As a freelance journalist – or an office worker if you wish – I have always believed that I should regularly buy a new laptop. But older machines offer more quality for much less money.

If you are not interested in modern gaming, photo/video editing or other similar activities he’s right - there’s no need for buyng new laptops.

I love “reviving” old laptops, I started doing it for hobby but later I found those laptops very useful

@whoami@lemmygrad.ml
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yeah anyone interested in gaming will want something more powerful, but I think the author’s overall point is correct. For most of us, buying refurbished computers makes the most sense.

ThinkPad L470 user, 2017, with 12 GB RAM. Replaced battery, HDD and screen recently.

Loaded a 2242 SSD onto this thing recently with Windows 10 Ameliorated (spyware and telemetry removed), while Ubuntu 22.04 LTS on HDD stays the default boot. This machine is a banger, the last with removable hot swap battery and VGA port.

Edit: someone reported my comment as spam lol

@whoami@lemmygrad.ml
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a couple of posts have been downvoted and I don’t see the logic lol

Linux is definitely the way with older hardware. It’s the way no mater what, but definitely the way with old hardware. Windows is such shit. I’m not moving past ten even as a secondary os

@whoami@lemmygrad.ml
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I haven’t used windows as a daily driver since XP. I used 7 briefly for a class I was taking, but it’s been all linux/bsd since then. Every time I try a new windows version I can’t stand it lol

I think they bring up some important points, but I feel like gaming wasn’t really talked about in this which is one of the use cases for these newer, more powerful laptops.

Computers games have existed for decades.

There is no need for a recent computer to have fun, games don’t become obsoletes over time.

there’s also that popular meme of an R7, 3090, 64Gb machine playing low resource hungry games. It’s like buying a flashy sports car to drive 30mph to work and back.

@whoami@lemmygrad.ml
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agreed, but as popular as gaming is, I feel like most people’s use case means that getting the most out of their computers and replacing them with used ones is probably best

he’s right, we’ve seen very little innovation in this area for a decade… maybe except for apple that had to drop intel in order to advance in the processor segment

@whoami@lemmygrad.ml
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apples newest chips are definitely an innovation. I’m interested to see how ARM devices progress in the next few years

art
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I’ve been a long time proponent of used Thinkpads. They’re cheap and powerful. My current daily driver is the X1 Carbon from 2018. It’s more than fast enough for my day job.

@whoami@lemmygrad.ml
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nice; I’ve been considering an X1 for a while now…I have no idea why you were downvoted haha

@Zerush@lemmy.ml
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I think that this depends on many factors, in the first line of the activity of each one. Gaming aside, which is also not a decisive factor if you do not want to play next-generation games. But there are other activities and professions related to graphic design, 3D design, photographer, artists, for example, that are not so recommended to be carried out on an old device. However, for a journalist, office worker, student, etc., if he only uses the PC/Laptop for this activity, a device of any range and age is practically enough, as long as it has a good connection to the network.

even that i’m not surz it’s true. You can do creative work on an old laptop.

I edit -somewhat regularly- video or images on my 11 yo laptop.

4k editing doesn’t work of course and export takes a while. It’s just about accepting limitations and working with and around it.

Yes, of course you can do this work up to a certain point on an old laptop, if it has a half decent graphics card, if you work with 3D Ray-tracing, you can die while it’s rendering, if not.

I think the main discussion here is: what added value does something like 3D Ray-tracing (or any new flashy tech) brings to the table? is it worth the human and environmental cost of upgrading your GPU or is it just a nice gimmick.

What I am referring to is that for personal use an old PC or laptop can naturally be used, depending on what you intend to do with it, but in the professional field things change. A professional needs a device to match to be able to do their job well. Naturally, for most people a PC or laptop will suffice and they will use it until it stops working or where they replace the necessary components. I think the biggest problem is fewer laptops or PCs, which are normally used for a long time, before replacing them, the plague for the environment is the people who buy a new smartphone of the latest model every six months, despite the fact that the old one can still work for many years offering the same services as the new ones, which are mostly used the same for WhatsApp, CandyCrush and taking selfies.

@ree@lemmy.ml
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Professional work don’t necessarily means having the new shiny gadget. Computer have been used for creative works in all fields since decades.

Smartphones are also fashion goods, so there are indeed other logics at play.

Imo the issues with smartphones are their limited reparability and general fragility. Also if your phone is not supported by a custom os you’re quickly stuck update wise.

I have just bought a new low-end smartphone, because the previous one has stopped working after almost 6 years, also low-end. Of course they are more fragile devices and more prone to theft, but having a little care can last several years.

Naturally, a Professional can also work for many years with the PC or laptop he uses, but it would certainly not be a low-end one and surely at the end of the device’s life, he will not buy a used one. It’s like in all professions, to do a good job you need good tools. For an individual, it does not matter how much your PC needs to render an image, but for a designer, who has to deliver the work to a fixed term, quality and time can be decisive.

Ho yes. My phone is almost 9 year old. But I feel it significantly more than my laptop. The only reason it’s usable is because I don’t have google services and the only resource heavy app I run are two messaging apps. (5 years ago google maps was already struggling)

I wonder the difference in environmental impact between a 300€ laptop and a 2500€ one. Btw, the only time I’ve worked with a graphic designer, she had a 9yo thinkpad and was running open source software.

I think there are a small group of professionals that need to run intensive software. I think the article is getting at longevity and modularity. If you buy a computer you should expect a decade of use out of it. If it was able to do the job when you bought it it should still be able to do the same work. Core software becomes so bloated that it creates arricificial obsolescence. Hardware is poorly made so that it takes a similar social cost as something that would have lasted a decade but breaks within the year. Manufactures needlessly change compatibility like intel having a new chipset every year. For what?

The major thesis of the article is that everything’s shit; stop buying shiney shit, or something along those lines. The author isn’t necessarily condemning professionals who make the exception. He’s condemning poor manufacturing and software engineering, and the predatory consumerist trap imposed on the end-user.

Agree, yes there is a lot of programmed obsolence in the software and OS. A lot of current soft not longer work on 32bit systems or in OS which do so. That means that some old PC don’t work anymore with current soft, leaving the choice of doing the job with outdated software that has neither the functionality nor the quality of the results. You cannot get the same results with a graphics program from 15 years ago, as with the current version. In other words, an individual can use even an old Pentium with some light Linux distro, if he uses it exclusively for some office or study work, but he can forget about the device if he needs something more complete and better, or he need to search the internet safely, when even current web pages already exceed the resources offered by the PC. It is certainly not necessary for the PC to be one of NASA to do a good job, but only up to a certain limit and always depending on what it is used for. It cannot be globalized that a used laptop is enough, for some it can work, for others it cannot.

@lxvi @Zerush I think only very few professional categories really need an high-profile laptop to do their job… I’m thinking about designers, graphic and video-editing professionals, (some kind of) musicians and some kind of programmers. I can’t think other categories

@whoami@lemmygrad.ml
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yeah I agree, but I think that touches on the point the author made. Most of us don’t need brand new machines with the most high gpu etc…for the basic things most people do, a used machine will work just fine. My daily driver is a 10 year thinkpad

Lenovo is hot garbage. Always has been.

@whoami@lemmygrad.ml
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why?

krolden
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I’ll buy a new laptop jusy for a ryzen mobile chip with USB4

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