Okay. Thank you.
Disclaimer: I am a developer/student and this post will be a biased on it…
(Windows only utility is Office, nothing else .....a VM will suffice!)
I am also in search of a machine. My Hp Envy died …I think it was as a result of a botched BIOS update(probably spectre patches) from HP and their driver assistant that automatically downloads updates for drivers and installs them …
I’ll try to mention a few laptops that have caught my eye …
Anyway there are some OEMS that I can’t and will never touch HP being one of them …they have a lot of skus for their laptops …there was a variant that had a touchscreen for my model, others that lacked fingerprint sensors, mine with the the dreaded 1366 x 768 resolution and others with energy star qualification to name a few…
Looking up drivers is a nightmare on their website … And it’s not just drivers, getting parts is also an issue …Yes I admit that the laptop that i was sold by
Saruk was not
new but a refurb but even getting parts is a hustle for a 2014 machine … I can’t get a motherboard for my current fried laptop anywhere thats legit …
General 2 in 1s vs traditional - I am meh for the 2 in 1s …If you am going to use it as a tablet it will be for leisure and it better not be heavy …then if it’s not heavy does that indicate it’s underpowered or the battery life really sucks?
Microsoft laptops - The surface Go and Pro looks like a good travel companion …the surface laptop looks like meh to me and the surface books are literally the MacBooks of windows …And also the likely lack of support from MSFT in providing Linux driver blobs for WIFi, trackpad etc
Lenovo laptops - maybe, trusty machine with a
realkeyboard and also hardy …though the issue of them bundling in spy-ware from 2015 drops them in my list …
Acer - Have heard good things , only heard not seen …
Asus - Haven’t had experience with but I have seen pretty bad plastic tops peeling/falling off …though I see the current design is metallic …how durable? …repairs??
Razer - Seems to me like a wannabe MacBook Pro for windows …Their pricing to value is also close to MacBooks …I don’t care about Windows
Samsung - ??
HP - You already know my sentiment not to mention the absurd poor build quality and lack of strength of the hinges …
Dell - Can vouch for the XPS line. Appealing to me especially the 9360/9370 for a light companion or the 9560/9570 with Nvidia 1050 or 1050ti’s …and the support for Ubuntu out of the box … I also like that you can DIY repair your them for the less technical stuff
Huawei - Their Matebook x pro looks nice for aesthetics … fan is small, looks like a non-performer …repairs? Looks more friendly than the MacBooks …
MacBooks General - a love/hate affair … The keyboard issues that you can see from forums and Youtube videos. Opportunity to develop for iOS is limited to an iMac but not a portable solution or an old MacBook pro from 2015 that can be hard to come by(from trusted sources) …Not to say the shallow travel of the keys even though I haven’t tried them … The blatant user unfriendliness by Apple to the end user on accessing the guts . The uncertainty of quality/speedy repairs in Kenya. Also I see the do us part more likely than growing old together …
I’ll vouch for Bestsellers. Last year I bought an ex-Japan Thinkpad with some epic specs for a throwaway price.
You can always find a good deal there.
bought a cpu from them 2 years ago, still working
Mine is metallic. Only the bottom layer is plastic. Solid device. Napanguza kiasi unathania ni mpya. It’s 4-years now na haijui fundi ni nini. But kabla mwaka iishe itageuka toy as I upgrade.
Asus have good products btw,its just that when the product gets damaged or is not working one has a really hard time getting the product serviced unlike HP or Dell products.
A dream machine would be a series (yes, series) of spec’d out Alienware Computers - Esp the Area 51 series. Listing their prices here is discouraging plus anyone who knows about them knows the price.
To my knowledge, @martingicheru does not game, so productivity it is. My first suggestion would be getting a 13 inch Macbook Pro 2017 edition (2018 has enough problems with throttled chips) and perform the following basics:
Download the latest macOS and do a CLEAN install - can be achieved by downloading to a USB stick and booting from startup.
COnfigure bootcamp so you can dual boot Windows - bootcamp will handle ALL the necessary drivers, you don’t need to search for anything.
