In the market for a new laptop the more research I do more confused I am

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by ibhappe, Nov 13, 2018.

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  1. ibhappe

    ibhappe Newbie

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    I have a HP envy dv6 as my personal home use laptop it has vertical lines on the screen and the battery is completely kaput. I originally used it as a back up work device then eventually it converted to personal use only. I have had it a rather long time maybe 8 years, I reckon.
    I asked one of my kids to help me figure out a new laptop to purchase and he told me to do some research so I did and have been led around a maze of information. Finally I went to best buy to get an eyeball and touch on a variety of choices. the young man there after talking to me decided i should get the lenova yoga 730 2 in one. (i7-8gb-256) . but I was not sold I wanted after reading to check out the dell xps 15, but upon researching that it appears to have the same guts as the yoga but about 500 more dollars then as I continued to read and web wander on the subject I was drawn to consider the think pad but that is pricey also. I do not mind paying a bit smartly more. I kind of like the idea of the touch screen as well as the mouse pad but ... I want the laptop to have a long use so felt I should get an I7 but I have not scientific reason for that thought. I just need a good quality laptop that will last me and cover my needs for 4-6 years at a minimum and be able to keep up with my work software. I am not and will not be a gamer. I wanted the 15 screen because I felt it would be easier to see. It would be nice if the unit was not
    as heavy and bulky as my current envy. Now after looking and seeing and reading I am more confused and unsure what would be the best fit for my needs than I was before this search. So I would love some advice and guidance from someone who has a bigger broader more experienced perspective than I. Thank you for your help

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?

    Up to $1200.00

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?

    Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    or
    Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen


    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?

    USA

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like have had two HP envies
    b. Dislike: unknown
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?

    No

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?

    Business use: word excel and quick books pro
    personal use : email, social media, web wandering, store photos, maybe view shows


    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?

    Both

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?)

    No, not my bag of tea

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?

    6-10

    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 am okay with buying online

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

    windows 10 pro

    Screen Specifics

    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer?

    1920 x 1080

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen?

    do not have a preference

    ld Quality and Design


    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you

    not necessarily

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?

    Not sure

    16) When are you buying this laptop?

    in the next few weeks, I need new books set up for January 1 2019

    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop?

    4-6 years

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

    a minute or longer week maybe

    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?

    It would depend on the warranty's offers and the costs

    Thank you!
     
  2. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    That's unfortunate as it will likely leave the best value options off the table. Keep in mind if you buy directly from the manufacturer, it is most likely a return, but sold with a nice discount. As long as it's not marked scratch and dent, it should look new and have a good battery. That's been my experience buying from the HP, Dell Lenovo and Apple Outlets. You'll, in most cases, get at least a year of warranty, sometimes more depending on the model and manufacturer.

    Your needs are modest, but I would suggest getting a notebook with one of the new Coffee Lake low watt quad core CPUs if you want it to last four to six years. If it were my money I'd hit the Dell Outlet for a Latitude E7490. It's a solid all-around notebook that's fairly light at a little over three pounds. It's backed with a three year warranty that includes on-site service and Latitude support is excellent. That means if your notebook breaks and you can't fix it over the phone, Dell will send a tech to fix it while it's under warranty.

    If you want to go for something larger, though of course this means more weight and less portability, both the XPS you mentioned and perhaps the Latitude 5590 are worth a look too. Both can also be found in the Dell Outlet as well, most likely for less than you'd pay for a new one. Good luck and welcome to NBR.
     
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  3. Blacky

    Blacky Notebook Prophet

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    Hi,

    First of all, your needs are pretty modest. The XPS and the Yoga 730 are overkill for what you want to do. They are good machines, but they are consumer laptops if you want long-term reliability you should look for business laptops: https://noteb.com/?content/article.php?/2018/06/14/why-get-a-business-laptop/

    So I did a search here for laptops that met your requirements and are business grade: 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.

    Some of these laptops are lower quality business laptops, some or good quality. They are all good, but for your budget, you can get a good one that will last you 4-6 years.
    Laptops that should last you a bit and should be in your budget:
    - Dell Precision 7530
    - Lenovo Thinkpad A485
    - Lenovo Thinkpad T480
    - Lenovo Thinkpad T580
    - Dell Latitude 5590
    - HP Zbook Studio G4
    - VAIO S

    The list is longer, but I will stop here.

