I am a PhD student at a university (at a computer science department). Luckily our department got some money for new hardware, and as an alternative two some suggestions by our universities IT-center everyone could choose what he wants (at least in theory).
So, for me I wanted a laptop, which is powerfull enough so I can use it as a desktop pc too (by using a docking station), so in some sense "a one fits it all solution" (as some colleagues want to buy one separate desktop pc, and one laptop for business trips).
The core features I required are the following:
- Small, so I can take it easily with me, like 14" or less,
- Intel i7 Quad-Core (hence no "U"-variant cpu which is mostly found in laptops)
- 32GB RAM (as I am also using virtualisation and my browsing habits always involve quite a lot of open tabs)
- SSD PCIe-NVMe
- Dedicated Graphics cards, like an nVidia
Other points I want it to have (but are willing to take compromises):
- Linux compatiblity
- Support for multiple display (up to three), possible by docking stations
- as this hardware has to work 5 years, a warrantly spanning this time would be desirable
I am working as a theoretical computer scientiest, so in some sense it is difficult to justify that I want a dedicated graphics card (also as all my collegues from my chair are not as picky and just choose the suggestions by the IT-center), but in the past I did some computer graphics programming, and I still enjoy it and want to have the possiblity to do some computer graphics stuff if I want.
Now after extensive research I found four laptops:
1) The Dell Alienware 13 (which could be configured with the required options)
2) XMG P407 An indidvual configurable notebook by Schenker (the P407) in its XMG product line
3) MSI GS43VR 7RE PHANTOM PRO (which came shipped with 16GB, but according to specs could be updated to 32GB)
4) Thinkpad 460p (which could be configured with the required options)
Unfornutely after suggesting options 1) and 2) for me and some colleagues from another chair, I got the feedback that they could not be bought as there is too much "gaming" into them, i.e. it does not make a good impression to buy a gaming laptop for serious business. So option 4) would be left, but this fell out too, as another colleague read something that they have bad build quality, i.e. might get broken soon; and actually I cannot buy this laptop just for me, but we have to be a group of a few persons wanting the same laptop. Also option 3) suffers from being to much "gaming", and actually I had a msi gaming laptop once, which worked fine and I had very good experiences with it; but in the german keyboard layout they switched some keys which drove me crazy while touch typing (as a computer scientist I even use the "unusual" tokens like <,>,| quite often).
So, do you know any other laptops fulfilling my core requirements, but not being marked as a gaming device?
Remark: With Dell and HP hardware a warranty of 5 years would be possible as this company has special contracts with the university, also MSI offers this option and Schenker for 3 years.