Above is my current setup, together with a HP Envy 14 I’ve had for a long long time. I’ve used a mac for 5 years now but dual booting has greatly improved my experience with the Apple brand. Windows 10 runs smoother than macOS in my experience. A downside is I was getting 10+ hours battery life doing basic tasks like browsing or proposal writing while on OSX (then macOS), now I get max of 5 on windows, down from the 6 of 2016.
A Macbook at Diamond Plaza starts at 140K, higher depending on your spec, but they are new - still sealed in their box - with complete warranty. Alternatively, you could buy online via the Apple Store or Amazon and have it shipped to a US address, configurable at https://www.savostore.com. You get a US address and they ship your purchases to Kenya every Wednesday starting at $15 a KG. Used them before and highly recommend. There are cheaper services if you search, but I haven’t used them. Plus if you’re spending 150K+, a 1-3% shipping fee should not be an issue for you.
To get increased productivity, I would recommend getting an external graphics enclosure like the Razer Core - https://www.razer.com/gaming-laptops/razer-core-v2. It’s mobile and highly upgradable. You won’t have to worry about GPU upgrades since you can just swap the card for a new one - unlike those soldered graphics cards & NVMe chips on newer laptops. Now you can stay ultra slim and still get the performance you need. Just make sure your slip laptop has a USB C port to spare, for best I/O performance.
Buying a machine locally is the best option. Get someone who imports and buy from them, any issues you have a local seller to follow up with.
Plenty of diehard windows users who are programmers have moved to a Mac environment and sing praises everyday. I do not advise going mac only, as windows still has tools and services that a DIY/Aspiring ‘Hacker’ would benefit from. Then there’s the issue of programs on Mac that aren’t as quickly optimized for their OS as on Windows, plus have you tried accessing the internals of a mobile phone using a Mac? Spoiler: Nightmare!
NO! Not for me. Bought & Sent people there. 4/5 of my experiences were unwelcoming while the other people just brought me complaints. I guess there is a risk with buying ex-uk hardware but I will not be going back there or recommending it to anyone.
- Always think he knows more than you/knows what’s best for you
- A lot of effort spent selling you hardware you’ve told him you don’t want or convincing you the hardware works when it doesn’t.
- Rushes the testing phase and when you complain, says he has other customers so needs to hurry
- Will refuse to replace/refund your purchase if you experience an issue even if you return it within hours of purchase.
I haven’t used Asus, Huawei X, Microsoft Surface, or Razer enough to make recommendations. Samsung is super light but can be bothersome getting drivers.
Your observations regarding Irungu Bestsella ni ukweli mtupu That guy sometimes pushes things hata kama unajua kile unataka.
Very true, ata akishajua you are a tech savvy guy bado anainsist. Anashindaga amehubiri kuhusu ssd.
Hehehe he’s a fast talker that one i agree, infact that is the first thing you notice the moment you step into his shop and find him selling a machine to another customer. I always go there with a mindset that Irungu ako biashara you just have to stand your ground and purchase what you came in for and be pretty thorough about it before walking out. Huyo msee ametoka mbali and were it not for his aggressive nature he wouldn’t be where he is. Sio kumtetea but (this applies to me) i like going head to head with a seller about a particular product and Irush just does that pretty well albeit chocha kadhaa, hey its business, you just have to see through it. I still buy from him to date.
hehehe hii ni ukweli and i dont see any problem with it, he gives his clients the pros SSD has over HDD alot but at the end of the day the decision still remains with you, if the customer came in with a HDD Laptop in mind then just insist on it and Irush will sell the HDD to you, hiyo ni pesa pia hatakataa.
As for my clients who want laptops and are not techsavvy i always go to Irush myself.
I always tell my siblings that one man’s meat is another man’s poison. People do have different tastes when it comes to products and services.
Personally, I can’t go for anything ex-UK, ex-US, ex-Japan, or ex-Worldwide. Kwanza laptops mtu amevunjiwa nyumba or imeibiwa campus and ends up in a shelf in a different town being advertised as ex-somehere or factory refurbished.
