Best daily carry laptop for $2,000? (Razer Blade Stealth vs. Asus ZenBook vs. Dell XPS vs. Lenovo ThinkPad vs. MacBook Pro)

It's time to buy a new laptop! I want a daily carry laptop that I'll basically take with me everywhere. My current daily is a ThinkPad Yoga 12 from a few years ago. It's a great little laptop, but I've decided I'd like to buy myself a new toy. I don't want something giant and super bulky, because size/weight are a factor in my daily carry (I carry my stuff in a Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L). So I don't ant a 17" monster. The Razer Blade (as opposed to the Stealth) is worth considering, but seems a bit large to me.

This is basically going to be my daily driver. Light work (MatLab, email, etc.), photo editing (LightRoom and organization), light gaming that it can handle, and my computer for dicking around (YouTube, Reddit, random other BS). So it doesn't necessarily have to be a powerhouse, but at this price point it might as well be.

What are your experiences with some of these laptops or, even better, with more than one of them? Whatever I get I'll throw a dual-boot on it, so OS isn't really of concern (see: MacBook). Do you have any other recommendations?

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What do you do on the laptop?

I can't really recommend the new Macbook Pro's or the ones that have come out over the last 2 years tbh. They've all been pretty trashy. The 2014 ones were Golden though, lol.

The blade stealth is ok but I hate the keyboard on it. I would look into some thinkpads, see whats likeable there. I love business laptops and I finally got a thinkpad that isn't a pentium 3 laptop (my new L520 vs old 600X).

Also, the HP Probooks and Elitebooks are fuckin A++ from me. Direct upgrades from the older models like my NW8000. Same quality of use as well as build quality.

I'm an idiot. Edited. Thank you.

What's wrong with them? I used a MPB at a Best Buy about a week ago and absolutely loved the new keyboard.

What did you dislike about its keyboard?

If you plan on dual booting with Linux or something the new Macbook Pros aren't going to be your best option. Hardware support is extremely lacking from the 2015 models onwards. That being said, since it sounds like you're going to be using either Windows or macOS a lot for Adobe CC, you should see which OS you prefer. I personally prefer macOS over Windows due to it's UNIX base with support for a lot of software development tools I use, but YMMV.

The board components are 50/50 depending on the manufacture series. You might need a service you might not. But, thats also what apple care is for lol. Go in, new laptop. If that best buy has some of the release macbooks still in stock they have a lot of problems with the touchbar. Even the nontouchbar ones still have the same mobo just with a different keyboard assembly. I think the EMC derives release sections so thats easy enough to tell.

I might be crazy though. I keep track of a lot of stuff.

I don't like island keyboards and I despise linear preassure switches. Keyboards like on the non-island Thinkpads are my bae, and my HP NW8000 holds my standard to this day.

Do you know if those issues persist on the 2017 updated models of the new MBP?

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This I understand. However, there's something appealing about being part of that first wave that works to make Linux work on a piece of hardware. I'd probably mostly live in MacOS if I got one, but play around with linux stuff as a way to learn and maybe help progress. I figure that I can go with any OS for the role this daily carry laptop fills in my life.

Definitely, but just don't go in with high expectations. On the 15" models neither the Wifi nor audio work. The trackpad is also supposedly finicky.

Both those hp laptops are pretty crappy.

The probooks are just fugly laptops with fairly low specs. The Elitebooks are decent, but they are more expensive than levovo laptops that perform about the same. The HP specter is decent..ish.

When I got my 2015 macbook, the trackpad and audio worked just fine.

The audio sounded a bit off, but it worked for me.

But overall I agree. Out of all of these laptops I would go with a 2015 macbook pro. Amazing battery life. 16:10 screen is great for coding. And you get plenty of app support.

I personally would actually avoid dual booting the laptop. Windows just sucks too much nowadays that I would literally give up linux JUST to avoid windows.

Ah yeah my mistake, I meant the 2016 model:

I have one and have been meaning to try Linux on it, but it's probably not worth the trouble. I have Linux on my workstation for serious work anyways.

If you try arch, there is supposedly some magic sauce in the AUR to help, but its just hear say. Obviously I do not have a newer macbook pro to test with.

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I haven't seen many come through the shops I scrap from regularly. More or less its just the first 2 manufacture series from release.

Just to let you know, I would not go for the new macbook pro for daily carry.

The port situation is annoying, they shrunk the battery, and the 15 inch model only comes with a video card which reduced battery life even further.

The older 2015 model is still plenty powerful and you can still buy them new. For the same price as the 2017 inch model, you can spec out the CPU to be a 4ghz monster and crush the rest of the laptops we are talking about in single threaded performance.

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That's a good point, but then I find myself in the boat of spending two grand on a three year old piece of tech. That doesn't sit well with me. I'd be going for the 13 inch size range if I did a MBP.

I have a xps 15 (non touch) and I adore it. The tiny bezels make it super portable for a 15", it's fast enough for some light gaming, and fedora 25 runs like a dream on it. I've had it about a year now and I've had 0 hardware or software issues.
Before this I had a macbook air for 3 years. I like the Dell a lot more, better hardware and looks(Imo) for cheaper. The only thing I miss is the trackpad.

ah, well then go for the dell.

15 inch in a very similar form factor of the 13 inch macbook pro. Plus you get a quad core cpu with the dell vs dual core with the mac.

Just make sure you get the 1080p non touch. You get MUCH better battery life that way.

Has anybody else here used any of the others I mentioned? The Blade or Blade Stealth or any of the newer ZenBook lineup?