Quad Core i7, Dedicated Graphics, ~6 hour battery life - What's out there?

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Azone, May 10, 2015.

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  1. Azone

    Azone Notebook Evangelist

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    Hey everyone. A student I know is looking for a laptop and the requirements are very similar to the ones I had about a year and half ago. That is, it has to be something with a relatively powerful CPU and midrange dedicated graphics (think GT750M or better) while also having roughly a six hour battery life when web browsing/word processing. I know this is possible because I ended up with a Samsung Ativ 8, which pulls all of this off. Unfortunately, even when I was looking, this was the only laptop besides a Latitude E6540 or Macbook Pro that could, and those were both significantly more expensive. I know manufacturers don't strive to achieve this balance of performance and battery life very often anymore, but what's out there today that meets these requirements? An XPS 15 should be able to, but that's also a bit on the expensive side. Also, I should add, something with a good keyboard is a huge plus (it's the one thing I really dislike about the Ativ 8).

    Also, swapping batteries is not an option unless it has a built in battery like the Thinkpads which allow you to swap batteries without interrupting whatever the machine is doing.

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    ~$1000

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen

    3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.
    USA (aww...can't select flags on this new forum design)

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like: Indifferent
    b. Dislike: Indifferent
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    Maybe, but would rather not

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    School work, Photoshop, video editing, some gaming.

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

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?
    Yes. Nothing super demanding, but I would hope it could run games released in 3-4 years on low. Today, it should be able to run games like Civilization V and Revengeance.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    6+ with web browsing/word processing at mid brightness.

    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?
    Doesn't matter

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (Windows 7 / 8), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
    Doesn't matter

    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. Click here for Screen resolution information.

    1920x1080 at the minimum.

    13) Do you want a Glossy/reflective screen or a Matte/non-glossy screen?

    Doesn't matter, but if a touchscreen is available, it will be selected.

    Build Quality and Design

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

    Yes

    15) When are you buying this laptop?

    Next month or two

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

    4+ years

    Notebook Components

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

    The more the merrier, but whether it's installed after the fact or from the factory, it should have an SSD.

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

    Would be nice, but not necessary.

    Thanks!
     
  2. hhhd1

    hhhd1 Notebook Consultant

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    Lenovo IdeaPad Y50

    comes with GTX 860, much better than the 750
     
  3. Azone

    Azone Notebook Evangelist

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    That was actually the second laptop I looked at (after the Asus N550JK), but my friend has one of those and he can't seem to break 4.5 hours of battery life with it. It's a really good system, otherwise.
     
  4. hhhd1

    hhhd1 Notebook Consultant

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  5. Azone

    Azone Notebook Evangelist

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    Huh, can't believe I missed that. I saw it on HP's website some time ago but didn't notice there was a quad core + GTX850m configuration. Seems like a pretty decent price, too. I'm going to do some reading on this and if build quality and cooling are decent, this might be the one. Thanks a lot!

    Any more suggestions are still welcome.
     
  6. Th4tRedhe4d

    Th4tRedhe4d Notebook Evangelist

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    I would say the HP Omen, but it's also only about 4.5 hours (you may be be able to get more by turning brightness/WiFi/Bluetooth off).

    Edit: You'd need to wait for a coupon too, but it's possible to get it for ~$1000.
     
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  7. Azone

    Azone Notebook Evangelist

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    ^I'm willing to wait for a coupon. That would be quite a nice system for ~$1000. Just saw that a coupon which expired yesterday brought it down to $1049, and that honestly seems like stellar value for money. But, then again, the 4.5 hour battery life is a bit low. Will definitely look into it, though. Thanks for the suggestion!

    In regards to the Envy 15, I've done some reading, and I'm somewhat concerned about the screen quality, because the person who will using this laptop will be undertaking some artistic endeavors, and those viewing angles seem very poor, even for a TN display. There are quite a few models, though, so I have to confirm that they all use the same panel.

    Thanks!
     
  8. Th4tRedhe4d

    Th4tRedhe4d Notebook Evangelist

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    Definitely keep an eye on it. I was able to get the $1600 model for $1120 and I couldn't be happier. Build quality is on par with my MacBook Pro. Check out the Omen thread if you have any more questions about it.

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/index.php?threads/762889/
     
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  9. TomJGX

    TomJGX I HATE BGA!

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    I wouldn't recommend the Envy series.. They aren't as premium as they used to be.. I would suggest going for the Y50 1080p IPS model or the HP Omen with a discount...
     
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  10. Azone

    Azone Notebook Evangelist

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    Yeah, I think the screen in the Envy is enough of a problem that it's being crossed out. Both the Omen and the Y50 seem like excellent options, however I just had a talk and it seems the 4.5 hour battery life won't cut it. So, I guess I might have to look at systems with an i7-5500U and dedicated graphics to see if they have adequate performance to remain relevant for four years. Maybe downgrade the GPU requirements to something like a GT840M, but I don't think that's going to make a huge difference in battery life.

    The other thing I was wondering (and that deleted spam post got me thinking about this :p ) is that a refurbished XPS 15 could be had for close to $1000. Since that has both performance and battery life covered, it might be the way to go, but I'll have to check if the person is willing to get a refurb.

    Are there any other systems I'm missing?
     
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