My HP Laptop/Ultrabook Journey

Discussion in 'HP' started by Chris Kelly, Feb 28, 2019.

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  1. Chris Kelly

    Chris Kelly Newbie

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    I have felt most comfortable with HP laptops because when customizing them at HP's online store, I have noticed I can choose my components independantly. For example, I don't have to give up an SSD or 4K/UHD panel upgrade if I don't want discrete graphics. Or I can choose discrete graphics and an SSD without a 4K/UHD panel upgrade. Also, their Ultrabook batteries have high capacity ratings--between 52 and 60 Watts for models with integrated graphics, and between 79 and 84 Watts for models with discrete graphics.
    In 2012, a few months before SuperStorm Sandy, I decided I was done with desktops. I started out with an HP Pavilion 17.3" DV7-6000 series laptop configured with an I7-2670QM, integrated HD 3000 Intel graphics, and an SVA 1600X900 panel. Compared to TV viewing, I have never seen such gray blacks nor faded colors in my life! A few years later when I was sure I would be living my life on a laptop, I upgraded to the HP Envy 17-N100 mid 2015 model available with (1) I7-6500U/NVIDIA GTX940, or (2) I7-6700HQ/NVIDIA GTX950M. I got that one with the fantastic FHD 1920X1080 panel upgrade. That was my favorite laptop as far as being able to buy spare batteries, picture and sound performance, processor and graphics, and a consumer-upgradable Blu-ray option. Then when the headphone jack broke and HP refunded me because they weren’t able to replace the headphone jack, I have missed this laptop ever since. My next one was an Omen 17-W000 mid 2016 model with an I7-6700HQ and NVIDIA GTX960M. I wasn’t happy with its internal speakers, plastic chassis, no spare batteries available from the HP parts store, nor white showing as pink on its 4K/UHD panel, even after sending it out for panel repairs. So last year, I got an Envy X360 15T-BP100 late 2017 I5-8250U and integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics. I got the 4K panel upgrade. Its chassis, speakers, and battery life are great. However, after paying $200 extra for the 4K/UHD panel upgrade, and considering its 4K/UHD panel would run about $1,153 in the HP parts storeI am not happy with the 45% color gamut. While its colors are not as faded / washed out as those SVA 1600x900 budget panels, its colors aren’t as strong as on my Omen and that first Envy which I really miss, but thanks to that nonrepairable headphone jack, I’ll never see one like that again. They should have stuck with the Envy 17T-N series, updating its processor and graphics throughout the years, and adding a 4K/UHD panel option at some point. But anyway, when I got my Envy X360, that was just before the early 2018 Spectres came out. I would have gotten the late 2017 Spectre 15T-BL100, but it didn’t include a numpad, which I need for performing mouse functions for accessibility reasons. I wish I had waited a month or two more for the Spectre 15T-CH000 with the numpad. I guess one important key to getting things right in/with this hobby/journey is patience. In the event I become a regular on here for years to come, please remind me of this if I seem desperate, frustrated, etc.. So now I am using my Omen for movies. While white shows as pink on its 4K/UHD panel, the rest of its colors are excellent. While its internal speakers are lackluster, I don’t have to worry about that when using a good pair of headphones. I use my Envy X360 for audio, as well as all things portable. For now, having two computers allows me to perform software maintenance or play media on one while the other is logged into my Facebook and e-mail. Now I’m actually hoping a close friend or family will need a new laptop at some point and could afford my Omen or Envy X360 so I could afford a Spectre.
    I keep up with the tech, play Youtube reviews, and read PDF service and maintenance books for models I’m interested in. I notice books of this kind for Envy X360s from late 2017 to the present give the color gamut for each model’s respective panel options. While the books for the 15” Spectre X360s from late 2016/early 2017 through early 2018 don’t mention the color gamut, the book for the Spectre 15T-DF000 late 2018 models mentions a color gamut of 72%. While the 4K/UHD panels on the Envy X360 15T-CN100 and Spectre X360 15T-DF000 are both rated at 72% color gamut, do the panels look identical when viewed side-by-side, or is the panel better either on the Envy or the Spectre, as in white balance, color reproduction, etc.?

    Update:
    A few days ago, I called HP Envy Support because I'm not happy that the panel I upgraded to when I purchased my Envy X360 15T-BP100 last year only has a 45% color gamut. . Since the FHD 1920X1080 panel option has a color gamut of 72%, I asked if they could replace my panel. They said I'd have to pay. As I was explaining I refuse to pay for a downgrade, our call got interrupted. So today, I called them back, picked up where I left off, and filed a complaint for them to forward to product research, development, and engineering for a hardware replacement 4K/UHD panel with a higher color gamut. As long as they claimed they initiate my issue as I described, and as long as I still have time, I was able to get an extended warranty for my late 2017 Envy X360 15T-BP100 for $129.99. They sent me a box to hang on to so I could send my unit in if a panel update gets released. For those of you who are familiar with HP's system of consumer brands (HP, Pavilion, Omen, Envy and Spectre), here's how I categorize their brands. The standard HP brand and Pavilion series are low-to-mid caliber brands for the budget-minded and/or nontechsavvy consumers who don't care as much about performance and cosmetics just so they can get by. The Omen series is specificly for gamers. I see the Envy and Spectre series as high/upper caliber brands for serious multimedia enthusiasts and for use in situations in which stability is a necessity. In my case, especially considering that most Envy 4K/UHD panels have a 72% color gamut, I don't think it makes sense to retire my Envy so I can replace it with a Spectre. Wouldn't that be the same thing as retiring a Ford Explorer for a Geep Cheraky? I don't drive. So I don't know how to spell the names of the various vehical/vehicle makes and models. But doesn't my comparison and solution make sense? Well ... Fingers crossed regarding the 4K/UHD panel upgrade ...
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
  2. Eclipse2016

    Eclipse2016 Notebook Geek

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    Thank you for writing down your journey. I hope it has a happy ending! I am on my first HP ZBook and I have no regrets. Maybe you can try the ZBook x360 down the road? Good luck!
     
  3. Chris Kelly

    Chris Kelly Newbie

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    I usually set spending limits on my electronics so I can afford upgrades. While the specs on ZBooks are great, I'm afraid they're above my $1,500 preference for laptops. I believe at some point, I'll hit the right one again, and maybe if HP takes this panel update into consideration, I might already have with my Envy X360 15t-BP100. If they get it right with the panel update, then I can get past the regret of parting with the Envy 17(T?)-n100 because of the headphone jack they didn't know how long before they would have been able to repair it. Also, it's cool that my Envy X360 can get through two movies with my screen brightness and CPU, graphics, and wifi settings maxed out while on battery power. This panel update would allow me to maybe move on to other areas in my technical hobby/journey.
     
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