Sub-500 laptop *brand* suggestions

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walletless
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Sub-500 laptop *brand* suggestions

Post by walletless » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:36 pm

I am looking for a sub-500 laptop with the minimum configuration of a 8th Generation Core-i5, 8 GB RAM, and 256 GB SSD. I prefer 13 or 14" laptops that are somewhat lighter in weight. I realize that the lightest series such as XPS are well above the price range, so I am fine settling for a *slightly* heaver laptop such as Asus Zenbook S-Series or Lenovo Yoga.

However, my confusion is around which brand to pick - I am looking for something that is a bit more durable, budget is a bit flexible (I can go to say $650 or so) if I am getting a higher quality or longer lasting laptop. In the past I have had bad experience with HP and Dell, as they start losing battery charge within 1-2 years. This was few years ago, so things may have changed now.

Does anyone here have opinion on which brands are more durable: Dell, Lenovo, HP, Asus, Acer or Samsung?

Edit: I need it to be Windows since I will be doing plenty of Video editing using Lightroom with it. Chromebooks while great, will not suffice for my use.
Last edited by walletless on Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mancich
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Re: Sub-500 laptop *brand* suggestions

Post by mancich » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:09 pm

Assuming you want a Windows 10 laptop and not a Chromebook, you may have a hard time finding a quality machine for that price with 8gig and an SSD. I have always had good luck with Dell, but YMMV. Check out their Outlet site if you don't mind buying something that isn't 100% new. Some of the items are returns, but all are warrantied.
If you are open to a Chromebook, you can get a great one for under $500.

Good luck! :beer

Gadget
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Re: Sub-500 laptop *brand* suggestions

Post by Gadget » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:17 pm

Do you actually require software that runs on Windows? If the answer is yes then in this price range I would look around at a used computer resale shop near a college town if possible. You can find great deals there sometimes from gamers who are dumping a fast laptop for the latest gaming machines.

If you don't require Windows software, then I recommend a chromebook. Only a chrome book in that price point will feel like a fast laptop. The Samsung chrome book pro is usually on sale for under that price, or the new hp one. The older pixel book will probably go on sale for that much when the new model comes out in a few months.

Most of the arguments against chrome books are dated. They can now do just about anything. Unless you refuse to enter the Google ecosystem.

I have used every laptop brand you mentioned. I'm not sure they differentiate themselves enough for brand to matter. It's all about the model and sale price and features and what you're looking for.

2comma
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Re: Sub-500 laptop *brand* suggestions

Post by 2comma » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:28 pm

I just recently spilled a large glass of ice water on the keyboard of my zenbook ux305f (13" 2.6 lbs) and needed to replace it. It was a core M processor/8GB/256SSD. I was very happy with it except the sound was not very loud. I always said when I upgrade the only thing I'd change was the sound volume. Well, I started looking at competitors and came to the same conclusion as I did the time before, the 13" zenbook had everything I needed. I toyed with buying an acer with a 7th gen i7 but since I couldn't try one out I decided to go with what I know and got the 8th gen core i5/8gb/256SSD. I paid $749 at amazon. I couldn't find a ultra light notebook with those specs for $650.

Things you'll want to be aware of the ux330u:
Screen is not glossy, which I like but it is not the brightest screen.
The delete key is right next to the power key. Not a problem for me but it drives some nuts as they accidentally put it into standby mode!
The page up/down/left/right keys do double duty with the line up/down/left/right keys so it's a two handed key stroke to hit the function key to page.
If I am stupid I will pay.

ab536769
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Re: Sub-500 laptop *brand* suggestions

Post by ab536769 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:48 pm

I just rejuvenated my wife and my 2012 laptops by installing Samsung 500 gb SSD. Cost was $100 for the SSD (available from Amazon) and $10 for the USB to SATA cable. Took about an hour per laptop. Samsung supplies the transfer/ cloning software on their website.

Windows computer boots in 80% less time (30 seconds vs 2+ minutes) and is lightning fast. Youtube has several videos on how to make the swap. Much more improvement than moving from 4-8 gb memory.

jebmke
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Re: Sub-500 laptop *brand* suggestions

Post by jebmke » Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:07 pm

I have deployed about 15 Lenovo laptops in my volunteer tax group. I like them better than Dell hardware. The Thinkpads are better than the consumer line but may be above your budget. Ours get a lot of careless physical abuse because they get moved around a lot and so far, the hardware has held up well. We completely wipe the OEM image and install a clean W10 installation without all the OEM-ware that you get from Lenovo. I reinstall the OS fresh every fall to keep them clean from an OS perspective.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

02nz
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Re: Sub-500 laptop *brand* suggestions

Post by 02nz » Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:56 pm

Very hard to find laptops meeting your specs under $500. Best Buy has a Samsung Spin 7 that has those specs on sale for $700, and you can get a $100 "college student" (they don't check) coupon to bring it down to $600. You really can't do better than this, at least not until Black Friday.

https://slickdeals.net/f/11864999-samsu ... BarV2Algo1

The Spin 7 has a 360-degree hinge, like the Yoga. Samsung's laptops are generally very well built.

I have a Dell Inspiron 7373 which I bought from Best Buy, almost identical specs. It's a solid computer but the Samsung is at least as good and is on sale for less. Before the Dell I bought but returned a Lenovo Yoga 720 (replaced by the very similar Yoga 730). The Lenovo was nicely built but had a very annoying amount of fan noise, a common complaint online.
Last edited by 02nz on Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pajamas
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Re: Sub-500 laptop *brand* suggestions

Post by Pajamas » Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:59 pm

walletless wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:36 pm
Dell, Lenovo, HP, Asus, Acer or Samsung?
Depends on the model these days as much as the brand. What is more important is how well they handle problems. You don't want to buy a $500 or $700 laptop that has a problem a month later and have to send it in for two months to get the problem fixed or to have them refuse to make it good.

