wildvision: (Alice - Two sides)
Kat ([personal profile] wildvision) wrote2017-01-27 07:12 pm

Narrowing It Down

Okay, so I'm still looking for a new laptop. But I think I'm starting to narrow it down.

Does laptop buying have 'stages', I wonder? In my last post, I was pretty clearly stuck in 'anger'. But I think I've moved on to 'acceptance' now. I'm just so tired of all this crap, I just want to hurry up and pick one, to be done with it. So, I accept that I'm not going to get everything that I want. Now the question becomes, what am I willing to give up?

There are a few models that I'm currently looking at:

First is an HP Notebook 15. It comes with 8GB RAM, upgradeable to 16GB. It has a 1TB HD, 5400RPM. It has a full HD, 1920x1080p display, matte finish. There's a built in DVD burner. Integrated graphics. The processor is an i5 6th gen. The drawback is that the keyboard has those tiny arrow keys, and they're arranged a little oddly, with the up/down arrows wedged directly between the left/right. And it's priced considerably cheaper than I'd expect, so I'm a little worried about quality. It seems to have pretty good reviews, though, so I don't know.

Next is an Asus X555UB. It comes with 8GB RAM, upgradeable to only 12GB. It also has a 1TB HD, but it's a 7200RPM. It also has the full HD 1920x1080p display, not sure on the finish. Also has a DVD burner. It has a dedicated graphics card from Nvidia. The processor is also an i5 6th gen. The drawback is that it'll only hold 12GB of RAM. I really wanted something that would hold at least 16GB. A plus is that Dad likes Asus, so I trust this brand.

Next is a Lenovo Ideapad 510. It comes with 8GB RAM, upgradeable to only 12GB. It has a 1TB HD, 5400RPM. It also has a full HD 1920x1080p display, but it's a higher quality IPS panel, rather than a TN like the others. It has a DVD burner and integrated graphics. The keyboard is kind of mid-range. It has the full size arrow keys I wanted, but the Home/End/PgUp/PgDwn keys don't have their own keys. You have to hit the 'Fn' key, then one of the arrow keys. Not sure I like that...it might be okay, though. The processor is an i5 7th gen. The drawback is that, like the Asus, it only holds 12GB of RAM. I like the screen and keyboard better, but I wanted more RAM.

Next is a Dell Inspiron 5000. It comes with 8GB RAM, upgradeable to 16GB. It has a 1TB HD, 5400RPM. It has a full HD 1920x1080p display, matte finish. There's a DVD burner and a dedicated graphics card from AMD. The processor is an i7 7th gen. The keyboard has the tiny arrow keys, but they're in the regular layout. Drawback is the keyboard with tiny arrows, and also the price. While it's not too expensive for me, it does cost more than all the others. I assume that's mostly because of the better CPU and the dedicated graphics. I don't really need dedicated graphics, so I have to decide if that better CPU is worth the extra money.

I swear, I wish I could just pick the pieces of each one that I like! XD If I could just get the Asus or Lenovo to go up to 16GB of RAM, I'd probably pick one of those. But since I can't, I'm leaning a bit toward either the HP or the Dell. I do want a better keyboard and screen, but I think that RAM might be more important. For the screen, as long as it's not worse than what I have now, I'll be okay. I'd like to upgrade, but if I can't, it's not the end of the world. And as for the keyboard, again, I'd really like one that I'm happier with, but if I get one with a weird layout, I'll probably get used to it eventually. So, it might only be a problem in the short term.

I like the keyboard on the Dell a bit better than the HP, and the Dell has a better processor, i7 7th gen vs i5 6th gen. To make it future-proof, you kinda want to buy the newest you can get, so a 7th gen processor would be nice. It's just a little galling to look at the HP, which is $450, and the Dell, which is $720. Almost $300 difference, for what? The processor, yeah, but good grief. I don't know that a faster processor is worth $300. Yeah, it's got dedicated graphics, too. But I don't really need that, since I won't be gaming. So that's not much of a selling point. So...am I willing to spend almost $300 more for a faster processor, a slightly better keyboard, and dedicated graphics that I probably won't use? I don't know.

Oh, and the HP is lighter, too. That's not a requirement in any way, but it would be nice. Of course, with smaller and lighter comes fragility, so I wonder if the Dell would be a little more sturdy. My current laptop weights 6.39lbs, so anything less than that is okay with me. The Dell is 5.2lbs, so that's still lighter. But the HP is only 4.73lbs. Although, that's not even quite half a pound's difference. So it might not even be noticeable. And hell...either one is over a pound lighter than my old one. So, that's an improvement already.

So, in trying to decide, I've been scouring the net for reviews. And good grief. On the one hand, it can be very reassuring to see that a product that you want has lots of happy reviews. But at the same time...it feels like no matter what you're looking at, you will always see conflicting reviews. One guy writes a review, saying the screen looks beautiful. Well, a few reviews down on the list, another guy is ranting that the display is terrible. Well, which is it?

And then you have the people who give negative reviews for no reason. So you actually have to go and read all the reviews, especially the negative ones, because they might not even be valid. Like, I see people all the time reducing the number of stars because a laptop doesn't have a touchscreen, or backlit keyboard, or whatever...but the thing is...the specs on the site clearly state that the machine doesn't come with those. So, if you buy something knowing it's not what you want, that's your own fault! You can't give it a bad review because your reading comprehension sucks. =P And some things are clearly user error...like the people whining about the bloatware slowing things down. I mean, yeah, it sucks that most machines come pre-loaded with this crap. But it's not hard to uninstall it. And if you've got twenty programs set to load at startup, yeah, it's going to be slow! But you fix it and move on. If the computer's still slow after that, then you complain.

So, yeah. I'm not there yet, but getting there.