Purchased my first computer in 1992. A Dell “Viper” desktop that cost me over $4,000+++. Had  something like a 486 DX2 in it (one just before first Pentium)…a “huge” 200 MB or so drive and the extra ram was a small fortune (4-8 total & I forget now). Thing survived newbie me, and two lightning strikes. Rebuilt it years later and gave it to two new Cuban immigrant kids. Best OEM computer I ever bought.

Build my own now, except for laptops ‘n Chromebooks. Speaking of Chromebooks, I just don’t care to spend the time totally learning the Chrome OS…great little OS, but I have focused on their CloudReady Linux OS for the future. See the ‘Chromebooks’ page for more info…see ’Sam’ the converted Chromebook – ‘How to turn a $314.57 Chromebook into a Fedora Linux Laptop/Tablet/Sketchbook’.

Sorry, Linux ‘n Chrome OS, but my main laptop needs to be a Windows machine, and ‘Ace the Laptopis was just too big for what I want or need. As a dual-booter of CloudReady Linux ‘n Fedora Linux, ’Sam’ can be my backup laptop, but it is just not a Window’s computer. I’ll give ‘Ace the Laptop’ & HP 14” ‘Chromebook’ to one of my brother’s sons or grandkids, when I get a new laptop.


Search for a New Windows 11 Laptop

One ‘Thang about my ‘Chromebooks’ tests ‘n $650+- experiment (will keep $314.57 converted Chromebook) , I was able to finally figure out what I needed in a laptop PC! ‘Ace the Laptop’ set in a case, under a shelf, over in a very remote corner of my hut for a reason…it was just too big. Footprint (15” x 12.2”) was too big, weight (4.63 lbs) was too much for easy use ‘n portability, and #2 reason I’ll give it away – can’t be upgraded to Windows 11, apparently.

UPDATE: Reason #3 – was removing Office 2007 from Ace the Laptop‘ ‘n preparing to do a clean installation since I was going to give it away. Discovered the keyboard had stopped working see: ‘Baby Sledge’ 3/15/2021 post when keyboard stopped first time. Disassembled ‘n gave a brief try to fix it again wid no luck. Threw entire contents into a trash bag ‘n then threw that into the outside garbage can. That was the first ‘n last Acer product I’ll ever buy.

The HP 14” ‘Chromebook’ footprint was also a tad too big @ 12.75+-“ x 8.75+-“ & the 3.2 lbs was a tad heavy also. Excellent Chromebook, but 12.2” Samsung wid a 11.34″ x 8.19″ footprint was easy to squeeze into any work area I needed, but it is still a tad heavy @ 2.93 lbs tho, IMHO.

Laptops seem to be more about personal choices than a desktop, IMHO. Hey, a 17.3” lappy might be just right for many, but useless for me.

Have built my own desktop PC’s since 2002-2006, and have been planning on building at least part of any new future laptop purchase…


Barebone Laptops

My earlier desktop builds were done wid barebones…usually a case wid a MoBo in it, and maybe a power supply already installed also. I was now looking for something like that for a laptop.

Estimated custom build price of $1,026.00 was higher than I expected, but it has a *SUPER* great 13.5” 3:2 2256×1504, 100% sRGB color gamut, and 400 nit rated display. Microsoft Surface Book uses one like it. 11.67” X 9.01” footprint weighing in @ 2.86 lbs. Good size! Has a backlit keyboard, which is a new option I like in all ‘Keyboards’ now!

Was very close to ordering it, until seeing this: “Concept is reliant on long-term company support” and this “Extremely new company—no long-haul support track record yet.” Couple other reviews also mention them being a new company.

Yeah, lappies can already be problematic, and Framework Laptop is still a new company requiring pre-orders. Especially concerning, at a $1,026.00 price, after the Acer keyboard troubles (had barely used it).

