Looking for a survivable-in-any-situation ultraportable

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by OverTallman, Jul 12, 2016.

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  1. OverTallman

    OverTallman Notebook Evangelist

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    You mean M4600, right? Yeah, that would be great as it fulfills my need, perhaps even more, however:
    1. It's way too heavy - It weights about 3.2kg, 1kg heavier than E5510 and I think mine (plus the Wacom and power adapter) is already at my carrying limit, be reminded that I have to ride half an hour to reach my campus cause I don't bother paying for buses that are rarely punctual.
    2. It's too expensive - Right now the cheapest M4600 I can find in "you know where it is" will set you back £230 (P&P and import charge included, as it's from US), and that's just the laptop. I'd need to buy a docking station, two power adapters (one for normal use, one for docking station) and 8GB RAM, if I didn't have my E5510 before, which will raise the cost to around £300. I'm sure it was even more expensive a year ago. Oh yeah, it's much rarer in UK too.
    Consider I'm not willing to lose my E5510 (almost maxed out spec, and more importantly I've retrofitted a backlit keyboard into it), there's no extra money available. (Don't forget the £200 budget limit)

    Yeah upgradeable CPU is really one of the biggest pro of 2570p compared to X230 and E6230, I was surprised when I saw a socket on its mobo. Not even my 2740p has one.

    As for the screen panel type, it's not a big issue to me as all my laptops (including the Fujitsu) use TN screens, but if my next one can have an IPS panel then it's always a better choice.

    Decision decision... Dell, HP or Lenovo? Really are these my only choices right now?
     
  2. Kent T

    Kent T Notebook Virtuoso

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    That or Panasonic, which is beyond your price point. IPS is going to be a bit too much to ask. 2570p's socketed CPU is a big advantage, and might well make this an intelligent buy for your price.
     
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  3. Starlight5

    Starlight5 W I N T E R B O R N

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    @OverTallman what's your E5510 graphics? If it's below HD4600 or on par, you could simply sell your devices, graphics tablet included, and use T734 to replace them all - just add an i7 quad and a docking station when you're halfway done. It's over your stated budget - but you've got 2 laptops and a convertible, on the other hand. Excellent machine; the cons are quite obvious - low screen resolution (although it's a high quality IPS), lack of trackpoint, more expensive parts if you need to repair it. And if you can afford T734, there are other respectable options, without quad-core but with high-res displays. (=

    But honestly, in your case, I'd just grab an X220 tablet with 2x new 9-cells, maybe a dock if you need it. It will leave you some headroom to decide what to do with other devices, while being much more comfortable to use than your dedicated graphics tablet.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
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  4. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    A possible successor for the D420 is a refurbished Latitude E4300 such as this. It's 13" but very well built (I had one for a while).

    John
     
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  5. OverTallman

    OverTallman Notebook Evangelist

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    Actually CF-C1 Mk2 is within my budget, I found a few offers for ~£190 last night.
    Replacement parts and whitelisted hardware are a big issue though.

    I couldn't even find a single deal for T732 or T734, newer Fujitsu are hard to find in UK... and no, I'll never part with my E5510, it's virtually impossible to find another one with backlit keyboard (as you have to DIY).

    X220 Tablet is out of question for now. The cheapest are from US and I'm not sure if it can arrive by 27th / 28th (so I can take advantage of free Win 10 upgrade). The cheapest local offer sits exactly at £200, and I'd have to settle for an i3.

    Also I've found one big problem in the Lenovo offerings (X220/X230) after some digging, I'll talk about this below.

    Seriously £140 for an E4300? That's robbery! Not even E4310 will cost that much now.
    Too bad Dell didn't make E4210 back then, I'd definitely buy one if they did make that.

    It's a bit heavier than I'd like to (about 100g heavier than 2740p), I really want something as light as my D420 for portability. May be a nice gift to my sister though (the Acer she has now is a 15.6" laptop), really want to give her something to compensate for the POS I gave her last year, if only she WANTS it...
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    After some quick look in fleaBay, here's the approximate price for each possible candidate I can think of:
    • Dell Latitude E6220 - £110
    • Dell Latitude E6230 - £130
    • HP EliteBook 2560p - £110
    • HP EliteBook 2570p - £120
    • HP EliteBook 2760p - £135
    • Lenovo ThinkPad X220 - £100
    • Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Tablet - £200
    • Lenovo ThinkPad X230 - £140
    • Lenovo ThinkPad X230 Tablet - £325 o_O
    • Panasonic Toughbook CF-C1 Mk2 - £190
    They all have i5, 4GB RAM and a hard drive at least. Obviously there are cheaper offers.

    Tablets: Well the Lenovo tablets and Toughbook are out for sure, and I'm not keen on having a minor upgrade for my 2740p, having spent over £180 on it (of which £30 is for a new docking station) didn't help.

