Looking for a durable Notebook for school/creative purposes.

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by ElectrifyingOnyx, Jan 8, 2019.

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  1. ElectrifyingOnyx

    ElectrifyingOnyx Newbie

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    Hello everyone! Thanks for clicking my thread!
    I'm currently looking for a new notebook to use, since the one I'm currently using doesn't really fit my style anymore. I'm a student at a technical college in vienna, and am looking for a durable, and decent-quality notebook to use for the next couple years.

    Before we dive into the questions, allow me to show you some minimum-specs, that I was able to gather from a lot of research I did the last months.

    Screen: 15-17'' 1080p, ***
    Processor: AMD/Intel(preffered) i7 or i5 ; Quad Core 1.8GHz at least.
    RAM: 8GB DDR4
    Graphic Memory: 2GB
    Ports: at least one USB-C Port, and the basic ones (Headphone, USB-A, ...)
    Weight: < 3kg
    Battery: >4 hours

    Preffered brands: DELL, Lenovo, HP, Asus, Acer

    *** So...about the screen. from all the research I've done, I've figured that there are a lot of details to pay attention to. Because I do a lot of digital art, having a good display is a must, so I'm not only looking for good resolution, but also good Color-accuracy, Contrast, and generally good Quality. If any of you are able to take those factors into consideration as well, that would be really great!

    Anyway....moving on....



    General Questions


    1) What is your budget?

    The notebook should cost nothing above 1000€. something about 800-900€ would be ideal, but I don't know if that price sounds realistic...

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?

    Since I am looking forward to do a lot of digital art on the laptop, and my tablet is fairly big, the best thing to go with for me is 15.6'', which is what I'm currently using as well.
    17 inches might give me some troubles with mobiltity, but those should be fine too!

    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?

    Austria (AT).

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?

    Well, from what I've gathered DELL and Lenovo seem to be really good brands,other than that, not really. Altough from what I've gathered Medion seems to be a rather lousy brand. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong though!

    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?

    No, rather not. I don't put much trust into those things.

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

    Mostly digital art and maybe some light gaming from time to time. Games like (Just for good measure) Minecraft or Leauge of Legends should be playable at 50-60fps with medium/high graphic settings.

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

    Well, it should be mobile enough to take it to school almost everyday, but even then it's going to stay inside most of the time.

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook?

    As I said, yes. But definitely not any demanding games like Overwatch, unless they're put into very perfomance-friendly settings.

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

    I personally think having a decent battery life would be grand. Especially since my current notebook doesn't have a battery anymore. I'd be comfortable with 4-5 hours of actual working life at least

    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?

    Online is completely fine by me.

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

    Oh definitely Windows 10. I had to fight around with Windows 8 for the longest time now.

    Screen Specifics

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

    1080p. I already now that anything higher isn't possible with my budget.

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

    I know, it's most likely to be non-glossy, but I honestly don't really care.


    Build Quality and Design

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

    Not that much to be honest. Altough having an illumianted keyboard would be extremely cool. Not only for style purposes, but also because I tend to work in the dark a lot.

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?

    256GB at least, if it's SSD. If it's an HDD drive there should be at least any kind of SSD inside as well.

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity


    16) When are you buying this laptop?

    Somewhere between January and May this year probably

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

    Since my old laptop is from a grocery store and costed only 400€ when it was bought back in 2013, and it's still working to this day...5 years at least.

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

    Not long... due to school nothing more than 2 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?

    Would be acceptable.


    Thanks so much for reading! I look forward to reading all your answers!
     
  2. Blacky

    Blacky Notebook Prophet

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    Hi,

    First of all, there is no laptop with your required specifications that will last 4-5 years. The only laptops that are likely to last that long are business grade machines: https://noteb.com/?content/article.php?/2018/06/14/why-get-a-business-laptop/
    You have to understand that when it comes to laptop reliability, it all comes down to chance. You buy a 400 euro machine; it has said a 30% chance to break down after three years, you buy a business grade machine, it has an 8% chance to break down after three years. Mind, these numbers are more to give you an idea on what to expect. Of course, you may get lucky, and buy a cheap laptop that lasts you a long time, many people have cheap laptops that lasted many years, just like many people had them break within a few months or purchase.

    So, unless you buy a refurbished business grade laptop, be aware that anything you are going to buy is not designed to last a long time.

    You also need a laptop with high colour gamut, at least 80% sRGB, 90% is prefered. You also want the display to be AHVA/IPS.

    With that being said, these are the laptops that match your requirements: 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.

    I know the Acer Aspire 7 is an ok laptop. It has a decent display, decent thermals and overall no known issues. But it is 17 inch.
    The Asus TUF FX505GE is also mostly ok, but it has a poor chassis and poor quality control, so expect that it might have issues out of the box.
    The Asus UX330x series are also decent laptops for office work and possible for graphics work, but they overheat while gaming. They might work for some light gaming.

    Other options I am not sure they are worth the price. Maybe only the Acer Aspire 5.
     
  3. ElectrifyingOnyx

    ElectrifyingOnyx Newbie

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    Oh, this really helps!! Thanks a ton for your help! Seems like Acer devices are a lot better than I thought they are.
     
