Recently I bought a Lenovo E470 as a working machine, mainly for software
development (java, elastic, mysql, mongo, docker, intellij idea...).
It's not as thin as any of ultrabooks. But it's quite solid, easy to
disassemble, easy to add another RAM module, clean the fan or replace the
battery. And what's more important - the keyboard is very good and the
touchpad quite big. Plus you have the trackpoint as another option, even
closer to the keyboard.
Inside the one I've bought, you will find i5-7200U, full HD IPS display, 256GB
SSD and 8GB RAM (+another 8GB added by me).
I've never started the bundled Win10 and immediately replaced it by Xubuntu.
Since then, I am really happy with this configuration. For about 700€ you can
get a solid machine which will last for years and even then it can be upgraded
You have your way or work, I have mine :-) I'm a ThinkPad guy for 11 years now
and mainly for a simple reason - docking station. One at home, one at work and
everything possible is external - I keep the laptop closed most of the time.
For this reason I can't wait to dock my phone like this in the future (after
Continuum or Samsung DeX will get better) and get rid of the laptop
Touchpad is quite tragic on my current T430s, but I use mostly trackpoint
anyway. T430s in size is somewhere between ultrabook and regular laptop, which
is not too bad considering I have additional dedicated GPU and both SSD and
Of course, with docking station and so on almost any notebook will be fine (I
have my current working machine in docking station). But do you like to use
your laptop on the way? What about weight, size, battery, display, keyboard,
touchpad, … I cannot find other notebook than Mac or Chromebook which is nice
to use outside of the office or home.
You take a pretty arrogant and naive position if you ask me.
I agree with you, the mac trackpads are the best.
The keyboard, not so much, on the newer macbook pros at least. The butterfly
low-profile mechanism just just isn't as good as the previous design, or of
Additionally, macs are beset with hardware issues (eg the GPU solder fail
issues with the 2009-2013 macbook pros) that seem to kick in just before the
warranty expires. Don't get me started on the crappy (and expensive to
replace) chargers, which fray, burn out, and otherwise disintegrate within 2
years. And fixes usually require wholesale replacement of half the device - eg
the entire topcase of macbook pro needs replacing if any of the keyboard keys
degrade. They're also more expensive than the competition.
Also, you're pretty much stuck with OS X. Granted, it works, but it always
requires that I adapt the way I work to it, rather than it adapting to me.
@jack I'm sorry to hear that. But sure, it's my personal view on my personal
blog, hardly I will be objective.
Well, for me is not important just touchpad and keyboard but also weight, size
and of course operating system. I'm mentioning that shortly (maybe I should
describe it in more details). But in total I don't care about technical
details like what CPU is used, if HDD is replaceable and so on. Notebook is
for me like a phone–it should just work without obstacles and it should be
cheap so I'm able to buy new one when it's broken.
That's why only notebook which meets those requirements is Chromebook. If I
don't care about price then it's also Mac but I wouldn't buy it for personal
I have to disagree. Chromebooks IMHO are toys for people who don't do any
work, who just need a web browser. Fine for those for whom that is enough, but
I guess many want to do at least one thing that the machine isn't capable of,
or, if it is, only by going through hoops.
Macs... well, I liked 10.4 when it came out, and I guess it's still alright,
but Windows has done massive steps forward while OS X seems to have remained
rather stationary. I find it much easier to work with, let alone more robust,
stable... my MBP crashes all the time, and it's a new device with not much
software on it. My desktop has had the same OS for 7 years, and was previously
updated, it's not a fresh install. I've swapped most components since,
including motherboard (switch from AMD to Intel). And it's pretty much rock
solid, even after catastrophic hard drive failure which corrupted the system
drive. In comparison a fresh Mac installation can't work for a week without
completely crashing at least once or twice? Usability-wise I needed to install
a couple of programs to fix OS X.
Yes, the Apple touchpad is magic. Besides being a cool tech demo, it just
works very well (I find the latest iteration is too big). However there are
plenty of Windows touchpads that do work well too. Not quite as good (they are
all hinged, thus the amount of pressure required changes depending on where
you press), but certainly serviceable.
