Sherdog Official Gaming Laptop & Review Thread (Revised)

Discussion in 'Video Game Forum' started by Madmick, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. Quipling

    Quipling Red Belt

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    So, I need a laptop for traveling. Planning on windows simply so I can play some games without much hassle, but open to ideas. Im trying to keep the budget down because I have a desktop at home anyways.

    Between microcenter and Amazon I think that I have some decent low-budget options through refurbs or open-box. I have a spare msata/m.2 SSD I can install as needed, so hassle is the only barrier there. I'm currently looking at 4 options. I'd appreciate your thoughts or any alternative suggestions, @Madmick .

    One is the HP envy x360 convertible (15-bp108ca), the second is the HP Notebook 15 (bs-131nr), the third is the Acer Spin 3 (SP315-51-37e7), and the fourth is the Lenovo Ideapad 710s plus.

    Notebook 15 ($385)
    pros:
    I5-8250u processor, 8 gb ddr4 ram.
    Cons:
    Needs an SSD
    Mediocre display

    Envy ($430)
    Pros:
    I5-8250u processor
    2-in-1
    Nice display
    Cons:
    4gb of ram: needs an upgrade soonish
    Expensive side, at least with upgrade

    Spin 3 ($332)
    Pros:
    2-in-1
    Nice Display
    Inexpensive
    Good battery life
    Cons:
    i3-7100u is the weakest processor by a lot
    Needs an SSD
    6 gb ddr4 ram (upgradable to 12)

    Edit:
    Ideapad 710s ($500)
    Pros:
    No upgrading required
    Nice display
    Lightweight, solid battery life
    Cons:
    none, except cost
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  2. Madmick

    Madmick Scholar of Taghaza Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Yikes, this is rough. I'm doing the thing where I really do make an effort to pretend it's my own money because otherwise it's easy to just pick the most expensive unit. And yeah, when you look the cost/component curve, here, these four options are a goddamn rack. Okay, here goes.
    • Notebook 15 has a solid foundation. Hassle would appear to be it. I'd recommend you review Notebookcheck for confirmation from more detailed testing, but I'm pretty sure the Envy has a better overall build quality.
    • Envy is my favorite. RAM prices fluctuate more than any component, so at some point, I suspect you'll be able to fetch an attractive price on the most crucial upgrade, and RAM is the most common future upgrade to extend an economy laptop's life, anyways.
    • Laptop i3's are eww for people like you who knows what a proper comp feels like to drive (personally, I get impatient waiting for the original Xbox One to cold-launch the YouTube app; that shit took like 20+ seconds the other day). There's no upgrading that.
    • I do like the Ideapad 710s at $500 (I'm seeing it for $769 on Amazon). This is also a strong pick, but I will raise the point to you to remind yourself to consider the downside to the 1080p display on Intel HD graphics for gaming in the last three laptops; that's a lot more pixels to push when you're already dealing with such a low amount of graphical power. Considering the cost of this unit, I doubt this is a significant concern, because I interpret your drift that the gaming we're talking about here is retro-gaming in compatibility mode or turn-based timekillers for the airport and hotel poolside. Tangential concern.
      So my much bigger gripe with this unit doesn't concern gaming, but the lack of the 2-in-1 format. It's just so damn convenient for the life this laptop will live. Maybe you just want to hit thumbnails and watch videos while you lounge in a reclining chair-- click hyperlinks and read articles. Whatever it is

    Those are my thoughts on additional strategic considerations to weigh for the purchase since you don't need my help with component/cost analysis. At these prices the general retail internet market (i.e. Amazon) can't compete. Look for more options here:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/LaptopDeals/search?q=flair:0-500&restrict_sr=on&sort=new&t=all
    I already set the filter to $0-$500. There are a lot of competing Vivobooks you should eyeball.
     
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  3. Quipling

    Quipling Red Belt

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    Thanks!

    I did another dive and the sort of stuff available is absolutely nuts. Makes me wish that I had to buy several, almost. I do have a friend who is coming with me tomorrow to pick up a laptop, too. I'll probably go for the envy - the form factor is going to be nice in airports and such. And you're right on games- a solid chunk of my library is retro and/or tbs.
     
