Need help deciding between various ultrabooks.

CarterBeals

Commendable
Jul 15, 2016
1
0
1,510
0
TL;DR at bottom for those that don't like reading walls of text.

As I enter my senior year of high school, I've been considering what kinds of things I feel that I need to do to prepare for college, and one of the things on that list is acquire a laptop. I'm the type of person that heavily researches things before I purchase them, and in this case, that tendency is coming back to bite me, as all my research has made me incredibly indecisive.

So first, let me explain exactly what it is I'm looking for. I intend to be using my laptop for school, work, and leisure. I'm at the point now where I can type faster than I can write, so I'm going to be doing a lot of note taking for school. Additionally, I dabble in music and video production, so I need something that has a decent GPU and processor. Lastly, I don't intend to be doing any intense gaming on this, I'd rather build a desktop system for that. However, I do like to play some lighter games every once in awhile, things like Starcraft, Modded Minecraft, World of Tanks, etc.

So in a list, this would be some of the specific things I would want.

-16 GB of RAM for audio production and video editing, as well as light gaming.
-Solid processor for same reasons listed above, preferably i7.
-Lightweight and portable
-Good keyboard for typing all day for classes
-Decent battery life for if I am on the move and can't be by an outlet
-Dedicated graphics card would be nice, although I'm not opposed to integrated if it's the best option.
-Large enough screen to be comfortable looking at for extended periods of time.
-Resolution doesn't matter to me. 4K is nice, but 1080p has longer battery life.
-Ideal budget between $1,000 and $1,500 USD
-While not a deal breaker, I like my technology to be sexy and look nice as well.

Lastly, I really like the idea of a 2-in-1. While it may not be useful all of the time, I could see having the option to work in tablet mode come in really handy in some situations. And no, I'm not interested in the Surface.

With all things above considered, I've narrowed my choices down to a few options, and all have good and bad things about them. I will list each one, and say what I feel appeals to me and dissuades me from each particular ultrabook.

Option 1) Lenovo Yoga 900(16GB RAM i7 512 GB SSD) ($1400)
Pros:
-Best specs for money
-Hinge is sturdy

Cons:
-In reading reviews, I've heard people mention that the build quality of the Yoga is average at best, with lots of plastic. I've also heard mixed reviews of the keyboard.

Option 2) HP Spectre x360 (16GB RAM i7 512 GB SSD) ($1500)
Pros:
-Premium feel with Ash Silver/Copper accents
-Reviews speak highly of build quality and keyboard
-Large trackpad
-Most aesthetically attractive, in my opinion, of all options.

Cons:
-There has been talk of heat management being an issue, that the keyboard can get uncomfortably warm.
-Also $100 more than Yoga for same specs

Option 3) Dell XPS 15 (8 GB RAM i7 256 GB SSD) ($1500)
Pros:
-Highly acclaimed in reviews.
-Large 15" display
-Expandable memory, both RAM (Up to 32 GB) and SSD
-Dedicated graphics card (GTX 960M)

Cons:
-Expensive. $1500 for base i7 model, with only 8 GB of RAM and 256 SSD. Model with same specs as Yoga and Spectre (16GB RAM 512 SSD) costs $1830. I could buy the parts separately and add them myself when I got the laptop, as both memory types are expandable, but at a base price with an i7 of $1500, it's already at the upper end of my preferred budget.
-Not an 2-in-1

Option 4) Razer Blade Stealth (8GB RAM i7 256 GB SSD QHD Display ) ($1200)
Pros:
-Solid construction and build quality
-RGB Keyboard (I'm a sucker for LEDs)
-Least expensive of all presented options

Cons:
-Smaller 12.5 inch screen
-Limited to 8GB RAM
-Also not a 2-in-1

TL;DR

Each of these options appeals to me in it's own way, which is what makes this decision so difficult for me.

The Yoga gives me the specs I want, as well as being a 2-in-1, for the cheapest price, but has what some have called sub-par build quality.

The Spectre, while slightly more expensive, has a solid build quality and beautiful aesthetic, but possible heat problems.

The XPS 15 looks good, and having a bigger screen and a dedicated graphics card would be awesome, but it comes at a much steeper price.

The Razer Stealth leaves me room in my budget to buy some peripherals in the same purchase, but has a smaller screen and less RAM.

So after that essay, I'm open to any and all opinions and suggestions. What would you buy if you were in my situation? Are there other options that I haven't considered or researched yet? Thanks for reading and responding.
 

Kenneth1987

Commendable
Feb 25, 2016
72
0
1,610
15
You can look at GS60 for its portability which is thin and light with good performance. The top-notch spec with stylish gaming keyboard and swift cooling system are gamers’ favorites. Others unique features like true color tech or Nahimc sound enhancer all furnish good gaming experience.
 

Kenneth1987

Commendable
Feb 25, 2016
72
0
1,610
15
You can look at GS60 for its portability which is thin and light with good performance. The top-notch spec with stylish gaming keyboard and swift cooling system are gamers’ favorites. Others unique features like true color tech or Nahimc sound enhancer all furnish good gaming experience.
 
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