HP Spectre x360 Convertible vs. MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by tamarinera, Jun 24, 2018.

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  1. tamarinera

    tamarinera Newbie

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    First, thanks to everyone for providing guidance: you all rock!

    I know this is an old debate: PC vs. Mac. I fear I'm a dedicated PC user (from the days of DOS) about to switch because I'm tired of getting a new computer every 2-3 years. Even hearty Lenovo Thinkpads. I'm a tinkerer, so prefer that about PCs, but maybe I'm just tired of HAVING to tinker. I'm also tired of wifi that disconnects itself, slow boots, and now mandatory updates on Windows 10, requiring me to put all wifi on a metered connection to evade the slowdowns.

    I'll post the answer to the required questions below. Here's the prose:

    I travel internationally and spend a lot of time in a tropical place where it's super humid and there are urban stores but poor customer service. I'm not a gamer but occasionally need to edit videos for a charitable project. Also create WordPress websites. I have about a terabyte of files I can't access with internet because of poor ISPs overseas. After going through HPs and ThinkPads, I finally bought a cheapie Lenovo 110S with just 32 GB storage for $180 and installed a 500 GB internal SSD and I love it...except it can't handle much because of weak processor and low RAM. Unfortunately my cheapie experiment didn't work.

    I considered putting Linux on this tiny cute Lenovo to see if that speeds it up, but I fear the hardware is just inadequate and trying Linux will just waste more time before the invevitable.

    I'm starting to think that it'd be better to outlay the over-$1000 for a Macbook and have it last 5+ years, which gives me a lower annual cost than buying a PC and having it last 2-3 years. I hate the Apple arrogance and proprietary accessories, and over-pricing. I hate that you can't tinker with them and that I don't know how to tweak basic settings sometimes or even close all the windows at once to get to the desktop ...but am ready for aluminum durability, retina screens and good customer service (albeit at a price). I'm worried I will resent the higher price however, whenever I find something I don't know how to do on a Mac. I'm worried I'll hate the photo software options and Apple's software in general (I'm an open-source user).

    I have an Android phone. I don't own a tablet. My eyes get tired and blind pretty easily.

    Local Micro Center has an open box (so new model) MacBook Pro for $1170, and a refurbished HP Spectre x360 Convertible for $830. The HP component specs are clearly better but again, durability. A Macbook Pro has to be able to edit basic videos, right?

    Macbook Pro
    Intel Core i5 Processor 2.3GHz; macOS Sierra; 8GB LPDDR3-2133 RAM (maxed out); 256GB Solid State Drive, 2 thunderbolt ports,
    Width 11.97" Depth 8.36" Weight 3.02 lbs.
    Standard silver: meh.

    HP Spectre
    Intel Core i7-6500U Processor 2.50GHz; Microsoft Windows 10 Home; 16GB LPDDR3 Onboard SDRAM; 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD, 3 USB 3 ports, HDMI, SD card reader,
    Width 12.79", Depth 8.60", Weight 3.17 lbs.(heavy!)
    I think the black and gold is ugly.

    I'm realizing we treat laptops like cars, and create an identity around them. Silliness. I also realize that switching would make me feel like I'd been wrong these past 25 years of computing. Also silly.

    1) If I get the Mac, will I find that it can't handle the video editing?
    2) I know there are no guarantees, but even Consumer Reports shows that 10% of macs fail in the first 2 years, vs. 20% of PCS. Any thoughts on durability, really?
    3) Is the tablet function so amazing that I should get the HP because I'll find a whole bunch of things I can do that I never knew were possible?
    4) Should I just get an extended warranty for $300 no matter what I buy? Never buy those...not an insurance buyer in general, but computers are becoming more of a nuisance these days.

    I super appreciate any thoughts/wisdom/guidance, even the psychoanalysis that may be required, haha!

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    Prefer under $1000 but would go above if worth it. In the past have paid up to $1100 but groaned.

    2) What size notebook would you prefer? My previous have all been 11.2".
    a. Netbook; 10" screen or less
    b. Ultraportable; 11" - 12" screen
    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen

    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen
    3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.
    USA. I travel internationally so useful to be able to fix it abroad.Have often fixed it myself (fan replacement, screen replacement, keyboard replacement).

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like? See above discussion. It's all about reliability.
    a. Like:
    b. Dislike:
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed? Yes, for price.But it would be my first time buying refurbished.