    Some of these laptops, you can get for a lot less from Dell Outlet website, Lenovo Outlet / Perks program, HP Outlet.

    I hope this helps.
     
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  4. SL2

    SL2 Notebook Deity

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    That one has an AMD processor which doesn't have very good battery life. AMD is great but thay have always had worse battery life than Intel, at least in recent years.
    In the web browsing test, it got 5:30 hours from a 48 Wh battery, compared to the L480 that gets 7:40 hours from a 45 Wh battery.

    In my opinion, an i7 doesn't make the laptop more future proof in general, unless it's used for compiling, encoding, or rendering, etc (= anything that leaves the laptop working for a while by its own) or gaming, which doesn't seem to be the case here.
    Besides, the latest i5 8000U series is quite much faster than the previous i5 7000's and the i7-7xxxU. The two latter series are outdated in terms of price/performance ratio.
    If you still want an i7, make sure the model number doesn't end with U.

    Put your money in a laptop with a bright IPS display and a decent battery life, this should make you happy in the long run. Having an SSD is a given.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
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  5. ibhappe

    ibhappe Newbie

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    Thank you I am shopping the outlets. But how do I know it is a Coffee lake low watt quad core?
     
  6. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    I believe in the Dell Outlet it says if it's a dual or quad core. If you get stuck you can Google it or post back here. Most likely you'd be looking for a Core i8-8250U or i5-8350U. There's also the slightly faster i7-8550U or i7-8650U, but given the usage, I wouldn't pay extra for it.
     
  7. ibhappe

    ibhappe Newbie

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    How can a person tell if it has a bright IPS display? And what perimeters for a good battery?
     
  8. SL2

    SL2 Notebook Deity

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    IPS is one of several types of display technology, other ones are TN, VA, etc. These displays don't have the limitations that older TN displays have, like wrong colors and strong viewing angle dependence.
    You've probably seen displays that get weird colors if you look at it with an angle, with the colors getting dark or inverted, that's usually TN displays. Here's an example:
    tn-display-angle.jpg
    Sometimes it says its IPS in the specs, but not always. However, they're becoming more and more popular for obvious reasons, no more adjusting the display daily to actually see what's on it.

    Brightness is measured in candela per square metre, or nit. You can often see this value in the specs, but it's just as reliable as when it says that the battery will last 20 hours. I used to have an old laptop with a 100 nits display a long time ago, kind of hard to read.

    250 - 300 nits is enough for most users, while professional laptop displays have over 400 nits, which is needed in bright office environments. There are two ways to find out if it's bright enough, either read reviews that actually tests the brightness, or just simply check out the displays in a physical store.

    Here's a site that I really like, they break down everything into numbers and compare with other models. It's quite a read, but you don't need to read it all.
    https://www.notebookcheck.net/Lenovo-ThinkPad-E480-i5-8250U-UHD-620-SSD-Laptop-Review.287452.0.html
    Just scroll down to the end and check the Verdict and Pros/Cons, and then go up a bit until you see the Battery Runtime, where the "NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test" actually reflects what you can expect to get from the battery when working in MS Office etc. You'll also find the display test there, higher up.

    Now the model I linked to is probably close to what you might want, the only problem is that this models display seems to be quite inconsistent from one device to another. If you can get to see it live in a store and you like the display, just go for it. A laptop that costs 50 % more won't be snappier than this one after 5 years, because they both probably have pretty much the same processor, and I doubt you'll go for a faster one anyway.
    www.amazon.com/Lenovo-Performance-Quad-Core-1920x1080-Fingerprint/dp/B07DPVKBP4

    Ten suggestions, with reviews: https://www.notebookcheck.net/Notebookcheck-s-Top-10-Laptops-under-1-000-Euros.139358.0.html

    Edit: 4-5 hours battery time is low, 7-8 hours is pretty good and doable without having to pay a lot (<$1000).
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  9. ibhappe

    ibhappe Newbie

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    I m still out here shopping, got sidetracked now back at it. Here you said if I was going to get an I7, to make sure the model number does not end with a U. But it seems that most the I 7 I am finding especially in the dell and lenova outlets end in a U. Can you elaborate why I would want to avoid a U at the end on the model # on the I7, and Is a U on the end of a I5 okay.
     
  10. ibhappe

    ibhappe Newbie

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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
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