1

Hey all.
I'm currently searching for a upgrade to my machine, which isn't aging too gracefully. What I'm looking for.
Nothing big, under 16 inches screen size is ideal.
At least a core I5.
No audio enhancements, or an easy way to disable them without disabling other features such as trrs enabled microphones.
Decent battery life is also something I'm looking for, as this machine will be used on the go.
Ideally I'm trying to stay within the $300 $600 range, so if we can do that, that would be great.
Everything else storage, ram, graphics, touchscreen isn't important, so whatever it is or isn't, is fine, as long as those requirements listed above are met.
Thanks guys!
P.S., yes, I know what sound cards are for. However this is a laptop I'm speaking of. I shouldn't have to lug around another accessory.

Thumbs up

2

I'm a big fan of the dell vostro for this sort of thing. I got one for my dad a year or so ago on eBay with an SSD and decent spec that's well in your price range and spec. What I like about them is because they're business computers, they don't come with tons of bloatware. Think the one I got my dad was a 3559. It's got great battery life and is pretty zippy thanks to the solid state.

Thumbs up

3

Hi,
I've actually seen a vostro before, they're very decent machines. I'll have to see what I can come up with though. What do they use for internal sound cards? A way to check this would be to go to the sound settings, playback, and find it. It's usually realtek, or conexant. I'm pretty sure it's realtek as manufacturers have started using them a lot, for whatever reason.

Thumbs up

4

Before I lost my vision I worked for a company that issued laptops to most of its employees. They issued me a Dell Latitude D830, I remember it being a solid no frills performer. So after I lost my vision and decided to abandon my gaming system desktop for a laptop, I decided to go on eBay and get the same machine for myself. That's what I'm using right now and I'm very happy with it. When I get around to needing to replace this laptop, I will more than likely replace it with another Dell Latitude.

Thumbs up

5

I have a latitude e6410. Love that thing. As you may or may not know though, it's hopelessly old by today's standards, and it performs pretty meh with most sound editing applications. And it's not the most portable, mostly because it's thick and bulky. It's built like a freaking tank though.

Thumbs up

6

All the Dell's I've had, including my Vostro 1500 have high definition audio. I think they may be Sigmatel rather than realtek but I'm not sure. They seem fine to me for general purpose, that is, fine once all the crappy audio enhancements that make screen readers sound terrible have been unchecked.

Thumbs up

7

Hi,
From a quick glance on the interwebs, it seems dell hasn't updated the vostro line in quite some time. The latest processors I see are the intel 3rd generation processors.
Can you confirm this?
And [wow], sigmatell, eh? That's one I haven't heard of in a very long time, didn't even think anyone used them these days. Then again, how old is your machine? Lol.

Thumbs up

8 (edited by Chris 2017-12-05 17:58:46)

I'd recommend an ultrabook of some kind. I love how thin these computers are and the speed of SSD drives. I'll never go back to those huge dell Latitude monstrosities ever again. An ultrabook might be a little more expensive, but you get a more portable laptop with better storage than a mechanical hard drive. You might also want to check out the Asus T100. I've heard good things about those machines. I know they have IntelAtom processors, but the performance should be decent unless you do processor intensive tasks.

Grab my Adventure at C: stages Right here.

Thumbs up

9

I'm just guessing their sigmatel because that's what they used to be. I don't know where it actually says which one it is. It just says high definition Audio wherever I look. I'll check my dad's when I go round later to see what processor it's got. My own vostro is a 1500, and is about 10 years old. It still works fine and is as fast today as it was when I bought it, that's why I'm a fan. My main PC is a 2012 Dell OptiPlex 790 SFF that I got off eBay for next to nothing. Just put in my own SSD and got a really good PC for peanuts: quad core I5 3.1Ghz. I wouldn't buy a new PC these days, if you put yur own drive in, it's pretty much good as new for a fraction of the cost.

Thumbs up

10

Ultrabooks are good, except for one thing.
There's a reason they get such ridiculous battery life and run rather cold. Everything is underpowered on purpose.
Aghgh, I guess I'm forced to explore the avenues of building my own laptop, which could be extremely expensive and yield very little. Who knows.

Thumbs up

11

asus slim models are good and reliable than hp
i just used hp probook 4 months ago, always overheating,  shutdowns itself for some unknown reasons, we just cleaning always the dust inside it did not fix problem
people complaints about poor hp design, bad heatsinks
I just bought ASUS X756 model, seems no problem still
no overheating no shutting itself
stay away from hp laptops, it's burning for unknown reasons

Wish You Best Gaming All!

Thumbs up

12

hi,
What about audio enhancements. Does your asus machine have audio enhancements? That is, enhancements that can make your screen reader and anything you play through the built in sound card, sound quite horrible. I am trying to find laptops that do not have those.

Thumbs up

13

All the laptops I've tried in recent years, Lenovo, Toshiba, and dell, have all had some sort of audio enhancements that need turning off to make the screen reader sound normal.

