Continuing on my quest for a new laptop, I've decided I'm going to need to compromise on quality.
- Most laptops these days only come with 4 gig of RAM. This is not really acceptable in my line of work, but I'm likely going to have to suck it up and upgrade post-purchase.
- Same goes with the screen. I'm probably going to have to downgrade to a "HD+" display which still isn't full HD and is a few hundred thousand pixels fewer than I'm used to, but I can probably deal with it if the actual panel quality is okay. Considering the alternatives you could do a lot worse these days as they're still putting 720p (what I like to refer to as "half HD") displays in 15" laptops.
- I'm also going to have to go with Intel graphics which means I'll probably have to sell my 27" monitor because all I've read says they just can't drive the thing. If I really needed an external monitor I could downgrade again to a smaller 1080p display and that would probably be good enough.
Where do you get a good Windows laptop?The problem I'm facing is that even though I'm willing to compromise on all these points, I still can't find any decent laptops I'd actually be comfortable buying. Both Asus and Samsung have caught my eye with their latest range of glitzy somethings, but neither of them sell direct and I can't find any of the products I'm looking for in retail stores. It turns out the only products retailers stock are the lowest price injection moulded pieces of crap found subsequent to scraping clean through the bottom of the barrel.
I would almost be fine with the awful second-hand service of a brick and mortar store if it meant I could verify the quality of the product prior to purchasing it, but it's difficult to see the point when they don't stock and can't order in what I'm after. So I've given up on that avenue, and now I'm running out of options.
Where not to get a Windows LaptopI was considering the Razer Blade which is an outrageous but ultimately pretty good-looking laptop, but I've never heard a good thing about the company and their recent DRM debacle has turned me right off. I've shitlisted Dell after they sent me a happy meal toy masquerading as a premium laptop, and Sony have nothing in between the "giant netbook" and "dual SSD in RAID-0 configuration" markets.
As far as I'm concerned my final option is to order something from Lenovo and pray it isn't outright shonky. They're ugly as sin, I've heard the panels aren't the greatest and it's extremely difficult to find reliable reviews and information when they have thirty or so different models on sale at any one time. That said, I just don't know where else to look.
In conclusion, it really is Apple who has the stranglehold (even if only through everyone else's ineptitude) on the premium laptop market. It pains me to say it, but you'd have to be an idiot to buy a Windows laptop right now because that's the only market they're targeting.