GunXpatriot

Estimable
Jun 29, 2014
20
0
4,570
1
So for a long time, my primary laptop had been an old Gateway M-1624. And quite frankly, it sucks. Well, it was good when I got it, but the years are certainly catching up to it.

I'm finally looking to upgrade, preferably to a laptop in the 13" range. Small enough to be portable, and big enough to actually use. And powerful enough to actually get some work done. Like HD video editing. I'd also like to do some light gaming, too.

I've really been looking at AMD "ultrabook-class" laptops with APU's. A lot of them seem to have the specs I want, but the issue is that I want to maybe keep it under $500. Maybe $600 at the most. So I was hoping to get some recommendations...

I'm MAYBE looking to game on low settings, maybe medium at the most. I'm not picky, and I understand that medium settings and a solid 30fps is sometimes easier said than done on laptops without discrete graphics. Even still, some of AMD's better mobile APU's seem to be able to handle this?

Another thing I'd like to do is video editing as I mentioned earlier. I'm not expecting an APU to come close to my FX-8350's video editing/rendering performance, but obviously, something that can edit render 1080p video without TOO much lag/hiccups is what I'm looking for. I sometimes upscale to 1440p, but I'm not worried about render times. I just want to be able to edit that 720/1080 video with some fluidity. But even that is something the FX-8350 struggles with, if I put in a clip that is a couple hours long and turn on de-interlacing and whatnot. Though maybe that's to be expected, and not something I'd necessarily do on a laptop. Maybe just chop out what I need for the moment, and edit other stuff later. Projects with a significant length of video is not a job for an "ultrabook". In fact, from what I've read, it's hardly even a job for mid-high end processors, because you're going to lose some fluidity. And that's been my experience. Though it's not been too much of a problem. Maybe when we get to point of editing 4K video in our daily lives. :)

And I guess that's kind of it... I believe there are some that come with a touchscreen, or close and have kind of an "external" touchscreen when the screen is closed. And that's cool, but not a huge selling point for me. If I could go without that stuff, and for the same price, get better performance... Then I'd do it, certainly.

Hopefully you guys can point me in the right direction. There's just so much available, and it's really fricken' hard to pick! Thanks a lot, guys!
 

darkbreeze

Honorable
Moderator
What resolution are you looking for this unit to be? Laptops with 1080p resolutions tend to be more expensive, for obvious reasons, and are often not options on units smaller than 15" except on higher end hardware.

There are a couple of 15" units with A10 chips and half decent integrated graphics in the 600-650 dollar range with 1080p displays, but not much below that unless you're willing to go with a 720p panel.
 

darkbreeze

Honorable
Moderator
What resolution are you looking for this unit to be? Laptops with 1080p resolutions tend to be more expensive, for obvious reasons, and are often not options on units smaller than 15" except on higher end hardware.

There are a couple of 15" units with A10 chips and half decent integrated graphics in the 600-650 dollar range with 1080p displays, but not much below that unless you're willing to go with a 720p panel.
 

GunXpatriot

Estimable
Jun 29, 2014
20
0
4,570
1
Honestly, 720p on a laptop is A-OK with me. Considering I find 1080p to be fine on a 24" monitor, 720p on a 13-ish" monitor shouldn't be a problem. My old laptop is 15.4" and at 720p, it still looks quite good. As far as gaming goes, I wasn't expecting much anyway, so for when I would ACTUALLY play games on the thing, which may be a rare occurrence, 720p is gonna' be just fine I think.
 

velo3100

Splendid
Moderator
You could try hp laptops as they use amd chips quite a lot and they are very reliable. I can't think of a model on the top of my head as I don't use amd's for video editing. But if you have an idea of what you want, you could let me know and I will let you know if its good or not. Also 13 inches maybe a bit small when you do heavy video editing due to the lack of screen space. This won't be an issue if you are planning to plug it into an external monitor.
 

GunXpatriot

Estimable
Jun 29, 2014
20
0
4,570
1
Um, it'll mostly be fine, 'cause I'd basically be using it for editing on the go. Just when I need to. And game console video capture. Yeah, I've seen a couple of HP models with AMD chips, so I'll start there...

Actually, now that I'm looking more, there doesn't seem to be any decently powerful ones in the 13" range.

And to get a jump in performance, you've got to go with at least a 15.6" which sucks...

http://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-Z50-15-6-Inch-Laptop-80EC0087US/dp/B00NNQFNV4/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1425777567&sr=1-1&keywords=amd+a10+laptop

Performance is great, but the thing is too big for my uses. :(
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
There aren't many laptops with the AMD A10-7300 APU that is smaller than 15.6" other than the 14" ThinkPad E455 which is a business laptop. Because it is a business laptop it is more expensive than a consumer laptop, but tech support (should you need it) will be superior and they generally have better build quality as well. It weighs in at 4.0lbs.

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/e-series/e455/


The base model comes with the A6-7000 APU and 4GB of RAM for $427. You can upgrade the APU to the A8-7100 for $30, but that also automatically installs the Radeon R5 M240 dedicated GPU and brings the price up to $560. There is also an option for the A10-7300 APU for $80, but that also automatically installs the Radeon R7 M260 dedicated APU and brings the price up to $607.

The laptop only comes with 4GB of RAM. There is an option to upgrade the RAM to 8GB, but that will cost $80. It is better to purchase your own stick of 4GB for around $35 - $40 and install it yourself.
 

GunXpatriot

Estimable
Jun 29, 2014
20
0
4,570
1
Jaguar, that does seem like a good option. I might look into it more.

And that sucks, considering the potential of an APU on a 13"... I mean, everything is on the processor, no extra chip. You'd think that'd make a decently powerful one an instant win in that class, but no one seems to have utilized it.

I'll probably end up going with a 14" if that's what it takes. It was mostly that my 15.4" was too bulky and heavy for me, which is getting better in the industry anyway, it seems...

Alright, I guess I'll look around some more. :p
 
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