Solved! Last minute Christmas present for my Mom: new laptop.

Kylesussenbach

Honorable
Nov 27, 2013
3
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10,510
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1. What is your budget? $600-900 (I know that is a huge range. I want to get everything I want for as cheap as possible)

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 15.6inch (17 would be okay)

3. What screen resolution do you want? 1080P+

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? No

5. How much battery life do you need? 6+

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)? No

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) Email and other simple tasks, watching movies, storing photos, word processor

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? 128 SSD+ and 1TB HHD+

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. No

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? 4 years+

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? Bluray ROM

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons. I’ve looked at and like the ASUS Vivobook S510UA-DS71, but it only comes in gold. I also like the style of the Lenovo Thinkpads.

13. What country do you live in? USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. Prefer a metal or hard plastic, no fingerprints on the case is important to me, so no glossy plastic. Also prefer a gray or black case. Would like a numerical keypad, but it isn’t a deal breaker. Sleek styling would be great.

Thanks!!!! Let me know if you have any recommendations or if you need any more information!
 

justin.m.beauvais

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Dec 15, 2017
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Well, I hope the Bluray drive isn't a deal breaker, otherwise I have REALLY bad news, because I can't find anything in this price range that includes one.

Otherwise I have a few options, some are better than others, but most fit your requests.

First, I'm going to start with HP. Believe me when I say that these ones are great machines. My work has issued us very similar ones to these and there are about a dozen of us and we love them. In fact my boss gave up a Mac Book to have one.
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAA0S7BP4911&ignorebbr=1

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAA0S7BP4920&ignorebbr=1

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA7AB8BK5487&ignorebbr=1

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA7AB8BK5477&ignorebbr=1

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA7AB8BK5474&ignorebbr=1

All the HP models here fit your 2 drive requirement. A few have styluses for their touch screens. All of them have great battery life.

Now the Asus. I have a lot of love for the brand but fewer ones fit your criteria and none had the 2 drives.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834235074&ignorebbr=1

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA24G7CG2405&ignorebbr=1

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAEYJ7AK1335&ignorebbr=1

Both are good machines, but SSD or HDD only. Great battery life and good screens.

Next a Dell and Lenovo. I'm pretty partial to the ThinkPad here. I'm a sucker for a powerful work machine and this thing has a lot of power for the price. The Dell made the list because it is also pretty powerful, doesn't look bad, and has a 1TB SSD.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1K68CD8056&ignorebbr=1

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAE4N88W0910&ignorebbr=1

I can't vouch for battery life on these last two. I would imagine they would get 4+ hours, maybe 5, but I am really not certain.
 

justin.m.beauvais

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Dec 15, 2017
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Well, I hope the Bluray drive isn't a deal breaker, otherwise I have REALLY bad news, because I can't find anything in this price range that includes one.

Otherwise I have a few options, some are better than others, but most fit your requests.

First, I'm going to start with HP. Believe me when I say that these ones are great machines. My work has issued us very similar ones to these and there are about a dozen of us and we love them. In fact my boss gave up a Mac Book to have one.
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAA0S7BP4911&ignorebbr=1

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAA0S7BP4920&ignorebbr=1

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA7AB8BK5487&ignorebbr=1

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA7AB8BK5477&ignorebbr=1

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA7AB8BK5474&ignorebbr=1

All the HP models here fit your 2 drive requirement. A few have styluses for their touch screens. All of them have great battery life.

Now the Asus. I have a lot of love for the brand but fewer ones fit your criteria and none had the 2 drives.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834235074&ignorebbr=1

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA24G7CG2405&ignorebbr=1

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAEYJ7AK1335&ignorebbr=1

Both are good machines, but SSD or HDD only. Great battery life and good screens.

Next a Dell and Lenovo. I'm pretty partial to the ThinkPad here. I'm a sucker for a powerful work machine and this thing has a lot of power for the price. The Dell made the list because it is also pretty powerful, doesn't look bad, and has a 1TB SSD.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1K68CD8056&ignorebbr=1

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAE4N88W0910&ignorebbr=1

I can't vouch for battery life on these last two. I would imagine they would get 4+ hours, maybe 5, but I am really not certain.
 

velocityg4

Distinguished
Nov 21, 2006
499
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19,260
98
A decent laptop like you are asking for with a DVD drive will be nearly impossible to find. Let alone one with BluRay.

Finding both HDD and SSD is also fairly difficult. Getting one which supports M.2 and 2.5. Then configured with one while you install the other will give you more options.
 

Kylesussenbach

Honorable
Nov 27, 2013
3
0
10,510
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With a DVD drive really? I understand that a blueray drive is unique, but I thought all laptops (outside of netbooks, chromebooks, etc) would have a dvd drive. How much would I need to go up to find something with my specs that has a blueray drive? thanks for the help so far, I'll look over those options.

