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Topic # 192224 2-Mar-2016 12:47
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Apologies in advance for yet another "which laptop" thread!

 

I'm looking at buying a laptop for my wife for when she sets up a small business; as per advice in another thread, I've been looking nearly exclusively at HP products.

 

(To re-cap: she's after light-sh and portable, no smaller than 13", decent resolution, SSD; doesn't need to do anything too taxing beyond Office-type stuff, and won't be installing many apps beyond Office or storing much on it.)

 

Specs: will 128GB / 4GB be adequate for this purpose? Or should she find the additional few hundred to get 256GB/8GB? (All laptops we're looking at are i5.)

 

Model: she's kind of fallen in love with the Spectre X360 range, given they meet all her criteria, have the flexibility of functioning as a tablet (potentially useful when working with clients), as well as being a stunning aesthetic object. Extending the warranty out to three years, to bring it in line with the Elitebooks, is less than $100.

 

But I'm not sure if the older and recently discounted models like these $1477 or $1564 ones, with the 5200U processor would be adequate, compared to the more recent $2000sh (after discount) model with a 6200U. That's a lot more money for an otherwise similarly specd device - I'm thinking they'll be fine, but can anyone offer their views on this? (I've not seen those older models with anything other than 128GB/4GB).

 

We've also got quotes for Elitebooks, with the cost of a similarly-spec'd latest gen 840 being over $2k; but given her intended use, and that she'll look after it as it's her own device, will a  Spectre be ok for her purposes?

 

OS: should she ensure it has a pro version of Windows, or will Windows Home be ok (given it'll be a one-person business)?

 

Many thanks for any advice.


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  Reply # 1504857 2-Mar-2016 12:53
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Companies that Ive dealt with, that bought similar fold over notebooks (they have been around for many many years), found everyone
ended up using them purely in notebook mode anyway.

 

 


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  Reply # 1504875 2-Mar-2016 13:07
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5200U is a great processor no issues there. But if you buy a later generation machine overall there tend to be many advantages like better battery life and screen res so it is wise to look at the overall spec before deciding if 500 less is really a saving. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1504879 2-Mar-2016 13:10
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any of those machines will do Office stuff fine

 

 

 

Personally I wouldn't worry about the newer processor if you're just doing light office work

 

4GB should also be fine, but personally I'd spring the difference for 8GB

 

 

 

if she needs to join a domain, you need Windows Pro, if you don't know that that is, you don't need Pro

 

 

 

Spectre X360 is definitely a beautiful machine


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  Reply # 1504883 2-Mar-2016 13:14
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Imo touch screen is really nice in a machine that will be used on the lap/car/in hand etc. Tap on the screen to navigate etc compare to track pad.

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  Reply # 1504935 2-Mar-2016 13:48
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I'm kind of the other way around. I think 4GB is enough for most 'office' work. But the storage could be limiting depending on what you use it for...

 

If its going to end up having a lots of personal photos & videos continually accumulating on it, you're going to want more internal storage. Adding an SD card, or external HDD just isn't good enough.

 

Same with downloads, games installs, virtual machines etc. Probably not an issue in this case.




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  Reply # 1504937 2-Mar-2016 13:52
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Thanks for the feedback, guys.

 

One thing I'm still not sure on, though - will a 128GB SSD be adequate?

 

RAM is something I could potentially upgrade later, I guess; I'm a bit worried that the Pricespy listings for those $1477 and $1564 models show 4GB for both fitted and maximum RAM (which seems weird for a 2015 model?), so if true such an upgrade won't be an option.

 

Good thing about all the 13" X360s is they come with the same full HD res screens, which is a big benefit over nearly all the mid-level offerings in a similar price bracket (eg ProBook models). Other than the newer processor (and potentially different maximum RAM), there don't seem to be that many substantive differences between the "old" and "new" models; battery life on the "old" model is reported as up to 12.5 hours.

 

I have noted the absence of an Ethernet port on the X360s, but assume that a USB adapter will be adequate for the times this is necessary?

 

Thanks again.


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  Reply # 1504951 2-Mar-2016 13:59
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jonathan18:

 

 

 

RAM is something I could potentially upgrade later, I guess; I'm a bit worried that the Pricespy listings for those $1477 and $1564 models show 4GB for both fitted and maximum RAM (which seems weird for a 2015 model?), so if true such an upgrade won't be an option.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quite a few of the new 'ultra slim' notebooks don't use RAM sticks anymore but instead have the memory soldered to the motherboard to save space, means you cant do any upgrades though...


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  Reply # 1504988 2-Mar-2016 14:37
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Windows 10 requires around 20GB, Office 2016 maybe 6GB. Lots of space left over from 128GB. Maybe minus another max 20GB if the machine has some diag/recovery partition. Still lots left over.

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  Reply # 1505000 2-Mar-2016 14:51
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8GB is nice to have and provides future proofing to some extent if future windows 10 features become demanding. The other side is why future proof a machine you will replace in two/three years. Personally I would trade an older processor for 8GB vs 4GB. I'd guess the effective life of the machine would be about the same just less grinding near the end.



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  Reply # 1505015 2-Mar-2016 15:39
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Yep, had it confirmed that (at least those earlier versions of) the X360 do indeed have fixed memory (not something I'd heard of until now), so can't be upgraded from the installed 4GB. But, for my wife, the advantages of the Spectre over a bog-standard laptop may be such that she's willing to put up with this limitation - or pay the price for something that doesn't.

 

In the end, I think - given the (low-impact) use the laptop will be put to - my wife will probably be ok with a machine with 4GB/128GB. That said, it'll be worth keeping an eye out for deals on the higher-spec'd newer models, or trying harder to find better versions of the G1 models.

 

NB: apologies, Dairyxox, I saw your post commenting on SSD size only after posting my reply directly below yours!

 

Anyway, thanks yet again for really useful replies.


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  Reply # 1505019 2-Mar-2016 15:47
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If there is an SD slot then that sorts out storage with a relativly cheap card. Just be sure to have it backing up too since it may come out and get lost.





Richard rich.ms



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  Reply # 1505330 3-Mar-2016 08:49
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richms:

 

If there is an SD slot then that sorts out storage with a relativly cheap card. Just be sure to have it backing up too since it may come out and get lost.

 

 

Good point, and something I'd not thought of - makes me certain now a 128GB SSD will be fine. Thanks for the tip.




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  Reply # 1506987 6-Mar-2016 17:02
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Based on the advice here, and the inability to upgrade the soldered-on RAM, I picked up a better spec Spectre X360 for my wife today from, of all the classy places, Dick Smith.

With their 20% off, the latest i5 6200U model with 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM is just on $2000, which is same price as I'd initially looked at paying for the 128/4GB version. See http://www.dicksmith.co.nz/computers/hp-spectre-x360-13-4112tu-ub-dsnz-xc0354

Apparently warranties will be honoured by the manufacturers, plus we intend to buy the three year extended warranty from HP, which is only about $90 (given its for a business there will be no CGA coverage).

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