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New Laptop Specification

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AsleepInYorkshire
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New Laptop Specification

#352942

Postby AsleepInYorkshire » November 3rd, 2020, 11:46 am

Keeping pace with advancement in computer technology is difficult to say the least. My 13 year old daughter is getting a new laptop for Xmas. I'm considering having one tailor made from PC Specialists.

I've cobbled together a draft outline of what I think will be suitable. However, I'm aware some of the denizens of this community have way more knowledge of this sort of stuff and I was hoping to gather some constructive feedback please. She doesn't play games although does do some limited graphics work.

Chassis
Aluminium narrow bezel

Screen
Screen Size 15.6
Backlight LED
Native/Maximum Resolution 1920 x 1080
Glare Type Matte
Refresh Rate 60 Hz
72% NTSC

Processor
Intel® Core™ i7-10510U 1.8GHz, 4.9GHz Turbo - 8 MB Intel® Smart Cache 4 Core 8 Thread Socket BGA

Ram
1 x 16GB Corsair 2666MHz Sodimm DDR4

Graphics Card
Intel HD Graphics 1.7GB Max DDR4 Video Ram - DirectX 12

Memory
SSD Drive 512GB INTEL® 660p M.2 - 512GB Up to 1500MB/s Up to 1000MB/s
6 in 1 Card Reader

Battery
54wh

Ports
1 X THUNDERBOLT, 2 X USB 3.0, 1 X USB 2.0

OS
W10 Home 64 Bit

Webcam
Integrated 1MP HD

Thank you in advance

AiY

kiloran
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Re: New Laptop Specification

#352962

Postby kiloran » November 3rd, 2020, 12:39 pm

I'm sure the spec is more than OK for general purpose use, but what about items that are not so easily quantifiable?

How bright is the screen? What about contrast, colour accuracy, viewing angle? I seem to remember recently reading a PC Specialist review which was very unimpressed by the IPS screen

Keyboard.... does it have a good feel? What about legibility.... my HP Pavilion has silver keys with fine black text, and it's not easy to read in low light. White text on black is much better.

Fan noise? Can be a real pain.

Battery life playing videos? Sound quality? Webcam quality? I suspect a 13yo daughter will play a lot of videos and music.

--kiloran

Midsmartin
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Re: New Laptop Specification

#353017

Postby Midsmartin » November 3rd, 2020, 2:30 pm

To me it sounds like overkill for a non gaming 13 year old. I'd say 8GB ram would be plenty. I doubt she'd get any benefit from any more. If the laptop only requires 7gb, then 16 does not improve things. A core i7 is great. A somewhat cheaper i5 would be just fine. Depends on the price options.
If anything I'd increase the disk space. If she does decide to play games, some can be very disk hungry. I'd get the cheapest SSD of the desired size unless the price difference is small. The real world difference of faster m.2 drives over 'old' SATA SSDs is vanishingly small in most circumstances.

Our family laptop, now 6 years old, has an i5 and 8gb ram and still seems pretty good for most things and my son happily plays warring strategy games on it with no complaints.

AsleepInYorkshire
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Re: New Laptop Specification

#353023

Postby AsleepInYorkshire » November 3rd, 2020, 2:42 pm

kiloran wrote:I'm sure the spec is more than OK for general purpose use, but what about items that are not so easily quantifiable?

How bright is the screen? What about contrast, colour accuracy, viewing angle? I seem to remember recently reading a PC Specialist review which was very unimpressed by the IPS screen

My laptop has an IPS Matte screen and I have no issues with it. I will look into this in more detail though.
kiloran wrote:Keyboard.... does it have a good feel? What about legibility.... my HP Pavilion has silver keys with fine black text, and it's not easy to read in low light. White text on black is much better.