    Lenovo: Now the X220 and X230, I closely looked at the pictures and found something that worried me, did further research and confirmed that - they both have the freaking clickpad! Did I say I don't want having a clickpad? I'm quite old school and for touchpads I always use them with two hands so I can click a lot faster, with clickpad I can't do that anymore (tried that on my friend's MBP and got hit hard).

    The good old "red dot" and possibility of having IPS screen really attracts me though.

    HP: Both the HP 2560p and 2570p have everything I want, hey they even managed to pack a CPU socket and an optical drive into that chassis. The main problem is their size and weight: a bit chunkier and heavier. No IPS display too.

    One funny joke of HP laptops is that their cooling is abysmal to the point that you can cook food on them, at least that's true for their consumer line. After using my 2740p for a few months though, I didn't experience excessive heat from it, unlike one of my friend's dv6 (AMD version), man that thing is a furnace.

    Dell: The reason I mention the Latitudes at last, is they're really dull compared to the "black bento boxes" and "silver tanks", so dull I should call them "gray steel plates". Generally speaking it's like the ThinkPad, but without the horrid Apple pad. IPS display upgrade possible.

    But I heard they're not as reliable/durable as their competitors or even E4200/E4300/E4310, which is my biggest concern.
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    Right now I'm partial to the HP offerings, specifically 2570p. As a bonus I also have a quad core IVB i7 in my hand, waiting to upgrade my Fujitsu once I'm back to HK but if it works then it'll go to the HP instead.

    Unless someone can sway me into ThinkPad or Latitude...
     
  6. Starlight5

    Starlight5 W I N T E R B O R N

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    @OverTallman there's also Fujitsu T901 that can be upgraded to i7 quad (2720QM or something along the lines), but 2570p you already have CPU for seems more appropriate to me, despite poor screen.
     
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  7. OverTallman

    OverTallman Notebook Evangelist

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    Done... Finally took the plunge and bought a 2570p! Costs me £110, P&P included.

    Just need to do the following:
    Upgrade to Win 10
    Replace CPU: i5-3320M -> quad core IVB i7
    Upgrade RAM: 4GB -> 8GB, then snatch the two 8GB sticks from my Fujitsu (free dealer upgrade btw)
    Replace hard drive: 320GB HDD -> 128GB / 256GB SSD
    Buy a docking station
    Hammer the slightly dented lid
    Buy an eGPU kit (maybe?)

    P. S. Checked the CPU code and the quad I have is an i7-3630QM, bought three months ago for about £100.
     
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  8. darkydark

    darkydark Notebook Evangelist

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    Well its a nifty little machine :)

    I experimented with eGPU with 2570p - you have some of mine and a lot of other peoples posts about it on Techinferno.

    Hope it servers you well :)
     
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  9. OverTallman

    OverTallman Notebook Evangelist

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    Yeah thanks, I actually read about 15 pages of the thread before buying it. It seems i7-3630QM is a good match to the 2570p.

    Will post some pics after it arrives :)
     
  10. OverTallman

    OverTallman Notebook Evangelist

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    Alright, the promised follow-up post!

    Warning: 56k network killer

    Got this thing about two weeks ago and I was busy buying parts for it, and here's my new baby:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    A 6-cell battery, nice! It managed to last just a bit over 3 hours from full charge.
    It's missing a rubber leg and screw cover, plus a 65W adapter (instead of 90W), but I do have one (from my 2740p) so I simply swapped them.

    Used a screwdriver to hammer the the dent flat... well kinda...
    [​IMG]
    Not as apparent as when I received it though.

    Once I opened the base cover I realized it already has a 4GB stick, saved me some money as I only needed to buy one 4GB stick.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I also slapped an i7-3630QM, an ADATA 240GB SSD and a WWAN card into it. Upgraded to Windows 10 Home from Windows 7, then further upgraded to Pro with its Win 7 Pro key.

    As a tradition, a handover ceremony! Not as compact as my D420, but hey, I got a socketed CPU.
    [​IMG]
    Now my D420 will serve as a support machine, mainly for 32-bit only applications (such as VFD as I've said before).

    Right now it has two major issues:
    1. Bad TrackPoint buttons - need a new touchpad
    2. No sound from speakers and audio port - bought a Bluetooth receiver as a solution

    Also it's pretty weak in gaming, even with an i7 installed. Last week my friends needed more laptops so they could play League of Legends as a 10-player group, I lent this thing to them (and results in delay on this post). Had to turn the graphics to minimum to avoid frame drops.

    But overall I'm quite satisfied with this machine, next plan is to buy an eGPU kit.

    P.S. Besides the HP, I also bought this:
    [​IMG]
     
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