Looking for a laptop with a matte screen, serviceable, robust, with a good PPI.

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by cpl593h, Sep 8, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. cpl593h

    cpl593h Newbie

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    What is your budget?
    €1000 – €1500

    What country will you be buying this in?
    Belgium

    What size notebook do you prefer?
    Thin and Light (13 - 14-inch screen)

    What brands do you like or dislike?
    Like: Lenovo, Dell, Samsung, HP
    Dislike: Acer, Asus, Apple

    Would you consider a refurbished laptop?
    No

    What are the primary tasks you need this notebook for?
    Web Surfing, Office and Productivity Software, Listening to Music, Photo Editing, Video Editing, Computer Programming, Movie Streaming and Viewing, Output Video to TV or Large Monitor, Casual Gaming

    Heavy calculations (transcoding audio/video files), VMWare virtual machines


    Where will you be using this laptop?
    Will be used different places

    How many hours of battery life do you need?
    5

    Will you be buying online or in store?
    online (because I know no store in Belgium that offer these laptops)

    Which OS do you prefer?
    Windows 7 or Mac OS X or Linux

    List the screen resolutions that interest you:
    High Resolution (1600 x 900)
    Max Resolution (1920 x 1080)


    Do you prefer a glossy or matte screen?
    Matte is fine. Glossy is a deal breaker.

    Is the laptops design important to you?
    No

    Approximately what date will you be buying this laptop?
    Around 09/16/2012

    How long do you want this laptop to last?
    3 years

    How much storage capacity do you need?
    120 GB

    Are you interested in SSD for storage?
    I'm OK with a HD, but I'll change it with the SSD of my previous computer. The cheaper, the best.

    Do you want a built-in optical drive, what type?
    No

    --

    In two words: I need a good computer, extremely robust, easily serviceable (remove three screen and do what you want), with a matte screen (very important, I hate those mirror "glossy" screen) with a good enough PPI (110 or better). Bonus points if it is lightweight.

    --

    The long story:

    My Macbook Pro mid-2010 (Core i5, 2,4Ghz, 128 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM, matte 15" 1680x1050 screen) just died of mostly unknown causes (probably an electrical overload problem). I'm not sure yet, but the keyboard, the battery and maybe even the motherboard are to be replaced.

    I can't stand Apple's technical support (in Europe at least, I think it's better in the US) anymore. The "authorized reseller" (no geniuses here) told me that replacing the dead components would cost me about the same as a low end MacBook. Were it a Lenovo or a Dell, I'd just order a €35 battery and a €65 keyboard and would do the replacements by myself. New Macs being next to impossible to fix by oneself and incredibly stupid design choices (in order to replace a few dead keys, I have to replace the whole topcase? Really, Apple?) have finally disgusted me of Mac hardware.

    So, after years of Mac hardware, I'm ready to switch back to PC hardware. I'm impressed by Lenovo's robustness and serviceability: after the Mac nightmare, I want a computer where I can replace parts (RAM, HD/SSD or broken parts) by myself.

    The RAM and HD/SDD in the computer has little importance since I'd eventually would put my own. I'd rather pay for 2GB of RAM and upgrade to 8GB by myself than paying vendor-supplied 8GB.

    Another thing I need is a US Keyboard (ANSI layout, I hate the ISO layout). Sometimes hard to find in Europe, where QWERTY keyboards are usually ISO (with a Tetris-block shaped enter key).

    I had a horrible experience with Apple's MagSafe's: these things are jokes, on a 2 years period I had mine replaced five times. I'd like a standard power adapter and I'd like to be able to buy one or two more for my usual workplaces. A cheap but robust power adapter is a must too.

    As for the screen, it has to be matte and have a good PPI. Right now, I'm using a temporary replacement MacBook Pro 13" with a glossy screen and a 1280x800 resolution and both hurt my eyes. 1440x900 with a matte screen is a minimum for 13" by my taste. The GPU can be anything (Intel HD 4000 is fine, I actually _like_ Intel GPU's for they have good Linux support).

    One last thing: I dislike fan noise. I'd like a rather quiet laptop.

    I realize it's a very demanding list of features -- from a preliminary review, I found the Lenovo T430, which looks like it fits, but I don't know the actual offerings to be sure that it's the best choice.

    Another challenge is that I must be able to get that in Belgium (if possible not at 2x the US price).

    Thank you for your advice!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2015
  2. Kaso

    Kaso Notebook Virtuoso

    Reputations:
    744
    Messages:
    3,546
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    116
    If you don't like fan noise and want to use a notebook that runs cool, opt for an i5 Ivy Bridge with HD 4000 integrated graphics.

    If you want ease of upgrade and maintenance, together with robustness, go for ThinkPad.

    I vote for the T430 with 1600x900 screen.

    I've been using a number of ThinkPads of various generations, from 12" to 14" to 15", and at present I travel almost every week with a T520 (i5, HD 3000, 1920x1080 screen). I don't find it heavy at all. I love the larger (and excellent) display and its high resolution.