Yes good point I'll check. I have black keys and white text.
kiloran wrote:Fan noise? Can be a real pain

Mine's not brilliant especially if I am running a heavy programme. I also use a separate cooling fan just to be safe. Worth a little more research though
kiloran wrote:Battery life playing videos? Sound quality? Webcam quality? I suspect a 13yo daughter will play a lot of videos and music.

She has a very good TV (in her lounge) which is far better than anything a laptop could offer. 55" Samsung QLED. She does enjoy her friends coming around for sleepovers. She plays a huge amount of music which she keeps on her phone. We have a family account with Spotify. She has some noise cancelling over ear wireless headphones and can play music through them from her phone. She's also getting a Sonos Arc for Christmas to play music through and a pair of decent ear buds too. I think we've got every base covered, or at least well on the way. She doesn't have a TV in her bedroom and her current (cheaper) laptop can play movies for her if she want to watch TV in bed. Thank you for the heads up, greatly appreciated :)

AiY

AsleepInYorkshire
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Re: New Laptop Specification

#353030

Postby AsleepInYorkshire » November 3rd, 2020, 2:48 pm

Midsmartin wrote:To me it sounds like overkill for a non gaming 13 year old. I'd say 8GB ram would be plenty. I doubt she'd get any benefit from any more. If the laptop only requires 7gb, then 16 does not improve things. A core i7 is great. A somewhat cheaper i5 would be just fine. Depends on the price options.
If anything I'd increase the disk space. If she does decide to play games, some can be very disk hungry. I'd get the cheapest SSD of the desired size unless the price difference is small. The real world difference of faster m.2 drives over 'old' SATA SSDs is vanishingly small in most circumstances.

Our family laptop, now 6 years old, has an i5 and 8gb ram and still seems pretty good for most things and my son happily plays warring strategy games on it with no complaints.

Thank you - I'm going to review all of what you've said and do some sums. I don't mind paying for anything that brings added value to the system but also that cuts the other way. Why pay for something of no benefit. Greatly appreciate the time you spent to reply. Thank you

AiY

Midsmartin
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Re: New Laptop Specification

#353036

Postby Midsmartin » November 3rd, 2020, 3:03 pm

Finally, with children, I'd recommend anyone signing up for opendns.com. it's free for home use. What you do is (the techy bit) change the DNS server used by your router to that provided by opendns. This gives you a web filtering service so you can protect against your family accidentally opening nasty phishing, virus-infectef , porn sites etc. It's certainly not bullet proof but if she comes across an unpleasant link, she should merely get an error page instead, depending on what categories you choose to block.

AsleepInYorkshire
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Re: New Laptop Specification

#359779

Postby AsleepInYorkshire » November 24th, 2020, 11:33 pm

Thank you for all the helpful thoughts and advice. I've spent the usual inordinate amount of time reviewing. Not long after my original post I received some intel from my good lady. Apparently my daughter wanted to get some software to edit photographs and pictures on her existing laptop which is woefully incapable of that. I checked the system requirements of Adobe Photoshop and it was clear I needed to look slightly north on the specification requirements. She got a Wacom Intuos Pro last Christmas and has enjoyed using it. She does have a reasonable bridge camera and I think she wants to dabble with "editing software".

Anyways the decision has been made and purchased. We ended up purchasing a Dell Laptop direct from their website.

The Specification
Processor - Intel i7 10th Generation 10750H 6 core
Graphic Card NVIDIA GeForce RTX™ 2060 6GB GDDR6
Screen Size - 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) 120Hz - anti glare LED backlit
Ram - 16GB DDR4 - 2933MHz, 2x8G
Memory - 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive
Black keyboard, white lettering. Windows 10 OS. Camera, speakers & microphone. WiFi & Bluetooth.

The Cost
After black Friday offers £1,020.

It was a bit of a balancing act to keep the cost "acceptable" and stretch the specification meaningfully. It's a heavy laptop and the battery life isn't great. But it should perform well with editing software.

