Need advice w/c Cheap Small Laptop to Buy

bruno0920

Distinguished
Jul 18, 2011
2
0
18,510
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Hi Everyone,

With good reviews, different Sales person opinions, multitude of options to choose from, I am now confuse w/c of the items I have listed as the bang-for-the-buck laptop/netbook/notebook as I have gathered from the Internet Reviews

Purpose:
85% = Heavy Internet MMORPG Flash-based games (Naruto Online, League of Legends, etc) & opening at least 2 browsers & 1 mini-client simultaneously
2.5% = Office Documents (word, excel)
7.5% = Emulator Games (N64, Gameboy, NDS, FamiCom)

Max Budget: $300
Screen Dimension: 8" to 12"
Max Weight: 2.5 kg

Preferred Laptop based on Internet Reviews

  • Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 11 (A01-131-C9PM or S13)
    Acer CB3-131-C3SZ Chromebook
    Acer Chromebook R11
    Acer Swift 3
    ASUS Chromebook (C200MA-DS02 or Flip or R13)
    ASUS C201PA-DS01
    ASUS Transformer Book (300CHI-F1-DB or T100CHI or T102HA or Flip TP200SA)
    ASUS F555LA-AB31
    ASUS VivoBook (E200HA-US01-GD or E403SA or A540)
    ASUS ZenBook (UX305, Flip UX360)
    CTL Chromebook J2
    Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series (3162)
    Dell Inspiron 15 5000
    Dell Inspiron 7000 2in1
    Dell XPS 13
    HP Chromebook 14
    HP Pavillion (15t, x360)
    HP Spectre x360
    HP Stream 14
    Lenovo IdeaPad 100s
    Lenovo IdeaPad 110s
    Lenovo IdeaPad Miix (500 or 700)
    Lenovo Yoga (Book or 300 or 900)
    Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga
    Lenovo Thinkpad 13
    Macbook (2016)
    Macbook Air 13.3
    Microsoft Surface (3 or 4)
    Razer Blade Stealth
    Samsung Chromebook 3

My Priority would be:
1. Performance
2. Budget
3. Screen Dimension
4. Weight

Please select only 1 among the list so it will not confuse me more. I'm leaning towards Lenovo IdeaPad 100s but according to the Sales Person I've spoken to, it can't handle the workload
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
Light and powerful laptop are expensive. They cost more to engineer. They use lighter materials that are more expensive. "Powerful" components" like the CPU are expensive. For example, the i5-7200u is pretty common in many laptops. Intel's recommended price just for that CPU is $281. Toss in other things need to create a laptop like a screen, the motherboard, hard drive, chassis, etc and you are looking at a laptop that will probably sell for $550 - $600 on the lower end of the scale. Shrink that down to a laptop with something like 12.5" or 13.3" and light, then the price jumps to around $750 or more.

I recommend you consider the following refurbished 12.5" Lenovo ThinkPad X240 for $350. It has a Core i5-4300u and an Intel HD 4400 graphics core. It's small light and rugged. It's certainly a lot more powerful than the IdeaPad 110s. However, it only has 4GB of RAM. If oyu are going to a mini-client open while doing other things then you need to add more RAM because that 4GB will be used by Windows, the Intel HD 4400 and any programs you have open. I recommend adding at least a stick of 4GB RAM to otherwise it is going to feel sluggish because when Windows begins to run out of RAM, it will start swapping data between the RAM and the hard drive continuously which will make the laptop feel sluggish. I recommend installing an 8GB stick of RAM though (the laptop has one free slot for RAM).

https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-ThinkPad-X240-UltraBook-Laptop/dp/B01HN6MVAA/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1486152075&sr=8-18-spons&keywords=thinkpad+x230&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-Single-PC3L-12800-204-Pin-CT102464BF160B/dp/B005LDLV6S/ref=pd_bxgy_147_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B006YG8X9Y&pd_rd_r=40P14RZ6DFMGBF51H3JF&pd_rd_w=IeLkg&pd_rd_wg=9sHZ5&refRID=40P14RZ6DFMGBF51H3JF&th=1


You can definitely play some non demanding PC games with it like League of Legends, CS:GO, Rocket League, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (which I have tweaked a little to run fairly well on a friends laptop with the same Intel HD 4400). I have a spare laptop with an i5-4200u CPU and the Intel HD 4400 that I sometimes use to play my secondary account in Star Trek Online with pretty decent results.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
Forget all Chromebooks. You cannot install any Windows programs since they do not use Windows. League of Legends is not a Flash based game. You cannot even use a "normal printer" with Chromebooks because Chromebooks sends print jobs through the internet which means only netwoked printers can be used.

Many of the remaining laptops are simply over your $300 budget. That includes all Macbooks, Thinkpads, Yogas, most of the Dells, the Razer Blade Stealth and MS Surfaces. Generally speaking what the Sales Person has told you about the IdeaPad 100s is true. Basically you are not going to find anything within your $300 budget that will suit your preference in the laptop size you want. Regardless of the size the following 15.6" laptop is the best performing new laptop you can buy within your budget.

https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-1366x768-i3-6100U-Wireless-AC-Bluetooth/dp/B01N1UQU99/ref=sr_1_4?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1486110422&sr=1-4&keywords=i3-6100u+laptop

If you want something similar but 13.3", then you need to increase your budget.
 

bruno0920

Distinguished
Jul 18, 2011
2
0
18,510
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Thanks for the reply Jaguar.
Ok scrapping out chromebooks
Let me correct, it's it's League of Angels 1 & 2. I only play most of the time Flash-based MMORPG that requires heavy rendering. Even my Above Average PC that I bought 3 years ago feels heavy when I open 2 browsers & 1 mini client @ the same time.