    The weight difference between a T430 and a T530 is a bit over a pound.
     
  3. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

    Reputations:
    4,127
    Messages:
    7,892
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Try a 14" HP Elitebook 8470P or Probook 6470b, Dell E6430 or Lenovo T430. All have a 900P matte LCD option, at least in the US they do. HP is the easiest to service since pressing a clip allows removal of the whole bottom service door giving access to important components.

    In 13" you could consider a Dell E6320 but it is 1366x768.
     
  4. iViNtaGe

    iViNtaGe Notebook Consultant

    Reputations:
    69
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    You can get the Lenovo T530 or T430, that offer rugged design, backlit keyboards, and 1080p and 900p screen respectively. They also have the thinner T430s and X1 carbon that has a great 900p screen and SSD.

    Samsung offers the Series 7 but it has a 15" 900p screen and is a bit big, and the Series 9 with is very thin, and offers a 900p 13" PLS matte display, 128gb SSD and a backlit keyboard to boot. But the S9 is like $1600 USD starting price and is hard to install your own hardware.

    HP has the Envy line but I am not familiar with the multimedia focused models.


    And Dell has the XPS 14 and 15, which offer nice design, backlit keyboards, 900p and 1080p screens respectively, and discreet graphics options. I think these can be self upgraded as well.

    Out of the choices, i would go with either the T430s from Lenovo. Dell XPS 14 doesn't look bad either but I havn't heard too much about them.

    The T430s is just a lighter version of the T430 with some awesome design and feel, great keyboard, relatively lightweight, easily upgradable, matte 900p 14" screen and some awesome battery options (6-cell with 3-cell add-on in the drive bay.

    Not sure about Belgian availability though. Good Luck.
     
  5. Kaso

    Kaso Notebook Virtuoso

    Reputations:
    744
    Messages:
    3,546
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Lots of problems with those two, especially the XPS 15 L521X (2012). Stay away!
     
  6. cpl593h

    cpl593h Newbie

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Thanks for your answers. I think I'll consider the T430, but there's a thing bugging me: a lot of reviews I've read say that the quality of the screen in Lenovo's is extremely poor, especially when compared to Apple (!). Now, poor is a very subjective word, and I'd like you to confirm or infirm this judgement.
    If it's really not so good, maybe I'll consider one of the HP's, they look like winners too, but I have this hunch that Lenovo's are more robust. And Lenovo is not in the turmoil like HP, even if things seems to calm down.
     
  7. Kaso

    Kaso Notebook Virtuoso

    Reputations:
    744
    Messages:
    3,546
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    116
    Not "extremely poor," but "consistently average." That's the general assessment about Lenovo ThinkPad screens for the last few years, except the FHD 1920x1080 TN panel used on the T/W510, T/W520 and T/W530, as well as the HD 1366x768 IPS panel on the X220 and X230.

    ThinkPads are targeted at users who do not place a high priority on top-notch screen quality. The T430 HD+ 1600x900 screens (sourced from 3 different manufacturers: LG, Samsung and AUO) are decent, but not excellent or awesome. However, I must say they are better than most screens on consumer-oriented notebooks in the stores.
     
  8. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

    Reputations:
    4,127
    Messages:
    7,892
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A user compared a Lenovo X220 vs HP 2560P here finding the HP as better built. The Elitebooks look a lot better than the 1990s look of a Thinkpad too. I'd also suggest look at a 14" Dell Latitude E6430. Again, a better looking system than a T430 with similar tech specs.

    If you want a Thinkpad then consider asking for a 10-15% discount, savings Lenovo should pass on to their customers from recycling their 1990s design. Think I'm kidding? Below is a 1990s Thinkpad:

    [​IMG]

    Image courtesy of lovelaptops at http://forum.notebookreview.com/wha...uggestions-new-laptop-work-2.html#post8829360.
     
  9. cpl593h

    cpl593h Newbie

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Actually, coming from MacBooks, I'm quite fond of this (non-)design. Apple is all about design, even if it has to kill features, and I don't even like what they do, visually. The 1990 look (that I've known well enough in its time) has a nostalgia added value for me. ;)

    On an unrelated matter, you all suggested very good laptops, I've read reviews for all of them and won't search further. That said, has anyone experience with hackintoshing them? Not that I'd want OS X to be my main system, but it would ease the transition and it's more confortable than using OS X in VMWare. Please note: hackintoshing is legal in Belgium (EULA's are not legal here and they are regarded as a bunch of abusive clauses that one can just disregard).
     
  10. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

    Reputations:
    4,870
    Messages:
    33,736
    Likes Received:
    1,109
    Trophy Points:
    581
    I don't know that one users opinion is the basis to make a claim that one notebook is better built than the next. I own a X220i. I consider it to be as well built as any other ThinkPad I've owned. Looks are subject. Personally, I like ThinkPad design. It's simple, elegant and timeless. There's a certain comfort in getting the same thing every time, especially if you like it, but perhaps it's not for everyone.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page