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Thread: New Laptop Shopping Frustrations (I can't find what I want)

  1. #1
    Shockwave
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    New Laptop Shopping Frustrations (I can't find what I want)

    I'm a big Asus fan. My current laptop is an Asus N53S which has served me well for the past 5 years. As well, I own multiple other Asus tablets and mobile phones. I like Asus since they always seem to provide a good balance of performance vs. price offerings which provides great value.

    However, this time around when shopping for a new Laptop I seem to be struggling to find what I would like specification wise within a budget friendly offering. I'm actually finding myself leaning more towards some Dell offerings instead of Asus.

    Here are the items at the top of my MUST HAVE feature list.
    CPU Preference= i7-8550, Secondary option i7-7700HQ (Highly Prefer 8550 due to Intel Gen8 architecture of lower power consumption/less heat at a similar performance level).
    Display=15.6in and TOUCHSCREEN
    Storage= Dual Bay (Would like a 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD). Having a 256GB+ SSD with the ability to add a secondary storage drive is ok, and actually preferred since I could install a HDD or additional SSD of my choice.
    Keyboard= Backlit, prefer if it included a numeric keypad (108 keys).
    GPU= Highly prefer Nvidia GPU but I won't be doing any gaming, I will be doing casual video/audio and photo editing.
    RAM= 8GB min, prefer 16GB or a path to upgrade to 16GB.
    Form Factor= Slim/light weight design (I don't want a gaming layout design which tend to be bulky with noisy cooling fans).
    Budget= $1k


    I tend to do a lot of research when shopping for a laptop and put together comparison matrix charts in Excel to best understand where I'm making compromises in my selection. After all, I plan to use it for the next 5 years.

    Below is part of my matrix comparison of the laptops I have narrowed my choices down to.
    RED=Show stopper
    YELLOW= Not preferred but not quite a show stopper.
    GREEN= Added bonus, nice to have.

    I really like the Asus VivoBook S15 and if I could find it with a Touchscreen, then that would likely be my choice. I was really shocked to find out it didn't have a touch screen display. However, I'm currently leaning towards the Dell, because it seems like the best value which puts me closest to my preferences and cost the least. What ever happened to Asus providing the most at a lower cost?

    Last edited by Rednroll; 12-28-2017 at 02:15 PM.
    Transformer Book T100TA (T100TA-C1-GR,CPU:Baytrail Z3740 1.3Ghz,64GB,BIOS:313,WIN 8.1)
    Transformer Pad TF701t (K00C,CPU:Tegra 4 1.9Ghz,32GB,Android 4.4.2)
    Transform Pad TF103CE (CPU: Baytrail-T Z3745 1.33Ghz,16GB,Android 5.0)
    (4)MeMO Pad HD7 (ME173X/ME173L,CPU:MediaTek MT8125 1.2GHz,16/8GB,Android 4.2.2)
    Ultrabook 15.6 (N53SN,CPU:Core i7-2630QM 2.0Ghz,750GB,Win7 Ult 64bit)

  2. #2
    Shockwave
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    Well, I found something which seemed to work out for me best. I got a Dell Inspiron 7000 series model 7570. I was shopping at Sam's Club online and ran across a sale I couldn't pass up. They currently have a $200 off instant rebate on the Dell 7570, and it was a step up from the 5570 model I was looking at. It is on sale for $700 until Jan 28th. The only things I didn't quite like where that it didn't include an SSD and the amount of RAM was on the lower side. However, both of those problems have simple upgrade solutions. An extra bonus is that it supports NVMe SSDs, so I put my savings towards buying a Samsung 960 EVO 500GB SSD for $180. It also supports a total 32GB of RAM which I will upgrade as well. I'm going to hold off on the RAM upgrade since DDR4 seems to be running high currently, but plan on moving to 16GB or 24GB in the near future.

    This laptop should keep me good for awhile.
    janner43 likes this.
    Transformer Book T100TA (T100TA-C1-GR,CPU:Baytrail Z3740 1.3Ghz,64GB,BIOS:313,WIN 8.1)
    Transformer Pad TF701t (K00C,CPU:Tegra 4 1.9Ghz,32GB,Android 4.4.2)
    Transform Pad TF103CE (CPU: Baytrail-T Z3745 1.33Ghz,16GB,Android 5.0)
    (4)MeMO Pad HD7 (ME173X/ME173L,CPU:MediaTek MT8125 1.2GHz,16/8GB,Android 4.2.2)
    Ultrabook 15.6 (N53SN,CPU:Core i7-2630QM 2.0Ghz,750GB,Win7 Ult 64bit)

  3. #3
    Shockwave
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    I did a little more research. For what I was looking for, I think it really boiled down to the Asus VivoBook Pro 15 vs the Dell 15 7000 series. Price wise, I feel the Dell turned out to be the better value and it was easier for me to get to what I preferred.

