Lenovo E-550--longevity?

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Clare, Jul 23, 2016.

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  1. Clare

    Clare Notebook Consultant

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    I'm looking at new laptops; currently running a lenovo V570 from 2012; still working, but time for upgrade. I asked my trusty local computer guys for suggestions, and this is what they recommended. ("What should I buy" sticky pasted below.)

    I think the pricing is good, and I trust them and know they don't make much on selling computers. They've quoted me a price of roughly $485 for the computer, plus $160 for SSD option and $35 for enhanced wifi, (I practically live online) along with roughly two hours labor for setup and transferring data, which I know is fair. It seems good--but my concerns are: E550 is 2015 model, and I'm already on an i-5. (Though I know that later generations show improvement.) I'm looking for a machine for at least five years.

    I also know that Thinkpads are built like tanks, and I know I will like the keyboard and touchpad, since I'm essentially using the same one now. Those are extremely important to me.

    Just looking for thoughts, suggestions. This forum has helped me every time, so please help again! Specs:


    Spec List:

    · Case/FF/Product Line: 15.6” Lenovo ThinkPad E550, Black Composite Finish

    · Optical Drive: {N/A}

    · CPU: Intel Core i5 2.2GHZ 64x4 APU

    · Video: Intel HD CPU-Based

    · Ports: 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.0 Always-On, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 4-in-1 media card slot, 1 HDMI, 1 VGA

    · RAM: 8GB PC12800 DDR3 SDRAM, Max. 16

    · Hard Disk: 480GB Solid State SATA

    · OS: Windows 10 H.P. x64

    · Audio: Yes

    · Networking: Gigabit LAN

    · Card Reader: Yes

    · Power: 20v @2.5a

    · Dial Up Modem: No

    · 802.11x Wifi: 802.11ac

    · Bluetooth: Yes

    · Webcam: Yes

    · Monitor: {N/A}


    MY WHAT SHOULD I BUY FORM:


    1) What is your budget? 700-800 USD

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?

    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen
    3) Where will you buying this notebook? USA

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like: Lenovo
    b. Dislike: Acer, Dell
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    Only if on full warranty

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Word processing, operating webcam via VPN, moderating chatrooms, multi tasking internet, word, some photo, general web use

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

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?
    No games

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    Not important; can be plugged in

    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?
    Depends on brand

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (Windows 7 / 8), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
    Windows 10

    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.)
    Standard to Max resolution

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (Scroll down to see explanations.)
    Matte, or at least usable outside

    Build Quality and Design

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

    15) When are you buying this laptop?
    Within the next few weeks or so, but could wait if great thing is coming up

    16) How long do you want this laptop to last?
    At least five years

    Notebook Components

    17) How much hard drive space do you need? Do you want a SSD drive?
    I want to combine contents of hard drive on this and my previous machine, but in neither case did I use the disc space that was available. I don't download movies or music (much); my main files are photos and documents.

    18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?
    No need for optical drive
     
  2. Krowe

    Krowe Notebook Evangelist

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    I gotta be honest here, going from a V570 to an E550 is not much of an upgrade, maybe some battery life, that's pretty much it. Yes the E550 is newer, but processors have been good enough for general productivity work for a few years now. Your best bet is just doing that SSD upgrade and that'll make a world of difference in your current setup. I also don't understand the "enhanced wifi" bit, the V570 comes with a Centrino N-1000, it should be plenty fast unless you are having issues with it, or wireless congestion is an issue on 2.4Ghz in your neighborhood, or if you have 50mbps+ internet.

    Also, your "trusty" local computer guys are charging 2 hours of labor for 10 minutes of actual work? (It takes less than 5 minutes to install an SSD and a WiFi card), and maybe another 5 minutes of clicking to start cloning the OS to the SSD.

    TLDR, hang on to that $485, the longer you wait with that money, the newer it'll get you.
     
  3. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    You seem to keep your computers a long time, so going with a business class computer like a ThinkPad is advisable.

    The ThinkPad E550 isn't bad, but is last year's tech. The E560 has the newer "Skylake" sixth-gen Intel processors. If you're only buying a computer every couple years, then it pays to get the latest and greatest at the time of purchase.

    The Dell Latitude E5550 is an alternative to the E550/560. Look in the Dell Outlet, and search the Dell Outlet's twitter account for coupons. (Here's our guide to outlet shopping.)

