I'm switching back to Linux
After trying a few different distros to see what's changed in the scene, I ended up going with Manjaro (derived from Arch Linux) using the KDE Plasma desktop environment.
Plasma has better UI scaling than Gnome, and after a little bit of configuration you can get touchscreen gestures (i.e. scrolling) to work.
In switching to Linux, it also made sense to switch to a non-Apple PC, and after a month of soul searching and spec hunting, I found what must be the best value laptop I've ever seen: the HP Envy x360 13-ay line; mine is with the Ryzen 7 4800U APU and 16GB of RAM.
It's more powerful than my old $3k MacBook Pro 16" at $999. While the touchpad is not as good as the MacBook, with tap to click it is passable; the keyboard is also a bit better, and it comes with a touchscreen and supports pen input. The main compromise is the screen; which had a 400nit option that was sold out by the time I ended up buying it. Lastly, the battery life seems to be nearly double the MacBook at half the weight.
Windows laptops can be a mixed bag, but this one's a beaut.
I've also built myself a Workstation PC to do my serious work; as I'm looking to try some neural network training and improving my machine learning skills. Here's the specs:
- Threadripper 3970X
- RTX 3090
- 64GB RAM @ 3200Hz
- 1TB NVMe SSD
The 3090 is far more expensive than I'd like - except I am looking to work on models that may need more than 10GB of VRAM. Anyway - it's almost quick enough to run two tabs of Chrome with Slack open, so it's a bit of a beast.