How to choose a new laptop.

SoDifficult

Estimable
Mar 14, 2015
5
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4,510
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Hey everyone!

I'm in desperate need of a new laptop, but want to be sure I'm getting the right one. My last purchase (2.5 years ago) was rushed because my previous one crashed, so I picked up a pretty cheap Dell Inspiron 1500. It hasn't been the worst machine I've owned, but it's nothing special.

I've had several laptops over the years ranging anywhere from $800-$3,000 in cost. That said, price really doesn't matter much to me as long as it's got good value. I don't want to spend a ton if I don't have to, but if it will make a significant difference in performance or longevity, I will.

I've been looking for a few weeks and I've done a bit of research so I have an idea of what might work, but I wanted to get a second opinion to see if I'm even on the right track. I'm hoping that if I can list a few things I need/want, and will be using it for, you guys can give me a few recommendations on what I should look for.

I want it to be about 15 inches. I will use this for both personal and work, which is usually done mobile, so something smaller/lightweight to drag around would be ideal. Extended battery life would be a huge plus.

For work I use excel daily, so having a 9-key would be a bonus but not required. Aside from Excel, I'll really only be using basic office software as most of my work is done online. I generally have several things going at once, so running the calculator, excel, word, adobe, as well as several IE and Chrome windows running simultaneously would not be uncommon.

For personal use, I do like to game a bit; most recently a bit of ESO ,Fallout 4, and Hearts of Iron 4. That said, I'm also about to start re-building a custom gaming tower with my old XPS 710 H2C, so this will not be my only gaming machine. But it would still be nice to have the option to play.

Regarding storage, I try to keep most files on an external hard drive with cloud backup, so I don't need a ton of space.

I don't really care if it has touchscreen. My current one has it and I rarely use it. In fact I had forgotten it even had it for about six months.

I'm not sure if I'm missing anything, but feel free to ask anything else if I am. Any help, tips, or recommendations would be great. I hope to at least place an order on something within 24 hours as my current machine is just way too laggy and no longer cutting it.

Thanks in advance!
 

Purpletalon55

Respectable
Apr 2, 2016
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Budget?
 
Having that many laptops through the years, you should know what you want. Your requirement is very basic so really ANYTHING. Am not a gamer but heavy gamers typically want something with a dedicated GPU, I dunno those games you mentioned considered heavy or not.

Am just gonna say, get something with a metal shell for longevity.
 

SoDifficult

Estimable
Mar 14, 2015
5
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4,510
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Somewhere around $1,500.
 

SoDifficult

Estimable
Mar 14, 2015
5
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4,510
0


Haha, you would think. If computers and tech weren't changing every day, I probably would know what I want. I don't read up on what's what regarding computers very often, so it's a bit overwhelming to jump in. I guess if I knew at least what minimums I should go for that can handle what I want to do, and also staying within a 15 inch, lightweight, good battery life, then I'd be able to choose.

I'm think the XPS 15 seems to be a fit; just doesn't have the 9-key. I think this one came out last year though, so is there a better option now? Any idea if there will be a better model coming out any time soon? Also, is 7th Gen Intel something I should go for, or will Gen 6 be fine?
 

amtseung

Honorable
Jan 28, 2014
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Get a laptop within budget if it's got great specs even if it has a garbage keyboard, then get an external mouse and keyboard to game with.

Other than that recommendation, I'm completely out of the loop when it comes to mobile and laptops.
 

Purpletalon55

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Apr 2, 2016
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You have a few options and the ones i would most recommend are as follows
1. http://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/productdetails/alienware-15-laptop/dkcwf01h

2.http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/Fangbook_4_SX6-VR500_Gaming_Laptop

3.http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np8152-clevo-p650rp6.html

7th gen intel mobile and desktop is a while away. Doesnt matter, cpus arent like they used to be, upgrades these days arent really upgrades just power consumption really
 


You are over thinking it. Believe it or not, not really. The basic computer components are the same. The only thing I can think of that made a big jump in the last decade was the jump from Ivy Bridge (3rd Gen) to Haswell (4th Gen) which almost doubled the battery life, other than that, every year expect 10-15% bump in overall performance, that's about it.

15" is considered a desktop replacement, not in the small/light category that would be 10-13" Running battery per charge, well, read all the reviews then you know. The latest laptops always come with the latest, that's what they entice you buy, USB3, gigabit ethernet, 802.11ac, SSD, long-ish battery life, ever increased screen resolution, touch screen (if you want to run MS Metro).
 

Purpletalon55

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Apr 2, 2016
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Yep its most just as far as cpu goes energy efficiency takes less to do more.
 

SoDifficult

Estimable
Mar 14, 2015
5
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4,510
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I considered going with a 13', but I use my laptop 85% of the time, so I think having a slightly larger screen would help. Plus, I have a Samsung Tab S2 9.7 for when I don't want the larger screen.

That said, I'm also going to build a gaming desktop within the next few weeks, and I've already got a 24" monitor, and several mice & keyboards. I think if I stick with a decent 15" laptop that can handle just a bit of gaming and be able to get my work done, I can focus the desktop on anything it's lacking.

I'm leaning toward the XPS 15. It seems to be able to handle everything I'll be doing, and it looks nice. Just gotta decide if it's worth the extra bucks as I could save about $600 and go with the Asus, or even Inspiron 15 and get similar specs. I'll be making the purchase this afternoon; then I'll get back into my research on building the gaming tower.

Thanks for your input.
 

SoDifficult

Estimable
Mar 14, 2015
5
0
4,510
0




I do like the alienware, but since I'm going to build a dedicated gaming desktop and only need the laptop for mild gaming while away from home, I think it might be worth saving a bit of money. However, that Sager Xotic PC looks pretty sweet and has a great price. I remember reading about those guys several years back. So many decisions..

Regarding 7th Gen Intel, I only brought this up because Dell has this as an option for their current Inspiron line as well as in their XPS 13. It's listed as "7th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-7500U Processor." Just wish they would let me add it to the XPS 15...
 
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