Looking for a specific laptop

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Celivalg, Dec 9, 2018.

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  1. Celivalg

    Celivalg Newbie

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    Hi!

    So I'm looking for a decent laptop with some really specific features,
    I'll go on with the copy/pasted questions;

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    Under 600€, however if prices are a bit above, do share the idea you have

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    between 13" and 16", I want It to be portable
    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?
    France, however the keyboard can be qwerty or azerty, I type with both

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like:
    b. Dislike: Apple
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    I would be okay with redistributed, but refurbished... I don't know

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    I'm in a computer engineering school, thus I program a lot and sometimes take on CPU intensive tasks,
    I often consume a lot of RAM with all the tabs I keep open in my browser (even with "the great suspender" addon on)

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    I will basically carry it everyday to school so I want it to be really portable

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?)
    Probably, however I don't want a dedicated GPU inside, I would like to go the route of eGPU
    (I've done it before and it worked incredibly well) so a thunderbolt port would be really awesome
    (previously I had a PCIe interface, so the laptop ended up being a desktop, not portable anymore)
    I don't play that much but I like to do some long sessions sometimes, and I don't want to remove this possibility

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    I'd like something in the order of 7 to 10 hours,
    We have plugs all around the place in the school, but I often go work in parks, to refresh my mind...

    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 can buy online, I actually usually go with online because there is soo much more choice

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
    either Windows or linux, or without any OS. If it's windows I'll definitely put some linux distro as a dual boot, or even remove windows entierly

    Screen Specifics

    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer?
    Full HD (1920×1080) if you have more I don't care, but for the price range I doubt that will exist

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen?
    I don't care too much

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    Not that much, though I don't want it to be too bulky

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?
    This is not a requirement, but an SSD would be great, I need at least 500GB total, however if there is only a 128-256GB SSD and a spot free for an HDD, that's okay
    SSHD would be great :p

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity


    16) When are you buying this laptop?
    In January

    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop?
    As long as it will last, at least 4 years

    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?
    I can work things out, I have a bunch of old laptops (the one I am using) which are okay for now

    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?
    I'm okay with shipping


    Extra Features

    Backlit keyboard
    I often work in the dark in the evening, since I am not always really good with the keyboard (I'm having a hard time learning the key by heart since I often change my typing position (sitting, laying down...))

    Thunderbolt port
    For eGPU, I plan to play some GPU intensive games and I don't want to pay the extra price nor to carry the weight of a laptop GPU
    I can work with an Express Card thingy but good luck finding a PC with an express card today

    Decent IO
    I want an RJ45 (Ethernet) port, since that's sometimes the only way to connect I have
    At least 2 USB ports, 3 would be even better
    Thunderbolt (as stated)
    HDMI output preferred (and if there isn't any output, I'll manage it with a thunderbolt dongle, but all the projectors in my school have an HDMI input)

    CPU
    I would like to have an 8th gen Intel I5 since that would last me a while

    RAM
    I would like at least 4Gigs but do share if you find something under that
    However I need it to be upgradable, to at least 12-16Gigs...


    Now this seems pretty tight for a 600€ budget
    but I have found some stuff pretty close to what I am seeking:
    https://www.ldlc.com/fiche/PB00254533.html
    (sorry that's in French couldn't find a English link)
    But it's missing my thunderbolt :c
    I have been looking for a while now but there is always one thing missing

    I am usually pretty good with computers, I mean Linux is my daily OS,
    So I can handle sketchy maneuvers
    (even ugly ones, my last laptop with the eGPU had a hole done
    with a dremel to plug in the PCIe extensions for the GPU... yeah)

    If you find anything, I would be glad to hear about it!
    Celivalg
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  2. Blacky

    Blacky Notebook Prophet

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    Hi,
    I looked for laptops that match your specifications, but unfortunately, there are no laptops that are that cheap with Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt costs extra money. The only way you can get a laptop with your specifications is to look for a refurbished / second-hand machine.
    I am sure there is a Dell Outlet/Refurbished website in France.