As for keyboards... Apple used to have great ones. However they aren't
anymore. I have a Samsung Galaxy TabPro S, a tablet with keyboard case and
Windows 10, and the keyboard is better than what Apple offers these days. Let
alone, say, the keyboard of the Surface Laptop, which is amazing. As good as
@kadajawi I use Chromebooks as main computer since 2014 and I'm computer
programmer. If you don't mind to use cloud services then you can do a lot.
Chromebook has console in developer mode and with that I can connect to my
server where I develop. The rest like mail, calendar, photos, etc etc is in
the cloud including IDE. I use Cloud9 which is amazingly fast, faster than
most of those I used, and I can continue at work at any computer without need
to setup anything.
I think this is very good split. I have own server for my work as computer
programmer where all the heavy work is done and never interrupted (and if it
does once per year or so, it's automatically returned to state as before
outage) and my laptop is free. Then my laptop can be anything, even Chromebook
if it suits my needs (which is size, weight, touchpad, keyboard, clean and
always working operating system).
In those years I never had problem with internet connection. Of course I
cannot do work in the plane or somewhere on my travels with no connection.
But… I was little bit of workaholic and now at least I don't work when I'm
traveling. :-) But sure, you need to get used to it.
BTW my parents always had problems with computers which I had to solve. By end
of 2015 I gave as experiment to my mom one of the cheapest Chromebook and I
never have to solve anything since. She could finally also use keyboard
provided by notebook and sometimes even touchpad. She is also happy how light
it is. I think this is how to recognize good notebook. If it just works and
anybody can do the work he or she needs.
Ah right, if you're mainly working with texts, I guess a Chromebook will do
fine. But I need the computer for graphics, videos etc. and there these things
are just too limited. Also, I find myself often enough offline for weeks (or
with limited traffic), so it's not an option.
Yes, for parents etc. devices like the Chromebook make more sense, however my
mother for example doesn't have proper internet several months a year. So even
though what she does with her computer would be served by a Chromebook, it
still isn't an option.
Basically to me these things just fit certain use cases, and are a bit better
in these (unless you know nothing about tech, then the learning curve will be
smaller). But as soon as you want to do a bit more, a proper Windows PC will
run circles around it. Even if you can do them on the Chromebook too, it will
probably be harder to do.
Back to keyboard and touchpad quality... have you tried newer devices?
Generally speaking Chromebooks should be similar in hardware to Windows
notebooks, so I don't see why they should be better. I find most notebook
keyboards better than the latest MacBooks/MacBook Pros, and the Surface Laptop
is excellent. As good as it gets.
Sure, Chromebook is not for everybody. But I cannot find anything else which
just works. I want to open notebook and don't care about anything. I just want
something which is light, long life on battery, is intuitive, simple and has
very good touchpad and keyboard. I'm lucky that Chromebook is enough for me,
even for programming.
I have new Dell with Ubuntu and I hate when I need to leave docking station. I
haven't tried every notebook around so surely there will be something. My
point is mostly that it's hard to find and with Chromebook or Macbook Air I
can be sure.
And my point is that there are plenty of MacBook Air-alikes out there that
have a good battery and have a good touchpad and keyboard. :) Easy to use... I
guess you want to use Ubuntu because it's easy for you? For me Windows is easy
to use... easier than OSX, and especially faster (OSX makes me go through
unnecessary hoops, what takes two steps in Windows may take 5 in OSX, and I
need to be much more careful to make sure I didn't make a mistake). Plus my
Windows computers don't crash nearly as often as the Mac does.
I understand your needs. There is one big difference: I'm used to use cloud
services. I just need OS which is easy to use, can have browser and for work I
have to be able tu run also some IDE and all server-side things. For personal
things I can use Chromebook, for work Mac is all I need and it never crashed
because I needed just browser and IDE, that's it. That's why I don't care what
Windows can offer to me or not and just I'm looking only into how simple and
stable it is to use. :-) BTW I have to use Linux at work right now, Ubuntu is
not best for me. Ubuntu is just making it worse.