Help choosing between 2 different laptops

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by gmogg, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. gmogg

    gmogg Notebook Enthusiast

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    My laptop requirements answers are below but what I'm looking for in summary is a laptop that I can use day to day, do some musical recording on it, do some light gaming (I play cities skylines with the steam mods on the workshop, GTA V, Civ, and other fairly light games - I don't do hardcore gaming) and generally have a system that turns on quickly, is reliable, quick and will last me a while!

    It comes down to choosing between a better CPU and GPU I think. My budget is around $1,000 CAD. Here is what I have narrowed it down to:

    Acer Aspire 7 A715-72G
    i5-8300H (8th gen), 8GM DDR4, NVIDIA GTX1050 4GB, 1TB HDD, 128GB SSD, 15.6" 1080p
    $1,050 CAD (after tax)

    Lenovo Idea Pad 720 S
    i7-8550U (8th gen), 8GB DDR4, NVIDIA GeForce GT MX150 2GB, 256 GB SSD, 14" 1080 IPS
    $1,200 CAD (afer tax)

    The Lenovo is over my budget by a lot more than the Acer (and 1,000 is stretching my current budget anyway) so I am drawn to the Acer more because of price. I guess this is what it comes down to:
    Do I get a better CPU or a better GPU?

    Thanks!

    ------

    General Questions


    1) What is your budget? Max $1,000 CAD

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    15." but also open to 13". Mainly like the full keyboard.
    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?
    Canada

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    Open to any but have had a bad experience with Dell.
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    Prefer new. My previous laptop was refurbished and dint last half as long as I'd have hoped.

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Day to day uses, internet browsing, word processing, music recording, light gaming

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    Mainly at home and around the house.

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?)
    Yes. I play Cities Skylines, tycoon games, CIV - have also played GTA V on my older laptop.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    As im always at home not much but the more the merrier.

    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?
    Seeing it online is ok.

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
    Windows

    Screen Specifics

    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? (See further below for explanations.)
    1080 minimum.

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.)
    Don't really care. WOuld be nice to not have glare interfere with the screen performance though.

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    I don't want anything that has that 'gamer' look. You know, the red backlight and grills. More into a standard laptop. If it looks sleek though then great!

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?
    Would like an SSD. Never ahd one before. I've herad it'll change my life. I also want to be better at not storing too much on the computer. SO enough space to have the OS, programs, games and software.

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity


    16) When are you buying this laptop?
    Soon. Within the next 2 months.

    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop?
    As long as possible.

    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?
    Couple weeks.

    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?
    NA
     
  2. Blacky

    Blacky Notebook Prophet

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    Hi,

    I don't have the exact models, but I do have similar configurations, so I made a comparison for you here: Acer Aspire 7 A715-72G vs Lenovo Ideapad 720s-14.
    I'm assuming you are looking at the 14 inch Ideapad.

    These are very different machines, the Acer is a budget gaming laptop but with nice looks. It's heavy, bulky but it will get the job done for you.
    The Ideapad is sleek, slim, light-weight, but as far as I know, it overheats and throttles under load so that it won't work very well for gaming.

    I would go with the Acer in your case because it looks like the better deal. The Ideapad would be ok if you did some fewer graphics-intensive gaming, but GTA V is still pretty demanding, in the sense that it will use your graphics card intensively.

    These will be other options if it helps: noteb search.
    You can see and change the search parameters using the "Refine results" button in the upper-left part of the search results page. You can also click on the laptops for more information.

    The best budget gaming laptop is the Acer Nitro 5. Apart from that, all of the top 3 laptops in my search results are good options. Not sure where you can buy the Tsinghua Tongfang in Canada.
     
  3. gmogg

    gmogg Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for your detailed reply!

    When it comes to the Acer vs Lenovo option, it comes down to choosing a better CPU or GPU.

    Acer has the i5 8th gen with a 1050 GTX
    Lenovo has the i7 8th gen with a MX150.

    The comparison you put together showed that the Acer has an i7 which it doesn't (the option I'm looking at anyway).

    Which would be more important for someone who wants an all round laptop with some light gaming? (p.s. GTA 5 seems to run ok on my old Samsung Ativ with AMD graphics with lower specs than the MX150).

    Also, the Nitro is far too"gamery" in its appearance. Looking for something with a bit more of a standard subtle laptop shell.

    Thanks!!
     
  4. ole!!!

    ole!!! Notebook Prophet

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    go for Acer, the U chip is a joke
     
  5. gmogg

    gmogg Notebook Enthusiast

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    Whats the difference between the U chip and the H chip?
     
  6. ole!!!

    ole!!! Notebook Prophet

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    U chip is generally for ULV for power saving. that means quality and performance wise, it is the lowest of the binned CPU and bios will have the hardest restriction on TDP. it'll prob allow turbo boost for like 15-30 sec and thats it, and then run at stock clock for rest of the run time which for ULV chip is usually very low. I havent check the specs but thats the general outlook of it.
     
  7. ole!!!

    ole!!! Notebook Prophet

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    so as per intel ark site, looks like the U chip is 1.8 base with 25w tdp configurable, assuming leveno lets you configure it, if not it is 15w at most. means 4ghz 4 core turbo boost will hit 15w in like 2 sec and u'll be forced back down to 1.8ghz.

    the other cpu is 2.3ghz base and 45w so it'll turbo at 4ghz much longer before it goes back down to 2.3ghz.
     
  8. gmogg

    gmogg Notebook Enthusiast

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    Fair enough!

    So the Acer is all around a better system with the chip and GPU combo.
     
    ole!!! likes this.
  9. ole!!!

    ole!!! Notebook Prophet

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    i just took a look at the spec again, but yeah acer is the winner here. bigger display, better cpu, better gpu, and cheaper by $150 theres no argument here. lenovo is brand name they are trying to charge more for less.
     
  10. ApostateTapir

    ApostateTapir Notebook Consultant

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    Beat me to it. As soon as I saw that, it was Acer hands down.
     
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