Best laptop etc for typing experience with Scrivener (for Windows)

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Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:49 pm
Platform: Windows

Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:49 am Post

Hullo. I have a beautiful powerful Windows PC that runs Scrivener and everything else like a dream. Managing homeschooling kids etc however means no sitting at my workstation. Woot first world problems.

Thus I'm looking for suggestions re a mobile experience that allows still using Scrivener and getting to use a nice keyboard, syncing between devices via drop box or whatever works best.

What do you find most comfortable?

I'm open to suggestions. I've been considering the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 or Surface Book 2 or Surface Pro 7 because of the Alcantara covered keyboard that folk like - in the past, the laptops I've used have never felt that nice to rest my hands on. I don't actually know how they feel or how much fun it is balancing the Surface Pro 7 kickstand on your lap, or any of that.

I also don't know how much processing power would be in excess of what Scrivener would run smoothest at.

What kind of device do you prefer to type with? Besides the obvious answer, which is that you almost certainly use an Apple. :P

Why Windows? Well, sensible and valid reasons aside, I grew up in an Apple reseller business and various traumatic political/fleeing-the-country experiences that have nothing to do with Apple itself resulted in a long standing mostly irrational dislike of Apple products.

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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:28 pm
Platform: Windows

Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:20 pm Post

I probably shouldn't laugh, but that last part about fleeing the country struck me as funny.

I am using an HP Envy 360 with the AMD Ryzen processor. Super thin, super light and easy to schlep around.

I also use this laptop for graphics design, with Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher. On top of that I run 3D software on it, specifically MODO 3D. To steal an Apple phrase, it just works. I have never had issues with running slow, bogging down, freezing or anything ese. I just oen it and type.

best part it was on sale at Costco last year for 579.00..... I bought 2.

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Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 7:39 pm
Platform: Windows

Fri May 01, 2020 9:59 am Post

I hope I'm not taking this off-topic, but I recently replaced a 10-year-old Dell that I kept upgrading, with a new Inspiron 15-5593. Now the 5593 is obviously not at the previous poster's price point, but _everything_ in it is user-replaceable, which was a huge bonus for me. I was also able to insert a second SSD in an empty bay.

I didn't get the USB-C version because I would have had to add a docking station (cost plus) to plug in everything I have plugged in. I use an 87-key board and a monitor, among other things, when I'm at my regular workstation. However, when I move it to the kitchen table, or out onto the balcony, that keyboard doesn't move with it. I didn't find the typing on the back-lighted chiclet keyboard too much of a problem, and I'm accustomed to it now. I've never used my lap as a table, so I can't comment on that.

Further off topic and regarding Apple: I was one of the very lucky ones to own an early Apple and Apple ///. I was extremely happy with the adaptability of the models. When the Lisa came out, I jumped on that bandwagon and began designing some software to use on a machine that didn't have any and that, furthermore, had no future prospects of ever having any.

Needless to say, I dumped that barking dog, literally, and moved over to something that had prospects, and never looked back. The moving along was further confirmed when Apple brought out some early model with no user-replaceable components. I think it was a Macintosh, but I could be wrong. Disposable plastic.

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Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:22 pm
Platform: Mac

Fri May 01, 2020 1:40 pm Post

For a while last year I used a Lenovo Thinkpad T440 laptop, which I bought refurbished and guaranteed from Ebay for £100 (about $120?). I put in a new SSD and some extra memory which brought it up to about £160 in all for a laptop made in about 2014, which ran Windows 10 and the Scrivener Betas with no problems at all. Obviously not as quickly as a more recent model, but I never once thought it was too slow[1] for Scrivener.

Thinkpad keyboards are very nice to type on (they're often seen as the best (Windows) laptop keyboard available) and the machines as a whole are very well built, so if you can pick up a more recent model, I think you'll have a very acceptable Scrivener machine for some years to come. There are hundreds of refurbished ex-business Thinkpads on Ebay from reputable resellers (but of course, do your research first...)

[1] As opposed to thinking 'Why the hell is Windows is so frustratingly designed for typing in terms of control modifiers, accents, symbols, configuration etc', which is why I bought another MacBook Air last month... But you don't want a Mac...

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Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:49 pm
Platform: Windows

Mon May 04, 2020 3:01 am Post

Thank you, that's all nice and helpful input. I'll go have a further peek at those models.

And it's fine to laugh, all the more after years have passed, all the more when life takes the path of maximum drama and puts everyone around you through movie style nonsense.

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Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:09 am
Platform: Windows

Tue May 05, 2020 2:06 pm Post

I've been using 2 in 1 devices for a few years, the current one, a Surface Pro 5. Typing wise, the keyboard is fine, as good as any laptop keyboard I've used. At first, using the Surface Pro on the lap felt strange with the kickstand - it only touches in one place, and felt unstable, even though it's not. I've got used to it and in some situations is more stable than a laptop. For instance, pushing the screen back on a laptop may cause it to over balance - however, doing this with the Surface Pro means just pushing the kickstand back, which lowers the center of gravity.

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Daniela Wolfe
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Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:53 pm
Platform: Linux + Windows
Location: Utah

Tue May 05, 2020 3:57 pm Post

Nothing to add save that my Acer Spin sp513-52n two-in-one handles the Scrivener betas really well.
Have a deliciously demented day,