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Find me a new laptop

QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,236
edited June 2019 in Hardware
The use case:

It will really only be used when I travel.  This includes waiting in airports, on a plane, in a hotel room, or things like that.  It won't be used at home other than preparation for travel or a temporary backup in case my desktop dies.

The main uses are web browsing and gaming.  It is acceptable if some games require low or medium settings, or are even unplayable because the hardware is too slow.  Some games that I play when I travel are very light on hardware.

The essentials:

SSD only, and no hard drive; should have at least 240 GB of capacity
IPS monitor, 13 or 15 inches
Properly matched memory channels:  exactly two memory modules of the same capacity
AMD Ryzen 5 or 7 APU
Windows 10

Desired features:

monitor resolution around 1920x1080
matte (non-glare) monitor
ethernet port (can get a USB to Ethernet adapter, but would prefer not to need it)
lots of USB ports (can get a USB hub, but would prefer not to need it)
Ryzen 7 3700U
13" monitor rather than 15"
16 GB of memory rather than 8 GB
2666 MHz memory rather than a lower clock speed
M.2 NVMe over PCIE SSD rather than SATA
removable battery
no discrete video card; integrated GPU only
would prefer a convertible or detachable, but not a big deal

I don't have a fixed budget, but can pay whatever it costs to get what I want.  That said, for obvious reasons, I'd prefer to pay as little as possible.  I'm hoping to keep it under $700.  But if I can get all of my desired features for $900, that's absolutely an option.

The best option I've found so far is this:

https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-laptops/new-inspiron-15-5000-laptop/spd/inspiron-15-5585-laptop/nnbuc5am102s

That includes all of my essential features and several of the desired ones for $650.  It's good that laptop vendors have gotten their act together more in the last few years and realized that a <$100 SSD or an IPS monitor shouldn't automatically mean that the laptop costs over $1000.  But if anyone can find a better option, I'd be interest to see it.

Comments

  • lahnmirlahnmir Member LegendaryPosts: 3,770
    With the computer knowledge you have mate, I think many here are afraid to even suggest something  ;)

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    KyleranGdemamiOzmodan
    'the only way he could nail it any better is if he used a cross.'

    Kyleran on yours sincerely 


    'But there are many. You can play them entirely solo, and even offline. Also, you are wrong by default.'

    Ikcin in response to yours sincerely debating whether or not single-player offline MMOs exist...



    'This does not apply just to ED but SC or any other game. What they will get is Rebirth/X4, likely prettier but equally underwhelming and pointless. 

    It is incredibly difficult to design some meaningfull leg content that would fit a space ship game - simply because it is not a leg game.

    It is just huge resource waste....'

    Gdemami absolutely not being an armchair developer

  • QQMorePleaseQQMorePlease Member UncommonPosts: 37
    Any particular affinity towards the AMD chipset that would prevent you from going Intel?

    If you want a laptop capable of gaming into the next few years I would strongly suggest spending $1000+ for the Dell G7 with a GTX 1060 and M.2 NVMe drive.

    You absolutely want a dedicated graphics card if you'll be playing anything other than browser based games (IMHO).

    I've used the G7 for travel, remote development work, & for gaming and I've never had an issues with it.

    Ozmodan
  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 6,515
    Quizzical said:
    That's so good that I doubt anyone will be able to find better unless there's lucky sale somewhere.
    Ozmodan
     
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,236
    Any particular affinity towards the AMD chipset that would prevent you from going Intel?

    I want a low power system, and AMD's integrated GPUs are vastly superior to Intel's.  Putting a GTX 1060 in the box is not a low power system, and that won't be able to game for long on a battery.  It also adds more cost and weight than I'd like, and the heat isn't good for system longevity.

    Some games are very light on hardware.  The game I play most often on my current laptop is Hearts.  Even some games that can be fairly demanding will run fine on fairly slow hardware if you turn settings down far enough.

