Windows operating system for new team laptop

Our team for the first time is going to buy a windows laptop for the drivers station. It will be the primary coding laptop. It will interface with github. It will be 64bit windows.

Does anyone know which windows version?
How much memory?

I have a tiny budget and don’t want to make mistakes.

Thank you in advance

Windows 10 seems to be testing out just fine for the Beta test teams experimenting with this coming season’s software.
That’s going to give you the longest supported OS life span.

More memory is always better, but look for the price breakpoint where more memory gets expensive.
16GB of memory will support you for a long time to come.

Disk space is usually fine with what they sell nowadays.

Better graphics cards are only necessary if you plan on using it for CAD work, but even then you can go with a lower-end gaming graphics card.

Windows 10. It is the newest, and in my opinion, the best. (I have been using it since January as a Windows Insider).

I would get at least 8 GB of RAM, more if budget allows.

It’s good to hear that folks are having success with windows 10. I’ve also been messing with it for quite a while as an insider, and so far, I have no desire at all to move from windows 7 on my “real” computer.

I recommend something with a Solid State Drive (SSD) and a full HD (1920x1080) screen, and 8GB or more of RAM. The SSD is a big factor, in allowing you to launch programs, start up, and reboot quickly. Also, since it has no moving parts, it is not as susceptible to damage as you are moving it around, if it gets dropped, impacted, etc. On laptops nowadays, I recommend a 1080 screen. 768 pixels in height is just not enough for modern day workflows. 1080 will allow you to see more lines of code at a time, and to get more on the screen. I recommend 8GB of RAM or more so you don’t ever approach dipping into virtual memory space, which is much slower. By the time you load the OS, a browser or two, and some programs, it’s easy to max out 4GB these days.

If you were really on a budget, you might consider this laptop. It’s essentially the lowest priced laptop with a 1080 screen on the market currently. While it lacks 8GB of RAM and an SSD, those things can be added with a bit of work involved, however it does take someone technologically inclined to do it.

As a disclaimer, I have no direct experience with this particular laptop.

The good news is, you’re in the right time of year for buying laptops. This is right when all the deals are to be found.

If you can swing $600, consider something like this:

. durable
. easy to get parts for
. good screen resolution

A solid machine with good specs, but I’d be weary of shelling out $600 for a 3-year old refurb.

Costco often has great deals on (new) laptops that in the past has rivaled prices I’ve seen for refurbished ones. I think they have something new on sale every week / 2 weeks.

It’s $100 more than the laptop linked above, but they currently have the Lenovo Ideapad 500s on sale for $699 + $25 shipping. The sale ends 11/15 though.
Specs: 8GB RAM, i7, 256GB SSD, 14" screen (1920x1080), windows 10

If you don’t mind replacing out the hard drive yourself or are okay with a regular one, and don’t mind a 1366x768 display, they have the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 for $529.
Specs: 8GB RAM, i5, 1TB hard drive, 15.6" screen (1366x768), windows 10

You can also get the same laptop for $429 if 4GB RAM is enough (|-Intel-Core-i5.product.100156017.html)

Their entire list is here:|0

I’m a fan of those T series Thinkpads, as much for the ability to string them along through repairs as I am for the specs. My goal is to get something that can withstand some abuse.

Rachel’s Inspiron idea (hi Rachel!) is a good suggestion too. If you swap the HDD you can recover ~$50 on Ebay for it.

I’m on Windows 10 now, upgraded from 8.1. But I’m only on those because my laptop switches to a tablet mode. Windows 7 is still a much better desktop system. You won’t have driver incompatibility problems and it’s a more intuitive desktop GUI.

Oh you kids with your new fangled Win 7 :rolleyes: Did steam powered XP go out of style?

to the OP

Win 10

I love my SSD drive, it makes slow systems fast. Samsung is my brand of choice. Buy new, the $19 you save on referb isn’t worth it,

Sanddrag says 8 GB of memory. Good if you are doing CAD, for Labview/Java/it’s our driver station, 8GB is overkill. So 4GB is fine.

I’m a road warrior, so I drive Lenovo Thinkpads. The current one is a T61. Old, but did you know that 16+ of them are on the ISS? This one has 17 months on it, some keys are starting to show wear.

You can buy referbs from a known dealer, but buy 2. When the first one dies (and it will) pull and slam the SSD drive into the new system. Then look again for replacements. Why yes, there is a spare T61 in my robot lab, thanks for asking. Actually there are two…

Your price point is about $300, that way when you buy two it’s not an ouch moment.

Get a used t430 off eBay with an ssd 8gbs of ram and at least a 3rd gen i5.

Our team is Beta Testing this year’s LabVIEW and having no issues with windows 10.

Anyone looking for a laptop who is on a strict budget, I HIGHLY recommend arrow direct.

4GB will run LabVIEW quite well, and I run it on several labtops that have a pentium core 2 duo with no issues.

I just priced a nice Dell I5 with 8 gigs of ram for $200. I wish I had the contacts to connect Arrow Direct with FIRST Choice.

Word of warning, be weary of Lenovo, as they are notorious for adding malware (like Rootkits andsuperfish,) which will mess with your usage on the internet and the data it takes. If you get one, make sure there is nothing out of the ordinary on it.

Apparently, it did not!

I’m a late adopter, I admit. I usually use stuff until it doesn’t work well anymore.

I would do a full reinstall anyway regardless whether I’m buying new or used. Lenovo is one of the better ones have you ever opened up a stock HP laptop. Asus and Gigabyte are 2 of the only brands that ship their laptops clear of bloatware.

They supposedly kept their business-grade computers clean, but any manufacturer will add bloatware. If you order from the Microsoft store, you will get a clean Windows install. If not, you can use the reset feature in Windows 8 or 10 to get rid of the bloat.

There are definitely some good deals here. Thanks for sharing! One thing I dislike about the site though is it does not seem to mention screen resolution anywhere. That’s a deal-breaker to shopping here for me. I would also not go as far back as a GEN1 processor if buying a refurb. There were significant performance (and battery life) gains seen in GEN2 and onward.

I’d go for a used/refurb Dell Latitude E6xxx unit if durability is of concern. While Lenovo T series is good too, I’ve always had better luck with latitudes (less fussy with hardware changes, etc.). They’re very durable and will (probably) only need replacement due to obsolescence.

I’d avoid Dell latitude E5xxx however… I had an E5530 that went through screen hinges and lids like potato chips. The E6430 I moved the guts to has been a lot better.

Last, Just my opinion, but I’d be wary of anything HP, acer/gateway, or Lenovo. I’ve never had good luck with any of those.

Windows 10 (assuming you get the latest version) is not exactly clean by any means. I know im stretching it a bit, but i dont think i need candy crush on my computer.

Back to the thread, you have some great options here. Make sure you pick a good computer for your team!