Best Bank for the Buck Laptop for home use

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by BOOSTEDP4, Aug 27, 2021.

  1. BOOSTEDP4

    BOOSTEDP4 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi, I'm looking for more processing power since my good ole Asus x202e is a little dated since I bought it in 2011. I upgraded it to an EVO 840 256GB and a faster wireless which made it much more tolerable and able to actually play videos , etc. However, with only 4GB of memory and an old i3 processor it's lacking the power to have an enjoyable computing experience. I have it setup as Dual boot and my Linux actually runs pretty good.

    I'm currently seriously considering buying this Laptop that's on sale on HP's website for $579 which it says it usually cost $799.

    HP Pavilion Laptop - 15t-eg000 - LINK

    I would probably add in a few extras to upgrade it to 512 NVMe M2 storage which would add $70 and an additional 8 GB of memory for $90 which brings my total to $740. Still seems like good "bang for the buck" with the 11th Gen Intel i7-1165G7.

    My current Price target is in the $600 to $800 range.

    I haven't had a chance to look into many other laptops but this one really caught my eye since it comes in a few different colors like "Fog Blue" and "Forest Teal". I would prefer that over Natural silver. However, it says it wouldn't ship until 10/13/21 which is a ways off! I want to be able to upgrade to Windows 11 so that should not be an issue based on my research since this comes with an 11th Gen Intel i7. I also heard it's a free upgrade going from Win10 to Win11?

    The only thing I don't care for are touch pads. I actually prefer a mouse pointer in the middle of the keyboard like Lenovo's rather than the Tracking Pads! But that's not a big issue since I'll be typically using this at home with an external mouse. I've never owned or used an HP laptop that I can recall since most my jobs I've had issued Dells or Lenovo's. I'm actually a pretty big Dell fan boy but when I briefly looked at Dells website a comparable priced Dell I noticed was Inspiron 14 Laptop but It's only an I3 vs I7 on HP.

    Here's the similar price Dell Inspiron 14 Laptop for $570. LINK

    I don't really Game anymore so that's not a concern. I want something that will multitask really well and play videos while hooked upto my RPTV (Old_School) TV via HDMI. I wouldn't mind possibly doing some tinkering with vSphere virtualization with this and that's why I'm thinking of opting for the 16 GB. However, $90 for 16 GB seems like a pricey upgrade but would probably be worth the extra overhead for Multitasking / Virtualization.

    I was also eyeing the Microsoft Surface which looks really cool but I don't think I would have much of a need for the tablet function and you need to purchase the keyboard separately on those. They do look really cool though.

    Part of the reason I'm thinking these 3 is because I have small investments in Dell, HP and MS. My Dell and MS investments are doing really well while my HPQ has not gained any value yet. It's good to buy what you invest in I suppose.

    I appreciate any input since I'm planning on purchasing really soon. I just want more power to enjoy my computing experience more. I also intend on doing Dual Boot since I'm a big Linux fan.

    Here's a list of Top 2021 Laptops for Every Budget but most these are out of my range. They do look pretty nice though. Especially the HP Spectre x360 in Black and Gold! LINK

    Appreciate any input.
     
  2. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    1TB NVME - $100-130 (better durability / warranty w/ higher capacity drives)
    32GB of RAM - $80-90 (typically cheaper than vendor installed options)
    AX210 WIFI - $25 (more stable than the options listed and 6E capable)

    I would figure out which CPU you want to go with and the GPU requirements you're looking for if gaming at all since you can't change these in most cases w/o getting another laptop all together.

    Not really. It's more of picking the least worst option when it comes to PC's when you limit your choices to these 2 OEM's. If I had 2 choices it would be the Dell. Taking the blinders off though it wouldn't be either of them. Having dealt with IT dept's over the years they pick things based on the price / warranty / on site support contracts. Home use / enthusiast need to take into account other things than 500 units with the same configurations.

    For VM/s and such 32GB would be more ideal as noted above. HDMI isn't a big deal these days as most laptops have them and if not you get a dock for ~$30 and hook it up to USB instead or put the TV onto your network with a Google Chromecast for $50 and bypass the cable entirely.

    For VM's though you want a higher core count on the CPU if you don't want them to crawl while open. Most of the time the host system holds 50% of the cores for itself and then the rest can be allocated to the VM as needed.

    This ties in more so w/ the VM thing above since you're not gaming this would give you more leverage on the HW/performance side running the host as linux and everything else in a VM. I would skip the dual boot unless there's something you're suing in windows by force / frequently.

    By dropping to linux you won't be constrained by the new Windows 11 requirements for TPM/9th gen CPU and newer. This frees up some cash for HW upgrades if desired. Anything in the last couple of years will be an improvement over your 2011 machine. From the sounds of it though a 9th gen Intel would be sufficient and allow for Windows 11 if it's necessary / desired in the future. If you are open to a no name compared to the big OEM's look into Clevo / Sager as they're considerably cheaper than the well marketed brands. I picked up a I7-9750H based unit on ebay for $740 shipped and then loaded it up with upgrades on the cheap.
     
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  3. Rokobo

    Rokobo Notebook Enthusiast

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    Either one. Did the OP even mentioned VM anything?
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021
  4. kojack

    kojack Notebook Prophet

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    OP, I have the 2 in 1 brother to the dell you are looking at. I love mine. It's a great, well built laptop for doing anything except gaming. It will still do it, just not at silly FPS.
     
  5. N2ishun

    N2ishun Notebook Consultant

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  6. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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  7. BOOSTEDP4

    BOOSTEDP4 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Wow, great information! I'm going to review all this tonight when I have time. I'm hoping to make my decision soon. Sounds like I could definitely save some money by buying after market memory and Storage but I might just pull the trigger and pay extra for MFG installed upgrades. Much appreciated!
     
