Looking for a laptop for school with AMAZING battery life and decent specs...HELP!

matrodriguez

Honorable
Nov 21, 2012
11
0
10,560
0
1. What is your budget? $1k - $1.5k

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? Something between 13-15 I'd prefer something smaller because I'll be carrying it in my backpack and using it for school.

3. What screen resolution do you want? 1080p bare minimum. Anything higher is not important.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? I have an extremely powerful desktop and will not be doing any gaming on the laptop. It will be for school and portability.

5. How much battery life do you need? I'd like 8+ hours minimum. Battery life is extremely important to me

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)? I am a PC gamer but I have no intention of gaming with this system

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) Youtube, Twitch.tv, Netflix, Office suite, homework, note taking in class.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? Most of the stuff I store is in the cloud or on my desktop. I can get by with 128GB SSD. However, I would like the laptop to be able to be serviced. I intend to purchase a newer high capacity PCIe SSD later on down the line if the 128GB ssd proves to be too small

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links I intend to buy from pretty much anywhere. However I was planning on getting something from Best Buy or Amazon. Maybe Microcenter too.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? I want to keep this for at least 4 years. I am finishing up undergrad and want to finish a masters program right after.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? I do not need an optical drive at all

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 used to not like tell but I'm finding out that they are not too bad right now. The XPS 13 has caught my eye on more than one occasson. I wanted to like ASUS, but I haven't read any very good reviews on any of the ASUS laptops I've checked out recently.

13. What country do you live in? I live in the United States

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

I've done a ton of research and I'm plain having problems deciding on what my next laptop is going to be.

To give you a little bit of information on me, I am a computer nerd (like most of you) and I want the best of the best. When looking for a laptop I realize that I can't get everything at once because it's not practical. I have a high powered desktop I use for gaming and I don't need that for this laptop.

I only want to use this laptop for schoolwork. What I mean by that is I want it to have; 12.5-14" screen, 1080p screen resolution, have enough graphics capability for Netflix or YouTube at 1080, be lightweight, be portable, and have amazing battery life. Having a touch screen isn't important to me at all (why would you reach over your keyboard to touch the screen) unless it's a 2 in 1 or a convertible laptop.

My preferred hardware would be:

i5-6200/6300u
256+GB ssd (can settle for 128gb is I can service and replace with a PCIe SSD later on down the line)
8GB+ RAM
Battery life 8+ hours of use

I originally wanted to get an Asus, but I hear their build construction, track pads, and battery life are all really bad. Although I will be using a mouse often, I still like for the trackpad to be amazing. The Zenbook didn't impress me as much as I wish it would have.

Since Asus is not going to be my next laptop, I need help. Which manufacturers are good now? What would last me the next 5+ years? I need this laptop to help me finish up undergrad and my Masters.

I've heard good things about :

Dell XPS 13 - The non-touch version gets amazing battery life and is incredibly light and thin

Lenovo Yoga 900 - Best convertible

Macbook Air 13" - 12 hr battery life, I may get a Retina MBP because of the performance and batt life as well

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Is Dell still absolutely horrendous to deal with? Or am I safe in liking the XPS 13. I also want to like a Surface Book, but I'm not sure about it. Really not sure.

What else would you guys recommend? Keep in mind, battery life and portability are what is most important to me.

Lastly,

Is Kaby Lake coming out soon enough for it to be smart for me to wait? Or should I get something now. Semester starts at the end of August in exactly 30 days.

Thank you for your help!
 

nolimits76

Commendable
Jul 18, 2016
29
0
1,610
6
I love my 13.3" MBP. Mine is a Late 2011 model and doesn't feature the retina display. That part would be nice. The thing I love about mine is the build quality (5+ years old and still going strong -- I anticipate I could easily use another 2-3 years, maybe longer). I also love the fact I can easily upgrade the RAM and drives.

