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Our last year resident is finishing next week and the graduation gift is going to be a laptop she needs. The budget is about 900 bucks (800€). These days I'm not that sure that Toshiba is as reliable as it used to be, nor that all HP are bullshit. Things change too fast, specially if you don't pay much attention. I've looked at several options with 15" screen. Other desirable feature is it's available in pink :D No especial needs of HDD size, RAM, connectivity... Wifi, good screen and lightweight, that's all, she won't be playing games or editing video. These are my candidates in no special order

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (i5, 256SSD, 8GB, ips screen, GeForce® MX150I think it's the only one in pink.

Acer Aspire 5 (i7, 8GB, 125SSD+1TBHDD, Geforce MX130)

Lenovo Ideapad 330 15ICH (i7, 8GB, MX1050, 1TBHDD,)

The Toshibas I've looked at are more expensive than the allotted budget, and honestly I have no idea or any references about current Asus, Huawei, Medion or other brands completely new to me. Any suggestions, not only of brands/models but features that could be desirable are very welcome.

 

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It's not pink, but you can get a 15" Thinkpad (T580) in your budget. If lightweight is your criteria, I might go with a 14" as there are many more options. The T480s and X1 Carbon are the two nice ones, but both probably push the budget. I would't wish an Ideapad on my enemy.

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I would recommend the Dell's or Lenovo's.  I HAVE had an IdeaPad (Core i7 5th Gen), and had no issues with it.  But sounds like Doug has, or has heard of enough.....

Haven't used Toshiba's for years, liked their business models but the consumer models were hit and miss.  And I will never buy an HP laptop, I DO believe they are mostly trash for longer-term use.

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All Thinkpad T480 or T580 are beyond our budget. In range are the L480 and L580 and Exxx but I don't know how "worse" these might be compared to the Ts. It's a pity the Ideapad aren't working well, it seems a fine machine.

Most of those pink laptops are more expensive than we can afford, thanks for the hints, Grahame. The skins look fine they were one of the alternative solutions we were considering, but I can't find them near enough to be sure they get here by the 15th-16th (the farewell party is the 17th).

Any opinions about the Lenovo Yoga's? Those hinged devices seem very versatile and they have a couple of models within range, but unless very well made they seem a bit weak.

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I can't speak to the Thinkpad L's. I've never seen one in person, but the pictures look a little clunky. You'd probably be unnecessarily paying a lot for the Thinkpad name.

My dislike of Ideapads goes back a few years and relates both to the manufacturing quality, and security issues. Things in the computer world change quickly, so I have no idea if any of that is relevant anymore.

 

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Out of your 3 initial candidates, the Dell seems like the nicest to me.  However, if she won't be playing games or editing video, I think the discreet graphics card is just going to add unnecessary weight and cost to the laptop.

The i7s are also not worth the additional cost in my opinion.  A quad-core i5 (i5-8???U) should be good enough.

Other features I'd want in a laptop:
SSD
at least 8GB of memory
FHD (1080p) screen (IPS and touch are also nice to have)
good port selection (both USB-A ports and USB-C)
good build quality

Lenovo Yogas usually get decent reviews, so I'd consider those as well.  I have a Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1, which uses a Yoga-style hinge, and it's sometimes useful for watching video, etc.
 

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Thank you very much guys, I think it's going to be a pink Dell Inspiron 15 7000. It's "good enough", fits the budget and leaves a bit of room to get extended care and insurance, maybe a pink matching bag :D 

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Unfortunately we've had to change plans. Dell wouldn't deliver the laptop until the 21st or even 24th and the farewell party is the 17th, so we've decided to go for the Lenovo Yoga :kitty: it's 8GB RAM, 256SSD, i5, ips screen with touch capabilities and just 1.2Kg (about 2 pounds)... the worst parts are it being a plastic chassis and that we don't have any references on its long term reliability. The good part is that despite not being pink it's fancy and fashionable, which our girl will love. Hopefully :ph34r:

Had it been for me with those constraints I'd have got the Dell, but getting it after the celebration is a no-no, so hopefully it's better than the Ideapad a HP or an Acer.

BTW, now that we're at it, any opinions about MSI laptops? I've heard very good comments about them from gamers.

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MSI recently branched into general consumer laptops I believe. I think it's hard to go wrong with Lenovo these days. They make rather durable machines and have had excellent support every time I've dealt with them. This is of course purely anecdotal, but I handle my fair share of Lenovo machines through work (mostly x2X0 series laptops). The only Yogas I've dealt with is the L380 which appears to be an excellent machine.