    Below is my comparisons between them with some revisions as well as some upgrades I added to the Dell. On Ebay I found the seller linked below where you could configure the VivoBook Pro to your personal preferences and when I configured the Asus to be close as possible to the Dell, the price was close to $1400 for what I got for my target budget of $1000 on the Dell.

    Ebay Asus VivoBook Pro configurable Seller:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/ASUS-VivoBo...xtehp-8gqoCwAg


    VivoBook Pro vs Dell 15 7000 (7570) comparison
    Transformer Book T100TA (T100TA-C1-GR,CPU:Baytrail Z3740 1.3Ghz,64GB,BIOS:313,WIN 8.1)
    Transformer Pad TF701t (K00C,CPU:Tegra 4 1.9Ghz,32GB,Android 4.4.2)
    Transform Pad TF103CE (CPU: Baytrail-T Z3745 1.33Ghz,16GB,Android 5.0)
    (4)MeMO Pad HD7 (ME173X/ME173L,CPU:MediaTek MT8125 1.2GHz,16/8GB,Android 4.2.2)
    Ultrabook 15.6 (N53SN,CPU:Core i7-2630QM 2.0Ghz,750GB,Win7 Ult 64bit)

  4. #4
    Shockwave
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    Dell Advantages
    - Better display (Narrow edge design with Pen support, arguably better resolution)
    - Slightly higher clock speed DDR4 memory supported
    - Infrared front cam (can do face detection unlock in the dark)
    - All USB connection ports are USB 3.0 or higher
    - Dell customer support is typically better than Asus if it is ever needed
    - Cost less/better value

    My personal preferences
    - Available with i7-8550U Intel Gen 8 processor (has similar performance to 7th Gen i7-7700HQ but will consume less battery in standby states).

    Asus VivoBook Pro 15 Advantages
    - Higher Performance GPU (Better for gaming)
    - 108 key keyboard which includes numeric keypad

    Summary:
    If I was interested in a laptop for gaming purposes, I may have leaned more towards the Asus due to the additional keys (more short-cut keys) and higher performance Nvidia GeForce GTX-1050.

    Since gaming on my laptop was not what I plan to use my laptop for, the Dell was the better value which gave me more for my needs at a significant cost savings.
    Transformer Book T100TA (T100TA-C1-GR,CPU:Baytrail Z3740 1.3Ghz,64GB,BIOS:313,WIN 8.1)
    Transformer Pad TF701t (K00C,CPU:Tegra 4 1.9Ghz,32GB,Android 4.4.2)
    Transform Pad TF103CE (CPU: Baytrail-T Z3745 1.33Ghz,16GB,Android 5.0)
    (4)MeMO Pad HD7 (ME173X/ME173L,CPU:MediaTek MT8125 1.2GHz,16/8GB,Android 4.2.2)
    Ultrabook 15.6 (N53SN,CPU:Core i7-2630QM 2.0Ghz,750GB,Win7 Ult 64bit)

  5. #5
    Shockwave
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    So how's the Dell performing?

    Heading over to UserBenchMark: Home - UserBenchmark

    Out of the box performance benchmark:
    http://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/6722024


    Summary: Not bad, the Dell comes out of the box configured to use the built-in Intel 620 instead of the Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU.

    I then did the following upgrades:
    1. Configure laptop to use Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU
    2. Added Samsung 500GB 960 EVO NVMe SSD and migrated OS to it ($180)
    3. Added Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB DDR4-2400 SODIMM ($150), Total RAM=24GB
    * Dell 7570 comes with 8GB of SK Hynix 8GB DDR-2400 SODIMM

    UserBenchMark Performance after Upgrades
    http://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/6777104


    Summary: Now it's rockin'!!!
    Last edited by Rednroll; 01-14-2018 at 10:10 AM.
    Transformer Book T100TA (T100TA-C1-GR,CPU:Baytrail Z3740 1.3Ghz,64GB,BIOS:313,WIN 8.1)
    Transformer Pad TF701t (K00C,CPU:Tegra 4 1.9Ghz,32GB,Android 4.4.2)
    Transform Pad TF103CE (CPU: Baytrail-T Z3745 1.33Ghz,16GB,Android 5.0)
    (4)MeMO Pad HD7 (ME173X/ME173L,CPU:MediaTek MT8125 1.2GHz,16/8GB,Android 4.2.2)
    Ultrabook 15.6 (N53SN,CPU:Core i7-2630QM 2.0Ghz,750GB,Win7 Ult 64bit)

 

 

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