So there aren't any strong & small laptops out there? I need light, small but powerful. Maybe I can increase my budget to max of $400 nothing more than that.

I was looking for mobile phones but these games doesn't play on Mobile Phone mode. When rendering it using Desktop Mode on the Mobile Browers it will look for the Adobe Flash for PC in w/c i have been trying to install but still won't work

Thanks for the suggested laptop anyway
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
Light and powerful laptop are expensive. They cost more to engineer. They use lighter materials that are more expensive. "Powerful" components" like the CPU are expensive. For example, the i5-7200u is pretty common in many laptops. Intel's recommended price just for that CPU is $281. Toss in other things need to create a laptop like a screen, the motherboard, hard drive, chassis, etc and you are looking at a laptop that will probably sell for $550 - $600 on the lower end of the scale. Shrink that down to a laptop with something like 12.5" or 13.3" and light, then the price jumps to around $750 or more.

I recommend you consider the following refurbished 12.5" Lenovo ThinkPad X240 for $350. It has a Core i5-4300u and an Intel HD 4400 graphics core. It's small light and rugged. It's certainly a lot more powerful than the IdeaPad 110s. However, it only has 4GB of RAM. If oyu are going to a mini-client open while doing other things then you need to add more RAM because that 4GB will be used by Windows, the Intel HD 4400 and any programs you have open. I recommend adding at least a stick of 4GB RAM to otherwise it is going to feel sluggish because when Windows begins to run out of RAM, it will start swapping data between the RAM and the hard drive continuously which will make the laptop feel sluggish. I recommend installing an 8GB stick of RAM though (the laptop has one free slot for RAM).

https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-ThinkPad-X240-UltraBook-Laptop/dp/B01HN6MVAA/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1486152075&sr=8-18-spons&keywords=thinkpad+x230&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-Single-PC3L-12800-204-Pin-CT102464BF160B/dp/B005LDLV6S/ref=pd_bxgy_147_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B006YG8X9Y&pd_rd_r=40P14RZ6DFMGBF51H3JF&pd_rd_w=IeLkg&pd_rd_wg=9sHZ5&refRID=40P14RZ6DFMGBF51H3JF&th=1


You can definitely play some non demanding PC games with it like League of Legends, CS:GO, Rocket League, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (which I have tweaked a little to run fairly well on a friends laptop with the same Intel HD 4400). I have a spare laptop with an i5-4200u CPU and the Intel HD 4400 that I sometimes use to play my secondary account in Star Trek Online with pretty decent results.
 

Seaweed Monster

Estimable
Jun 7, 2014
49
0
4,610
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Found a couple that would do the job, but considering your budget for a small and powerful laptop, it's literally impossible to find. However, I've linked the following systems:

--------------
15.6 inch models that would be suitable :


First: HP 15-ay191ms - $372

- 15.6 inch screen at 1366 x 768
- 7th Gen Intel i3-7100u Kaby Lake 2.40Ghz with Hyperthreading (2 Processing cores / 4 threads)
- Intel HD Graphics 620 - Pretty impressive integrated graphics
- 8 GB DDR4 RAM - Latest RAM
- 1 TB

Link: https://www.amazon.com/HP-15-ay191ms-Touchscreen-Signat...

Second: Lenovo IdeaPad Z50 - $380

- 15.6 inch screen at 1366 x 768
- FX-7500 2.10GHz with (boost) up to 3.30Ghz
- 8GB DDR3 RAM
- AMD Radeon R7 Graphics (Shared memory = Memory taken from RAM)
- 1 TB

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-Premium-Performance-15-6-...


The R7 graphics is slightly better than the HD 620; only slightly, however the Intel i3-7100u is a much better CPU.

---------------
11.6 inch model:

ThinkPad 11E:


main specs include:

- 1366 x 768 screen
- Intel N3150 Quad core 1.6Ghz
- 8GB's DDR3
- 128GB SSD

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-Quad-Core-Processor-Bluetooth-Professional/dp/B01KMZ4HF6/ref=sr_1_30?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1486740540&sr=1-30&refinements=p_n_size_browse-bin%3A13580786011%7C13580785011%7C13580784011%7C3545275011%7C2423840011%2Cp_36%3A34500-42000

I highly doubt this will be able to handle games like league of legends, it just does not have the hardware to do so. It maybe able to run light browser based games, but that is about it.

This laptop(ThinkPad 11E) is ideal for on the move office, email, videos, streaming content, excel, blogging, but not gaming. The smaller and more compact laptops simply do not have the thermal envelope to be able to handle powerful hardware and it does not help with the small budget either. 15.6 is the way to go mate; especially on a budget.

Personally, I think you would be more happy with a 15.6 inch laptop, better hardware for the price.


Many thanks,
SM



 

GreyCatz

Admirable
The $372 Kaby Lake HP from Amazon suggested by Seaweed seems a very attractive option. It's new and comes with 8GBs of RAM.

For research purposes (ahem!) I've just spent an hour playing League of Angels II and it seems to slot somewhere between World of Warcraft and League of Legends. I'd say an HD 620 IGP should have no problem with LoA2.
 
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