Dell Inspiron 14 vs Asus VivoBook S14 for college

newdayoutdoors

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Mar 13, 2017
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So my daughter is heading off to Purdue this fall in the Construction Management program and we are trying to pick out a laptop. Minimum requirements are Win 10, 256 gig HD, 8m RAM ... pretty much it. No CAD, just papers, spread sheets, web, email, etc. All CAD/Revit will be done on lab computers. I am a CAD/Revit guy and know what that takes, so I don't want to go down that road price wise for her computer.

Personally, I am a huge fan of SSD hard drives and have gone to that in all of my computers for speed and just the robust factor (no moving parts), so that is my one requirement to her. She likes my 14" screen on my work Dell Latitude. She likes the size vs weight component. Many 15"+ machines are not only bigger but much heavier. It is her money so she wants to keep it under $800 if possible.

That being said, we kind of have narrowed it down to the Dell Inspiron 14 7000 (i5 8250U, 8Gig, 256 SSD) $680 or so vs the Asus VivoBook S14 S410UN (i7 8550U, 8Gig, 256 SSD) $800 Both are super light weight, meet the school requirements, meet my SSD requirement, and meet her desired budget.

We looked at Lenovo and HP, but HP's price points were not attractive and most of Lenovo were touch screen which she says she doesn't want because it is "one more thing to go wrong".

So obviously, the Dell is less money. The i5 is solid. One fear that I have is that my work Latitude (business version of the Inspiron) runs very hot. But it is a very solid machine and generally I have had good luck with my many Dell laptops and desktops over the years.

The Asus is more money. It has the i7 which is faster but not really necessary for her needs. But still faster is always arguably better. It has the finger print security which I kind of like to be honest. Reportedly it runs cool in general too. I've never owned an Asus product though so I am a bit gun shy.

Thoughts from others. Am I missing something? Am I over thinking this?
 

bmcmvox

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Apr 23, 2013
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I recommend 16gb of ram. She doesn't want to put Autocad on it now....but in a year? There is other design software too she might become interested in. There is also the multitasking aspect, the list goes on. More ram is always good. I would suggest Dell, just because the bang for your buck aspect. If you fiddle around with the filters and try to build different models on Dell's website I am pretty sure you could get a 8550u with 16gb for your budget. Here is something I just pulled up on amazon, I am sure Dell's website is cheaper. I am in Canada and Dell's Canada division is having a big sale right now.

https://www.amazon.com/Business-Flagship-Dell-Processor-Backlit-Keyboard/dp/B07D61Y712/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1530060778&sr=8-15&keywords=laptop+dell+i7+8th+generation+16gb+ram+inspiron
 

newdayoutdoors

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Mar 13, 2017
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She has no need for AutoCAD. She only has one AutoCAD/Revit class that is required and even the University says that they do not need to buy a laptop for that demand for her major as they have tons of lab computers with all of the necessary CAD software. Construction Management is not a "design" major. Purdue does not look at that program or Engineering majors as CAD type of design majors ... as an engineering alumni I can speak to exactly that. She really only needs a quality laptop that runs Office applications, MS Project, Purdue specific management programs, etc. The Program Administrator says the university minimums are more than enough.

I have a 14" Dell and two 15" Dells (older). The 14" weighs in at 3.6 pounds. The older 15" machines weigh in at about 5". She really likes the size and weight of the 14" machine. So that is my focus. 14" options are limited though unless you want a 2-in-1 type of machine, which she claims not to want. So that is where my search got to the two that I listed. There is also the Asus Zenbook, but in general that is a $900+ machine, though B&H has a blue one for $699 right now.
 

newdayoutdoors

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Mar 13, 2017
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I did find in the business section, the Dell Vostro 14 5000 in the same configuration as the Inspiron but with finger print reader for about $650. One of my old 15" machines is a Vostro from 2009 and is still going strong on XP ... I am actually posting from that computer right now.
 

bmcmvox

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Well in that case if this is the new slim bezel 14 7000 then I would definitely go for that. The 8520u and the 8550u are both quad cores the 8550u has a performance gain only in the single percentiles. Your ram and your SSD requirements are equally met on either one. So is the extra few percent in performance gain for the i7 worth $120? Dell also has pretty good post service. Asus is kind of notorious for QC while most of dells complaints are directed at their lower end offerings and I wouldn't place the new 7000 Inspirons in that area. Heat shouldn't be much of a concern. If we were talking an 8750H with a GTX1050ti then I would worry more.

http://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i7-8550U-vs-Intel-Core-i5-8250U/m320742vsm338266
 
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