Laptop Recommendations for 2019

Every few years I upgrade my laptop. I try to get through three years with them, and I’ve had some good success. At the same time, I’ve also had some wear out sooner, especially with the amount of travel that I do some years. I had one laptop last just a year before it started to constantly crash on me. That one was just out of warranty, which was a shame. Since then I’ve usually paid extra for a warranty to get a couple years of service out of each machine.

It’s not quite that time for me, but it’s getting close. My laptop is about 2 1/2 years old and I’m starting to have some thermal issues. Changes in temperature often cause a crash when I come out of hibernation, which isn’t what a traveling presenter likes to see. I’m also starting to have poor battery performance. A full charge recently netted me only about 3.5 hours before the battery warning came on at 20% left.

I have been pleased with my HP Spectre x360 model right now. It’s held up well and I’ve enjoyed using it. The arrow keys are a little oddly placed for me, but overall, everything else has worked well. There’s a new model, which is one of those I’m considering, but I am keeping an open mind.

This week, I’m asking you what models you might recommend that you’ve used. One you’ve owned or had a friend own that seems to perform well. Keep in mind that I travel quite a bit, so durability and weight matter.

I used to want a 32+GB RAM machine, but these days I do more in the cloud or with smaller demos, so I think 16GB is really the sweet spot for me. A fast CPU and 512GB-1TB storage is nice. I’ve done well with 512 across the last two years, but you never know how things will change, so a 1TB is something I’m considering. As much as I’ve enjoyed USB-C, I still sometimes like the convenience of USB-A, especially when on the go and not wanting to pull out some sort of adapter (like on a plane).

Let me and others know this week which models have worked well for you. While many of us don’t necessarily get the choice of brand, some do, and many might be able to influence the model that they receive. Most of us want a laptop we enjoy using, and having a few recommendations gives us confidence that we’ll choose one that works well for the next few years.

Steve Jones

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About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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12 Responses to Laptop Recommendations for 2019

  1. What is your budget?


  2. Mr Steven P Smith says:

    I have an HP Elitebook 850.
    The laptop itself is great.
    It’s got great specs: core i7-8650U, 32GB RAM and a 1TB SSD.

    However, I’m really struggling to get used to the keyboard positioning.
    As it’s a 15″ laptop, it comes with a numbers pad, which means the main keyboard is to the left of the chassis.
    Maybe I’ll get used to it in time, but right now, I hate numbers pads on laptops


  3. way0utwest says:

    No real budget, per set. Not going to spend $4k but doesn’t need to be sub $1000 either


  4. way0utwest says:

    15″ tends to be too big for me. With all my travel, size and weight matter


  5. paschott says:

    I ended up choosing an Inspiron 5000 series for my next machine – there was a 35% sale on one of the higher end ones that brought the price down to more reasonable. The HP Spectre x360s are good machines, though. The only gripe I have with them is HP’s touchpad. I just don’t like that as much as others.

    We picked up an x360 a couple of years ago for my wife and it’s still going pretty strong. Just wish it was better at truly sleeping when the lid is closed. Sometimes it just doesn’t and not often enough to spend a lot of time troubleshooting. I just open up, force it to sleep and move on when it seems to get stuck.

    I like my Surface Pro, but it’s not really a work-class machine. Tried to spin up some Linux SQL containers and it just laughed at me because it doesn’t have enough RAM. 🙂


  6. I wonder if Surface Pro X for Business will cut it. I might be looking for a personal laptop to use for the side gig that I am planning 😉


  7. Barbara Cooper says:

    What about a high end Surface Pro or Surface Laptop. I have a Surface Pro now for work and it is very light weight and yet powerful enough for most activities.


  8. spaghettidba says:

    I’m with my fourth xps13 in a row and I’m quite happy with it. The form factor is very convincing and with the fhd panel the battery lasts literally forever.


  9. Vedran says:

    Asus Zenbook (not Flip!) 14″ with super-thin bezels, seems a sweet spot for me. Thanks to thin bezels, it has a “big” screen in a small body. High quality colors and view angles (IPS screen). Weights around 1kg, and battery lasts 10+h confirmed. Super-portable, a joy to use. Not perfect, but best laptop I have seen so far. Get 16GB RAM version and CPU model of latest generation.
    Eg this:
    Or this:

    If disk is too small, replace the M.2 drive (I did) with super-fast, almost 1TB, 140USD:
    There are also 2TB M.2 drives on the market.

    You will probably also want an USB hub with ethernet that plugs into USB-C, eg this or better:


  10. I have been very happy with my Lenovo yoga. Touchscreen that is convertable to a tablet mode for flights, 1TB drive and 3 years complete care on site warranty coverage. 16 GB max RAM, however, that hasn’t been a problem as I do not do multiple VMs for demos etc. Happy to chat/show.


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