Screen first, GPU second 17" circa £1000

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Dodgexander, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. Dodgexander

    Dodgexander Notebook Enthusiast

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    I'm looking for a laptop with a quality screen with decent graphics. I tried already a Dell Inspiron 15" gaming 7577 with the UHD Sharp screen and the colour was really nice but the scaling was horrible and blurry when playing football manager at 200% scaling and in Windows too so I've since been looking for a good 1080p or 1440p screen instead.

    I want good colour and contrast if possible, does anyone know of any?

    I've seen a few deals in the Dell outlet here on Alienware 17s but they all use the FHD screen and there's little info on it online.

    Ideally I want one that I can find an ICC profile for too if it's not already accurate out the box.

    I will be doing MMO gaming mostly and whilst I know you don't need a really high end GPU, games like WoW even seem to demand a 1070 to play on the highest settings now.

    But I'll be happy with even a 1050TI if it means the screen is good.

    I know I tried the Sharp UHD screen already but if I need to go UHD to get a good screen again I can do that too, It seems many of the hood quality screens are UHD. I guess feeding the panel 1080p rather than scaling in the game may look better. Especially on a 17" rather than 15"

    I did look at the HP omen with the 1060 and 120hz IPS panel but I can't find out if the screen is good or not and it's slightly over budget.

    Many of the laptops on notebookchecks finder aren't available here or they review different model numbers so I'm never sure if they come with the correct screen!

    Any suggestions? I'm in the UK.

    Cheers

    Edit*

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    Around £1000 so probably $1000 given how much more expensive laptops are here.
    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    a. Netbook; 10" screen or less
    b. Ultraportable; 11" - 12" screen
    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen
    E but will go D for the right laptop
    3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.
    UK but I'm moving to the USA soon so can also buy from there but will have to pay import tax of 20 percent.
    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like:
    b. Dislike:
    No preference
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    Yes
    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Gaming. Football manager and MMOs like WoW. Web browsing and watching films.
    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    Mostly on desk or playing or lap. I realise a 17" is going to be heavy but I can't afford the slimmer models.
    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?
    MMOs mainly. Gsync would be awesome but I doubt I can get it at this budget.
    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    Don't mind so much but a nice to have.
    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?
    Not really.
    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (Windows 7 / 8), Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
    Windows 10

    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.)
    Don't really mind but dislike scaling.
    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (Scroll down to see explanations.)
    Don't mind

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    Not really
    15) When are you buying this laptop?
    Asap, sold my old one.
    16) How long do you want this laptop to last?
    I plan to sell in a couple of years probably, I've kept my last one for 5 years and it broke. The build quality of my old dell was awful.

    Notebook Components

    17) How much hard drive space do you need? Do you want a SSD drive?
    Don't mind really, prefer SSD obviously. Can add my own.

    18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?
    Don't mind
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  2. SkidrowSKT

    SkidrowSKT Notebook Deity

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    I'm afraid you'll hardly find good 1080p IPS screens for a budget of 1000-, especially seeing you need a dedicated GPU.
    My suggestion: Look at the ASUS GL753VD/VE. Although the GTX 1050 Ti version slightly exceeds 1000-1100, the screen is good enough. Some MSI laptops also have good IPS panels, but beware of the TN variants.
     
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  3. Dodgexander

    Dodgexander Notebook Enthusiast

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    Seems like the 15" Dell Inspiron 7577 I had from the outlet was excellent value then. Less than £800 for that sharp screen and 1050TI plus 512GB PCIE SSD!

    I had to return it after a line appeared on the screen :(

    I guess I'll have to bide my time again for the right deal.
     
  4. SkidrowSKT

    SkidrowSKT Notebook Deity

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    The outlet models are a hit or miss deals, that's why they're cheap....
     
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  5. Dodgexander

    Dodgexander Notebook Enthusiast

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    Indeed. This one was great until it broke. There was backlight bleed but that's too be expected with an IPS panel. It just broke within a day of use.

    Sadly I don't have more money to spend which sucks in a world where gamers put colour quality and accuracy last on their list.
     
  6. frascati

    frascati Newbie

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    I have similar criteria in mind at this thread...
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...iting-screen-in-a-1000usd-17-3-laptop.813952/

    Actually, the Asus Vivobook may suit you/me/us.

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16834234839

    ASUS VivoBook Pro 17 N705UD-EH76 17.3"
    Thin and Portable FHD Laptop,
    8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U 1.8 GHz Processor,
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Graphics,
    16 GB DDR4 RAM, 256 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD,
    802.11ac Wi-Fi, USB-C, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10

    1070 USD

    8th gen i7, GTX1050, 16GB DDR4, 1tb hdd plus 256 SSD, backlit keys......
    ...at this time, this is easily the best specified 17 laptop out there right now for about a thousand dollars... about 325 USD less than the range you mention. Time will tell if it holds up in reviews. But present buyers seem happy with it

    The screen (on paper) is 1080 matte, 72%ntsc, 100%sRGB, and don't have the brightness spec off hand but it's very good for this level of laptop.
     
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  7. SkidrowSKT

    SkidrowSKT Notebook Deity

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    That is indeed a good option, but beware! The i7-8550U is a major downgrade compared to the typical i7-7700HQ we see in most gaming laptops.
     
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  8. frascati

    frascati Newbie

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    Thank you. Jeesh.. it's tough to keep up with this stuff.

    I reread the OPs first post and my suggestion is probably not quite up to his gaming needs. I do zero gaming. Photo editing and CAD are what I'm purchasing for so my needs don't really rise to that level of hardware. That in mind, what I take from the video you linked to is that the 8550U may not be a downgrade at all for my needs, potentially slightly better in fact depending on the cooling capability of the laptop it's in.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
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  9. SkidrowSKT

    SkidrowSKT Notebook Deity

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    Yep, the 8550U is onlt good when cooled properly. Otherwuse it'll just throttle and behave like a core M/Y CPU.

