Need New High End Laptop for Home Office

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by el3ctronics, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. el3ctronics

    el3ctronics Notebook Guru

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    I moved to a new house late last year and finally got around to setting up my home office. My goal is to try and work from home 1 day during the week and then also use it for additional work on nights and weekends. I'll be upgrading from an older 13" Dell XPS machine and I'll also be purchasing a Dell 34" widescreen display (u3417w) to use with the new laptop. Looking for some advice on what I should be looking at...thanks in advance!

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?

    $2,500

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?

    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.

    USA

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

    a. Like: Lenovo, Dell, Microsoft (surface products), Razer
    b. Dislike: Don't necessarily dislike any brands but have a pre-conceived notion from past experiences that products from Acer, Asus just feel cheaper (more poorly built).
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?

    No

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

    Excel financial modeling, photo editing, minor gaming, + typical PC usage (ie: web browsing, youtube etc)

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

    Mostly for use in home office and around the house which is why I'm ok with a 15". May take it to the office every so often but not daily.

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?

    Possibly some minor gaming but probably nothing too graphically intensive.

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

    ~ 8 hours under real usage scenario

    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?

    Buying online without seeing is ok

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (Windows 7 / 8), Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.

    Windows 10 Pro

    Screen Specifics

    12) From the choices below, what screen resolution(s) would you prefer? Keep in mind screen size in conjunction with resolution will play a large role in overall viewing comfort level. Everyone is different. Some like really small text, while others like their text big and easy to read. (Scroll down to see screen resolution information.)

    Maximum resolution with good brightness and color accuracy.

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (Scroll down to see explanations.)

    Prefer matte but ok with glossy to get a higher quality display per my response to question 12.

    Build Quality and Design

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

    Yes, want something that looks good but doesn't have to be flashy (ex: Dell XPS, Lenvo Thinkpads, Microsoft Surface products, etc.).

    15) When are you buying this laptop?

    Within 30 days

    16) How long do you want this laptop to last?

    ~3-4 years

    Notebook Components

    17) How much hard drive space do you need? Do you want a SSD drive?

    Min 512 GB and must have SSD

    18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?

    Not necessary
     
  2. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    I would say the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is right up there. It offers a very good WQHD screen, which tend to be seen more so on larger notebooks, though I believe it is glossy.
     
  3. nixliu

    nixliu Notebook Consultant

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    your budget is engouh to buy discrete graphic card laptop. But it may a little thick, do you consider this option?
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  4. Nauzhror

    Nauzhror Notebook Guru

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    Since you seem to want both performance and battery life I'd look for something with a 8th gen ULV i7.

    i7-8550u is weaker than a i7-7700HQ, but not significantly so, and is much less power hungry.
     
  5. Firefox@yami

    Firefox@yami Notebook Geek

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    minor gaming don't need 2500 $ laptop. i game well on mine . i do office stuff too .
     
  6. el3ctronics

    el3ctronics Notebook Guru

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    I've been looking at the new X1 Carbon (and the Carbon Yoga). Would this be powerful enough to drive the large external monitor while also doing some intensive work? Also want to make sure a computer this thin won't get too hot under intense workloads. Lastly, how are the new 8th gen intel processors?

    Depends what you mean by thick. If it's as thick as a surface book 2 or XPS 15 I think that would be ok. But I don't want a brick.
     
  7. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    According to the specs, the 6th gen supports a max resolutions of 5120x2880@60Hz (USB Type-C) and 4096x2160@30Hz (HDMI).

    It offers a quad core, so performance should be overkill for home office and light gaming. From the reviews I've seen, it says it can get warm under sustained load, but fairly typical for ultrabooks. If it's just for around the house, maybe you want to consider something larger like the XPS 15.
     
  8. rlk

    rlk Notebook Consultant

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    Lenovo P50/P51 (maybe P51s, but performance will likely be lower due to thermals) sound like they would do the job. You can get a 4K screen (I find 4K at 15" doesn't work, but it does for me at 17"), and it drives external 4K monitors just fine.

    Note that there are lots of configurations; you can look on the factory refurb and clearance sites for some really good configurations.
     
  9. Nauzhror

    Nauzhror Notebook Guru

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    They're amazing.
    I would not buy a laptop with a 6th or 7th gen cpu. Not to say that those are "bad", they're not, but they're vastly inferior.

    The i7-8550u is about 5-10% faster than the i7-7500U was on single-threaded benchmarks. On multi-threaded benchmarks though it can be as much as 65% faster.

    That's only the case for the u models though. i7-7700HQ is still faster than the 8550u, but you mentioned battery life being a priority, so 8550 or 8650 are probably your best bets.
     
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