    Charles
     
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  4. Clare

    Clare Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks; the kind of was my thinking. When I bought this one five years ago, the I-5 was high end for this model. As for the enhanced wifi, I am having issues (in part because of Comcast) and it looks like Ting, with fiber. will be here soon. This machine is having some issues, though, including a touchpad so worn down that it burns my fingers, ports not working, and a few other things. And I don't begrudge the guys a small profit if they've done all the work, but this doesn't strike me as my best option.
     
  5. Krowe

    Krowe Notebook Evangelist

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    Ah, then your current machine is not exactly "still working" then, since parts of it is busted.
    Small profit is fine, include it in the price of the parts, charge an installation fee etc. Charging for labor per hour is where things can get iffy, a bit devious IMHO, especially when they quote 2 hours for 10 minutes of actual work.
     
  6. Clare

    Clare Notebook Consultant

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    Well, it's still functional. It's just driving me crazy (er). Just specced this out on Lenovo.com at $877. Thoughts? (What's a 'transactional model?")
    • Offering Model: Transactional Model
    • Processor: Intel Core i7-6500U Processor (4MB Cache, up to 3.10GHz)
    • Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64
    • Operating System Language: Windows 10 Home 64 English
    • Display: 15.6" HD(1366x768) LED backlit, AntiGlare, Black
    • Memory: 4GB PC3-12800 DDR3L SDRAM 1600MHz SODIMM
    • Graphics: AMD Radeon R7 M370 2GB
    • Security Chip: Software TPM
    • Display Panel: 720p HD Camera with MIC
    • Keyboard: Keyboard with Number Pad - English
    • Pointing Device: UltraNav (TrackPoint and TouchPad) without Fingerprint Reader
    • Camera: 720p HD Camera with MIC
    • Hard Drive: 256 GB Solid State Drive, SATA3 OPAL2.0 - Capable
    • Optical Device: DVD Recordable 8x Max Dual Layer
    • Battery: 6 cell Li-Ion Battery 48WH - 75+
    • Power Cord: 65W AC Adapter - US(2pin)
    • Wireless: Intel Dual Band Wireless 3165 AC, Bluetooth Version 4.0 No vPro
    • Language Pack: Publication - English
    • Warranty: 1 Year Depot or Carry-in
     
  7. Krowe

    Krowe Notebook Evangelist

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    Really? Cause I'm on Lenovo.com right now, and I've managed to spec out an E560 for $825 (sans Tax) with better specs.
    Honestly, I'd step up a few things in that spec of yours.
    1. Get the 1080p screen, its well worth it to get an IPS panel (better viewing angles and colors), its $35 bucks and you'll be staring at it for 5 years.
    2. Up the RAM to 8GB, its the "safer" thing to do since you keep these things for so long, that's $50.
    3. Change the WiFi card to 8260AC, that one is free... for whatever reason.
    4. Get an SSD, although Lenovo's option is kinda steep at $140 for 256GB.

    Addons 2&4 could easily be done at your trusty computer shop, depending on how much they charge for "labor".

    EDIT: All said, I would suggest that you look @ the outlets, they do offer fantastic deals with a full warranty (can't seem to find the options to upgrade Lenovo's warranty though, odd).

    Also, I really should suggest that you look at the Dell Outlet, you can buy extended warranties with the outlet. We have over 200 Dell Laptops deployed to the fleet and we seldom have trouble with it, and when we do, the service engineer comes the next day and repairs them while we have coffee. Just make sure you get a Latitude and ProSupport, the difference is night and day. Latitudes are physically more sturdy and ProSupport is actually someone that knows about the hardware and software, not some script monkey from India pretending to be "Dave" from Kansas.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
  8. Clare

    Clare Notebook Consultant

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    Well, you probably actually know what you're doing... :) This is exactly the kind of help I hoped for. I thought I did spec out an SSD drive, but the other stuff is great advice. I'm going to let my computer guys know I'm going rogue, though I do like to keep in their good graces, since they beat taking a computer into a big box store for repair. They've helped me keep this one going.
     
  9. Clare

    Clare Notebook Consultant

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    OK, I just specced it out on Lenovo with all your recommendations, and it came out to $958.55. What's your secret? Also, is there any advantage at all to win10 pro?
     
  10. Krowe

    Krowe Notebook Evangelist

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    Hmm, looks like my account is tied to a purchasing program, discounting it more than what everybody else sees...
    Personally, I can't recommend any versions of Windows 10, cause we're still all holding out on Windows 7 Enterprise. It's a pain in the ass to switch between W7 and W10 between work and home, and its also a PITA to upgrade 250+ computers at work to W10 while breaking compatibility.
     
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