Portable school laptop

otornroth

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Jan 11, 2017
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I need a laptop for school

Ive been looking at quite many options

My budget is about 1000€/£

Minimum specs
-i5 or up (preferably kaby lake)
Ryzen laptops arent out yet but i need one for this fall
-min 8gb ram (i like to have many chrome tabs open)
-absolute minimum 128gb ssd 256gb up preferabbly
-comfortable keyboard and decent enough trackpad
-nice display for long sessions (1080p if 13/14 inch or smaller and 1440p or more if 15.6 inch or up
-good battery life to last for a day
-and of course portable beacause school

Ive been looking at these. I relly just need help deciding

-dell xps 13 and 15
-asus ux430
-hp spectre x360
-lenovo yoga 910
-Razer blade stealth 2017
-lg gram (havent found in europe)


 

velocityg4

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Nov 21, 2006
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The HP Spectre x360 is nearly identical to the Yoga 910 in most metrics. Except the Specter x360 uses a far superior SSD. In this review you can see most benchmarks are very similar except SSD speed.
https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/laptops/lenovo-yoga-910

The ASUS Zenbook uses a cheap Sandisk m.2 SATA SSD. Everything else is similar. As you know the GeForce 940MX option heats it up. As those are very low end graphics (hardly worth mentioning). It is a pointless option. As the 940MX is nearly as useless for gaming as the Intel 620. If that was your plan.
http://www.ultrabookreview.com/14425-asus-zenbook-ux430-review/

The HP Spectre x360 and Dell XPS 13 (1920x1080 version) are very similar. Except the Dell has better battery life and an even faster SSD. It cannot be used as a tablet. While the Spectre x360 can. Note the Dell XPS 13 3200x1800 display option has worse battery life.
https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/laptops/dell-xps-13

The XPS 15 is obviously superior. It is unfair to place in the comparison. It is larger and has room for higher performance parts.

The Razer Blade Stealth has the best screen. That's what happens on the higher resolution panels. Performance is similar with the other models. Battery life suffers due to the higher resolution display. It is even worse than the Dell XPS 13 (3200x1800 option).
https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/laptops/razer-blade-stealth

Overall the Dell XPS 13 (1920x1080) is the best option for extreme portability with it's 13+ hours battery life.
The HP Spectre x360 is the best 2-in-1 option. If you want tablet mode get this.
The Dell XPS 13 (3200x1800) is the best mix of ultra premium screen and battery life.

As for the larger class of laptops. If you compare the XPS 15 to the x360 15. The XPS 15 has a better screen and far superior 3D performance.
https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/laptops/dell-xps-15

Personally, for university I would take the HP Spectre x360. It has plenty of battery life. The small size makes it excellent for classes which have those blasted half desks. Tablet mode can be useful with a stylus for drawing diagrams or taking notes where you have to stand up and walk around. The XPS 13 (1920x1080) would be my second choice due to extreme battery life.
 

velocityg4

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Nov 21, 2006
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A lot of those laptops are over your budget.

After a lot of searching for some clients. I ended up recommending the Lenovo Yoga 710. Due to similar budgetary constraints.

It has an excellent review from Laptopmag.com (one of the more in-depth review sites). It has exceptional battery life and went over 8 hours in their tests. The screen has great color accuracy for an ultrabook and is better than most regular monitors. The screen is quite bright and should be visible in a well-lit area. It has a 256GB SSD. SSD speeds are normal so it is using a m.2 SATA model not an M.2 NVMe. The NVMe only exist in higher end models. The i7-7500u is quite fast. It is quite light at 3.4Lbs and measures 12.7x8.8x0.6 inches. It also packs the latest WiFi and Bluetooth standards. For use with a monitor it has HDMI.

It is a 2 in 1. So, it can act in laptop of tablet modes. The only real downside I found in the review is the webcam could be better. If you look at the customer reviews. It gets a 4 out of 5-star average. Which is quite good for any electronic device.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lenovo-YOGA-14-Inch-Convertible-Notebook/dp/B01NARDPK0/

Another contender is the ASUS Zenbook Flip UX360CA. ASUS and Lenovo are currently ranked the top laptop brands. ASUS has a lower malfunction rate. Compared to the Lenovo it has better battery life, peaking at near 10 hours . Color range, accuracy and brightness are superior as well. SSD capacity is double at 512GB. It is also loaded with all the latest connection technology. With all these upsides, you may be wondering what the downside is. Which comes to the CPU. While respectable the i5-7Y54 is a considerable downgrade from the i7-7500u used in the Lenovo Yoga. It is still quite capable at office tasks, schoolwork and web browsing. This CPU uses a lot less power which is how they could decrease weight and increase battery life. It is so low power (4.5W vs 15W) that the laptop is fanless. Making for a silent design.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zenbook-Degrees-Notebook-Processor-Bluetooth/dp/B06XZPFCMH/
 

otornroth

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Jan 11, 2017
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Well the budget part is flexible and i want something that has it all
Thats why ive been looking at the asus ux430
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator


Here's a review of the Asus UX430. I suppose it's biggest con (at least for me) is that the laptop runs hot under load. No specific temps of the CPU or nvidia 940mx is provided in the review.

http://www.ultrabookreview.com/14425-asus-zenbook-ux430-review/
 

otornroth

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Jan 11, 2017
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Do you think i should ho with the dell xps 13. Im in love with it but ive heard the coil whine problem
 

velocityg4

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Nov 21, 2006
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The HP Spectre x360 is nearly identical to the Yoga 910 in most metrics. Except the Specter x360 uses a far superior SSD. In this review you can see most benchmarks are very similar except SSD speed.
https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/laptops/lenovo-yoga-910

