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2:46 PM
Who loves shopping for a new laptop...!? 😤
 
My last two have been Surfaces, so that kind of narrowed the search space.
 
Those have touch screens?
You can flip them and use them as tablets?
 
3:04 PM
Yep. You don't even really need to flip them - the keyboard is a separate device (that unfortunately you have to buy separately) and comes right off for tablet use.
 
Ah, okay! Is that what they call a 2-in-1?
 
Maybe?
 
It's essentially a Windows table?
I dunno, I'm on the Dell site and the talk about 2-in-1s, I haven't looked deeper into what it was.
And you can do unity development on that?
 
The ones I have are full x86-64 Windows on Intel Core chips like you'd have on a conventional desktop, not an ARM/tablet version. Though I think they do make an ARM line too.
 
I think those are Surface Pro? /shrug
I don't need touch or tablet though..
I have had a Dell before, with which I was satisfied, then I had an Asus, which got me annoyed because they did not sell genuine replacement batteries...
 
3:12 PM
Yeah, I didn't either when I got them. But I liked being able to draw with a pressure sensitive stylus, and they turned out to be a perfect form factor for teaching - it's so slim so it fits in a small shoulder bag for my commute to the campus, back when I was doing that. And the camera and mic are excellent for distance learning.
 
Ah, right, that makes sense!
 
And it's beefy enough that I can do gamedev on it while I'm on the train. :)
 
Okay, good! I no longer plan to carry it around on my commutes much because I don't plan to have much commute anymore :P
 
This sounds like a good plan.
 
4:03 PM
@DMGregory "On the train", do you mean that you have some kind of table on the train where you can place the Surface w/ keyboard?
 
I usually sit it on my lap. But some train cars do have little table things.
 
And there are no issues holding it there, on your lap?
 
It takes a bit more posing than a conventional laptop that can hold a particular screen angle, but it hasn't been unworkable by any means.
 
Okay, thanks!
I'm checking my options..
It seems that I "can't have it all"... (Full keyboard, Canadian french, decent gfx card, decent price and delivered relatively shortly)
 
4:50 PM
Depending on the make & model, you might be able to change your keyboard after the fact. For instance: newegg.com/p/…-9SIAE87H5U9811--Product
Alternatively, you could get a full sized USB keyboard of your liking if you're willing to pack the extra bulk around.
 
I am a little jealous that you get logical-not on a laptop key. I can only enter that on my desktop with an alt code via the numpad: ¬ (170)
 
5:38 PM
@DMGregory Not quite as rad as a physical key, but if you're on windows you could make a hotkey script for symbols that you use often. howtogeek.com/howto/21187/…
Has a windows store version if you're (rightful) distrustful of installing rando executables based on internet stranger's recommendations: microsoft.com/en-us/p/autohotkey-store-edition/…
 
5:54 PM
I'm currently leaning toward Surface Laptop Studio. Not the cheapest around though...
 
Yeah, my experience with the Surface line has been that they're pricey, but good. Since it's straight-up MS you don't get any Dell/HP bloatware on it, and all the drivers play nice since it's one of the core configurations MS tests internally.
 
I personally dislike the amount of effort / research / learning required to feel comfortable with major new hardware purchases. In my head, this makes me more willing to spend by way up the ladder which in theory reduces the frequency of upgrading.
 
@Pikalek I saw a gamedev talk once where someone did all kinds of wild automation with AutoHotkey. It was impressive!
 
@DMGregory I hadn't thought of that - if their support is solid, that's a huge plus in my books - I have a lot of bad memories trying to get laptop drivers updated in the not so good 'ol days.
 
That's not to say I haven't had issues. My first one would get quite hot which would muck with the touchscreen calibration. I had to download a separate utility to re-calibrate the panel every so often to avoid phantom touches or touch-insensitive areas.
My new one would occasionally pause for just a moment, inexplicably. I took it back to the store three times and they just gave me a new one, which has been fine ever since.
 
6:08 PM
How does the stylus / art use compare to something more specialized like a Wacom?
 
Pretty good! I'm not a full-time artist, but I've found it quite adequate for the sketching I do. I picked up the Surface Pro 3 initially because of good reviews I'd seen from artists.
Unlike a Wacom, the stylus needs a (AAAA!) battery, which isn't ideal. And the eraser sucks. (Sometimes mid-stroke it will forget it's using the eraser side and go back to drawing), but the pressure sensitivity and registration with the image are quite nice.
 
@DMGregory with the last laptop I bought (asus), i also bought an additional drive and a windows pro disk, so I could get rid of the bloatware that way ;) had to figure out drivers issues, though...
 
Built in Wacom-lite was another thing I considered during my last upgrade. I don't really enjoy laptops though & don't have a strong need for their main use case, so I stayed in desktop land. And I scored a pretty good buy on a refurbished wacom - I underuse it, but I don't regret the purchase.
 
@DMGregory they fixed that with the newer stylus, though, as I understand; it charges when you hook it to the surface
 
I thought at some point MS started using licensed Wacom stylus tech.
 
6:15 PM
Ooh neat. I still think the Wacom solution is best though. It's entirely passive (some kind of magnetic induction or somesuch I guess?) - I've had the same Wacom stylus in daily use for over a decade with no charging/battery/anything.
I think they did, but maybe the passive version only works for opaque digitizers, not screens.
 
Ah, well that's a bummer. And yes, at least on the Cintiq Pro Pen 2, it uses EMR for charging.
Yeah, I recall driver issues making clean OS installs on a laptop a hassle.
If you were lucky, the default networking drivers were good enough to go online & the vendor had standalone replacement drivers.
I would hope things have gotten better in the last couple decades.
 

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