Need a new laptop...advice?

savage8190

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Aug 27, 2017
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Im in the market for a new laptop for school. I have a great desktop at home for the majority of my gaming, and I have an older ultrabook that I am giving to my kids (I wont let my kids touch a computer with my work on it). Looking for some recommendations on the unicorn I am seemingly seeking.

1. What is your budget? About $2000 CDN max....less is better.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 15"

3. What screen resolution do you want? High as possible...minimum 1080p with a high quality screen. Nothing worse than staring at code all day on a garbage screen.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Powerful and portable? I dont want a 10 pound monster, but it doesnt need to be ultrabook small.

5. How much battery life do you need? Don't give a crap about battery when gaming...that would be plugged in. But I would like to get a solid 6 hours running regular productivity software and/or doing regular browsing.

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 would like to play games occasionally, nothing major, dont need ultra settings....thats what my desktop is for. As long as I can play some decent games here and there Im good....maybe something along the lines of a 1050ti or 1060 would be good as a minimum.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) I am starting a Comp. Sci major with heavy emphasis on software development. This will be my primary use.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? minimum 256gb SSD, with other storage option (1tb 7200rpm, or more ssd capacity). I have to use a number of larger programs.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. Anything in Canada. Best Buy and Costco are more Ideal as I can try and return.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? 4-5 years minimum.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? None

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. Im pretty open. I would like to avoid HP and Acer due to some poor past experiences but its not a deal breaker.

13. What country do you live in? Canada

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. MUST have a good keyboard with a number pad and MUST have a trackpad with actual buttons...I HATE the ones with no buttons. Prefer quad core or better. MUST have 16gb of RAM minimum. Would like it to have a smallish power adapter if possible (I dont mind carrying it with me but I dont want to lug a huge brick around). Theres a number of options that seem to suite my needs but finding a balance between nice display, decent power, and decent battery life is hard to find.
 

savage8190

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Aug 27, 2017
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Just for reference I have been looking at a lot of Laptops. Something like the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 seems good, but the screen is garbage. Looked at an Acer Nitro 5 and it seems fairly ideal, but the fact that the display model was overheating from playing a video is discouraging...reminds me of the 2 Acer's I had that died from, you guessed it, overheating. MSI seems to have a lot of nice options, but their batteries look abysmal. I'm leaning to ROG Strix right now...their weak spot seems to be the battery as well; Though its better than MSI's tiny batteries. There's a decent priced HP Omen I could grab, but again battery is crap, and it would need a HD upgrade right off the bat. My 2 HP laptops were solid, but Im very annoyed with some of the crap they pull.
 

superninja12

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May 18, 2015
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my personal suggestion for you slightly above budget: https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/gigabyte-gst-aero-14kv7-bk4-14-i7-7700hq-gtx-1050ti-4gb-16gb-ddr4-ram-256gb-m-2-ssd-gaming-laptop/12059646.aspx?

the review vs another top tier laptop: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/76546-max-q-laptop-battle-asus-zephyrus-vs-gigabyte-aero-15x-16.html

downside: the poweroutput for sound is pretty low, this works fine with basic headphones , but for good headphones you might want a DAC (this is with most laptops)!

another : https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834154740

https://www.kitguru.net/tech-news/ryan-redfield/msi-raider-ge63vr-7re-120hz-gaming-laptop-review/10/

the reason I pick the gigabyte above the msi, while it doesnt game as good as the msi.
its MORE THAN STRONG ENOUGH for your games, looks more professional(you code at a business right?) and its way more quiet and the thermals are better.
 

savage8190

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Ya I looked at the Gigabyte...its looks pretty ideal, but then it seems way overpriced for the specs so its tough to swallow. I was thinking something along these lines:

MSI:

https://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/MX69405

Ticks every box but I'm unsure about the battery life....

New Strix (not quite released yet):

https://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/MX71456

The MSI has a 1060 and an i7 7700 with 2400mhz RAM whereas the Asus has a 1050ti and the new i7 8750 and 2666mhz RAM. The Asus battery is a bit bigger also, but it doesnt have trackpad buttons which is annoying to me. Trade offs to consider at the same price point.
 

savage8190

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Well...after some thought Im hedging towards going with something with a 1060 as opposed to the 1050. I may not NEED it now, but the 1060 should keep me running decent games for a much longer period. That said I think I'm going to grab the MSI I linked above. I'll put it through the paces and see if the battery makes the cut. Really there's not really many times Im away from an outlet so it should be ok. I have to compromise somewhere...
 

savage8190

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Well MSI is a no go. Talked to the dude at the store and he said it has a pretty crap battery as I suspected. Back to the drawing board.

Seems the Predator Helios has decent battery life but it's like double the price in Canada which is redonk. Dell maybe...though it's pricey for the specs Id like and I'm still unsure about the display...I was only able to see the lowest end display in store.

I really wish Asus has better batteries...always liked the look of their laptops.

Might be that what I want just costs more than I'm willing to dish out lol.
 

zoltan.boese

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If you have a powerful gpu in your laptop, battery time will always be low. In you are not gaming, you can try and disable the dedicated gpu using intel graphics. That may help you out between two charges.
 

savage8190

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Yes I will be using it a heck of a lot and it will pay back itself...if it was my decision alone I would just buy the best one I could...but my wife doesn't see it quite the same way lol.

