Successor(s) to my HP EliteBook 8740w's

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by rahasyavadi, Dec 29, 2020.

  1. rahasyavadi

    rahasyavadi Notebook Consultant

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    1) What is your budget?

    Money is not an issue, as I have plenty of working equipment to last me until I come up with enough to afford what I want.

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    a. Ultraportable; 10" - 12" screen
    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen

    I am considering only 17".

    3) [In and from] which country will you [be] buying this notebook?

    I live in the USA, but am willing to buy internationally.

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like:
    b. Dislike:

    I am willing to consider any brand that offers Windows 10 and comes out with a model that meets my screen needs (which I describe below).

    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?

    I would, especially if they are under warranty.

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

    I do not do any one thing that is very demanding, but tend to do a handful of things simultaneously, and use a virtual machine and RAID 1 and variants, as I explain in my sig. I have already seen that 32 GB is my RAM sweet spot, but that 16 GB is also quite workable.

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

    I will be porting it often, but by and large using it with wall-socket power. I do not at all mind carrying around two of my 8740w workstations at a time.

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

    I do not play "gamer" games, and have no interest in playing them. The only games I currently play on computer are online and standalone Chess, online Sudoku, and online Jumble.

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

    I need very little battery power, usually using my batteries only as UPS devices.

    10) Would you prefer to see [a notebook] you're considering before purchasing it, or [is] buying a notebook on-line without seeing it OK?

    Online is OK.

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

    Windows is the only OS that works with the software with WUXGA screen customizations I have developed over a period of years for my work.

    Screen Specifics

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

    I am considering only 16:10 1920x1200 (WUXGA, aka FHD+) or 16:10 3840x2400 (WQUXGA, aka UHD+).

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

    I prefer matte, but find glossy acceptable.

    Build Quality and Design

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

    Yes, they are (not so much stylishness as intelligent style--you will see a short, relevant rant from me below).

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?

    Drive space is a non-issue for me with any computer which allows replacing and/or adding to whichever drive(s) it comes with, and I somewhat doubt that any computer with a feature set otherwise appealing to me would have any soldered drive.

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity

    16) When are you buying this laptop?

    I am not in a rush. Even a year or two may pass. Once again, my current equipment is great for me for a while. If WUXGA had not been revived and WQUXGA had not shown up, I would not now be shopping.

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

    Well, my current 8740w's have each been serving me and prior owner(s) for about 10 years so far. Who knows how long!

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

    A long time--I will have my software and hardware backups!

    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?

    I have had both a Dell business onsite warranty and an HP business onsite warranty, and I used both to my benefit, so I am a bit spoiled by the experiences, but I do not really need onsite.

    The only ones I am considering yet are the ASUS ProArt StudioBook Pro X and the Dell XPS 17 (9700) or the Dell Precision 5750 (with the same chassis as the XPS but a different set of options and higher pricing).

    I am entirely open to waiting for refreshes of any of the ProArts or Dells, and seeing if any other models, from these companies or any other(s), come out with 17" WUXGA and/or WQUXGA.

    If I had unlimited money now, I would go ahead and buy two of the $5000 ASUS ProArt StudioBook Pro X from one of the boutique operations selling it. Yes, that configuration is overkill for my needs, but the future-proofing would be awesome, and the X is as close to being a worthy successor to the 8740w for me as I have seen. I am disappointed that lower configurations of the X have never been offered to the USA market, and are hard to find on the world market now.

    ASUS has for the USA market WUXGA ProArts with lower configurations, but they all have an earlier form-factor design that has a goofy extended chin below the screen as if it houses a 16:9 screen, and I cannot quite take that "feature" seriously. Every time I see a picture showing one of those ProArts, I remember the gradual slide in the industry into less and less friendliness to the quality-laptop consumer (workstation or gaming), which started for me with abandonment of 16:10 by all but Apple (with whom I have other bones to pick) and further degenerated into betrayal of the alleged spirit of MXM and eventually into full-blown solder hell. I really hope that at the next refresh, they fix that "feature" or just absorb all those tiers of configuration into the X's form factor.

    As for the Dell 16:10's, I would with some of that unlimited money buy one of them with the 3840x2400 screen (glossy and touch are all it comes with) to develop my screen customizations to that screen spec, and with Xeon and ECC RAM (as a token of my appreciation to the best of astrology and astronomy software, current and especially future). To get the Xeon and ECC RAM, the Precision is required, and thus the business department would be handling the warranty. From what I have been reading over the years, Dell's business department seems to have a better reputation for good warranty service than does its consumer department.

    Some of the X's pro's for me:
    1) better price for feature set than even the XPS 9700, what to speak of the Precision 5750
    2) apparently better build
    3) much better power profile, like that of the Precision 7750 instead of that of the 5750
    4) WUXGA screen of better quality than Dell's WUXGA screen (maybe of significantly better quality than Dell's WQUXGA screen too)

    Some of the Dells' pro's for me:
    1) better warranty options with the manufacturer (boutique sellers of ProArts offer warranty options beyond ASUS's non-extendable, non-embellishable, one-year warranty)
    2) probably better eventual availability of replacement material on eBay etc.
    3) plenty of active forum members who actually use them (Charles P. Jefferies is the only ProArt user [a former user] I have even seen here other than one person who bought that $10,000 ProArt with the Quadro RTX 6000--but with a 16:9 screen, LOL; Charles' ProArt also was 16:9)

    I could type more now, but any suggestions, maybe even from someone with one of the boutique companies selling ProArts?
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2020
  2. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    Much of what you ask is subjective and therefore hard to answer for someone else. Since you're not buying for a year or two, which means the market is likely to change significantly during that time, you should come back when you're closer to buying or hang until that time.

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