AiY

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Re: New Laptop Specification

#359829

Postby UncleEbenezer » November 25th, 2020, 8:55 am

AsleepInYorkshire wrote:After black Friday offers £1,020.

You call yourself a Yorkshireman???!!? :shock:

What is the world coming to?

AsleepInYorkshire
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Re: New Laptop Specification

#359884

Postby AsleepInYorkshire » November 25th, 2020, 11:05 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:
AsleepInYorkshire wrote:After black Friday offers £1,020.

You call yourself a Yorkshireman???!!? :shock:

What is the world coming to?

I know I let the side down :roll:

But ... there always has to be a but doesn't there ... it should work out cheaper than a cheaper model as it won't need replacing as quickly ;)

AiY

stevensfo
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Re: New Laptop Specification

#359917

Postby stevensfo » November 25th, 2020, 12:30 pm

AsleepInYorkshire wrote:
UncleEbenezer wrote:
AsleepInYorkshire wrote:After black Friday offers £1,020.

You call yourself a Yorkshireman???!!? :shock:

What is the world coming to?

I know I let the side down :roll:

But ... there always has to be a but doesn't there ... it should work out cheaper than a cheaper model as it won't need replacing as quickly ;)

AiY


Re. not need replacing, does she have a cooling stand for it or at least understand about the cooling? Just personal and anecdotal evidence, but I reckon that a lot of youngsters plonk the laptop down on the bed and don't realise that they're blocking the cooling vents. My wife and eldest certainly did that and got through more laptops than the rest of us. It was always the graphics that went first. Our youngest is the tech guy of the family and gave up explaining this to his brother years ago. Though if it's a 15", then probably less of a problem than these tiny things with barely room for a fan.

Steve

PS My relatives are from Yorkshire and want to know if you didn't misplace the decimal point? If it was only 102 quid, then make sure it's really a Dell, and not an Amstrad 64K with a bit of black tape covering the name. 8-)

Itsallaguess
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Re: New Laptop Specification

#359923

Postby Itsallaguess » November 25th, 2020, 12:40 pm

AsleepInYorkshire wrote:
UncleEbenezer wrote:
AsleepInYorkshire wrote:
After black Friday offers £1,020.


You call yourself a Yorkshireman???!!? :shock:

What is the world coming to?


I know I let the side down :roll:

But ... there always has to be a but doesn't there ... it should work out cheaper than a cheaper model as it won't need replacing as quickly ;)


It's always *very* important to use the phrase 'future-proofing' in any of these types of conversations, and especially so when large amounts of money are involved...

If you manage to say it a few times, you might even convince yourself...

:O)

Joking aside - it looks like a great spec AiY - and I'm sure it will get a great deal of productive use for many years.

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

monabri
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Re: New Laptop Specification

#360011

Postby monabri » November 25th, 2020, 4:38 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:
AsleepInYorkshire wrote:After black Friday offers £1,020.

You call yourself a Yorkshireman???!!? :shock:

What is the world coming to?



Our Dell computers (2) are both 14 years old with first generation i5 core cpu. My Dell has been upgraded to 512GB SSD and 8GB of RAM but Mrs Monabri's only has 4 GB RAM (and a recent upgrade of a 512GB SSD). So, if your new Dell lasts similar, £1000 over 14 years sounds not too bad.....so you won;t need to invest for another decade or more! ;)

BTW - if anyone is thinking of installing an SSD - The upgrade from the original hard drive has been well worth the £50 quid. In addition, I have the chance to compare the 2 Dells (one with 4GB RAM and mine with 8GB RAM and I can't notice any difference). The performance of the computers with the SSD versus non-SSD is a very (very) marked improvement.

Breelander
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Re: New Laptop Specification

#360046

Postby Breelander » November 25th, 2020, 5:55 pm

AsleepInYorkshire wrote:After black Friday offers £1,020.

UncleEbenezer wrote:You call yourself a Yorkshireman???!!? :shock:
What is the world coming to?


