Recommend me a durable Windows laptop
December 13, 2017 5:50 AM   Subscribe

I already have a Mac laptop but need a sturdy, unglamorous Windows one too for work purposes. Anyone have any recommendations?

- Must be durable, no-nonsense, not-likely-to-break.
- It can be ugly, but it would be good if it was slim and easy to transport.
- I will probably never watch videos or anything on it.
- The only programmes I will ever use are Word, the internet, and a special word processor which takes up quite a lot of space.
- My budget is 350 GBP or less.
posted by iamsuper to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
If you're fine with a pre-owned machine, I would recommend looking for a refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad T series or X series. If you're lucky, you could even get a X1 carbon though it may be stretching your budget. I've bought several refurbished T series over the years, and was never disappointed.
posted by aprass at 6:00 AM on December 13, 2017 [6 favorites]

Yup, you're looking for a Thinkpad.
posted by aspersioncast at 6:25 AM on December 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

You can pick up little-used Thinkpads with lengthy chunks of their manufacturer warranties remaining on eBay. A quick search for the T450 brought up a whole bunch of options within your budget. As I recall, you can purchase an extended warranty from Lenovo if you need to add some more piece of mind.

I'd recommend a Thinkpad T-series model. T is for Tank! If you want to emphasise portability a bit more then yes, X-series models would work better. If you want the ultrabook experience, surprisingly, there are quite a few X1 carbons out there within your budget too.
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 7:07 AM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Nthing thinkpad. I still have a nine year-old T400 that is chugging along that works great for word, the internet, and word processing.
posted by craven_morhead at 7:59 AM on December 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

The business class Thinkpads and Dells are pretty much tanks, at least outside of the light and thin models. I've had both last five plus years while consumer grade stuff from either often dies after three.
posted by Candleman at 8:25 AM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

business class Thinkpads and Dells are pretty much tanks, at least outside of the light and thin models
That's my experience, too.
posted by lathrop at 11:41 AM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite], ebay, and Lenovo sell refurbished Thinkpads, mostly off-lease from some business. I bought a used Thinkpad T410 a few months ago. It's sturdy and well-engineered. So, so much better than the lower-end new laptop I'd had that fell on pavement, and cheaper. Buy the best Thinkpad in your budget. You'll want 8 - 12 gb of RAM, super-easy to add if it's not there. The one I got is several years old, but has decent battery life.
posted by theora55 at 12:01 PM on December 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

Is Bootcamp no longer a thing? Or are you perhaps short on disk space? Why not devote sufficient hard drive space to install Windows and your necessary software on your Mac?

If can't go wrong buying a Thinkpad.

(I last used Bootcamp under Snow Leopard on a Macbook Pro 1,1, so my direct knowledge is way out of date.)
posted by lhauser at 8:25 PM on December 13, 2017

Bootcamp and Parallels are both still things, and actually there are plenty of other ways to do it if you have the disk space and processing power; windows in a VM or various other bootloaders (GRUB/LILO/Clover).

This is actually what I'd suggest if you are handy, you like hacking around with stuff, your Mac is self-serviceable (older MBpros are super-easy, new airs . . . less so), and there aren't other reasons to have a separate machine.

If you can't open up the Mac and add storage yourself, the cost of having that done at the apple store, + fiddling with bootcamp or paying for parallels + various other inevitable PITA factors would push me toward just getting a Thinkpad.
posted by aspersioncast at 8:27 AM on December 14, 2017

Not sure if you have already made the purchase, but just in case you didn't, here's a possible solution - VirtualBox

With it, you can run a full Windows installation as a window on your mac

1. Get a Windows licensed ISO image (you can download one from Microsoft site).
2. Install virtualbox (from
3. Start virtualbox app and point it to the ISO image

Use Windows normally within VrtualBox - you can install Office or use Office 365 if you need it for business purposes.
posted by theobserver at 7:58 AM on December 28, 2017

« Older What was the largest PBM RPG ever?   |   Looking for a Bluetooth LE Peripheral device Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.