As much as I enjoy OS X, the overall user experience and the Unix underpinnings it just straight pisses me off Apple is going to this "one and done" direction in computer building. RAM is soldered in-place and not meant for a user to upgrade. They try to deter the SSD upgrades as well, but you can by-pass this. An article is below:

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook_pro/macbook-pro-retina-display-faq/macbook-pro-retina-display-how-to-upgrade-ssd-storage.html

If not for this quacky mindset, my money would be with Apple for sure. I personally believe they build a better machine and have a better OS that ultimately ends in a superior user experience. That said, I am not quite certain my next purchase. I too have considered the XPS 13, and then running a triple boot (Ubuntu, Win7 & OS X).

To have a shot of my triple boot I have to consider a "hackintosh". Also, if you prefer Win7 like myself, get Win10 Pro as there is a free "downgrade" to Win7 included with it.

If you want to toy with OS X on PC hardware: http://www.hackintosh.com/
 

Samer1970

Estimable
Oct 23, 2014
99
0
4,610
11
Get the Dell XPS 15 .. The main advantage of the new Dell XPS is that they have very thin bezel , so the 15 inch is the size of 13 inch , and the 13 inch is the size of 11 inch ..

so If you buy the XPS 15 you will end up with 15 inch screen in a 13 inch size notebook !!!

and it has a great battery life too . BEST ..

OR Go for Apple Macbook pro 13 with retina , avoid the Air , the Retina display is worth it . and it is not much heavier than the AIR
 

matrodriguez

Honorable
Nov 21, 2012
11
0
10,560
0


That's what I liked about the new Dell's. Is there a non-touch version of the XPS 15?
 

Samer1970

Estimable
Oct 23, 2014
99
0
4,610
11


yes they have a non touch version . you can order direct from them if you want to configure it as you wish

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/xps-15-9550-laptop/pd?ref=PD_OC

keep in mind thats an i7 cpu with 4 cores !
 

nolimits76

Commendable
Jul 18, 2016
29
0
1,610
6
I love my 13.3" MBP. Mine is a Late 2011 model and doesn't feature the retina display. That part would be nice. The thing I love about mine is the build quality (5+ years old and still going strong -- I anticipate I could easily use another 2-3 years, maybe longer). I also love the fact I can easily upgrade the RAM and drives.

As much as I enjoy OS X, the overall user experience and the Unix underpinnings it just straight pisses me off Apple is going to this "one and done" direction in computer building. RAM is soldered in-place and not meant for a user to upgrade. They try to deter the SSD upgrades as well, but you can by-pass this. An article is below:

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook_pro/macbook-pro-retina-display-faq/macbook-pro-retina-display-how-to-upgrade-ssd-storage.html

If not for this quacky mindset, my money would be with Apple for sure. I personally believe they build a better machine and have a better OS that ultimately ends in a superior user experience. That said, I am not quite certain my next purchase. I too have considered the XPS 13, and then running a triple boot (Ubuntu, Win7 & OS X).

To have a shot of my triple boot I have to consider a "hackintosh". Also, if you prefer Win7 like myself, get Win10 Pro as there is a free "downgrade" to Win7 included with it.

If you want to toy with OS X on PC hardware: http://www.hackintosh.com/
 

matrodriguez

Honorable
Nov 21, 2012
11
0
10,560
0


One of the reasons I was actually looking at the XPS 13, and a MBP is because I could service them and install a new PCIe SSD if I wanted. I also wouldn't need much more than 128gb of storage on the laptop either because I'll primarily be using it to do essays/homework, youtube, and consumption.

After doing more research I've basically narrowed it down to the XPS 13, MBP, and teh Surface 4 (maybe the Surface Book)

I have a very high powered desktop right now and use it for gaming. I wouldn't need anything with graphics really and battery life/reliability are what is important to me with this machine.
 

nolimits76

Commendable
Jul 18, 2016
29
0
1,610
6
The entry level MBP comes with 128gb SSD. Also, it might be worth noting their SSD's seem to perform better than some competitors. And if you outgrow the 128gb, you could upgrade per the link I provided you earlier.

It's just the RAM you need to purchase now because it's soldered and you can't upgrade. If you can live with that, I think you will be okay. I would suggest maxing out at 16gb for the future.