  4. jefferz

    jefferz Gold Belt Platinum Member

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    @Quipling It's a little more than what you posted but it includes a GPU that will allow you to play games on low settings 1080p. The laptops you posted will use the integrated graphics which will just leave you frustrated when trying to play anything over 720p 30fps .

    Acer Laptop Aspire 5 A515-51G-5504 $540

    • Intel Core i5 8th Gen 8250U (1.60 GHz)
    • 8 GB Memory
    • 256 GB SSD
    • 1TB HDD
    • NVIDIA GeForce MX150
    • 1920 x 1080 ips 15.6"
    • Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16834316266
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  5. Quipling

    Quipling Red Belt

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    Yeah, I saw that while poking around. I'm not really planning on using this for any serious games, though. I wound up with the 2in1. It's nice and handy, cost $410, and can take another 8 gb of ram if needed.

    Took it on the flight and it played Shadowrun like a champ. And the 2-in-1 form factor got it treated as a tablet by the stewardess.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
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  6. Wrath of Foamy

    Wrath of Foamy Purple Belt

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  7. Madmick

    Madmick Scholar of Taghaza Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    It's okay, but:
    1. You want 16GB+ of RAM if you're buying new in 2018. Biggest flaw. Make sure this is upgradeable.
    2. The GTX 1050 Ti isn't terribly powerful, and the GTX 1060 3GB, GTX 1060 6GB, and GTX 1070 8GB can be found in laptops without incurring a premium on processing value here in the States (the GTX 1080 is where this tends to balloon).
    3. You want an 8th Gen Intel (i7-8750H or i7-8850H) if you can find it, but the 7700HQ typically still carries the best value.

    This one is identical to yours, except that it upgrades to the GTX 1060 6GB, and downgrades to 15.6" screen size, for £1,049.00. Double check that you can expand the ram to 16GB, and about how much that will cost. If it can be expanded with a second slot, and there is a 1x8GB DDR4 occupying the first slot, not 2x4GB, then this is ideal, because all you have to do is buy the second 8GB stick:


    This one trades up with the CPU (i7-8750H) while it trades down on the screen size (15.6"). Same GTX 1050 Ti. Multiple variants of this model. I recommend the most expensive variant for £1,096.00-- because there's little upcharge for the 240GB SSD upgrade over the 120GB variant:


    Finally, this is a highly promising price for the UK from what I know of your market. Same deal as above with the RAM. This would be a better bang-for-your-buck from a pure gaming rig perspective due to the GTX 1060 3GB. The biggest trade-off is the lack of hyperthreading in the i5. Otherwise, these CPUs are very similar:
     
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  8. Dr. Shoemaker

    Dr. Shoemaker ****BOILERPLATE**** Platinum Member

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    I wish I had that when I was lugging my machine around to lan parties in the old days.
     
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  9. Quipling

    Quipling Red Belt

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    Yeah, no shit. I've been attending enough lans lately that I might just straight up order it to transfer my PC into.
     
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  10. Madmick

    Madmick Scholar of Taghaza Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    The Acer Predator Helios 300 from the OP is marked down to just $899 for Prime Day:
     
  11. Madmick

    Madmick Scholar of Taghaza Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Possibly an even better deal is on this EVGA:
    EVGA SC15 1060 with NVIDIA G-SYNC, 15.6" 120Hz Gaming Laptop, RGB Keyboard, Intel Core i7, 16 GB DDR4, 256 GB NVMe SSD, 1 TB HDD, GeForce GTX 1060, 516-34-1833-T1
    P/N: 516-34-1833-T1
    $999
    [​IMG]
    • 15.6"
    • 1920x1080 IPS
    • 120Hz
    • G-Sync
    • i7-7700HQ Kaby Lake
    • GTX 1060 6GB (mobile version)
    • 16GB DDR4-2400 RAM
    • 256GB NVMe SSD
    • 1TB 5400RPM HDD
    • Intel 8265 802.11ac WiFi + Bluetooth 4.2
    • 1 x Thunderbolt 3 ; 3 x USB 3.0
    • 1 x HDMI 2.0b ; 1 x Mini Displayport 1.4 ; 1 x RJ45
    • 1 x 3.5mm ; 1 x Mic
    • RGB Backlit Keyboard
    • Elan Touchpad
    • 1080p Webcam
    • 6.5 lbs
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
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  12. krelianx

    krelianx Silver Belt

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    Whatcha guys think of this deal?

    http://a.co/9fUKXqf

    I'm thinking of jumping on it, but I need some feedback.
     
