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Old 07-26-2017, 09:01 AM   #1
PhilZJ
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laptop suggestions

I'm not really in a rush here, but I wanted to get the opinion of the folks here about some nice work laptops.
Currently my laptop (sig below for details) works fairly well, performance is good enough for what I need.

Normal daily usage is laptop docked, hooked up to 2 monitors, 1 monitor for email / Skype the other is where I run my dev VM box.
Performance on the VM is plenty for me, the SSDs are pretty amazing for this.

The only problem that I'm having is that I find the laptop runs hot. Hooking up to the dock increases temp significantly because my external displays fire up the NVidia card in it. So currently I'm sitting at 80C with an idling vm box.
VisualStudio 2015 goes stupid quite often and it starts spinning a thread for no reason which rockets my temperature to 101C and at that point I notice throttling.

I bought a thermaltake cooling platform (plastic tray with giant fan underneath it) to try and help. The problem is that the Lenovo dock is very wide and flat and really obstructs any benefit the giant fan might have.

What I really like about this laptop is how easy it was to change the hard drive, or upgrade the memory. I had a Sony Vaio before and that was a total nightmare.

I like the size of the T430 I have, I wouldn't really want something bigger, weight wise, I don't really care because it's not very often 'mobile'. If I do use it as a laptop, I just go somewhere and set it down and work on it, I don't lug it around from room to room all day. But I don't really want something bigger because this one fits quite well in my carrying case with all the other gizmos I have.

Anyways, I'm curious what other laptops you guys have had good experience with. When I used to work contracts, I had several dells ( I don't even remember any specifics) but what I do remember from them is that they didn't last long and fairly soon their performance became so slow they were un-usable. It could be a result of the software installed on them, I'm not sure but my experience has been very poor with them.

Honestly, this T430 would be amazing if it had a better cooler and if the dock was much smaller so I could get better airflow under it.

thanks for your feedback
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:22 AM   #2
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Can you not wedge the cooling platform in between the dock and laptop after you have the laptop docked in?
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Old 07-28-2017, 07:59 AM   #3
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Can you not wedge the cooling platform in between the dock and laptop after you have the laptop docked in?
No unfortunately this is what the dock looks like



and this is what my laptop cooling fan is


so the dock sits on-top of it, but most of the fan as you can image is blowing the bottom of the dock, not the laptop.

I honestly thought about opening up the dock and seeing if I can cut as much out of it, but I'm worried that it'll become too brittle and it'll break..

Poor design of the dock being so side and spread out around the bottom connector.
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Old 07-28-2017, 09:39 AM   #4
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Yeah, we used some of those Lenovos with that dock here at work. I think your solution of cutting away the "blade" part of the dock is the only way you may get things to work with your current setup.

Unfortunately, with laptop docks you won't get something that will work with the cooling pad really.

Our current standard here at work is the HP ProBook 640 G1. They're OK, but nothing to write home about. One thing I can say is that I haven't had much in the way of hardware failures to deal with.
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:07 AM   #5
PhilZJ
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that's good about no hardware failures. How hard are they to upgrade, memory and drive?
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:14 AM   #6
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that's good about no hardware failures. How hard are they to upgrade, memory and drive?
Just did a memory upgrade on one the other day. HP was nice and thought about that, they placed both SODIMM slots on the bottom of the laptop easily accessible by the access panel there.

Hard drive, I'm not sure, I think it's able to be accessed through the same panel though.
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Old 08-01-2017, 07:45 AM   #7
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You could take apart the dock to see how the internal electronics are routed and then drill holes on the top and bottom of the dock in unaffected areas to allow the cooling platform fan to pull air through the dock. Sounds cheesy but unless the PCBA inside the dock takes up the entire footprint it should work.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:55 AM   #8
PhilZJ
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ya drilling might be a good compromise. I was thinking of taking it apart and just cutting as much as I could but that would likely ruin the integrity and would likely snap the dock.
I'll try to get to it this weekend.
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