that I might continue listening to something even in the shower (more than you wanted to know).

  • I don’t reboot the machine for weeks at a time. I work with a dozen tabs open in Google Chrome and a couple of other applications open, too. I need memory and enough processing speed not to slow me down. I also want a good enough camera for TV interviews if I’m on the road without access to better equipment.

    I don’t want to spend money unnecessarily, for features I won’t use or because bloated machines always have tradeoffs (like weight or battery life). At the same time cost isn’t the primary constraint since this is a productivity tool for me.

    What advice can you offer?

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