13" thin and light, Windows competition to M1 MacBook air

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by moon angel, Jun 16, 2021.

  1. moon angel

    moon angel Notebook Virtuoso NBR Reviewer

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    My 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro is now no longer powerful enough for my needs. I have switched to using my gaming laptop for work as I now do my gaming on a desktop, however I would like to investigate the possibility of getting something better suited to work. It needs to have either Ryzen 5/7 4000 or 5000 or 1135G7/65G7/85G7 etc. , with 96EU G7 or Radeon 8 or more preferred. NO SWITCHABLE GRAPHICS. 8 GB of RAM in dual channel is ok, 16 would be good for future proofing. Battery life of 6 hours at least and being small and lightweight, probably 13 inch. Basically the competition for this is a base model MacBook air. I am trying to work out if the kind of windows machine that I want exists in the marketplace for the amount of money I'm prepared to spend. I am well aware of the Apple options so for the purposes of this I'm looking only at Windows laptops.


    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?

    About £1,000 maximum although I would like it to be less.

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    a. Ultraportable; 10" - 12" screen
    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen

    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen

    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?
    UK

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like:
    b. Dislike: thinkpads specifically, other Lenovo fine, no Razer. Can't stand Razer. Never been a fan of the XPS 13 but I would consider one.
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    Yes

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Chrome, office, light gaming occasionally, GoToWebinar full suite by LogMeIn (requires Windows or Mac OS), very light affinity photo, web meetings, zoom Skype etc.

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    Mostly desk with an external monitor but I would appreciate the ability to be moved around more easily than my current 15-inch gaming laptop. I am disabled and heavy items cause me pain to lift so something fairly light weight would be good.

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?)
    Yes, on occasion but nothing very taxing. Examples would be world of Warcraft or Voxel Tycoon, pocket city, all things that can be run on a modern igp. It needs to have either Ryzen 5/7 4000 or 5000 or 1135G7/65G7/85G7 etc. , with 96EU 11th gen G7 or Radeon 8 or more preferred. NO SWITCHABLE GRAPHICS. No Intel 10th gen.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    I'd like to aim for a minimum of 6. Part of the reason I'm doing this is to to be able to work from battery. Further to this something that has as the ability to run at full speed while on battery rather than the performance suffering would make me very happy. The ability to charge from usb-c isn't essential but really is preferred. Basically the competition for this is a base model MacBook air.

    10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?
    Online is fine

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
    I'm well aware of the Apple options so for the purposes of this Windows 10 only. Sadly ChromeOS is out because of work software.

    Screen Specifics

    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? (See further below for explanations.)
    1080p, I would consider higher if everything else is fine. Aspect ratio doesn't bother me at all it could be anything

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.)
    Not too bothered although I require a minimum of 300 nits and I can't stand panels with terrible colour gamut. Don't care in the slightest about high refresh

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    Not really, but I can't stand the gamer aesthetic, also not a fan of silver keyboard on silver deck. I could work with pretty much anything regarding ports, at least one USB A is preferred and a separate monitor output also preferred. Also speakers that aren't completely and totally terrible would be good.

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?
    500gb or the option to upgrade an SSD which I can easily do myself

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity

    16) When are you buying this laptop?
    Within the next few months

    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop?
    If it lasts 7 years like my MacBook Pro did that would be really good. I tend to look after my electronics pretty well so things like aluminium build are not important, I can happily do plastic. However things that have a reputation for running hot or thermal throttling are really not what I want. Cool and quiet.

    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?
    I have other computers and devices so not too much of an issue

    19) Would you be willing to pay significantly extra for on-site warranty, or would it be acceptable to you to have to ship the laptop to the vendor for repair with perhaps a week or more outage?
    Shipping is fine as I said I have spare computers


    EDIT: 14-inch devices these days have very similar size and weight to my old 13-inch MacBook Pro so I have removed the preference for 13 inch. 14 is fine.


    So is there any competition to the MacBook Air from the windows side?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
  2. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    HP Spectre x360, Samsung Galaxy Book Flex or Pro, Surface Laptop 4, Lenovo Yoga 6
     
  3. moon angel

    moon angel Notebook Virtuoso NBR Reviewer

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    EDIT: 14-inch devices these days have very similar size and weight to my old 13-inch MacBook Pro so I have removed the preference for 13 inch. 14 is fine.

    Thanks for the suggestions. HP Spectre x360, Samsung Galaxy Book Flex or Pro are all sadly too expensive in my country. The base model Surface Laptop 4 is out of stock and doesn't offer particularly good value compared to the MacBook Air in my opinion. The Lenovo yoga 6 however looks FANTASTIC and I like the blue and i can get 16GB/1TB within budget. I will definitely be looking further into that one, and the Yoga Slim 7. Also did you mean Envy X360? Also looking at that.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
  4. Vistar Shook

    Vistar Shook Notebook Deity

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    Asus Zenbook 14 and 13 can be relatively cheaper.
     
  5. JRE84

    JRE84 Notebook Virtuoso

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    if your looking for a great display the zen book 13in oled model is cheap and high quality...i saw one at best buy for 800
     
  6. moon angel

    moon angel Notebook Virtuoso NBR Reviewer

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    Thanks for the suggestion, I had two discount Asus for not including a headphone jack.


    After doing all of my research based on some of the comments above and my investigation I ended up buying something with a silver keyboard and discrete graphics! A HP Envy 13 with 1165G7, 16GB and an MX450 and so far I'm very impressed with the performance. Thanks everyone :)

    [​IMG]
     
  7. JRE84

    JRE84 Notebook Virtuoso

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    nice choice that mx450 is a pretty powerful part for such a low voltage, I think its on par with a gtx 1050 should be able to handle 99 percent of all graphics intensive tasks including gaming
     
  8. moon angel

    moon angel Notebook Virtuoso NBR Reviewer

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    Exactly! I was actually incredibly impressed with my game test, after putting the mx450 into high performance mode in the Nvidia control panel and putting the laptop cooling to high performance in hp control centre I was able to get a solid 60fps in the division 2, 1080P 75% scale lowest settings. As a comparison that is better than an RX560X. Very impressive for such a tiny laptop.
     
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  9. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Where did you find it if you don't mind my asking? This would make a great replacement for my aged Yoga 2 Pro.
     
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  10. moon angel

    moon angel Notebook Virtuoso NBR Reviewer

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    I'm not quite sure if I understand the question. If it helps there's a review here:

    https://www.notebookcheck.net/HP-En...ake-and-GeForce-MX450-in-review.540910.0.html

    And there are a few other reviews kicking around although not that many in-depth reviews. It doesn't seem like it's the most popular model in the universe, quite a niche product to have such a small laptop with a dedicated graphics card and I guess that's probably why. Having researched this area of the market quite thoroughly if you want any help pinpointing a replacement for your Yoga 2 feel free to send me a message.
     
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