I've just totalled up the spend on my eight :!: current laptops. purchased over the past six years, all of them second hand (really must stop collecting them :ugeek: ). It comes to just £100 more than yours.

Of that spend, £325 (the most I've ever paid for a machine) went on my highest spec machine, a Dell Lattitude E7270 with a 6th gen. i7, 16GB RAM, 250GB SSD and a 1920x1080 touchscreen.

I claim Scottish blood on my great grandfather's side :lol:

AsleepInYorkshire
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Re: New Laptop Specification

#360068

Postby AsleepInYorkshire » November 25th, 2020, 7:06 pm

stevensfo wrote:
AsleepInYorkshire wrote:
UncleEbenezer wrote:You call yourself a Yorkshireman???!!? :shock:

What is the world coming to?

I know I let the side down :roll:

But ... there always has to be a but doesn't there ... it should work out cheaper than a cheaper model as it won't need replacing as quickly ;)

AiY


Re. not need replacing, does she have a cooling stand for it or at least understand about the cooling? Just personal and anecdotal evidence, but I reckon that a lot of youngsters plonk the laptop down on the bed and don't realise that they're blocking the cooling vents. My wife and eldest certainly did that and got through more laptops than the rest of us. It was always the graphics that went first. Our youngest is the tech guy of the family and gave up explaining this to his brother years ago. Though if it's a 15", then probably less of a problem than these tiny things with barely room for a fan.

Steve

PS My relatives are from Yorkshire and want to know if you didn't misplace the decimal point? If it was only 102 quid, then make sure it's really a Dell, and not an Amstrad 64K with a bit of black tape covering the name. 8-)

My original budget was £6-800 and was based on "student needs". However, the curve ball came when I received intel from my good lady that my daughter wanted to use photo editing software. So I plumped for safety and made sure if anything the specification was "more than adequate". There's nothing worse than watching a computer stick because the graphics card isn't quite capable. I've got a Dell G3 which I bought two years ago in a January sale. And I suppose that's where the true Yorkshireman did come out. However, when I suggested something similar, with this particular purchase, my good lady persuaded me otherwise, after she suggested there could be high end sanctions. Ever the diplomat :roll:

Yes. Like many who have gone before me I've learned that laptops cannot sit on a cushion on your knee :oops: . So there's a cooling fan and a cushion tray included with my daughters other presents. But thank you for the heads up.

The largest issue for any Yorkshireman trying to live within his means is his Yorkshire "trouble and strife" :shock: I suspect that Yorkshire daughters learn at an early age from their mothers :lol:

AiY

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Re: New Laptop Specification

#360151

Postby GeoffF100 » November 26th, 2020, 8:28 am

AsleepInYorkshire wrote:My original budget was £6-800 and was based on "student needs". However, the curve ball came when I received intel from my good lady that my daughter wanted to use photo editing software. So I plumped for safety and made sure if anything the specification was "more than adequate".

It looks like an incredible over spec just to run photo editing software. I do that on an old desktop machine that cost me £49 on eBay. OK, I am running Linux, but it is hard to believe that Windows gobbles up that amount of power.

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Re: New Laptop Specification

#360153

Postby swill453 » November 26th, 2020, 8:35 am

GeoffF100 wrote:
AsleepInYorkshire wrote:My original budget was £6-800 and was based on "student needs". However, the curve ball came when I received intel from my good lady that my daughter wanted to use photo editing software. So I plumped for safety and made sure if anything the specification was "more than adequate".

It looks like an incredible over spec just to run photo editing software. I do that on an old desktop machine that cost me £49 on eBay. OK, I am running Linux, but it is hard to believe that Windows gobbles up that amount of power.

Yes, in my experience photo editing is pretty trivial stuff for a PC to handle, my last desktop was an old Celeron CPU and everything just worked instantaneously.

Video processing (conversion) is the thing that really needs the horsepower, creating a DVD from a video file could take hours.

Scott.


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