Professional Notebook Manufacturer

Established in 1983, CLEVO is the leading ODM/OEM manufacturer specializing in hardware solutions for notebooks, tablets and All-in-One PCs. Customer satisfaction is always our number one priority. Our pioneering R&D team is committed to the building of a superior future.  Our long experience in the field, professionalism, manufacturing expertise and the most complete product line in the industry seal our reputation for being the premier hardware partner for worldwide OEMs. CLEVO offers complete solutions for global ODM/OEM partners.

List of companies who use them: AVD (Denmark), Digital Storm (USA), Entroware (UK), Eurocom (Canada), Gigabyte (Taiwan), Hasee (Chinese Mainland), HIDevolution (USA), Hyperbook (Poland), Maingear (USA), Metabox (Australia), MSI (Taiwan), Multicom (Norway), Mythlogic (USA), Sager (USA), Schenker (Germany), Shark gaming (Denmark), SHS Computer (Belgium), Slimbook (Spain), Station X (UK), System76 (Colorado), Terrans Force (Chinese Mainland), ThinkPenguin (New Hampshire), Tuxedo Computers (Germany), VantPC (Spain), Xidax (USA), Xotic PC (USA).

Am checking out the SAGER NP3641Z (CLEVO NV41MZ):

$964.18 after some customizing. Screen Size / Type: 14” Full HD Wide View Angle, 72% NTSC Display, Matte Finished   Resolution / Ratio: 1920×1080 16:9. Haven’t found any info on Display nits!?

Nit picking

Brightness is important for mobile devices like laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Most devices have a glossy display to enhance contrast, but the gloss makes reflections an issue in bright rooms or outdoors. These reflections can only be defeated by a bright display.

The nit is the standard unit of luminance used to describe various sources of light. A higher rating means a brighter display. Displays for laptops and mobile devices are usually between 200 and 300 nits on average. A rating over 300 nits is solid and a rating above 500 nits is extremely good. Only a few devices can put out that much light, though as HDR and OLED laptops become more common, that’s changing.

I hate having to dig thru link after link for spec information which should be readily available. Leaves me in doubt about the product. CLEVO’s own site for the NV41MZ didn’t list it either!? More on that lack of easy product information later in this post. Also, do products have free shipping, etc. should be listed upfront instead of at the checkout, IMHO. What is the footprint ‘n weight?! Give me Easy Info!  😉

$919.00 wid customizing…I made it 16 GB memory on all searches, and drives from 250-500 GB depending what they are offering. If Samsung is offered, I go for it!

R&J had footprint of 12.79″ (w) x 8.86″ (d) listed in bottom specs, and a 3.1 lbs weight. I haven’t found any CLEVO 13” FHD displays yet, and the NV41MZ is 14” is probably just too big for me.

I may check for some more barebones, but they are all over the $5-700 I was hoping to find, so I’m going to check some known laptop OEMs now.


OEM Major brand Laptops

1) Enter Asus ZenBook:

$1,099.99 for the – ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim Laptop, 13.3” OLED FHD NanoEdge Bezel Display, Intel Core i7-1165G7, 16GB LPDDR4X RAM, 512GB SSD, NumberPad, Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi 6, AI noise-cancellation, UX325EA-XS74. Claims to be thinnest laptop, wid 12.0″ x 8.0″ x 0.5″ footprint, and a light 2.4 lbs.

This is only my second look at this great looking deal! They are out, and I might not wait, even in no rush. $1,202 @ Newegg (that price jumped over $200 overnight). Available at a couple sites for $1,300. Backlit keyboard. No info on whether the display is touch or not…I don’t want touch, and it usually says if it is a touch display. This is looking real good. Why buy a barebones wid this kind of competition on components ‘n prices?

Yes, ram is soldered, but I’m fine wid that since it has 1 year warranty…soldered ram is reliable ‘n long term safe. Barebones have ram slots, but…

HP is selling Windows 11 laptops for shipping on 10/22/2021, and they are the only ones I have found doing it right now.

$739.99 HP ENVY Laptop – 13t-ba100 wid no-touch & Intel® Core™ i5-1135G7 (up to 4.2 GHz, 8 MB L3 cache, 4 cores) + 16 GB (onboard) +Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics:

$889.99 for HP ENVY Laptop – 13t-ba100 wid no-touch & Intel® Core™ i7-1165G7 (up to 4.7 GHz, 12 MB L3 cache, 4 cores) + 16 GB (onboard) + Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics:

Found those on DealNews several days ago wid a code that lowers price by about $32, but that may expire before I ordered it.