I know a GPU will always be a drain, but it should be really easy to make a laptop with a decent battery that will last a work day when NOT utilizing the GPU. Most modern systems should have software to disable the GPU when it's not in use (unless the display is gsync)...why the garbage batteries and poor optimization? Seems lazy to me...theyre expected to be plugged in most of the time so there's no thought put into it.
 

savage8190

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OK so I think I have exhausted all of my options and it kind of breaks down like this...

Ideal specs to price ratio puts me in the neighborhood of the Asus GL503VM Hero or the MSI GE63 Raider. Both are pretty much identical, both have crap battery life lol.

Comparing these to other brands (note this is in Canada, pricing is wacky):

Dell - get WAY less performance, but better battery for the same price.
Alienware - on par performance, better battery, beastly size, MUCH higher price tag.
Razer - Expensive, period. No 15" option.
HP - Nothing really comparable, also poor battery.
Gigabyte - Aero line looks perfect and has a great battery life...almost double the price for equivalent specs; rediculous.
Acer - Helios looks good on paper...I think it feels and looks like junk. Ive seen them in 3 stores; all crashed lol. I have zero faith in Acer (though I do have a Predator monitor on my desktop and its killer); pricing in Canada is too high....like 70-80% markup on the Helios.

So there ya have it. What option do I have? Break the bank to get exactly what I want (Gigabyte), or pay a reasonable price for a good laptop and lose out on just battery life.

Incidentally I picked up an Asus GL503VS Scar edition last night just to test it out. It was on for a good sale price and the specs are what I wanted and then some. What sells me on Asus over MSI is that it has access panels to change the hard drives without voiding the warranty; I'm honestly shocked that this isn't more common. That said; the battery SUCKS. I got about 2.5 hours just doing some random web surfing and installing a couple programs. Other than that its a fantastic piece of hardware (so far as I can tell).

Dont know if I'll keep it...I definitely wont be dropping an extra grand to get the same thing with a better battery so I'm kind of stuck...
 

WildCard999

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For your budget I really like the Asus Hero, it meets your requirements and has a 120hz IPS screen which is pretty awesome. Like others have said the battery life is kind of crappy but if you not gaming while on battery power I can't imagine the battery dying quickly if you put the system on "battery saver" and maybe lower the screen brightness.

https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834234747

As for some of the negative reviews it appears more user error or a Newegg issue over a issue with the actual laptop.
 

savage8190

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I love the idea of the Hero as well....but like I said in my last post I picked up the Scar (one model above the hero), and the battery is abysmal. From what I can tell online they have virtually the same battery life (the Hero gets a slight edge for some reason). It took me 2.5 hours of just browsing and a couple installs to kill it; and it is taking equally as long to charge it.

I honestly may have to bite the bullet on a Gigabyte and not mention it to the wife lol. I dont know that I'll be happy otherwise...
 

superninja12

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so whenever you spend 500 euros 2000 or 3000 you want to be a 100% happy with your product.
Right now you're not so happy with the asus because of multiple things.
I would return it since you're not getting 100% content with your product.
and get the gigabyte , you spend so much time behind that laptop.

My last recommandation is the msi gs65 stealth series , they have great battery life , but no g sync ..
 

savage8190

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Alright, another update. I tried another run down on the battery of the Asus, and it took me 2 hours to kill it with just random use and writing some code. It was just TOO bad, so I returned it...shame because it was awesome in every other way. I decided what the hell and grabbed a Gigabyte Aero 15x to try out. So far...I dunno, Im not wowed for the price of it.

I havent really done much with it other than update and install, and I dont know why, but it seems brutally slow compared to the Asus. I think it took me all of about 2 hours...maybe 3...to run all the driver updates and download and install most of the software I needed. As I type this I am on about hour 5 or 6 with the Gigabyte (glad my only plan was watching netflix tonight) and its still not done updating drivers. The Gigabyte Smart Update is BRUTAL.

Another thing is that it is wicked hot. I actually had to put it down and Im using my old laptop right now because it was burning my lap. Didnt notice that problem with the Asus, and my old HP is cool as ice. The Gigabyte is under a very light load and is idling between 45-75 degrees. The Asus and my HP, running the same load, sitting at 35-40...I dont notice any heat with them. I havent even thought of running a game yet...its gonna cook the thing. I will say one good thing about it though; it has been running on battery pretty much all that time...so it has that going for it.

Really though, there is no way in hell a laptop should run up to 75 degrees installing a driver. The GPU is disabled, and the CPU usage is at like 10%. Im feeling a bit fed up. Am I being unreasonable?
 

superninja12

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Lets get it working.

1) before you install the drivers, make sure windows is updated
Because than you will have access to the latest drivers

2)I recommand you not to use software like smart update. but manually install the drivers
Its not just gigabyte but also msi and asus, the idea is cool but isn't working out so far in my experience.

75 degrees (celcius) and only 10% cpu usage means its at battery saving mode, set it to peformance mode.
insert the powercable?

that driver instalation shoudn't last that long.

keep asking your questions:) lets get this solved!
 

The Paladin

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if you think the system is running slow;

1. run a benchmark on it.
2. get CCleaner, and got the tools section , startup and remove all unneeded program that load on boot (often manufacturer have those apps loading. and I would also include in removal all those "preloading helping software from adobe etc.)
3. goto search type in "programs and features" and remove the bloatware install by "manufacturer"
4. defrag hard drive
reboot.
 
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