    Besides, don't underestimate just how capable AMD's Vega 10 integrated GPU is.  It likely offers around 15% or 20% of the performance of the GTX 1060 that you cite, even as part of a 15 W SoC.
    GdemamiOzmodan
  • ZebbakeiZebbakei Member UncommonPosts: 38
    Or even better, get one with AMD integrated gpu And a 1060. You can set it to either, or to automatically use integrated when on battery.
    Gdemami
  • PhoebesPhoebes Member UncommonPosts: 188
    Well this doesn't meet all of your criteria, but I did get these for the kids over Christmas and they run great, so figured I'd post them. They mainly use them with unreal engine and unreal tournament and they run super smoothly. I was surprised. Plus they're on sale for $579.99.

    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/acer-nitro-5-15-6-gaming-laptop-intel-core-i5-8gb-memory-nvidia-geforce-gtx-1050-ti-256gb-solid-state-drive-shale-black/6212602.p?skuId=6212602
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,236
    Phoebes said:
    Well this doesn't meet all of your criteria, but I did get these for the kids over Christmas and they run great, so figured I'd post them. They mainly use them with unreal engine and unreal tournament and they run super smoothly. I was surprised. Plus they're on sale for $579.99.

    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/acer-nitro-5-15-6-gaming-laptop-intel-core-i5-8gb-memory-nvidia-geforce-gtx-1050-ti-256gb-solid-state-drive-shale-black/6212602.p?skuId=6212602
    That's an interesting option at an interesting price.  It's got an IPS monitor and an SSD, which is good.  It only has a single memory module, which is a huge deal if using the integrated GPU, but barely matters if using the discrete video card.

    Ultimately, that's a much higher power system than what I had in mind.  It's higher performance, certainly, but the combination of a 45 W CPU and a 64 W GPU will get you a lot more performance than a 15 W APU.  That also adds a lot of weight, and the potential for some serious heat problems as dust accumulates over time.  It also means that gaming on the battery will drain it awfully fast.

    It does look like a nifty laptop for some use cases, likely including yours.  Just not mine.

    Regarding the performance, because I'm not relying on a laptop to be my primary gaming computer, I'm willing to accept some games being outright unplayable on it.  It will mean that when I travel, I might sometimes say, I guess I can't play this game for the next several days.  I'll have to pick something else to play in that time instead, and pick up that game again when I get home.

    Stiill, I expect to end up with a much milder case of that than my current laptop, which is eight years old and runs an AMD E-350.  But also importantly, it still runs, and I want that sort of longevity out of a sparsely used laptop.
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 20,168
    Quizzical said:
    The use case:

    It will really only be used when I travel.  This includes waiting in airports, on a plane, in a hotel room, or things like that.  It won't be used at home other than preparation for travel or a temporary backup in case my desktop dies.

    The main uses are web browsing and gaming.  It is acceptable if some games require low or medium settings, or are even unplayable because the hardware is too slow.  Some games that I play when I travel are very light on hardware.

    The essentials:

    SSD only, and no hard drive; should have at least 240 GB of capacity
    IPS monitor, 13 or 15 inches
    Properly matched memory channels:  exactly two memory modules of the same capacity
    AMD Ryzen 5 or 7 APU
    Windows 10

    Desired features:

    monitor resolution around 1920x1080
    matte (non-glare) monitor
    ethernet port (can get a USB to Ethernet adapter, but would prefer not to need it)
    lots of USB ports (can get a USB hub, but would prefer not to need it)
    Ryzen 7 3700U
    13" monitor rather than 15"
    16 GB of memory rather than 8 GB
    2666 MHz memory rather than a lower clock speed
    M.2 NVMe over PCIE SSD rather than SATA
    removable battery
    no discrete video card; integrated GPU only
    would prefer a convertible or detachable, but not a big deal

    I don't have a fixed budget, but can pay whatever it costs to get what I want.  That said, for obvious reasons, I'd prefer to pay as little as possible.  I'm hoping to keep it under $700.  But if I can get all of my desired features for $900, that's absolutely an option.

    The best option I've found so far is this:

    https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-laptops/new-inspiron-15-5000-laptop/spd/inspiron-15-5585-laptop/nnbuc5am102s

    That includes all of my essential features and several of the desired ones for $650.  It's good that laptop vendors have gotten their act together more in the last few years and realized that a <$100 SSD or an IPS monitor shouldn't automatically mean that the laptop costs over $1000.  But if anyone can find a better option, I'd be interest to see it.
    I think you found the best choice in my opinion. Outside of going branded Surface this is what I would choose in your situation.