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It's the Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKBRwe had to make concessions and downsizing it to a 13" screen, the larger screen ones had mechanical HDD instead of SSD if we wanted to stay within budget and having it delivered before the party. Hopefully, having no negative comments as the IdeaPad had, it's a good apparatus. We'll see :popcorn:

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She said she'd prefer a larger one, her current laptop is 13" too. I don't know if it's plastic or metal for sure, I haven't received it yet, but reading comments at Amazon (not necessarily from this very same model, Amazon mixes comments for different versions) someone said they were deceived for it being plastic. We'll see.

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  • 1 year later...

Necro-bumping this thread since I am looking to choose between two laptops thru my local Costco. Use cases include office apps, light photo editing (no video), Internet browsing, generally not movie watching. Stationary, plugged-in use (ie. 99% not portable).

Both with 15.6" displays, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD

1. MSI GS66
- Intel Core i9-10980HK (8 core) processor
- Max-Q GPU
- 8GB NVIDIA GeForce® RTX 2070 SUPER Max-Q Graphics (1920x1080 resolution)
- Legacy ports (RJ45 Ethernet, USB A both of which I would use)

2. Dell XPS9500-7852SLV-PUS
- Intel Core i7-10750H (6 core) processor
- 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti (3840x2400 resolution)
- No legacy ports (would require adapters)

The biggest differences are raw processor power vs. max screen resolution. 

Which would you pick & why?

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4K on a 15.6" monitor is not really going to offer much more than 1080p - 4K only really makes sense on large screens e.g. 32" or more

Are you using the gpu for anything e.g. rendering? first person games? - there is not a huge performance difference between the 2070 super and 1650TI.

if you are doing colour work you need to know the technology of the screen IPS vs TN IPS is generally more colour accurate AND wider gamult. You need to know the colour gamalt and accuracy.

if you are doing lots of cpu intensive work the 8 core will give some advantage.

my fear with the Dell is that it is not that well balanced, the 4K screen requires more video memory but the dell has LESS than the MSI, 4K requires more gpu and cpu power but the DELL has less cpu power.

My feeling is the dell has compromised on the gpu and cpu in order to fit in a 4k display which you will not get any benefit from (in terms of resolution). The DELL might have better colour accuracy and gamult than the msi if its an ips panel or they may have cheaped out and use a low gamult tn panel. In general laptop manufacturers make it very difficult to get meaningful specs on the screen...

 

 

Edited by jamesmking
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36 minutes ago, jamesmking said:

there is not a huge performance difference between the 2070 super and 1650TI.

2070 super max-q is about twice as powerful as a 1650ti. The 1650ti is a fairly low end gpu.

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Given your use cases, either machine would work well.  BUT....I'd add a docking station to allow you to have an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse for that 99% home use.

The GPU on the Dell is indeed lower than the MSI, but if you're not using that power for gaming and heavier video editing, you would still likely be fine; and, the external monitor @ 4K should be well achievable for both machines (the MSI resolution is a limitation of the screen, not the video card; so I'm assuming an external monitor can be driven at 4K and for home use you could ignore the laptop screen).

For that 1% portability, the Dell would be lighter for sure.

I'd give the edge to the MSI for more power and better GPU (more future-proof), with the caveat of the external monitor recommendation as best option for both machines.

 

Edited by skullguise
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4K on a 15" screen is just stupid.  If there's no Dell available with a 1080p then I'd get the MSI

Also worth considering, Dell will likely have better support (and probably better warranty options) if that matters to you.

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I'd go with the MSI for mostly desktop use. The CPU and GPU are more powerful and it has a better chance of being future-proof (more cores, ray-tracing).

Definitely look into the warranties for each computer and also investigate the cost and availability of a replacement battery (possibly the power adapter too), a source of annoyance for any laptop older than a year.

Also check if the computers are easily upgradable... just in case.

I agree with the above opinions regarding an external monitor, dock (or USB hub), and separate keyboard and mouse for ergonomic reasons. You can get a much better external monitor that matches your needs (e.g., lower-res + G-Sync for gaming, or 4K for photography work). I usually start with a 24" 1920 x 1200 IPS display and go up from there.

Another thing to investigate: laptop cooler. PC laptops vary a lot in heat management and a decent laptop cooler can extend the life of the computer or give you better frame rates (less throttling).

Edited by HiWire
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I'd get the MSI for several reasons:

It sports legacy ports without further expense. I need RJ45 and USB.

More CPU power. Maybe it's not needed right now, but it will come very handy in a few years when Windows upgrades and updates make anything slower. Same goes for the more powerful GPU

MSI has got good reputation in the gaming community (or it used to) for being fast and reliable machines that can cope with overclocking even being laptops. An acquaintance of mine got a MSI like 4 years ago for gaming (not hardcore gamer) and he's still happy with it, zero problems.

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