Business-level notebook with great FHD-Display?

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by japanworm, Jun 9, 2018.

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  1. japanworm

    japanworm Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi,

    I've been looking for a good successor of my Thinkpad T510 for ages now.
    I like how sturdy it was build and it still works great after 8 years, but I can't upgrade anymore and with only 4GB of RAM it's simply not up-to-date anymore.

    What I use it mainly for:
    • photo editing for web / blogs (photos will be re-sized to 600 x 400 px mainly)
    • Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, watching videos via Windows Media Player
    • Web surfing, blogging, Microsoft Office
    • desktop replacement
    • mobility not so important, but I do drive home every other weekend and take the laptop with me, so a PC desktop solution is currently not an option

    I already know that I need 16 GB of RAM.
    I want a comfortable keyboard, 3 years of warranty and a sturdy built notebook. Usually those are the premium business notebooks. However. they usually come with really bad displays.

    In January I tested the Lenovo Thinkpad L570. The display wobbled whenever I typed and it was making me dizzy, so I sent it back immedialtey. I knew I need something sturdier.

    Currently I'm testing the Thinkpad T580 (FHD, i5-8250U), HP Elitebook 850 G5 (FHD, i58250U) and the Dell XPS 15 (FHD i7-7700HQ).

    My favorite is the T580.
    It's ugly as always, but I'm so used to the great keyboard (from my old T510), I like that it has an exchangable battery and it's strangely enough the fastest one among the ones I mentioned, although the Dell is quite fast as well.
    The only real issue I have is the bad color range in the FHD display. It's probably only around 65% and some colors are just so wrong (I almost ordered something based on the wrong colors that were displayed ... phew...).

    Yes, there's the UHD version of the T580, but it's extremely expensive and I don't want such a high resolution. Like I said I re-size my photos usually to around 600 px. That's already heavy on the eyes on FHD, but UHD would be killing it .......

    The HP Elitebook 850 G5 is great and has a beautiful FHD display with 89% sRGB!
    However, it is extremely slow and I don't know why. It has the exact same specs as the T580, but it boots slower, opens photos and folders, videos, websites etc. much slower. It's almost as slow as my old T510 and that's just not ok!!
    Not sure if I simply got a bad module or if that's a general problem with this line.
    It might be worse ordering another model just to see if it has the same issues.

    The Dell XPS 15 is not a business laptop and only comes with a 1 year warranty.
    The keyboard feels cheaper than on the HP and Thinkpad ... I'm currently typing on it.
    The screen is brilliant though with around 98% sRGB and great brightness.
    The issue I have with the Dell is that with its Infinity Edge display it's as small as a 14 inch laptop. That means I need to look further down on the screen which causes immediate neck and shoulder pain!!!!

    Maybe if I buy an external keyboard and a laptop stand I could work with the Dell ... but that means additional costs ......


    Or a completely different approach could be to get an external (21-24 inch) display with good color range and attach the laptop to it.
    I don't have much space for this, though. And it's probably the most expensive option.
    Also, I then should consider buying a 13 inch instead of a 15 inch laptop which is just as powerful to save place and to have something tiny in case I ever take it with me when travelling (which doesn't really happen at all though).



    What suggestion do you have?
    And nope, I'm NOT interested in the Macbook or the iMac at this point!!! ;)
     
  2. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    You can raise the screen on the Dell by putting a book or similar under the back edge of the computer (once you've found the optimum height then you can find something of the right thickness to put under each of the back corners). Raising the back will also improve the cooling airflow. I've got the Precision 5510 (the business equivalent of the XPS15 9550)with the Sharp SHP 1453 (according to Moninfo) is probably the best available 15.6" FHD panel and am willing to tolerate the keyboard because of the excellent display. I think you've got the same panel.

    John
     
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  3. japanworm

    japanworm Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yes, that works fine as quick and dirty solution. Thanks. :)

    I've had a look at the Precision as well, but it's probably too powerful for my needs and more expensive as well.
    I just really like that the Elitebook and Thinkpads are both military standards tested. I've dropped my old Thinkpad a few times, spilled things on the keyboard. It doesn't even have a scratch and is (from the outside) as good as new after 8 years. ;)
    They also have 3 years of warranty whereas for the Dell I'd need to purchase extra warranty.

    Other than that I don't see any issues with the Dell at the moment.
    I do miss the great keyboard I have on the Thinkpad and also the exchangable battery.
    I guess I just trust Lenovo because my last Thinkpad was so great, but I'm aware that the newer Thinkpads are not as good as the x10 and x20 series anymore.
     
  4. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    You can replace the battery on the Dell - you just need a screwdriver or two, but it's not a quick swap. One advantage of the Dell notebooks is that the manuals showing how to change any parts are available on line. The only Thinkpad I've owned was a T420s which had a very low quality display given the cost of the notebook. That caused display quality to move to the top of my requirements.

    John
     
  5. japanworm

    japanworm Notebook Enthusiast

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    I totally understand.
    But at least for a few things like keyboard or display, you could always plugin an external device unless mobility is very important. :)

    I do like the FHD display of the T580. The colors are very nice on the eye, it's a warm color range.
    If only it had a bit more color gamut.
     
  6. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    The display colour balance is configured by the notebook manufacturer. Most tend towards the cold/blue end of the spectrum perhaps because it makes the display look whiter and brighter. However, this is fixable either by doing your own display calibration or finding a custom colour profile file for the notebook/display panel combinations. Notebookcheck includes these in the reviews.

    John
     
  7. japanworm

    japanworm Notebook Enthusiast

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    I know. That's what I did with the HP first because I didn't quite like the colors.
    With the Thinkpad there's only so much I can do with calibration.
     
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