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Point me towards a decent laptop.

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by gobi_grey, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Afflicted

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    I come from the stand alone recording unit era, not real familiar with all the new terminology. My desktop is around 12 years old so I'm assuming it won't work for recording so I need a decent laptop. I've never used the apple stuff so I'd like to stay with windows. I dont want to spend a ton of money but I need it to work decently.
    Suggestions?
     
  2. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    For the past decade I've only purchased Lenovo T or X series for my work and recently a P series for my music. Generally I find them better built and with fewer issues than others. (I found a company in Virginia or Maryland that sells used ones they purchase from organizations in pretty large quantities, and they're in good shape.)
    Edit: These series are intended for business rather than home users, and tend to have better processors and very little 'crapware' preloaded unlike lower cost 'home' machines. Just be sure to get more RAM than recommended by MS if running Windows. It's a memory hog. Prices are around $500 to $800 used and $800 and (way) up new. Might look for deals at the outlet site Lenovo has every so often (https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/outletus). Don't know your budget though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
  3. Skully

    Skully Doctor of Teleocity

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    I generally don't like to use laptops for home recording, but, these days I think the key is to use a solid state external hard drive for your recording files. I bought a new faster desktop this year and the audio engine kept quitting on my recordings, which are fairly dense with multiple tracks, plug-ins, etc. I added an internal SSD, and the problem was solved. Then, why I needed to use my laptop, I hooked up an external SSD via USB. No problems. I think it's important to transfer back and forth to non-solid state drives because the SSDs are less tolerant of repeated overwrites.
     
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  4. drlucky

    drlucky Tele-Holic

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    Oh wait, you said LAPTOP, not LAPDANCE.

    Sorry, can't help ya...:lol::lol::lol:
     
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  5. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Afflicted

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    Just a decent one, though. I’m not made of money.
     
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  6. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    I agree with @SHRmusic, Lenovo Thinkpads are the shiz.
     
  7. Hey_you

    Hey_you Tele-Holic

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    Apple computers are regarded as the better comp for recording purposes.
     
  8. pypa

    pypa Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Skully, I am curious why you don't like laptops for recording?
     
  9. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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    another Lenovo fan. please beat me if I ever buy another pos HP product
     
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  10. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    The Lenovo P50 I purchased has USB 3.0 and a few other fast ports, so good for an external SSD, audio interface and camera, even. I got a used dock for it with something like 6 usb 3.0 ports, couple others, and extra monitor ports in case I want to add a 2nd monitor. l like having the laptop to take to band practice... sometimes we livestream for friends/fans, or just to sit elsewhere. These things are about as fast as desktops, or at least enough for audio/video work (not really meant for gaming, but not why I bought it).
    Edit: And I use it like a desktop most of the time, with a decent keyboard, mouse and monitor plugged into the dock. I wouldn't want to run it full time as a laptop on the desk... I like the bigger monitor. Sometimes I have the laptop open for a 2nd screen.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
  11. Skully

    Skully Doctor of Teleocity

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    Traditionally, they simply haven't worked very well for me when I was working with multiple tracks running at the same time. I think this came down to the slow hard drives you typically found in laptops. They couldn't keep up. In recent years, you might have a small SSD for your operating system and maybe your storage, but it wasn't enough, even on big bucks model. Now, you can spend little bit on an external SSD, and it seems to solve the problem.
     
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  12. glenlivet

    glenlivet Tele-Holic

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    I don't record...but if I did, I'd get a small form factor desktop with a SSD drive...and a decent sized monitor.
    Significantly less money that a laptop...and probably a lot more bang for your buck.

    Only reason a laptop would be even mildly attractive would be for mobility.

    https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c03832938 <<--- something like this...with an SSD drive.
    and a 22 + inch monitor.
    If you get the right pairing...you could mount the small form factor PC on the back of the monitor (some of them come with mounting brackets)
    USB mouse and Keyboard.....done.
     
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  13. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    yep lenovo. But used, cheaply, and wipe.

    It's the only laptop allowed aboard the ISS

    I get a "new to me" one every few years for under 2 franklins
     
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  14. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    This is true, I mean it's enough of a thing you hear, pretty close to it being a consensus, that I don't doubt it, although I've no personal experience.
    I have been considering getting a refurbed relatively recent macbook for a couple hundred, next time, to have a go at it.
     
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  15. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Afflicted

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    upload_2020-11-20_8-59-57.png
     
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  16. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I don’t even think about what laptop to buy anymore, I just go to NewEgg and browse the reconditioned Dells. They’re generally business-class machines at bargain prices, plenty of choices in the $250-$300 range.

    My latest is an Inspiron with an I7 CPU, 16 GB RAM, and a SSD. It’s running Reaper projects with no problems. My particular style of recording means a lot of audio files (48 tracks on the latest) quite a few EQ, compressor, reverb, and delay plugins. No VST instruments. For my needs, the Dell has been great.
     
  17. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Lenovo for the win!
     
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  18. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    In the recent past desktops were the recommended vehicle for recording, whether it be a PC or a Mac. These days lap tops can be just as quick and hearty with plenty of ssd storage. My current recording computer is a 2019 macbook pro with 1tb of internal storage and 32 gb of ram. I don't run huge sessions so the laptop rig is great for my purposes.
    "If" you maybe wanna go Mac, you can find refurb'd 13" mbps at pretty good prices. Look for something with 16 gb of ram, at least 4 cores and a 512gb ssd. Any year from 2015 to current, though I know folks using 2012 mbps that are running fine. Now that Apple has announced that they'll be using their own chips, the Intel macs should drop in price.

    Also, as Scully notes ... use an external SSD if you're gonna run larger sessions with a lot of plugins. Good quality 1 tb ssd can be as cheap as $150.00. *Don't skimp on a $h1tty ssd. You'll be sorry later.

    Ultimately it's based on your needs. If you're gonna get into the daw recording thing, your computer becomes your most important 'instrument'.

    *A dedicated 'recording' computer is also recommended. It can be on-line but I definitely would not be surfing social media, shopping sites and free porn sites with it.
     
  19. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I'm another Lenovo fan. My current one is ~10 years old. I swapped the HDD for an SSD and replaced the battery pack recently. It boots to the login screen in seconds.
    My current desktop computer is an even older ( Core 2! DDR2! ) HP which serves my needs. Once the memory test has completed, it boots to the login screen in ~15 seconds. Both computers run Linux.

    Buy ex-lease for pennies on the Pound/Dollar, fit a large capacity SSD and as much RAM as you can squeeze in it. If it has Cardbus, a USB3 card is useful ( unless it already has USB3 ) and an external USB SSD. Or two.

    A large screen is nice, but not needed. Many laptops allow two screens. There's USB to VGA if it doesn't. Two screens can really help with workflow.

    Although computer audio has come a long way, onboard headphone and line outs chow on chorizo compared to a halfway decent USB DAC for playback.
     
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  20. Audiotrove

    Audiotrove TDPRI Member

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    I've been using digital multi-track recording setups since the late 90s back when we used to custom build PC's and 1 gigabyte of storage was like $100 and 20-bit 48K was cutting edge. I've used Microsoft platforms and Mac platforms.

    I currently use a MacBook Air (an old one actually) with a UAD Apollo for basic digital recording. This is a stunningly good combination. The brand new MacBooks are looking to be off the charts on stats and the Air is a relatively affordable laptop. We have 3 of them now (having moved away from Microsoft platforms for a variety of reasons) and I couldn't happier with the way the MacBook integrates with audio recording.
     
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