Honestly, if you are looking for those specs for under $500 you can't be too choosy. Maybe you can find a good refurb with a good warranty direct from the manufacturer.

JBTX
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Re: Sub-500 laptop *brand* suggestions

Post by JBTX » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:07 pm

One alternative for saving money if you are willing to take a risk with used is to go to a cash America and see what they have. I have bought several laptops there with similar specs thst you have listed well under $500. You have 7 day money back guarantee and 30 day trade in guarantee. The prices are negotiable and you can often get them to shave 10-20% off their listed price.

The downside is you kind of have to take what they have there. You won’t get to pick and choose from multiple brands. It is whatever happens to be there. Also you have to be savvy and know what you are getting. I have seen stuff overpriced for what you are getting.

TheOscarGuy
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Re: Sub-500 laptop *brand* suggestions

Post by TheOscarGuy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:14 pm

walletless wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:36 pm
I am looking for a sub-500 laptop with the minimum configuration of a 8th Generation Core-i5, 8 GB RAM, and 256 GB SSD. I prefer 13 or 14" laptops that are somewhat lighter in weight. I realize that the lightest series such as XPS are well above the price range, so I am fine settling for a *slightly* heaver laptop such as Asus Zenbook S-Series or Lenovo Yoga.

However, my confusion is around which brand to pick - I am looking for something that is a bit more durable, budget is a bit flexible (I can go to say $650 or so) if I am getting a higher quality or longer lasting laptop. In the past I have had bad experience with HP and Dell, as they start losing battery charge within 1-2 years. This was few years ago, so things may have changed now.

Does anyone here have opinion on which brands are more durable: Dell, Lenovo, HP, Asus, Acer or Samsung?

Edit: I need it to be Windows since I will be doing plenty of Video editing using Lightroom with it. Chromebooks while great, will not suffice for my use.
I will be surprised if you find something in that price range with that configuration. I will be even more surprised if you would not need to replace it within a few years.

3dream3
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Re: Sub-500 laptop *brand* suggestions

Post by 3dream3 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:14 pm

mancich wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:09 pm
Check out their Outlet site if you don't mind buying something that isn't 100% new. Some of the items are returns, but all are warrantied.
I just received the following from Dell Outlet this week. They had a pretty good sale going which looks like it ends tonight unfortunately. I paid about $610... but it has the minimum specs that you specified. This was for my daughter and so far so good.

http://outlet.us.dell.com/ArbOnlineSale ... 6ny%2fc%3d
Last edited by 3dream3 on Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

Momus
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Re: Sub-500 laptop *brand* suggestions

Post by Momus » Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:26 am

Gaming & great for video editing (a bit heavier, with GTX 1050ti). $220 discount, on sale now.
https://slickdeals.net/f/11864615-acer- ... -black-580

Great for the price. Who cares if it's 2lb heavier.

$580
Intel Core i5-7300HQ Mobile Processor
15.6" 1920x1080 IPS LED Backlit Display
8GB DDR4 SDRAM Memory
256GB Solid State Drive
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB GDDR5 Graphics

squirm
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Re: Sub-500 laptop *brand* suggestions

Post by squirm » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:07 pm

I think under $500 you'll get junk, I have a Surface Book 2, best laptop I have ever had in 20 years.
Last edited by squirm on Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.


tibbitts
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Re: Sub-500 laptop *brand* suggestions

Post by tibbitts » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:25 pm

There's been dramatic inflation in PC prices over the last couple of years. I got lucky in buying a used PC, but quality of used PCs varies, even from the same supplier.

Fortune
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Re: Sub-500 laptop *brand* suggestions

Post by Fortune » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:14 pm

I have had bad experience myself or my friends for all laptops except Toshiba and Lenovo.
See these items currently available if you are interested.

1. https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Lenovo-Thi ... 3262285020
2. https://www.bestbuy.com/site/lenovo-330 ... 01_1162818

Check Microsoft stores
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/c ... I5+8TH+GEN

A few months ago it was 500 but 126gb SSD.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/c ... I5+8TH+GEN

Microcenter has a few good items http://www.microcenter.com/

There should be back-to-school deals.
You can also check manufacturer outlets for good deals.
If a laptop does not have SSD, you can pop up one for cheap.

02nz
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Re: Sub-500 laptop *brand* suggestions

Post by 02nz » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:05 am

Good 14-incher that meets all of OP's specs, $550:

https://www.staples.com/flex-14-81em000 ... t_24328355

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Pajamas
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Re: Sub-500 laptop *brand* suggestions

Post by Pajamas » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:08 am

Fortune wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:14 pm
I have had bad experience myself or my friends for all laptops except Toshiba and Lenovo.
I know people who have had bad experiences with both Toshiba and Lenovo. Also with pretty much every other major brand. You can be assured that a certain percentage of all laptops from all companies will have problems.

What's important is avoiding the particular models with the most problems and choosing a brand that will make the inevitable problems right when they occur.

Dottie57
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Re: Sub-500 laptop *brand* suggestions

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:27 pm

When employed, my employer was buying HP laptops which worked quite well with hard use.

If you plan on doing video editing I suggest a laptop between 1k and 2k. You will need quality components. And a 1 terabyte drive or more will help.

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walletless
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Re: Sub-500 laptop *brand* suggestions

Post by walletless » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:25 pm

Thanks everyone for the suggestion.
Just wondering if someone has thoughts on this laptop for $550 - fits most of my requirement, although it does not have a discrete graphics card.
https://www.staples.com/flex-14-81em000 ... t_24328355

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