The ASUS Zenbook uses a cheap Sandisk m.2 SATA SSD. Everything else is similar. As you know the GeForce 940MX option heats it up. As those are very low end graphics (hardly worth mentioning). It is a pointless option. As the 940MX is nearly as useless for gaming as the Intel 620. If that was your plan.
http://www.ultrabookreview.com/14425-asus-zenbook-ux430-review/

The HP Spectre x360 and Dell XPS 13 (1920x1080 version) are very similar. Except the Dell has better battery life and an even faster SSD. It cannot be used as a tablet. While the Spectre x360 can. Note the Dell XPS 13 3200x1800 display option has worse battery life.
https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/laptops/dell-xps-13

The XPS 15 is obviously superior. It is unfair to place in the comparison. It is larger and has room for higher performance parts.

The Razer Blade Stealth has the best screen. That's what happens on the higher resolution panels. Performance is similar with the other models. Battery life suffers due to the higher resolution display. It is even worse than the Dell XPS 13 (3200x1800 option).
https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/laptops/razer-blade-stealth

Overall the Dell XPS 13 (1920x1080) is the best option for extreme portability with it's 13+ hours battery life.
The HP Spectre x360 is the best 2-in-1 option. If you want tablet mode get this.
The Dell XPS 13 (3200x1800) is the best mix of ultra premium screen and battery life.

As for the larger class of laptops. If you compare the XPS 15 to the x360 15. The XPS 15 has a better screen and far superior 3D performance.
https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/laptops/dell-xps-15

Personally, for university I would take the HP Spectre x360. It has plenty of battery life. The small size makes it excellent for classes which have those blasted half desks. Tablet mode can be useful with a stylus for drawing diagrams or taking notes where you have to stand up and walk around. The XPS 13 (1920x1080) would be my second choice due to extreme battery life.
 

otornroth

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Jan 11, 2017
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Ssd speeds dont matter so much unless your transfering big files and the its cheaper to get a sata one

I think im going for the xps 13 or the ux430ua (not 940mx)
 

velocityg4

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Nov 21, 2006
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Then get the Dell. It has better battery life. The greater SSD speed is more about much higher IOPS. Which means it deals with tens of thousands of tiny files much more rapidly. Which is the big advantage of SSD in general.

When reading/writing to the OS, program caches, loading programs, scratch disk,&c. The higher IOPS of the NVMe provides an advantage. Not nearly so great as regular SSD over HDD. But still an advantage.

There is a second advantage. The last I checked. Dell uses high end Samsung NVMe SSD in their XPS line. Which have a far greater write endurance over the SanDisk in the ASUS. Meaning it will last longer. They also suffer less performance degradation as the SSD gets filled up.
 

otornroth

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Jan 11, 2017
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Thanks ill see whats the better price and if its not that big of a difference ill go with the xps 13.

BUT i have heard about a coil whine issue with the xps 13. Do you think its a problem if i buy it or has dell fixed the problem
 

velocityg4

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I couldn't say for certain. There are reports of multiple ASUS Zenbook models also affected by coil whine including the UX430. So, you may shun the Dell just to end up with an ASUS with coil whine. It seems to be a problem affecting many ultrabooks.

Dell claims to have fixed it with the A02 motherboard revision in current XPS 13 (9360) units. But, users are reporting it is still there on AC power but hardly noticeable on battery.

The HP Spectre x360 seems to suffer as well. Disabling the low power state seems to help but destroys battery life. A BIOS update reportedly reduces it.

I don't think the Lenovo 910 is affected.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator


Not all Dell XPS 13 have the coil whine problem.

If you read through the Asus UX430 comments there is one person who complained about coil whine in the Asus.
 

otornroth

Commendable
Jan 11, 2017
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Thnx ill see what ill do.
Id say dell xps 13 is main target and others respectively
 

otornroth

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Jan 11, 2017
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Is it worth the 400€ price premium
 

velocityg4

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That depends on how much the possibility of avoiding some electric buzz is worth to you. Personally, I don't see how any of these laptops are worth the price. I'd still take the original Yoga 710 I recommended. Performance is the same. It is already thin and light with great battery life and build quality. It does tablet mode and has a nice quality 1920x1080 display. The latest wireless standards are present. It has a good quality case.

What do these offer? Slightly thinner, a little extra battery life (except the Dell which is considerably longer), mildly faster SSD, slightly lighter. The displays offer mildly better color accuracy, range and brightness.

That extra money could buy you a 27" 2560x1440 IPS display and Logitech MK 710 wireless keyboard and mouse. That way you have a nice big screen, keyboard and mouse for proper work at home. You will be more comfortable with an easy to see screen at eye level. Comfort effects focus and performance. You'll get more work done and quality will improve. As everything is easier to see and you can relax.

If I was going to spend as much on an Ultrabook as the higher end models you are considering. I'd buy a Macbook. If you need to run Windows sometimes use Parallels or bootcamp. Heck, you can always just run Windows. But I know the build quality is superb. Touch screens are a gimmick on laptops anyways. I can't think of a single client who uses them beyond fooling around with it a few times.
 

velocityg4

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Just for an update. I installed two of the Yoga 710 models. i was able to spend five hours with them.

The screens were quite bright and clear. They were quite fast and weren't loaded with junk. The cases were sturdy and tablet mode worked well. I did not detect any coil whine when charging, fully charged or on battery power. The battery barely budged after a few hours of moderate use. Keystrokes were firm for a laptop with decent travel.

Overall I was quite impressed with their quality and value.
 
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