  8. N2ishun

    N2ishun Notebook Consultant

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    Be aware that you can get coupons for dell outlet and also if you talk to one of the guys thru online chat or over the phone you can lean on them reasonably to get an even better deal.
     
  9. BOOSTEDP4

    BOOSTEDP4 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I'm looking at the Dell outlet but I have yet to see a system that's price around $740 range that comes with as good of a processor as the HP Pavilion Laptop 15t-eg000 laptop.
    I was researching this Intel Core i7-1165G7 and it appears to have great virtualization capabilities!

    LINK
    Part of the reason I'm probably going with this HP is they emailed me $100 off code before I started looking since I'm on their email list from owning a really nice 4in1 Laser Printer I've owned forever and has worked great! That's kind of why I'm loyal to them even if I'm down on their stock after they just reported excellent earnings. The stock should bounce back but I remiss.

    I'm going to do a little more looking on Dells outlet and possibly open a chat with a rep if I find a nice laptop with a similar process and a 512GB NVMe Drive with 16GB or more memory.

    The HP Pavilion Laptop 15t-eg000 laptop is limited to 16GB but I don't intend on doing anything to crazy with Virtualization. I don't even necessarily know how I will go about implementing a working VM Hypervisor solution on this right now without affecting the Primary Win10 Home load I'll be going with.

    The only thing I did previously on my Current PC rig which is old and only has 8 GB but supports virtualization was boot ESXi 6.5 on a thumb drive and then connected via vSphere web client to start a VM. But the datastore I created on while booted up on thumb drive was an external USB drive. As soon as I rebooted it would loose the SCSI path or whatever and couldn't find the USB drive Datastore after rebooting. At that time booting ESXi via USB and creating a Datastore like that was less than ideal. So, I'll have to look into how I might set this up as a Hypervisor without affecting the Win 10 load instead of possibly going Dual boot like I usually do.

    The most important thing is that I'll have a processor that supports Windows 11 since it will be a free upgrade.

    Also, I'm sure I'll se a big improvement in my Wireless speed with it over my current laptop.
    I think the wireless should be adequate for my current Asus router which maxes out at 2917Mbps. My old Asus x202e laptop that I upgraded the wireless for cheap on ebay now connects at 860 Mbps which was a huge improvement over the 76 Mbps stock wireless from 2011! The HP I'm looking at comes with Intel® Wi-Fi 6 AX 201 (2x2). But I'll look into the AX210 WIFI for $25 for a potential cheap wireless upgrade. Apparently some of the previous Gen HP Pavilion came with 4G LTE which sounds pretty cool. I don't think I would need wireless anywhere but kind of a nice bonus. One thing I just noticed on this HP Pavilion is apparently it does not have Ethernet! I still want to use Wired connection so that might be a deal breaker unless I can implement a good USB to Ethernet solution?

    I might still pull the trigger tomorrow since the code is only good until Sunday and the price is already discounted. I can wait until October to receive it for the custom color I want , etc. It would be a great upgrade to get my "geek on" and get up to speed on much newer CPU architecture.

    Unless another laptop with a similar spec'd Process I'll probably get it on order tomorrow. Apparently the HP reps I chatted with said it's better to call them to ensure prompt ordering but I don't think that should be necessary. He said "they will make sure that your order will go through without any problems or lapses and delay in the shipping." so maybe I will call?

    Anyway, great input and thanks for these great suggestions and insider deals. I didn't compare Dells regular site to the outlet pricing yet but probably will tomorrow when I have some time to review their systems that might match my specs/price with Ethernet port.

    One other thing on the HP is the screen might not be super impressive at 15.6" diagonal, HD (1366 x 768), micro-edge, BrightView, 250 nits but it should be good enough..
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2021
  10. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    https://www.sagernotebook.com/Intel-Iris-Xe/ 2 options based on the CPU you mentioned

    I opted to add a 5GE adapter while upgrading my whole network to 5GE instead of jumping to 10GE or down stepping to 2.5GEwhen I ran a speed test on my server storage speeds it was just under 5GE w/ Raid 10 WD 8TB drives.

    5GE - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08977K9D2 $70
    2.5GE - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VQJ468M/ $22

    The idea was to have speed when moving huge chunks of data compared to over WIFI but, my WIFI setup pushes the limits at 1.3gbps for the time being. If I need to re-image an NVME I have an enclosure that pushes 1GB/s to make quick work of replicating. I also picked up a USB rive that does 350MB/s and shows as an SSD not USB drive when attached but still allows for a USB boot / live CD.

    As to the LTE / WIFI.... it's tempting to have the modem built into your laptop it's just as easy to use your phone as a hotspot since you rarely leave the house w/ a laptop and no cell phone. There are also options to add a 4/LTE/5G modem via USB or internally yourself late on if it's really needed.

    I tested out the AX201 when it was released and it performed fine but with some quirks that were resolved with the 6E version AX210 as they're both about the dame price it just makes more sense to use the 210 over 201 w/ the added support for 6GHZ / 6E as more network equipment gets into the market over the next year.

    This would get irritating being sub 1080p reminds me of monitors from the 90's / 00's and it's just an ugly experience visually. If the screen size were non-standard this might be the only option but, these big companies are just being cheap by offering substandard resolutions. If you opt for being cheap for a reason to upgrade yourself post delivery then it makes sense but, not many are going to take on the process to source parts like a 144hz panel / 32GB Ram / NVME / WIFI / etc. Most of these are simple enough to do yourself in minutes at a fraction of the cost of the OEM offerings.

    HP vs Dell.... Dell wins every time. Something about consumer level HP products just doesn't sit right with my experiences with them.

    Also, don't jump into this decision based on a $100 coupon to live with it for the next few years for something that doesn't fit your needs / wants.
     
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