    Otherwise, if you drop the Thunderbolt, there are some laptops out there for you: noteb search results.
    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.

    Also, you may want to consider Ryzen laptops as well if you are ok without the Thunderbolt.

    The best new laptops for your budget are Acer Aspire and Acer Swift laptops.

    On another note, regarding Thunderbolt. If you are going to buy a refurbished laptop with an i5, it will most likely come with an Intel 7th Gen U series, which for an eGPU solution is underpowered and will severely limit the performance of the eGPU while gaming.

    I don't know what laptop is the one in your link, looks like a Clevo, they are not bad laptops, but don't expect much from them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  3. amirbahalegharn

    amirbahalegharn Notebook Consultant

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    your budget is so low for any new laptop with thunderbolt3 but anyway:
    there is this new clevo laptop with thunderbolt3+ desktop 8th gen cpu ("T 35W" series so make sure you know their performance too) with higher price:
    https://clevo-computer.com/business...docking-station-intel-uhd-graphics-630#config
    for comparison: 8400T vs 8250U
    https://www.cpu-monkey.com/en/compare_cpu-intel_core_i5_8400t-870-vs-intel_core_i5_8250u-772

    there is this too but 6th gen:
    https://www.amazon.com/Acer-TravelMate-TMP658-M-59SY-US-Ultrabook-Professional/dp/B01FAK5R70
    and 7th + thunderbol non-3:
    https://www.amazon.com/d/2-1-Laptops/Lenovo-720-Touchscreen-Fingerprint-Thunderbolt/B07FXPMM2Q
    7th + thunderbolt3:
    https://www.amazon.com/Asus-Touchscreen-Convertible-i7-7500U-Bluetooth/dp/B074HBH3YC
    8th gen 700$ again thunderbolt non-3:
    https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-Touch-Screen-i5-8250U-Thunderbolt-Fingerprint/dp/B07CKVLP4V/
    and the cheapest thunderbolt3 laptops are ~800$
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H17W57G/ref=psdc_13896615011_t2_B07H3CYD62
    https://www.dell.com/en-us/member/s...gaming/spd/g-series-15-5587-laptop/dncwfs620s
    https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-Touch-Screen-i5-8250U-Thunderbolt-Keyboard/dp/B07JLBFYDV/

    there is this build-yourself barebone laptop too , without thunderbolt with dedicatd GPU (MX150/gtx1050/gtx1050ti) but within your ~600USD budget.

    https://www.barebone-notebooks.com/clevo-clevo-nb50tz.html
    https://www.eluktronics.com/NB50TL
    https://www.eluktronics.com/christmas-special-eluktronics-nb50tl
    or
    https://www.barebone-notebooks.com/clevo-clevo-nb50tk1-gtx1050ti.html
    for your reference, you may upgrade it to i3 8100 which is better than 8250U but around 6700HQ ut in gaming,most of times it performs better than 7700HQ(reason:1st core clock 3.6ghz)
    so ,good luck if you could find C-refubrished or 2nd hand ones,so that they cost fall in your budget.
    also if you have an ssd/ram around,you can sell new laptop's ram/ssd/hard and have your cost in balance.

    as for gaming, for example tomb raider,so according to notebookcheck,here is the framerate for mx150/1050/1050ti for the three series. (the cpus tested are 7700HQ/8750H which 8750H 45W is equal to i5 8500 65W or 8700T 35W destop cpu,,so expect better performance if you upgrade those desktop cpu laptops to 8700/9700 65W)
    https://imgur.com/dtK0C1P
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
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  4. amirbahalegharn

    amirbahalegharn Notebook Consultant

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    there is this powerful laptop on christmass sale too but without thunderbolt3: i5 8300H(better than 7820hk! let alone 8656U or other series)+144hz + gtx1050+mechanical keyboard +8gb 2666mhz +1TB Hard+128GB ssd, this is from tongfang(like clevo) model z2 probably for only 600$:

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/OVERPOWE...-128-SSD-1TB-HDD-8GB-RAM-Windows-10/682079574

    for battery life,I recommend buying a powerbank with near 80-120W capability like following one to keep any of your laptop/digital tools working on AC for as long as you need:
    The following is my favorite; the first one more powerful with dual AC output 240W with 3.1A USB3.0 charging port:
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/110...-Energy-Storage-Power-Supply/32892647380.html

    and some others:
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Rec...t-DC-220V-110V-AC-power-bank/32960995571.html
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/ALL...ortable-Generator-with-AC-DC/32959939912.html
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/MAXOAK-power-bank-50000mah-6-output-port-DC12V-2-5A-DC20V-5A-notebook-power-bank-can/32815396893.html
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Por...ah-Phone-Battery-Charger-LED/32890566536.html
    https://www.amazon.com/MAXOAK-50000mAh-Portable-Charger-External/dp/B00YP823NA
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  5. Celivalg

    Celivalg Newbie

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    This last one looks good however, I'm only gonna buy in January so I don't think the christmass sale is going to help, and if there is a graphic card inside there is no point in having a thunderbolt for eGPU, however I thought thunderbolt would be less expensive than a 1050. apparently I'm wrong...
    Though this PC is going to be heavy I bet... and the extra bulk of a 1Kg battery doesn't feels good either...

    One thing I might consider is ditching the eGPU idea and sticking with one of my computers at home which aren't last gen and all but will do for now. This would make the process of finding something easier.
     
  6. Celivalg

    Celivalg Newbie

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    yeah it's one from a reseller, usually the only resell laptops, but they made their own products, they are not bad laptops for their prices, just average
     
  7. amirbahalegharn

    amirbahalegharn Notebook Consultant

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    for external GPU performance (using gigabyte or razer e-GPU BOX) to thunderbolt3 port,you can see it as following:
    GTX1080 --> GTX1070 mAX-Q/gGTX1060 OC
    GTX1070-->GTX1060
    GTX1060-->GTX970M/GTX980M/GTX1050TI

    for FPS in games with different CPU/GPU, check below page for many different graphs(some taken from youtube videos):
    https://www.instagram.com/laptopstockshiraz/
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  8. Celivalg

    Celivalg Newbie

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    well it's not always true, depends on which way you are linking the PCIe to the motherboard, for example using mini-PCIe on a recent laptop you'll get 1 lane of PCIv3 which is equivalent to the 4 lanes of PCIv1 the thunderbolt 1 port offers, if you go with thunderbolt 3 you get 4 lanes of PCIv3... which is more than enough in most cases...
    So depending on how much you throttle your GPU because of your bandwidth you'll get different results. There is always a performance decrease, but you can get away with a 5% computing loss.
    The main problem about eGPU is the mess that is driver compatibility... I remember spending entire evenings tinkering with NVIDIA drivers just to make my computer recognize that I have a new graphic card installed... Now I was using mPCIe and I don't think it was that much of a good idea, So I want to try it on thunderbolt 3... if possible, which it might not be with my budget :c
     
  9. Blacky

    Blacky Notebook Prophet

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    I have to decide which way you want to go:
    - you can try and stick to your budget and get an Acer, maybe even one with an MX150 and use your desktop.
    - you can increase your budget and aim for a laptop with Thunderbolt.
    - You can try to get an affordable gaming laptop for around 1000 euro; sometimes they sell for less, in which case my recommendation is one of the Acer gaming laptops. Most budget gaming laptops with a 7th gen processor or 8th gen Core i5 are ok when it comes to cooling and reliability.

    The reason why I recommend Acers is because, for budget laptops, they make pretty much the best laptops. However, the Clevo you mentioned is also ok. I bought a budget Clevo laptop for my parents about eight years ago, and it still works to this day. Came with a 9300M video card.

    You seem to be pretty knowledgeable about the technicalities involved with Thunderbolt and which GPU is better than another. So I won't bother you with these things.
     
  10. Celivalg

    Celivalg Newbie

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    yeah I'm in a bit of a dead-end, not quite sure what I'll do yet... thank you guys for your help!
     
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