  4. Blacky

    Blacky Notebook Prophet

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    No problem! Let me know if you need any further advice on any particular model.
     
  5. ElectrifyingOnyx

    ElectrifyingOnyx Newbie

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    Hey, I know this isn't a question about any specific Laptop model, but I was wondering. From what I've noticed now, setting an sRGB coverage of 80% as a minimum seems to shrink down the selection by quite a lot. I don't really know what the numbers for the sRGB actually mean, so I wanted to ask. Do you think it's possible to go down a bit with the minimum in order to get better results for other specs like battery-life for example? I only do digital art as a hobby and it's only used for social media/wallpapers at the moment. So...do you think anything under 80% would still be acceptable to work with? I look forward to hearing back from you!

    EDIT: Alright, I just did some research and it seems like a good sRGB seems to be very important, especially if you want to create and not only view stuff on the device. So I think I'll stick with 80%. If you have any different opinons though, feel free to let me know!
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  6. Blacky

    Blacky Notebook Prophet

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    If you are doing anything art related, sRGB is very important. Now, a high sRGB doesn't guarantee a good screen, but it indeed eliminates the bad ones.

    To have a good screen for creativity you also need colour accuracy, in a sense, that ok, the display has high sRGB and can display a lot of colours, but it also needs to show them accurately, like to display red when it should display red, not some green-pinkish hue. Many displays suffer from poor colour accuracy problems. Colour accuracy can be fixed through display calibration, and you would need a colour calibrator for that like https://www.amazon.com/X-Rite-ColorMunki-CMUNDIS-Accuracy-Calibration/dp/B0055MBQOM + DisplayCAL (the software). You can also find Display profiles on the internet, which will definitely help, but the reality is that each display is different and each display should have its own unique calibration profile. Some laptops, like high-end workstations, are factory calibrated.

    Also, while we strive to give users the best information possible, we don't have the sRGB value for all laptop models out there, and if you set the sRGB to 80%, we will eliminate the laptops for which we don't know the sRGB and those that have a lower sRGB. The logic is that we want to recommend you laptops that we know will fit your needs and specifications.

    Bottom line, if you are doing anything creative, stick to 80% sRGB or better.

    I hope this helps ;-).
     
  7. ElectrifyingOnyx

    ElectrifyingOnyx Newbie

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    Hey, thanks again for all of the advice you've given me, I really appreciate it!, I was really able to learn a lot.

    Now, after long research, I think I've finally decided, that I'm going to go with the Acer Aspire 7. I have found a few surprisingly good deals for this device, and this is were I probably need your help one last time.

    I have found two deals that are set at about 750€ now.
    Deal 1: https://www.otto.de/p/acer-a717-71g...personal-esd-704594276/#variationId=704594278
    Deal 2: https://www.neckermann.de/p/acer-aspire-a717-71g-57f5-notebook-intel-coretm-i5-43-9-cm-17-3-zoll-1000-gb-speicher-606239442?utm_campaign=PSM&utm_mediu

    So, here's the problem. In none of the deals above is mentioning of the Display having IPS Technology, only Led-Backlight-Technology, also one seems to have a SSD drive, the other doesn't. They're both from the same noteb page, where it says that there's IPS integrated. There are also a few moe differences I might need your opinion on. In Deal 1, it says I'll have a SSD, and a GeForce GTX 1050, Office 365 inclusive (Which I already have from school), while Deal 2 promises me a a GTX 1050 Ti but only one 1TB HDD.

    So, I'm a little unsure about that and was hoping you could look into that maybe. I hope the Websites are both available in English for you.
    (Alsp, I have downed the model a bit so it would be a little cheaper, instead of an i5 8300h I now only have a i5 7300hq, I think it should still work for light gaming, right?)
     
  8. Blacky

    Blacky Notebook Prophet

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    Hi,

    I've talked to my team and they did some investigation on the above links and according to them the
    https://www.neckermann.de/p/acer-as...peicher-606239442?utm_campaign=PSM&utm_mediu# should be IPS.
    This is the laptop's official page from Acer and it states clearly that it is IPS: https://www.acer.com/ac/de/DE/content/model/NX.GPGEG.002

    This one should also be IPS: https://www.otto.de/p/acer-a717-71g...personal-esd-704594276/#variationId=704594278 , but we are not 100% sure, more like 80%.

    Thus I recommend you buy the one from neckermann.
     
  9. rlk

    rlk Notebook Evangelist

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    My previous laptop (Dell Precision M6500) had a screen that I later measured to be 72% sRGB (using DisplayCAL). It was rather drab, and I found myself overdoing (in retrospect) the saturation when editing photos.

    My new laptop is a Lenovo P70, with a 4K ~98% sRGB screen. It's far better for doing that kind of work, in no small part because of that.

    I agree with @Blacky that you really want a good quality screen. Most of the screens seem to be either around 72% or close to 100% (Dell has a 45% low resolution screen available for the Precision 7720; I assume the intent is for someone who's only going to use it for booting, and otherwise uses it exclusively with an external monitor).
     
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