  13. Woldog

    Woldog Boxer

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    It really depends, do you need a laptop? or would you be better with a desktop, at the end of the day it comes down to the pros and cons.

    Laptop -
    Pros - Mobile, can play it in bed, on the train, on a plane, while you're driving, at a funeral, at court, in the Whitehouse, during a riot.
    Cons - Substantially weaker than the desktop counterpart, will be outdated quicker, little to no upgrade ability, will heat your balls up if you play with it on your lap, easy to steal.

    Desktop -
    Pros - Powerful, upgrade til you run out of money, harder to steal, far more customization, will impress chicks, will impress bosses, will impress parole officer.
    Cons - Very hard to use in bed, on the train, on a plane, while your driving, at a funeral, at court, in the Whitehouse, during a riot. Very uncomfortable to put on your lap.
     
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  14. krelianx

    krelianx Silver Belt

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    I move between states-countries a lot, which makes a laptop quite convenient. For 1600, though, what do you think of the deal?
     
  15. Woldog

    Woldog Boxer

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    I'm not too sure, I don't really know much about laptop prices, the fact that it's refurbished is something to take into account as well. Could you not get a new one with similar specs for around the same price?
     
  16. krelianx

    krelianx Silver Belt

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    A new one with roughly equivalent specs goes for 2200+.
     
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  17. Madmick

    Madmick Scholar of Taghaza Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Can't argue with the value, and the HP Omen line is renowned. I don't like refurbs, but that is a solid buy. Most negative possible spec is the 16GB ceiling for system RAM. That's not a problem now, but it could be an issue a several years down the road. Some mods also increase system RAM usage significantly, if you're into that, but typically the burden from mods is exacted on VRAM.
     
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  18. krelianx

    krelianx Silver Belt

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    I think the RAM thing is a typo. Every review I have read says it is expandable to 32GB. I posted a question in the page, so I guess I'll hear about it.

    Anyway, I jumped on it and bought it, though it appears as temporarily out of stock. Hopefully that doesn't mean sitting on this for a month... any experience with or knowledge about this?

    I also decided to go with the 3 year SquareTrade insurance which seemed reasonable for 200 bucks, since this is after all refurbished. 200 for 3 years seems like a good deal anyway.

    With tax and insurance, the whole shebang came to just under 2k. Assuming all goes well and this doesn't take millenia to restock, next thing would be to get meself a 27" external 1440p monitor.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
  19. Madmick

    Madmick Scholar of Taghaza Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    You're probably right about the RAM:
    https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c05820508#AbT0
    It doesn't specify the max, but it says "1x16GB" by default, and that would indicate a single-slot ceiling of 16GB. Since it is dual slot it logically follows that you can add a second 16GB stick.

    Square Trade is a phenomenal idea with a refurb. The fact it is out of stock indicates it may never come into stock since you're looking at an out-of-production model, and it's already drawn from a refurb depot which is apparently exhausted. There's just no telling.

    I'll give you four resources to monitor & consider:
    1. https://www.reddit.com/r/LaptopDeals/
    2. https://slickdeals.net/laptop-deals/
    3. https://www.techbargains.com/category/359/computers/laptops
    4. http://www.eluktronics.com/RTS-Sales/
     
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  20. krelianx

    krelianx Silver Belt

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    Thanks for that.

    Question about the boldfaced part: I thought "out of stock" simply meant the seller had ran out of inventory units, not necessarily that the product was out of production. I have no idea if the Omen X 17 is not in production, but it is their flagship model, so unless sales haven't gone well, one would think it would be in production...
     

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