Battery will be phenomenal. On my old MBP I easily get 8+ hours actual use. With partial standby combined with working I've been unplugged for a total of 24 hours w/o dying. Another thing that is underrated is the trackpad -- one word, awesome. And sleep/wake works the best of any laptop I've ever owned. Keep in mind, battery will be better on the 13.3" models.

The MBP has alot going for it, which is why it angers me that Apple does silly things like soldering RAM.

If you need/want to run different OS' on the MBP, you can easily do that as well. Bootcamp lets you install Windows & Linux both (Ubuntu is very popular). A program like Parallels is a virtual manager that opens in the OS X GUI like any other app but lets you flip between Win/Linux/Whatever without a manual reboot. Slick stuff.

Lots of good things there. No doubt it'd make your journey.
 

matrodriguez

Honorable
Nov 21, 2012
11
0
10,560
0


I hear you on the RAM soldering. Even the XPS 13 has RAM soldered onto the motherboard. I think only in 15" windows pc's and some 13 non ultrabooks am I able to upgrade ram. The XPS 15 actually has serviceable RAM and SSD which is awesome, but it might be too big for me.

I am strongly leaning towards a Macbook. I will be purchasing it at Best Buy so I just have to wait for them to come out with the new models and then I'm going to pick them up!
 

nolimits76

Commendable
Jul 18, 2016
29
0
1,610
6
You mentioned you were in school. You do know Apple has an Education Store? Roughly, you save $100-200 (dependent on final purchase price) + you get a free set of $300 Beats earphones.

FYI, I configured a 13.3" MBP w/ i7, 512gb SSD & 16gb RAM and it had a $150 discount + the $300 Beats. Not sure I care about the headphones, but free is free. Maybe I can get a few hundred from someone on Craigslist.

Use this link:
https://www.apple.com/shop/browse/home/findyourschool

When I bought my last MBP, all I had to do was verify my school email address (typically johnny.appleseed@collegename.edu or something similar).
 

matrodriguez

Honorable
Nov 21, 2012
11
0
10,560
0


Yeah I've been checking that out. Best Buy gives you $100 off as well and Best Buy usually sells the machines for cheaper than the retail price at apple. I'd get a bit more money off going the Best Buy route.

The headphones would be nice to sell and make quick cash though, so it's really up in the air. I could sell those headphones for $250 and make back some money instantly.

I also have a best buy card and get 18mo no interest. I planned on paying for it all in cash, but that's another reason for why I would want to stay with BBY.

I might be getting a new iPhone soon. When that happens I will get the other beats headphones for the education discount :p
 

nolimits76

Commendable
Jul 18, 2016
29
0
1,610
6


That must be something new. Admittedly it has been 5+ years since I considered Best Buy. At that time, they did not offer a student price match discount. And in-store prices were basically the same (within $10 or so). Definitely buy where you can get the best deal. Years ago, places like MacMall and similar used to offer better than retail pricing and couple free stuff like printers, etc. with them -- plus NO sales tax!
 

matrodriguez

Honorable
Nov 21, 2012
11
0
10,560
0


You have to go to the Best Buy student deals website and verify with a .edu address. They then send you coupons for a TON of different items that are considered "college essential" some of the deals are "$150 off all windows laptops" (which would make my XPS 13 pretty cheap. They also have "$100 off all Macbooks"

The retail price for a Macbook found at best buy is usually $50-$100 cheaper than at the Apple store too. With BBY you can get accidental damage coverage for the laptop too...something you can't do with Applecare on laptops.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
C Laptop General Discussion 3
D Laptop General Discussion 2
V Laptop General Discussion 0
T Laptop General Discussion 1
G Laptop General Discussion 12
C Laptop General Discussion 3
V Laptop General Discussion 2
K Laptop General Discussion 2
E Laptop General Discussion 3
M Laptop General Discussion 4
M Laptop General Discussion 16
M Laptop General Discussion 2
T Laptop General Discussion 1
R Laptop General Discussion 2
S Laptop General Discussion 1
T Laptop General Discussion 1
C Laptop General Discussion 1
C Laptop General Discussion 2
H Laptop General Discussion 3
S Laptop General Discussion 1

ASK THE COMMUNITY