Thumbs up

14 (edited by Orko 2017-12-05 19:58:52)

My Dell Latitude has high definition audio, but since I only installed the sound drivers that come with Windows, I never had any issues with audio enhancements making my TTS voices sound like crap.

Yeah, the Dell Latitude may be bulky because it's built like a tank, but that suits me just fine. I'd much rather have a strong, well built laptop that's going to last than a thin light weight model that's likely to break everytime you look at it.

Thumbs up

15

lenovo x260, you can't go wrong there. batterly life? check, removeable battery, to swop it out with another one, while the internal battery can give you 3 hours run time? check, a extra extended battery that, when slot in, together with the internal battery can last you up to 20 hours? check check. charge your fones from the built in u s b 3 port? even when laptops off? hell check. 3gee /4gee connectivity with simcard tray? check!
HDMI? check.
SD card reader? that allows u to put cards in that slides right in to laptop? check!
nice ruggid feel? check.
super light in your hands. easy to carry? check check.
support for m.2 ssd? if you decide not to use or need the 3 gee connectivity? check.
oops sorry, i've rambbled, the list goes on and on. :d :d.

There's a place for me in this universe. and our journey continues on, together

Thumbs up

16

good choice chowy. if you're going to get a laptop, go for a high end one and lanovo would be top of my list. I've got a t510 at the moment that I got referbed. beautiful thing but one mentioned in post 15 sounds amazing.

if duct tape doesn't fix it, you haven't used enough.

Thumbs up

17 (edited by defender 2017-12-09 03:43:52)

Sorry it's taken this long, But I've been doing some research and I think I found a good one.


Acer Swift 3
14 inch, non touchscreen, I5-7200U, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD.
Lowest price I've found.
https://www.amazon.com/Acer-Swift-i5-72 … B01MT5YW65
Here's a very good review
https://www.notebookcheck.net/Acer-Swif … 964.0.html
The only real downside I see is the lack of upgradeability, but that's becoming more and more common anyway, unfortunately, especially in any non gaming higher end laptop.
Either way, I see this computer being current enough to run the stuff you need for 3 years, at the very least.
The capacity of the SSD, the I5, and especially the metal casing are all pretty hard to find at your price, not to mention a battery this big or a weight this low, with this level of CPU power.
Acer isn't the most amazing company, for instance the warranty sucks, but the customer support has gotten allot better in the past few years, not to mention the quality control, and usually their isn't much bloatware.
As for sound, the speakers may be custom, but the codec is as generic as they come, which is honestly becoming more and more rare.
If it's not to your liking, I have a list of other models that I've shortlisted which I can go through.


In response to fly by chow...


Most people don't need a cellular modem in the states, it's a luxury, not a necessity there, since home internet uses copper or, rarely, fiber-optic underground cable. Outside of the home, their are lots of open public networks run by small businesses like coffee shops, or sometimes metropolitan networks run by ISP's, also using cable.
Southafrica's network infrastructure is interesting, and while it's inherently slower than cable, it does do the job surprisingly well for not much cost.
Either way, the west still doesn't hold a candle to much of Asia, particularly Korea, in the speed department.


A three hour battery time just isn't that impressive any more, and rarely will people wish to buy another battery unless they are going to be away from a power outlet for an extended period, especially considering that they usually stick out of the back oddly.


That said, the X series is durable for sure, just like the Thinkpad line, and as far as I know, has a good keyboard just like the Thinkpad's do as well.


In response to Orco


Those thin and light models you mentioned are almost exclusively fully encased in aluminum, with corning gorilla glass screens, and most importantly, use SSD's, which means no risk of data loss or inability to boot from a simple fall.
I'd trust that over a monolithic slab of plastic with a spinning drive and emergency shock sensors any day, and I've had both.
They are a bitch to repair though... LOL.

This... -- Is CNN'.
Well Ted, it sure looks like there's been uh, quite a bit of violence around here
"aaoh, that violence was terrible'!"
Yeah it was, pretty bad.

Thumbs up

18 (edited by Chris 2017-12-09 00:05:08)

That laptop in the last post sounds like something I'd really enjoy if I had to replace my MacBook Air. I don't like the direction that Apple is going with their Macs, so we'll see what happens. Still, that price isn't bad for what you get. I never want another machine with a mechanical hard drive and a DVD/CD drive. Maybe my view on Windows laptops will change. I hated them for so long because I was only exposed to the really bulky ones. Getting my MacBook Air in 2013 was a huge relief.
edit
Why does this laptop have 1 USB 2.0 port? Why don't they just use 3 USB 3.0 ports instead? USB 3.0 is backward compatible with older USB standards.

Grab my Adventure at C: stages Right here.

Thumbs up

19 (edited by defender 2017-12-09 03:58:07)

Huh? it's got 2 USB 3.0 ports, and 1 USB C port for power, but you can also connect stuff to that when it's not plugged in.
However the USB 2.0 thing, can, happen.
It's to allow for cheaper laptops, usually has to do with the motherboard.
I'm guessing they don't have enough throughput lanes on the cheaper motherboards to allow for 3 full USB 3.0 ports, so they make one of them a USB 2.0 instead, and then at least you can still use a range of devices that don't need the extra speed, like keyboards and mice with average DPI, or most flash drives slash memory cards.
Either way it drives costs down...


