COVID-19: laptop recommendations

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Helping you, our clients, work from anywhere is part of what we do, including specifying, buying, and setting up laptops. However, due to high demand, our go-to resellers’ laptop stocks are depleted, so I encourage you to find suitable laptops wherever you can.

Normally, I’d recommend specific models, but since pickings are slim, I can recommend only laptop lines, specifically the Lenovo ThinkPad T-series.  The T-series is their bread-and-butter ThinkPad model; they’re not expensive and they’re not heavy.

Here’s how you decipher ThinkPad model names, using a ThinkPad T490s as an example:

T = the class of laptop where T is Lenovo’s go-to ThinkPad laptop series.
4 = the size of the screen, where 4 means 14″, 5 means 15″, etc.
9 = the generation of the model. The ninth-generation is the current generation, the eight came out the year before the ninth, the seventh the year before the eighth, and so on.
0 = indicates that this model is the original release of this model’s generation, and a 5 would indicate a mid-generation upgrade.
s = indicates that it’s the thinner and lighter version of its sibling that doesn’t have an ‘s’.

If you can’t find a suitable T-series ThinkPad, then consider a ThinkPad X1 Carbon (my personal favorite) which is Lenovo’s thinnest and lightest (and predicably their most expensive) laptop model.

No matter which laptop you choose, make sure it has:
– Windows 10 Pro, not Home
– a solid-state hard drive (this will be indicated with the acronym ‘SSD’)
– 16 GB of RAM though 8 GB of RAM will do in a pinch. Keep in mind that these laptops cannot be upgraded with additional RAM.

A solid-state drive and a sufficient amount of RAM are the two major contributors to a computer’s performance. Don’t worry about the manufacturer, model, or speed (in GHz) of the processor; none of the T- or X-series laptops have slow processors. As long as you find a laptop with an SSD and 16 GB of RAM, get the one that has the slowest/least expensive processor (i5 vs i7) and pocket the difference.

If you’d like my blessing on any particular models, please feel free to send me links to in-stock models that you find.

And, good luck!