Seeking thin but powerful laptop with decent battery life.

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Dustin Cropsboy, May 14, 2021.

  1. Dustin Cropsboy

    Dustin Cropsboy Newbie

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    I am looking for a laptop my daughter can take to high school and use in class throughout the day (so portability and, more importantly, battery life are something that is a considerable concern).

    We need one will that be usable for four years (so reliable, durable, and won't be ancient before she is out of high school).

    So thin, lightweight, good battery life... no problem right? Wrong. She also wants it to hold up to gaming demands.

    Looking at the games she likes, one of them says:

    Absolute minimum = Intel i5-4460 & GTX 770

    Actually need at least = Intel i5-8400, & GTX 970

    Smooth performance = Intel i7-9800X, & RTX 2080

    >>><<< So, which of the following (or something thin that's not listed) is the best balance of performance and battery life:



    SAGER NP8770R (5.07 lbs)
    CLEVO PC70DR
    17.3” FHD 144Hz
    Intel® Core™ i7-10870H
    GeForce RTX™ 3070

    Razer Blade 15 Adv.
    RZ09-03304E42-R3U1
    15.6" 300Hz Full HD
    Intel Core i7-10875H
    GeForce RTX 2070 Super

    Razer Blade 15 Base (4.6 lbs)
    RZ09-0369BE22-R3U1
    15.6" 144Hz Full HD
    Intel Core i7-10750H
    GeForce RTX 3070

    MSI STEALTH (3.73 lbs) XoticPCSKU#713666 15M A11UEK-220
    15.6" FHD 144Hz
    Intel® Core™ i7-11375H
    GeForce RTX™ 3060

    MSI STEALTH (3.73 lbs)
    SKU#713517 15M A11SEK-210
    15.6" FHD 144Hz [140+ FPS]
    Intel® Core™ i7-1185G7
    GeForce RTX™ 2060

    MSI SUMMIT (3.64 lbs)
    SKU#713721 E15 A11SCST-462
    15.6" FHD TOUCH screen
    Intel® Core™ i7-1185G7
    GeForce® GTX 1650 Ti
    512GB NVMe SSD

    Are there other low-power, high performance cpus and gpus that might get me somewhere between the performance of a i5-8400 with GTX 970 combo and a i7-9800X with RTX 2080 combination, without sacrificing battery life? And where would I find such a machine for purchase?

    In the past, I have had laptops with desktop components in them, but they were very heavy and very thick. I am looking for something more portable that equals or exceeds the performance of an Intel i5-8400 with GTX 970 yet has good battery life. Does it exist, and if so, what do I want? (I'd like to get as close to the performance of i7-9800X + RTX 2080 as possible, but I know really high performance is not possible with decent battery life and in a thin chassis.)


    1) What is your budget?

    ~$2,000.00 US dollars

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?

    The thinnest 15" - 17" performance laptop I can get.

    3) In which country will you buying this notebook?

    USA

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

    No preference. I just want the most reliable machine I can get that is pre-built.
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?

    Redistributed but not refurbished.

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

    Schoolwork, gaming, mild video editing for fun (not high resolution)

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

    Taking it to school and different classes daily.

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

    Absolute minimum = Intel i5-4460 & GTX 770

    Actually need at least = Intel i5-8400, & GTX 970

    Smooth performance = Intel i7-9800X, & RTX 2080


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

    It can't be plugged in during every class, so I need the best balance of battery life and performance I can get.

    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 is fine.

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.

    Unfortunately, Windows.


    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? (See further below for explanations.)

    Maybe in the ballpark of 1080p, Full HD (battery preservation is a priority).

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.)

    No preference

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

    Style is subjective.

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?

    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD

    16) When are you buying this laptop?

    Next week.

    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop?

    At least four years.

    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?

    Not an issue.

    19) Would you be willing to pay significantly extra for on-site warranty, or would it be acceptable to you to have to ship the laptop to the vendor for repair with perhaps a week or more outage?

    Acceptable to ship and wait.
     
  2. JRE84

    JRE84 Notebook Virtuoso

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    if you can snag a OLED gigabyte aero with the 3060 or 3070 that would have good battery life, be thin, and will not go out of style in 4 years


    and I know how younger people are they tend to care about name brands more than us old folks and well it really is quite important to them..like alot of importance

    then this if you can afford it, although the aero has a way better screen


    Razer Blade 15 Base (4.6 lbs)
    RZ09-0369BE22-R3U1
    15.6" 144Hz Full HD
    Intel Core i7-10750H
    GeForce RTX 3070
     
  3. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Is there any reason you won't consider refurbished? Such laptops carry the same warranty as new when you order directly from the manufacturer. You can get a refurbed Dell XPS 17 9700 with an RTX 2060 and 4K touchscreen for a bit less than $2,000. It's thin, relatively light for a 17-inch laptop, and the battery is insane for something with an ultra-high-resolution display.

    Refurbished Laptops and 2-in-1 PCs: Dell Outlet | Dell United States
     
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  4. JRE84

    JRE84 Notebook Virtuoso

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    slipped my mind yeah actually nix my opinion unless you can't go refurbished the xps15-xps 17 are almost impossible to best.....rep
     
  5. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    The Aero is a nice laptop, but if this girl is doing classes remotely, the up-your-nose webcam is less than ideal.
     
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  6. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    I agree with this. You might be tempted to think that you could deal with a misplaced webcam, but looking up at someone's nose/neck gets old fast.

    The machines in the Dell Outlet are warrantied as new and they offer free returns, so you have nothing to lose.

    Charles
     
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  7. Dustin Cropsboy

    Dustin Cropsboy Newbie

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    Thanks!

    I'm not seeing an XPS 15 that comes with anything more powerful than a GTX 1650 Ti. Are the 17-inchers the only ones that have the RTX 20x0s or 30x0s?

    Also, since the XPSes come with a choice of screen types, which kind would yield the longest battery life?
     
  8. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    The XPS 17 is the only one that has an RTX-class GPU, for now. Dell recently announced a refreshed XPS lineup that includes Intel's 11th-generation H45 CPUs and RTX graphics for both the 15 and 17. The former will only offer the entry-level RTX 3050, while the latter will be available with an RTX 3060. That being said, the 3060 will only have offer 4 GB of video memory, which is 2 GB less than what is available in most other laptops and even what the RTX 2060 has in the outgoing model.
     
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  9. Dustin Cropsboy

    Dustin Cropsboy Newbie

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    Thanks.

    So, the most powerful graphics card that the XPS comes with, for now, is the RTX 2060?
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2021
  10. JRE84

    JRE84 Notebook Virtuoso

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    nose cams are a pain but with schooling would you not be mostly watching? so great screen an essential? i like the idea of a xps 17 though
     
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