Also, if you wanted to replace your Macbook Air, you'd probably be better off with a dell XPS13 or a Lenovo X1 carbon, but it's not like this isn't' a decent choice too. Though their is a higher priced more powerful model, Swift 5, and I think also a Swift 7.

This... -- Is CNN'.
Well Ted, it sure looks like there's been uh, quite a bit of violence around here
"aaoh, that violence was terrible'!"
Yeah it was, pretty bad.

Thumbs up

20

hi Badger, yep, I was fortunate enough to have been given the option to be able to choose which laptop I wanted. took me a while to settle on this one. so I decided on it, baced for future use, and that it would last me for a long time to come. all the 3 USB ports is u s b 3, and although it came with no cd drive, that is no deal breaker for me. since I do have a USB dvd righter I can connect at any point i desire to use the cd option.  It does come out with a seagate ultra slim hybrid drive, but, I choose the laptop knowing out right I was gonna put in a SSD from the get go. actually the supplier offered me a SSD instead of the hard drive, but it drove the price up. and so it worked out way cheeper to just, buy it in its default config, then modify it from there.

There's a place for me in this universe. and our journey continues on, together

Thumbs up

21

if you want good laptops you should defenetlly look at the latitude series. they are really good and i've owned 2 so far. my current is latitude 5480, a 14inch laptop but it still kicks ass with both graphic card, a CPU at 2.8ghz eather i5 or i7, if you choos i7 you can get a higher speed i believe. 8 or 16gb ddr4 ram.
the bennefits with the latitudes are that you can configure them as you want. unfortunattly i've found that some parts like keyboard starts to slowly brake but they are still very good.

Thumbs up

22

Heya all,
I can not thank you guys enough for the feedback posted. So far the most recommended line of machines are latitude. I actually had a latitude e6410) and rather loved it. The battery life was something beyond this planet. With an ssd and even on high performance on windows 7, I got somewhere between 11 to 14 hours. Then again it was a 9S battery, not sure of the capacity though.
I don't know if you guys missed it, however I still do not know if any of these recommendations have audio enhancements that are not easy to disable. Well one, actually.
Acer I'm avoiding like the plague though, until I have great reason to know the quality control issues are as good as, say, what dell used to have. I've heard way too many horror stories to risk a very large investment. I'm not trying to offend you there, just saying what's on my mind about Acer.
The dell consumer versions of the business models are absolute terrible plastic piles of garbage that run oven hot.
That said, I would never recommend going into a big box store and purchasing a laptop there anyway. You never really know what your getting unless you research in advance, however that begs the question, do they have the laptop you want in stock by the time you arrive?
And yo, lenovo x260. I waaaaaaaaaaaaant!
By the way, I did get the chance to check out a lenovo yoga something. It's a tiny thing, slim enough to make even a macbook air jealous. And the battery life and performance are about as good. And yes, it does have a touch screen which is really fun to play with NVDA. The machine belongs to a friend of mine so, I will be returning it back to her tomorrow.
Thanks guys!

Thumbs up

23

hi Omar,
I agree with you 100% on ultrabooks. My friends keep bugging me to get an ultrabook instead of a regular laptop for my next machine, however, I don't want a machine that has inferior performance, and which is underpowered, to my current toshiba satallite l50A. Having said that, I will touch on a topic noone has talked about in this topic. Intel has done a refresh of their processors. The current eighth gen processers double the cores in the underpowered U processors to four. Additionally, the i7 can overclock to 4.20 GHZ, which is insane on a 15 watt processor. Technology sites are talking about a 75% performance boosts in some tasks, while the general boost is around 40% for other tasks. I can't imagine what the H processors will be like with this new gen of processors. My recommendation would be to wait until the eighth gen processors become more common, and buy one, since the performance boosts are rather massive.

A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."

Thumbs up

24

It's gonna be a while till the 8th gens come down in price enough to find an I5 in a 600 dollar or less laptop though I bet.
But yeah I heard about that too, pretty cool.


The problem with the Dell's is that pretty much all of them have audio enhancements, but I'm gonna do more research on the Latitudes, even though the recent ones have been getting pretty low review scores.
Also, as mentioned before, Acer has gotten significantly better in the last few years.
Check out laptop mag's best laptop brands, I just really wish they kept the previous year's scores around, really freaking annoying that they don't.

This... -- Is CNN'.
Well Ted, it sure looks like there's been uh, quite a bit of violence around here
"aaoh, that violence was terrible'!"
Yeah it was, pretty bad.

Thumbs up

25

hi,
Well, any ideas on how the H series processor will be? I am planning to get a new laptop when starting graduate school. This time, I definately want a quad core, and not one of those anemic U series processors.  I currently have an M processor, and don't want to downgrade my performance. Though it will be another 7-8 months at least, so the prices should theoretically come down and the eighth gens should become more common.

A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."

Thumbs up