Need help narrowing down my laptop choices

DarkZero515

Commendable
Apr 26, 2016
1
0
1,510
0
1. What is your budget?
Would prefer under $600

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
Between 13 and 15.6 inch screen. Also an IPS that's not too dim would be nice

3. What screen resolution do you want?
1080

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
In between. Don't need a slim one and don't want a heavy gaming laptop (Would take to school occasionally)

5. How much battery life do you need?
I'm usually near an outlet so a huge battery isn't a priority but wouldn't go against it

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)?
Overwatch and heroes of the Storm mostly. Would be fine with the lowest settings

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
School programs like Access and Excel. I occasionally do some video editing on my current
i3-5010u already with Adobe Premiere

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
This is one of my priorities. I want one with an M.2 slot for fast boot ups/programs (have a sata M.2 but I'm willing to sell it and get a PCIe/NVME if needed) and a 2.5' bay for large storage

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Not picky on the site

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
My current one lasted me nearly 3 years but is now shutting down a bit frequently. Hoping my next once lasts longer

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Don't need one

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.
Not picky but any input about what brands/models to avoid would be appreciated

13. What country do you live in?
U.S.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
So far I'm considering a Lenove Thinkpad E485/E585 since it meets the hardware specs I'm looking for and has decent brightness

I was considering an HP Envy x360 but I can't find concrete information as to whether I can use M.2+HDD and what kind of M.2 it accepts. Also some reviews/videos show bad throttling management and video errors but damn does it look attractive with the glossy screen

Another recommendation was an Acer Aspire E15 because it allows for the upgrades I want but a review mentioned the screen is pretty dim and blurry

Those 3 have a Ryzen 2500u CPU I'm leaning towards because the intel equivalent would need a dedicated gpu to beat it.

I currently have a student discount applicable with the thinkpad and unless black friday has great deals on other laptops I think I'm going to with it but any input would be appreciated since I'm hoping to use this laptop for years to come
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
For a 15.6" laptop, I would recommend the following Dell i5575-A217SLV-PUS Inspiron 15 5575 for $480. It has a Ryzen 5 2500u APU, 1080p screen, 8GB of RAM and a M.2 slot... though one review states it is only compatible with NVMe. For best game performance you will want to install another stick of RAM; 2 sticks of RAM allows it to run a full speed as opposed to half speed if only one stick of RAM is installed. For general usage, full / half speed does not make much of a difference. However, playing game using integrated graphics RAM running at full speed can generally give a 10% to 20% increase in performance; it varies by the specific game.


https://www.amazon.com/Dell-i5575-A217SLV-PUS-Inspiron-5575-LED-Backlit/dp/B07BPPS7CK?keywords=ryzen+5+2500u+dell&qid=1540819648&sr=8-4&ref=sr_1_4


All of the relatively inexpensive 13.3" laptops that I know of only has a single m.2 slot. At best I am pretty sure you will only find two m.2 slots in higher end 13.3" because a 2.5" drive bay takes up valuable space which can be used for something better like a larger capacity battery.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------


One thing I need to point out regarding screens in general is that the trend in the past few years has been dimmer screen on laptops in general with the exception of higher end laptops and those with 4k screens. For example, the Dell Latitude 3540 business laptop I purchased back in January 2014 (released in 2013) has a TN panel screen that is much brighter than the IPS panel screen of my Dell Inspiron 7559 gaming laptop purchased in December 2016 (released in 2015). At 50% brightness the Latitude is fairly close to being as bright as the Inspiron at 100% brightness... at least to my eyes. More current examples would be the Lenovo Legion Y530 / Y730 and the Dell G3 / G5 / G7 laptops which were initially released with relative dim screen that were rated at 250 nits. Both recently introduced versions with a GTX 1060 (except the Legion Y730) which has screen with better brightness rating of 300 nits. Not sure how much brighter they are since I have not seen or read any reviews. 300 nits is still somewhat low... I prefer 400 nits, but those are relegated to higher end laptops especially with 4k screens.


 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
For a 15.6" laptop, I would recommend the following Dell i5575-A217SLV-PUS Inspiron 15 5575 for $480. It has a Ryzen 5 2500u APU, 1080p screen, 8GB of RAM and a M.2 slot... though one review states it is only compatible with NVMe. For best game performance you will want to install another stick of RAM; 2 sticks of RAM allows it to run a full speed as opposed to half speed if only one stick of RAM is installed. For general usage, full / half speed does not make much of a difference. However, playing game using integrated graphics RAM running at full speed can generally give a 10% to 20% increase in performance; it varies by the specific game.


https://www.amazon.com/Dell-i5575-A217SLV-PUS-Inspiron-5575-LED-Backlit/dp/B07BPPS7CK?keywords=ryzen+5+2500u+dell&qid=1540819648&sr=8-4&ref=sr_1_4


All of the relatively inexpensive 13.3" laptops that I know of only has a single m.2 slot. At best I am pretty sure you will only find two m.2 slots in higher end 13.3" because a 2.5" drive bay takes up valuable space which can be used for something better like a larger capacity battery.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------


One thing I need to point out regarding screens in general is that the trend in the past few years has been dimmer screen on laptops in general with the exception of higher end laptops and those with 4k screens. For example, the Dell Latitude 3540 business laptop I purchased back in January 2014 (released in 2013) has a TN panel screen that is much brighter than the IPS panel screen of my Dell Inspiron 7559 gaming laptop purchased in December 2016 (released in 2015). At 50% brightness the Latitude is fairly close to being as bright as the Inspiron at 100% brightness... at least to my eyes. More current examples would be the Lenovo Legion Y530 / Y730 and the Dell G3 / G5 / G7 laptops which were initially released with relative dim screen that were rated at 250 nits. Both recently introduced versions with a GTX 1060 (except the Legion Y730) which has screen with better brightness rating of 300 nits. Not sure how much brighter they are since I have not seen or read any reviews. 300 nits is still somewhat low... I prefer 400 nits, but those are relegated to higher end laptops especially with 4k screens.


 
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