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I am looking to purchase a laptop pc for running Windows 10. I am looking for something that is strong and rugged like the old Thinkpads used to be. Something with a strong and "non-squishy" keyboard.

It would need 16 GB RAM minimum with an SSD driver and at the very least a 14" screen. Any suggestions?

Specs looking for:

  1. i7 processor

  2. 16 GB Ram (32 GB would be awesome)

  3. SSD drive

  4. 14" screen or higher

  5. USB 3.0 ports

  6. Solid build quality

  7. Solid keyboard

P.S. I already have a Macbook Pro which I love, however I would like to have a dedicated Windows machine rather than run a VM or use Boot Camp. I find the 16 GB Max Ram in the Macbook Pro is just not enough to run a Virtual Machine smoothly.

EDIT: Just wanted to post up that I ended up getting a Lenovo Thinkpad P50 and have been very happy with it. I was able to upgrade the RAM to 64 GB. I installed an M-2 SSD drive. Plenty of ports. Nice solid feel. I even purchased a docking station for $200 which gave me additional Display Ports. I currently run two external monitors and the internal display. Runs Visual Studio and SQL Server without issue. I also have installed games like Civ V and Supreme Commander: Forged alliance. They both run great on high detail.

  • by 'non squishy' do you mean the 'classic' thinkpad style keyboard, or a decent chicklet style keyboard? Looking for a general purpose machine or something you can game on? – Journeyman Geek May 3 '16 at 13:41
  • I have nothing against the "chicklet" style keyboard as long as their is no flex. So many of the cheaper designs would have the keyboard bounce and flex. My gold standard is the classic Thinkpad keyboard. – webworm May 3 '16 at 13:43
  • @webworm You can find really similar question with some answers here. Check if it helps you. – ivaan May 4 '16 at 5:40
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    Whats wrong with the current ThinkPads? – Peter Zhu May 6 '16 at 20:29
  • @webworm If there's one answer that particularly helped you here, you can 'accept' it by clicking the checkmark underneath the up/down voting arrows on the left of the post. – ArtOfCode Jun 6 '16 at 16:42
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If money is not the issue, go for a Lenovo P50 which is already mentioned in the previous answer. I have one with Xeon E3-1505, 4k display, Samsung 950 SSD, 16GB RAM (ECC DDR4 and you can have 64GB max), it has a Quadro M2000M Graphics card.

Keyboard quality is beyond any doubt.

But the absolute dream is the cooling of the system. Most of the time the fans stand still. Where the heat goes? I have no idea - maybe it is beamed directly into space.

Jokes aside, I have been a Thinkpad user since 2003 (A31p, Z61p, W500) and have waited over 6 years until Lenovo offered something of "Thinkpad" quality. This is it.

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  • Thank you for your answer. I would have to agree with you. I actually purchased a Thinkpad P50 from an eBay re-seller. It was a refurbished unit and had the Xeon processor and the Quadro M2000M video card. It only came with 8 GB Ram and a 5400 rpm 500 GB hard drive, but the price was $1,300. I upgraded the RAM to 64 GB and installed an M-2 SSD. The keyboard is awesome and it feel very sturdy. – webworm Jun 6 '16 at 16:39
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    What difference in quality are you seeing in now thinkpads and the past ones? – Immortal Player Dec 20 '17 at 3:21
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There are the 2 contenders that I know of:

  • Lenovo ThinkPad P50
  • HP ZBook 15 G3

Both of these machines match the above requirements and more:

  • Up to QHD displays (P50 offers integrated color calibration)
  • Pro graphics
  • 6th gen Intel dual and quad core CPUs (up to XEON)
  • 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports (which also serve as USB 3.1 and video outputs)
  • PCIe X4 SSD drives.

Regarding the keyboard, it's like shoes, you have to try it yourself to see if it fits.

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  • If the ZBook G3 keyboard is the same as the G2, then it may not be very good. I have a G2 and I've noticed keys occasionally aren't registered while I type. A few of the keys will only register if you press them directly in the center, not if you hit them near the edge. – pacoverflow Sep 30 '16 at 17:05

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