Help Me Choose the Right Laptop for University

#1

Sup.

So I’m looking for a laptop that I’ll be bringing around for the next few years. I’m mostly after the weight. Preferably toned. Flashy gamery style is definitely a no go. My budget is $900 (inc. tax). Europe.

So far my picks are:

  • Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH:
    • i5-8300H
    • GTX 1050Ti 4GB
    • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz
    • 240GB NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD
    • 15,6"
    • 2,3kg
    • $885
  • ASUS ZenBook UX430UN
    • i7-8550U
    • MX150 2GB
    • 8GB DDR3 1866 MHz (soldered!)
    • 512GB M.2 SATA (prolly soldered too)
    • 14"
    • 1,3kg
    • 1mm , unnoticable dent (sold by shop, so full warranty)
    • $930

Legion is definitely outperforming Zenbook (not only the i5 is slightly faster than the i7, but the DDR3 is also going to bottleneck the i7 by like 15% - more on that here). However it comes at a cost. Legion is 1kg heavier. I have somewhat powerful PC, which I plan to have full remote access to (including game streaming). Another thing is that Legion doesn’t have that “premium Starbucks” look, but imo it’s well toned. Another problem is that a 15,6" laptop might not fit backpack I’m planning to buy (considering PacSafe LX300). Different backpack suggestions are welcome too.

I really like the Thinkpad lineup, but well equipped Thinkpads are outside of my reach right now, especially with dedicated graphics.

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#2

If I were you I would go with the thick and faster one. It’s also cheaper, doesn’t have a dent in it and a bigger screen is great for any type of work.
Being thicker I would bet that the keyboard is also better and that the keys have some travel to them.

With the money you save get a backpack that can fit a 15.6" laptop.

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#3

I have an Acer Switch Alpha 12. Super happy with it, silent water cooling (sorta) and 4GB RAM + SSD. Can’t complain. Weigth is alright, too + Touch(also pen) support.

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#4

@Ympker I looked it up and it looks like it’s discontinued. Do you have any idea what’s the successor of it?

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#5

Do you need a dedicated graphics? I have a ThinkPad E480 (i5-8250U, iGPU, 8G RAM, 256G NVMe + free 2.5" bay) that costed around that much.

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#6

Theoretically I could live without dedicated graphic, but I really like the idea of being able to play lightweight games locally without having to stream the games from my PC. I tend to play Path of Exile which is an online game requiring a lot of dodging, so the latency overhead is probably going to be fatal :confused:

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#7

Not sure, sorry. You’d need to google that ;/

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#8

I am facing similar problem. Weight is too important for me so I will go for zenbook14.

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#9

I’d definitely go with the Lenovo. The alternative is to grab something that is less heavy and has similar specs (e.g. Lenovo IdeaPad 530S-15IKB which weights only 1,7 kg). The Lenovo Legion is entry-level gaming, which explains the weight.

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#10

Unfortunately it’s somewhat outside of my budget, but I’ll consider it.

That’s for that great suggestion!

So I’m now considering this:

  • LENOVO IdeaPad 530S
    • i7 8550U
    • MX150 2GB
    • 16GB DDR4
    • 512GB PCIe SSD
    • 15,6"
    • 1,69kg
    • $965

…it’s a bit over my budget, but guess I manage this if I buy cheaper backpack and a bit cheaper headphones.

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#11

Update: Turns out the IdeaPad I meantioned earlier has no dedicated graphic. So yeah… I think I’ll pass on it. Meanwhile I found this beauty:

  • Lenovo ThinkPad E580
    • i5-8250U
    • RX 550 (comparable to MX150)
    • 16GB DDR4
    • 256GB NVMe + 1TB HDD
    • 15,6"
    • 2,1kg
    • $975

…it comes with a backpack included, so that’s a few bucks in savings.

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#12

While I understand it may be a bit out of your budget, I do not regret buying my XPS15 last summer. Running Linux and some tweaking, it lasts me an entire week (only using it at uni) without having to recharge. Proper battery, decent performance and low weight were my main requirements at the time. Might be interesting for you to take a look :wink:

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#13

It does come with a MX 150, both the i5 and the i7 model, according to the Lenovo site (and a few webshops I’ve checked)? It also comes with Intel HD Graphics, but that’s merely for preserving battery power. It switches to MX 150 when you have the need for it. Perhaps that raised confusion?

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#14

Nah, it’s just that the $965 doesn’t come with a MX150. :upside_down_face:

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#15

Heh that’s odd. In my country the i7 model goes for 899 euro, and comes with the MX150. Mind pointing me to the shop you’re looking at?

That E580 looks sweet too. The only downside I can see is that it doesn’t come with a replaceable battery. So changing it might be quite a hassle. Other than that it’s a beast!

Another laptop that might be worth looking at is the Medion P6645. Should be slightly cheaper.

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#16

TBH it looks like thr 530s distribution is ending, so it’s a bit to hard it to find it in the shops. There are three 530s with MX150 in one of the best shops in Poland - x-kom, but none are 512GB (and replacing the SSD is going to be time consuming as I’ll have to sell the old 256GB SSD, which me be not very economical). Moreover 530s has only single DDR4 slot, so upgrading it to 16GB is going to be the same hassle as with the SSD. I’m also looking at very popular Polish version of ebay - allegro.pl, but there is only one listing for 512GB model (w/ 8GB RAM) for $833, but it has some weird keyboard layout, so the seller is attaching translation stickers, but I’d rather avoid that. Morover other listings w/ 256GB, 8GB RAM and MX150 below 3400PLN ($895) have either the same weird keyboard layout or have scars, so that’s a no go for me.

The other laptops I mentioned earlier (Lenovo Legion, ZenBook UX430UN and ThinkPad E380) are much easier to get and there is a lot to choose from.

I also found another laptop that perfectly fits my needs:

  • Lenovo Yoga 720
    • i7-7700HQ (it’s 7th gen I know, but it still outperforms any 8th gen U processor)
    • GTX 1050
    • 16GB DDR4 2133MHz
    • 512GB NVMe
    • 15,6"
    • 2kg
    • $1055

It has some cool advantages:

  • 4K touch screen
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • It’s a convertible

But it also has some downsides:

  • the screen is glossy
  • the battery life may not be the greatest w/ 4k screen, 7tg gen HQ CPU and GTX 1050 - reddit
  • $150 over my budget
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#17

ThinkPads are much higher quality than Yogas.

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#18

Yeah, I totally agree that ThinkPads are well made. That also applies to keyboard, however E580 has no keyboard backlight which gives Yoga another strong point :confused:

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#19

Are you sure? I see it in configurator

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#20

Hmm… I don’t see anything regarding keyboard backlight in the listing description. I’ll ask the seller tho

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