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook? Libre Office: Writer, Spreadsheet, Powerpoint presentations; WordPress webpage creation; photo editing, some basic video editing; internet streaming videos; have 1 TB of data to store, growing because of photos for an organization.

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both? Travel a lot: portability is important, as is battery life.

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games? Not a gamer.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need? As much as possible: say, at least 8?

    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? I have always bought online but now I am in the country for two weeks and want to get this over with.

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (Windows 7 / 8), Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
    See above discussion: longtime Windows user/champion even in the late 80s. Have used Macs when visiting family.

    Screen Specifics

    12) From the choices below, what screen resolution(s) would you prefer? Keep in mind screen size in conjunction with resolution will play a large role in overall viewing comfort level. Everyone is different. Some like really small text, while others like their text big and easy to read. (Scroll down to see screen resolution information.)
    In my late 40s, now preferring larger text but also crisp resolution. Didn't know that better resolution results in smaller text until this weekend. I get eye fatigue easily...can spend hours on a screen for work. Might get those yellow glasses...

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (Scroll down to see explanations.) Prefer matte beause gloss is bad on the eyes. Had one glossy screen that reflected way too much when I worked outdoors in parks, which I love to do.

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you? Kind of: like a car, you want to love it because it's kind of expensive. But I'm not about status or what's popular.

    15) When are you buying this laptop? NOW.

    16) How long do you want this laptop to last? Five years.

    Notebook Components

    17) How much hard drive space do you need? Do you want a SSD drive? I have about 1 TB of data, growing. Since having a rotating hard drive go beserk after a bump on a bus, I'm now sold on SSD since the prices are dropping. I always preferred to have everything in one place, but with my cheapie no-storage-space laptop, though, I've divided my files up: on a smaller internal SSD, a micro SD card, my phone (the music) and an external rotating hard drive for rarely-used files. I'm seeing how thumb drives and SD cards are super cheap, even 128+ GB. I have a 4TB rotating drive I back up to, so maybe fragmented external data storage in the sleeve pocket is the way to go now, with a central backup disc in case I lose those tiny micro SD cards.

    18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner? No. I have an external one and I rarely use it. Even remote villages have TVs that take USB thumb drives now so don't need to burn DVDs in order to share movies. Will keep the external just in case but doesn't need to be incorporated into the laptop.

  2. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    I own a couple Macs. I don't think of OS X as any better or worse than Windows or even Linux for that matter, but value them as something different. Can a Mac code video? Of course it can, but my question would be if you want to code video, why aren't you looking at a machine with an 8th generation Coffee Lake low voltage quad core CPU? That will offer you a serious upgrade in the ability process videos. To the best of my knowledge, Apple isn't offering any notebooks with quad cores for $1,000.

    In my opinion, $1,000 is low for what you want. If it were my money, I would hit the Dell Outlet, if you don't mind a return which is what most outlet machines are, for either a Latitude 7390(13") or 7490(14"), depending on what you want. Both can be had with a Coffee Lake quad core and 1080p matte IPS screen for under $1,000. Latitudes are solid notebooks and the 7000 series notebooks come with three year warranties on-site warranties too. You can upgrade to on-site and accidental warranty coverage for a fee if you need it to be bulletproof. I'm fairly certain Latitudes come with some kind of International Warranty service, though I'm not super familiar with Dell policies, so you'll want to do your homework on this one.

    I would suggest getting the 1080p screens even if they offer small text as they're IPS screens that offer much improved image quality. If you find the text hard to read, you can bump up the DPI, which works quite well in Windows 10.

    Even if 20% of PCs fail in the first two years, that means 80% don't, which seems like a pretty decent number. Reliability in my experience is hit or miss. Most notebooks will give faithful service. If you have a problem down the road, it's probably plain old dumb luck more than anything else. That's why upgrading the warranty is worth considering if it's mission critical. Good luck and welcome to NBR.
  3. Kent T

    Kent T Notebook Virtuoso

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    Agree with ZaZ, get a Dell Latitude like he recommends. Much better built, much more durable, easy to repair and maintain, has the accidental damage coverage and thorough warranty you need, and friendly, helpful tech support;. Apple is too effete, too delicate, and not suited for your needs. Welcome to NBR, you're among friends.
    Mastermind5200 likes this.
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