Follow

Having to give my workplace issued MacBook away, I'm thinking of getting a laptop to code on (I've got a desktop, but also a newborn, so a lot of my work is done from the couch).

Is there anything that has a track pad as good as the MB, decent keyboard, 13 inch screen (FHD and above), light and somewhat long lasting that you guys can recommend?

@hxii nothing has a track pad quite as good as the MBP unfortunately but I'd say other devices are worth the tradeoff

the XPS is always popular but it's rather resource-constrained (esp. by thermal performance). one of the best trackpads outside Apple's lineup though. good ultrabook for lightweight tasks.

I'm looking forward to the Zephyrus G14 which should be available in a couple months and has really impressive performance at cost (zen 2 APUs) but the trackpad is... nothing special

@syntacticsugarglider I'm honestly surprised laptop manufacturers are not even trying to get on the same level (fairly sure it's not as simple, but still).

Cheapest XPS 13 is $1.5k over here. I was thinking maybe ZenBook 13 (UX333) like a Yoga 730 to go on the cheaper side.

@hxii with trackpads it's only the hardware to a certain extent, past that it becomes an issue of tuning the acceleration curves and so forth to the characteristics of the device

you can improve your trackpad a lot under linux by screwing around with libinput until things feel better

oh hmm I've heard good things about the zenbook 13 but my best experience in that range has been w/ the Huawei matebooks, have you considered them?

@hxii I’d recommend a ThinkPad if longevity is what you are after. The amount of spare parts that are still available for models that were made 10 years ago is amazing. If you want a Mac like trackpad you would have to go for the newer models but if you can learn to live with it then the smaller one on the T4xx series is good. I picked my T430 up for £150 on eBay and the only reason I have that is because my X201 got too old to run recent OpenGL applications.

@drisc @hxii yeah thinkpad trackpads are mediocre but if you can live with mostly using a TUI (which you absolutely can and will probably prefer in the long run) they're awesome

you can get an old model and swap in a high resolution panel and some other parts from a newer one, they're highly repairable

@syntacticsugarglider @hxii That's what I did with mine, replaced the HDD with an SSD, replaced the newer style keyboard with the older one from the T420, flashed a new keyboard rom and then got a BIOS mod that let me install an AC-enabled wifi card.

I've yet to do the 1080p panel upgrade, mainly due to cost and the market for the compatible panels being a bit flakey right now.

Also if you can get used to it the Trackpoint is actually a decent pointing device.

@drisc @hxii i used to have some old thinkpad that I did some similar stuff to

i would still use something like that but I'm using a macbook from school right now and even that is insufficient performance-wise so I'm probably going to get a ga401iv-ps96

i write a lot of Rust and rustc is... rather performance-intensive

@syntacticsugarglider @drisc I might consider getting an older model, depending on the cost and condition.

@hxii @drisc if you're interested in the idea of getting a used thinkpad this is a super useful resource:

reddit.com/r/thinkpad/wiki/int

info on different models, buying guide, info on mods, etc.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Merveilles

Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.