    I know you want to keep it cheap and you've probably seen this one, but for $200 more you double the ram and the storage. That's the one I would get personally. https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-laptops/new-inspiron-15-5000-laptop/spd/inspiron-15-5585-laptop/nnbuc5am104s

    Fedora - A modern, free, and open source Operating System. https://getfedora.org/

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  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,076
    Playing Hearts...

    you better get a desktop for that.
    Torval
  • TheFirst109TheFirst109 Member UncommonPosts: 182
    I configured this 15z on HP's website, comes out to $559:

    HP Pavilion Laptop - 15z Best Value
    5GR40AV_1
    $1339.99
    $559.99
    Mineral Silver / Windows 10 Home 64 / AMD Ryzen™ 5 2500U Quad-Core (2 GHz, up to 3.6 GHz, 6 MB cache)+AMD Radeon™ Vega 8 Graphics / 16 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM (2x8GB) / 15.6" diagonal FHD IPS BrightView micro-edge WLED-backlit touch screen (1920 x 1080) / 256 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD /  3-cell, 41 Wh Lithium-ion prismatic Battery / No DVD or CD Drive / Full-size island-style keyboard(Natural Silver) / HP Wide Vision HD Camera with Dual digital microphone (Mineral Silver) / 802.11b/g/n (1x1) Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® 4.2 combo / HP Pavilion - 15z Laptop
  • SirAgravaineSirAgravaine Member RarePosts: 520
    No, laptops are a waste of money.
    Ozmodan
  • LimnicLimnic Member RarePosts: 1,116
    No, laptops are a waste of money.
    Certainly more convenient to use a laptop than a desktop when traveling.
    Ozmodan
  • DinastyDinasty Member UncommonPosts: 204
    I've found you and you're a laptop :/
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,236
    I configured this 15z on HP's website, comes out to $559:

    HP Pavilion Laptop - 15z Best Value
    5GR40AV_1
    $1339.99
    $559.99
    Mineral Silver / Windows 10 Home 64 / AMD Ryzen™ 5 2500U Quad-Core (2 GHz, up to 3.6 GHz, 6 MB cache)+AMD Radeon™ Vega 8 Graphics / 16 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM (2x8GB) / 15.6" diagonal FHD IPS BrightView micro-edge WLED-backlit touch screen (1920 x 1080) / 256 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD /  3-cell, 41 Wh Lithium-ion prismatic Battery / No DVD or CD Drive / Full-size island-style keyboard(Natural Silver) / HP Wide Vision HD Camera with Dual digital microphone (Mineral Silver) / 802.11b/g/n (1x1) Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® 4.2 combo / HP Pavilion - 15z Laptop
    I think we have a winner.  Good find.

    As compared to the Dell laptop that I linked above, this one has a Ryzen 5 2500U rather than a Ryzen 7 2700U, and 2400 MHz memory rather than 2666 MHz.  That probably means about 10%-20% less performance.

    But it also has 16 GB of memory rather than 8 GB, an ethernet port, and it costs $90 less.  The ethernet port means that I wouldn't need to buy a USB to ethernet adapter, which also saves some money and hassle.  The Dell laptop would also get to me about a week sooner, but I don't actually need it until mid-August.

    It looks like it's on clearance, as you can spec out effectively the same thing with a Ryzen 7 3700U, and HP wants $1055 for that.  Yes, a Ryzen 7 3700U is better than a Ryzen 5 2500U, but not $495 worth of better.

    I found a review here of a similar model:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes-finds/2019/02/25/hp-pavilion-15z-review/#248ae4d2538c

    The reviewer goes on repeatedly about how the Radeon Vega 8 integrated GPU is actually a discrete video card, but slower than some Nvidia discrete card.  So basically, the reviewer doesn't know what he's talking about.
    Gdemami
  • OzmodanOzmodan Member EpicPosts: 9,726
    edited June 2019
    Looks good Quiz, except unless it is a typo, I think you would want 802.11ac on wireless too.  At $559 I just might look into getting one.

    Why is it that Mr LOL has to always comment?

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