Recommendations: laptop, up to $3500 USD

I may have a chance to get a very nice laptop and could spend maybe up to 3500 USD on it. I will run EOS on it for scientific computing not really any gaming and pretty simple graphical needs. I have had Dells running linux that I really loved, Lenovo which I liked even more but which had hardware robustness problems and now run a powerful HP Z book but all the keys are falling off it.

Alternatively, I was thinking of just running demanding problems in google cloud when they get too big and keep a more scaled down machine for my day to day needs.

What would you suggest given needs and limitations?

Is size/weight a concern?

Check out Framework Laptop

It is highly customizable laptop built on the principle of right to repair and has a burgeoning Linux community along with an Arch community.


Yes to a degree. This HP Z-book is too much. I suppose something less than 2.5 kg/5lb would be favoured. Smaller screen size is preferred (15" over 17").

They are nice. Looks like quite a powerful machine for about $2600 (CAD I think as I was on their Canadian domain) so well within the budget. The specs seems about the same as the HP I am on now and this machine was more expensive than that.

Look at their DIY versions not their normal ones. They give you a screwdriver to build your laptop. You can customize even the ports on the laptop. It will be cheaper in the long run as you can just replace the motherboard after 5 years. My next laptop will most probably be a framework.

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Dell XPS 15 is a good option, slightly over the 2.5kg but its pretty good from what ive seen, could probably get the 13 in at a lighter weight. You can also save money getting some of their units with Ubuntu instead of Windows.


It may vary by market but last I checked the street price of their Ubuntu models was higher than the Windows models after discounts.

I’m using an LG Gram 16, which has a wide screen (in fact, 16) and extremely light (about 1.2 kg)

The Dell XPS looks like a very nice machine with lots of configuration options and within budget. I also have good experiences with Dell particularly with their physical robustness.

If you get a XPS, just be sure to get the one you want. EVERYTHING except the SSD is soldered to the motherboard, so there is NO upgrading anything except storage.
At that price, there’s pretty much anything open though, so hard to make a recommendation because what I’d want might not be your personal taste. Such as I HATE discrete graphics, I like the 15-watt U-series chips, I don’t like the H-series, I want good battery life, and I don’t like >1080P screens unless the laptop is 15" or larger. I do prefer 3:2 > 16:10 > 16:9 aspect. Therefore my choices are often much different than others, and with basically every single laptop made in play, it’s just “choose whatever options you like”.

The only thing I dislike about the Framework laptops is they’re 11th gen Core CPU’s. AKA - total garbage when compared to Ryzen despite still costing more. They need to offer Ryzen (short term) and get to 12th gen Alder Lake (mid-term) to have a laptop worth ANYWHERE near what they’re asking.

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I agree with that. They need to offer either Ryzen or Alder Laker. There are many requests about Ryzen in their forum

Dell quality, especially physical build quality is not nearly what it used to be.

If you are hard on your laptops, my opinion is that a thinkpad is a better choice.

That is lot of money to spend on a laptop so getting what you need shouldn’t be a problem. Spending that much money and being disappointed would be discouraging. I would speak to Dell Canada about your specific needs and get all the information required including a price. I would also check with Lenovo as you can do the same with them. As for the issues you’ve had in the past you can bring them up with them and I’m sure they can speak to those issues. You could also check with HP if you wanted. These 3 companies are set up very well to provide you with this service.

Edit: I agree with @dalto. I don’t think you could go wrong with a Lenovo Thinkpad. I just got a Think book and I’m really happy with it.

Is it the X1 Carbon or Yoga series?

Are Thinkpads better supported for Linux? Was thinking to pickup an old Thinkpad T40 and install EOS.

I bought a Thinkbook 14" Ryzen 5500. It’s really nice compared to my HP. Most lenovo have good support for linux as far as i know. I haven’t put linux on it yet. It has Windows 10 Pro but is upgraded to Windows 11 Pro now.

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The BEST thing about the Thinkpad series is they release the bios updates as a “bootable cd”. So you can geteltorito it and then use dd to put it on a USB key, boot from that to update your bios without needing Windows.
And their keyboards. Obviously, since they still have by far the best keyboards of any laptop, even if they’re NOT as good as the older ones. Course, the T40 still has the classic, amazing keyboard.
I personally have 4 Thinkpads (T14 Gen2 AMD, T14 Gen1 AMD, L14 Gen1 AMD, T495) and I definitely love the things.

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Yup I am familiar with their famous keyboards. Best the business

Is this for schooling or work environment?

Edit: Just asking because they do have discounts for school or teacher, staff etc.

I think i would look at the P14s lenovo Thinkpad workstation laptop. It’s $1540 dollars off right now @$2119 CDN. Ryzen Pro 5650U 32 GB memory, 1 TB PCi-E SSD, Bluetooth 5.2, WiFi AX. In stock.
3.25 Pounds