Edit: Wow looking through most of my options, even the ones I mentioned, I'm realizing how rare a DVD drive is... I guess it has been a while since I've bought a laptop... I built my own desktop and have a chromebook for everyday use. I need to figure out if the dvd/blueray drive is a deal breaker for her.
 

justin.m.beauvais

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Dec 15, 2017
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Removable media is getting harder and harder to find on computers in general. Unless it is an SD card reader of some kind, you generally can't take it for granted. Most people just stream movies from Amazon, Google, Netflix, or iTunes nowadays.

Shopping for a laptop is a pain in the rear. It is all about compromises. I've yet to see a laptop that gives you everything you want. You have to compromise on size, features, or battery life and find the right balance for yourself. Me? I had to get 2 laptops for all my needs. I have a gaming laptop with a ton of power, good features, and HORRIBLE battery life. I also have a thin and light with fair features, great battery life, but NOWHERE near the performance of my gaming laptop.
 

Kylesussenbach

Honorable
Nov 27, 2013
3
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So, I talked a bit more with my mom today and she provided a bit more information.

She linked me 3 different computers that she liked, which were all 1000+ gaming computers. A bit strange since she doesn't game. However, what I think she was try to tell/show me was that she wants something with high production value and style. That said, what would some options be if I expanded my range to $800-$1200, wanted a nice metal case, still wanted a 128GB+ SSD and a 1TB HHD, and a solid build beyond that. A couple random things, she said she doesn't need a disk drive, I'm going to get her an external Blueray player and for some reason she really doesn't like HP or Lenovo (don't ask why).

Thanks again, I know this is a pain, I've been bashing my head in to figure this out. Best Buy 2 different times, and up to 6+ hours of research on trying to find the perfect computer. At this point I'm asking her to send me ones she likes and I typically tell her why she doesn't actually want it (brightly colored accents, glowing keyboard, gaming logos, etc.)
 

justin.m.beauvais

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Dec 15, 2017
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So, she wants great performance but you don't want to get her something flashy and gamer oriented. So, good performance, subdued styling... I can work with that. Also, backlit keyboards are amazing and much easier on the eyes in low light, so maybe backlit but not with an obnoxious color... or better RGB so she can choose the color.

Asus VivoBook: This thing looks amazing. Very professional while remaining sharp. It meets all your other requirements as well. Honestly, if I didn't already have a Predator Helios 300, this thing would have won me over.
https://www.amazon.com/VivoBook-i7-8550U-Fingerprint-keyboard-K570UD-ES76/dp/B07B2DTYFX/ref=sr_1_12?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1545264472&sr=1-12&refinements=p_n_intended_use_browse-bin%3A9647498011%7C9647497011%2Cp_n_size_browse-bin%3A2423841011%2Cp_36%3A80000-120000

Asus FX503VD: Another great Asus. Except for the red backlit keyboard you'd never know it was a gaming machine.
https://www.amazon.com/FX503VD-Powerful-i7-7700HQ-Quad-Core-Processor/dp/B076H2J8ZV/ref=sr_1_37?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1545264586&sr=1-37&refinements=p_n_intended_use_browse-bin%3A9647498011%7C9647497011%2Cp_n_size_browse-bin%3A2423841011%2Cp_36%3A80000-120000

Now, for something different. The Dell G3 laptops are configurable... they look sharp, pretty professional, and are good build quality : https://www.amazon.com/Dell-G3-Computer-Hexa-Core-i7-8750H/dp/B00XNW83QU/ref=sr_1_52?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1545264670&sr=1-52&refinements=p_n_intended_use_browse-bin%3A9647498011%7C9647497011%2Cp_n_size_browse-bin%3A2423841011%2Cp_36%3A80000-120000

Clean looking gaming laptops are a little more difficult to find in this price range, but these ones are the clear winners. Honestly, I love that VivoBook. It is a great looking and will be a great performing machine, but any of these are going to be good machines.

Edit: I didn't find any with RGB that weren't too flashy in the price range.
 

nobspls

Proper
Mar 14, 2018
48
0
110
10
I would go with this one, 2-in-1 laptop/tablet:
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/lenovo-yoga-730-2-in-1-13-3-touch-screen-laptop-intel-core-i5-8gb-memory-256gb-solid-state-drive-platinum/6201041.p?skuId=6201041

Less than 3pounds, less than $750 and has Thunderbolt3 ports so you can actually game on it if you ever get an e-GPU.

And for a optical drive, just get an external like this:
https://www.amazon.com/VikTck-External-Player-Burner-Windows/dp/B07D53S2JR/ref=sr_1_32?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1545266450&sr=1-32&keywords=external+blu+ray+dvd+drive

There is no good reason to have to carry extra weight and size for a drive that is rarely going to get used.
 
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