Footprint is 12.07” x 7.66” & weight is 2.88 lbs. Haven’t found the Display nits tho!? Possibly 250 nits, but not stated.

HP is either very busy or their website is slow/down, and they are also out of stock, i.e. the 13” & 14” Spectre?!

This is my 3rd or 4th day searching, and I am worn out. Looks like the cheapest price for what I’m looking for is around $740 before a .07 tax or any shipping costs are added in. Above my hopes for a $5-700 total cost for new Windows 10/11 laptop.

Dell is a complete package website, e.g. easy information on products, added product information, lot of products, probably best computer service support around, component sales, etc. I still occasionally buy computer components from their Store. Other OEM computer builders may offer an equal product, but they start falling behind from that point, IMHO. I’ve had problems wid Asus product support in the past, don’t really know how the HP support is, but their Chromebooks are built excellent!

I’ll willingly pay extra for a product from a complete package website!

OK…barebones are out for me at this point. Asus ZenBook was an incredible product, even at the available $1,200-1,300 price ($1,099.99 “Temporarily Sold Out”). HP offered prices from $702-890 for great looking products…lowest prices.

Have to admit, I’ve lusted for the Dell XPS for years. Seems to have been rated a #1 Laptop for years also.

Hold on a sec:

The offer I had been looking at had changed since yesterday…the new offer had a 17% savings code. Anyway, had some money saved since no plans for a new build right now, and should be able to pay off all by 2nd week in October this year. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than I wanted to pay, but Dell had all the info (and more!) I was looking for, and was a easy website to search ‘n work in.

They also offered better choices:

  • 11th Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-1185G7 Processor (12MB Cache, up to 4.8 GHz)
  • 16GB 4267MHz LPDDR4x Memory Onboard
  • Black Backlit English Keyboard with Fingerprint Reader (don’t care for a Fingerprint Reader)
  • 13.4″ FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit Display (I like the 1920×1200 display – same size as Samsung converted $314.57 Chromebook. Non-touch wid 500-Nit display!)
  • 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive
  • Height: 0.62″ (15.8 mm) – Width: 11.9″ (302 mm) –  Depth: 7.8″ (199 mm) – Weight: Starting at 2.6 lbs (1.16 kg) non-touch, 2.7 lbs (1.23 kg) touch*
  • Voice-activated: Your XPS 13 responds to your voice from up to 14 feet away, thanks to four built-in mics, Microsoft Cortana and Waves-enabled speech technology. Control playlists and access schedules regardless of background noise.
  • Leading-edge connectivity: The Thunderbolt™ 4 multi-use Type-C ports allow you to charge your laptop, connect to multiple devices (including support for up to two 4K displays) and enjoy data transfers up to 40Gbps—8 times that of a USB 3.0.*

Other laptops had big price jumps for the Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-1185G7, and memory was inferior to the Dell’s 4267MHz offer. Love this display!!!!

 Oh, note the “Item Number” next to each item…start by doing it correctly from the beginning, and everything is easier to do later. So easy to search Dell’s components & accessories pages.

Wanted Windows 11, but the Windows 10 will upgrade to it quick ‘n easy.

Have a full year’s Dell warranty, so am not going to be changing anything or deleting stuff, i.e. am leaving this expensive Dell Laptop in Dell’s experienced hands!  😉



Was planning on at least a 2-part Laptop Shopping series, but time was right, and Orca provided the extra motivation by ‘Putting your Money where your Mouth is!‘  😉

The HP’s at lower prices were tempting, but Dell’s complete package offering – from website navigation to ease of information searching to past experiences wid Dell to XPS product history to better component offerings to etcetera etcetera etcetera made the decision easier than I had expected.

Have made many of my Blog decisions here based on lower costs, so this was a new move for me.

Time was Right!   

 LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!