There was a time at Moi University Eldoret theft of laptops was rampant. The guys set a trap and caught the thief. He took them to a dealer in Eldoret who brought them to Nairobi where those laptops are sold as factory refurbished.
Anyway kama ni truely ex-somewhere, hehe imagine what can make someone sell/dispose a laptop kama 50:50 ni mashinda tupu and need to upgrade.
If they work for you well and good but it’s not advisable.
I share the same concerns as you that’s why personally when i shop around for Ex-Uk/Japan laptops i always look for a shop that meet certain criteria to distinguish genuine from unscrupulous shops. Below are two main criteria among many:-
1. Shop sells them in bulk
The laptops sold must have atleast 10 pieces of the same brand/model in stock. That way when you finally settle on a particular laptop brand/model you want, you get to choose one in good condition physically with minimal to no scratches/dents. A redflag is where a seller has different laptops zikiwa moja moja of different brands na hakuna ile inafanana. Hizo zimeibiwa
2. Ex-Uk/Japan machines always ship in blank. No OS installed
Unless the seller has alot of time on his hands to install an OS on 100 pieces he/she ships in, which is highly unlikely, the machine is supposed to boot up blank. Those machines that boot up with an OS installed is a definite red flag. Serious Ex-Uk/Japan shops dont just preinstall an OS unless you ask for it or do it as an after sales service.
There are really good refurb deals that provide an extended warranty for like 1 yr or so e.g Apple’s refurb/clearance store https://www.apple.com/shop/browse/home/specialdeals/mac …You can literally be eying up a deal today and tomorrow its already gone …
The only issue that comes to mind is redeeming warranties as you will have to foot the bill in sending the item back to most likely the country of purchase …
I would like to know the experience of guys that have the MacBook nothing(12 inch), MacBook pro 13" and 15" (2016 onwards) on their keyboard experience, issues(sticky keys) and if it has/is broken …Worried about the dust in Kenya …
These are great observations. People will find it useful - me included.
If it’s directly from the manufacturer then no problem at least you know whom to follow when issues arise.
You can import if need be. Like I have said, people share different tastes. 4 years ago it was hectic finding a laptop with a great design and of premium built quality at a bargain.
The exact Laptop that I wanted was the Asus V500 or the S500. Of all laptop shops, I did find the V500 at Ebrahims but the price was a ripoff given that hizo shops hawalipagi tax. Kama unataka ETR unakua billed accordingly.
So I decided to ask a friend in Dubai to check. Alitembea Malls kama zote akakosa. The pricing was great for laptops and they came with a lot of goodies. Free copy of KAS, wireless mouse+wireless headphones.
Nile nilikua tu choosy otherwise I could have settled for one. I later on hopped around Ebay and found a U.S seller but he only shipped in the U.S.
I managed to convince him and paid for USPS. 2.5 Days later the machine was ready for pick up from Posta. Still using the machine now.
Windows on a Mac is a proper PITA. You severely limit yourself on both battery life and the full features of the trackpad. From my own experience, on Windows display and audio drivers would play up sometimes and you are stuck with limited manufacturer support.
That’s perfectly reasonable. Individual experiences with those downtown guys is pretty much hit or miss.
Go older (2015) or get a mid 2018 (the current update). Apple refuse to publicly admit it but the keyboards were prone to failure and difficult to repair.
APPLE VS. WINDOWS
Comments are ridiculous
This video is amazing…
Yes, I can’t buy a new Macbook, I’d easily buy an XPS 13 and a well spec-ed Lenovo as a second laptop before I go that direction.
the only reason i would ever think of buying a Macbook Air or Pro is to impress otherwise,for utility purposes i stick to Windows PCs which can also be configured to run other OSs like the Linux ones plus there are more affordable and better laptop designs/builds by competitors like ASUS,Dell,Lenovo and HP…heck even Xiaomi have a highend notebook that runs Windows…