    Sent from my SM-N900 using Tapatalk
     
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  10. Dodgexander

    Dodgexander Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks guys, that laptop does indeed look a great option! It may not favour multi core titles but providing it can boost quite often older games using less cores may actually perform better with higher IPC, such as WoW for example.

    It's a similar spec and price to the Dell XPS range and I'm guessing their main competitors. The XPS has a good screen too and there's quite a few available from the outlet.

    In the end I decided I couldn't compromise on screen size but it really limited my options (most good deals are on 15"laptops) I saw box.co.uk had a HP Omen 15" for £1099 with a 128gb PCIE SSD but I remembered how even at 1080p sometimes I found the text small at 100% scaling on the 15" Inspiron I had already used before having returned it for a fault.

    I also missed the real estate of my old 17" laptop and the extra detail from a larger screen. I always wished that I had picked a 1920x1080 on that compared to 1600x900 screen.

    The prices on box.co.uk for the 17" version wasn't as great, although they were clearing stock on the older Skylake 17 inchers which were reasonable value with 1060's with a 512gb PCIE SSDs.

    I have an employee scheme to get discount direct with HP and they have an offer right now offering a free 3 year care pack with their higher end laptops right now.

    So in the end I opted to spend a little more to get a few extras direct from HP compared to a retailer.

    Instead of the 15" £1099 one at box.co.uk I spent £150 more for:
    1. 17" 120hz G-Sync screen versus 15".
    2. 256gb PCIE SSD versus 128gb.
    3. 16gb ram versus 8gb.
    4. 3 year collect and return direct with HP versus 1 year and having to pay to return it to the retailer.
    Compared to the Asus alternatives that gives me a 1060 vs 1050/1050TI. A PCIE SSD versus MSATA and the extra warranty. With the display I lose 9% (Vivobook) or gain (15%) SRGB I also gain 120z and G-Sync. I also gain Thunderbolt that may come in handy in the future for a eGPU.

    What I lose compared to the Vivobook especially is weight and size, but I think the vivobook is trying more to compete with the XPS Dell / HP envy range in that respect.

    Against the strix I lose the better keyboard and trackpad.

    And against both battery life due to no optimus.

    The good thing is hopefully my model comes with the same screen as reviewed so I can copy an ICC profile to get a little better accuracy, although I do know every panel is slightly different this should be better than leaving it at stock.

    The other alternatives I considered were:

    MSI models with the 1060 and the IPS screens, these seem to be pretty overpriced where I am and annoyingly they have also been pairing them with 3gb 1060s and tiny SSDs. However the screens are very good if you get a good one as already mentioned above.

    Dell models. The XPS range similar to the vivobook, a great screen and design/weight and there are some bargain refurbs but I had already been let down by one.

    As for the Dell Inspiron gaming models potentially another great bargain as a refurb if you are willing to wait and take the risk, the FHD screens are very poor though so you'd want an UHD one and the 1060 model is great, but is Max Q so due to smaller size it isn't quite as fast. I had already a 1050ti in the Inspiron gaming that went wrong and believe me it already sounded like a jet and got very warm gaming, I dread to think what a 1060 would do in that chassis! It's still thin compared to gaming laptops though.

    Alienwares, the FHD IPS screen is decent (86% RGB) so I read in one review and like all Dells the UHD options are great, the QHD is the only 120hz G-Sync option and whilst it's a TN panel with low SRGB it's very accurate.

    It's mentioned above but my concern with the Vivobook is it's thinness, since it uses the new gen CPU it will either perform very good like the XPS Dell range or very poor like the Lenovo Ultrabooks that have terrible throttling. Unlike the older CPU's in those chassis(or similar) it is a quad core versus dual core so it's quite a bit hotter. They have lower base frequencies so if they did run too hot they won't spend much time at high frequencies. I'm also uncertain about the screen as Notebookcheck reviewed an older version with a poor screen.

    If I didn't go for the model I did I would have been tempted to pick up another Dell outlet bargain, either any Alienware with the FHD IPS screen as you can often find 1070 models in budget.

    Either that or take a step down in graphics for the Vivoboik or XPS range.

    I do wish the Asus Strix models were a little better value. I do like Asus but they cost more for less specs, at least in the UK.

    Even the Vivobook is priced highly for what it is here, but they still represent better value if you want more portability and a slicker design.

    Here's the model I went for in the end: http://store.hp.com/UKStore/Merch/Product.aspx?id=2CS52EA&opt=ABU&sel=NTB I feel like a good deal but I think my lap isn't going to forgive me when I have this heavy laptop on it along with my cooling pad.

    Some things I've learnt with all of this is;

    Be patient and wait for a good deal.

    Only use reviews for specs, judge a laptop for your own needs, not which wins a best buy award.

    UHD is lovely with video, but is actually a disadvantage on such a small screen with games and Windows since you need to use scaling. It does depend on the game though. If you watch movies and lots of YouTube in UHD then brilliant, but be faced to deal with a never ending battle between blurry vs small text. I also have good eyesight so I'm sure this would be even worse for someone with worse eyesight.

    Don't get a non gaming laptop for gaming and if you do make sure it's thermals are good. My old Inspiron failed because it got too hot too often. Basically the cooling was not good enough to harness both gpu and cpu in the long term. Heat=less life and whilst heating high in the short term may not do much harm it will do in the long term.

    Best to have two laptops, one for gaming and one with good battery/screen/portability for just general web browsing and video.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
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