Author Topic: The TBG Laptop Buyer's Guide  (Read 10046 times)

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Laptop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #30 on: September 04, 2017, 03:14:56 PM »
Ari, my budget for a new build just got cut thanks to Harvey. So I am going to have to get a laptop for now.  What is your opinion of Acer's Predator series? I am looking at the Helios 300. Thoughts on this being a temporary trading rig?

Oh, man, I'm really sorry to hear that. The devastation just looks awful. Best of luck in the recovery.

I was just at PAX West 2017 over the weekend, and there was no shortage of gaming laptops on display. Just about every manufacturer is getting into "the game", so to speak, and while Acer and Asus have a head start, I think the three big guns, Lenovo, HP, and Dell, are itching to capture some marketshare.

The Acer Helios 300 is very popular, and was in fact on display at the Amazon booth (because it's an "Amazon's Choice" product), but I don't recommend it on the site for one main reason: it offers pathetic storage. All it has is a 256GB SSD, which is fine in a business laptop but useless for gaming. That will fill up with just 3 or 4 games on it, meaning that out of the box, you're going to have to add more storage to this laptop. In fact Amazon is selling a laptop/hard drive bundle for an extra $90. That goes to show that this isn't a good stand-alone product. I just can't get onboard with how Acer hit its pricepoint here. It's a bit deceptive in my opinion.

That being said, many other manufacturers are hitting the pricepoint by going with the vastly inferior GTX 1060 3GB, rather than the GTX 1060 6GB. So, while the Helios 300 isn't going to make it into the TBG Buyer's Guide (as most laptop owners aren't willing to pop open their laptops first thing), given that you were looking to build an entire high-end gaming PC, doing so probably isn't that daunting. As long as you understand that you absolutely need to install a hard drive, the Helios 300 with the added Seagate hard drive is a very good deal.

Reyort

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Re: The TBG Laptop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #31 on: September 04, 2017, 05:20:09 PM »
Thanks for the kind words. We were ok but my in-laws were wiped out so I will be helping as much as I can. 

Thanks for the storage upgrade advice. When I saw the computer, I was planning on putting a hard drive in because of the lack of storage. 

I know this is a gaming machine, but it should have no trouble pushing my stock trading software, correct?

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Laptop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #32 on: September 04, 2017, 10:36:23 PM »
The system will be very good for stock trading. It's got the processor, RAM, SSD, and video outputs. You could probably do with less if you're not going to game, and in fact don't need the hard drive if you can live with just a couple games installed at once.

Truth is that only gaming machines have such quad cores, so you're still on the right track, at least for now. The new 8th gen laptop CPUs are going to be a revelation, with quad core ultra low voltage models available. Might be worth waiting for if you can live without gaming.

Reyort

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Re: The TBG Laptop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #33 on: September 05, 2017, 04:35:44 PM »
When are the 8th gen cpus did to arrive?

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Laptop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #34 on: September 05, 2017, 05:19:03 PM »
When are the 8th gen cpus did to arrive?

I honestly have no idea. Intel's marketing machine has been so out of sorts lately that it announces products and release dates that have no basis in reality. So, for example, Intel says that its new Core i7-8650U has been launched, and numerous laptops with the new 8th-gen laptops have actually been announced, but you can't actually buy them. That says to me that the CPU hasn't actually launched. Seriously, Intel never pulled this kind of stuff before AMD got back in the game earlier this year.

Reyort

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Re: The TBG Laptop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #35 on: September 05, 2017, 06:05:59 PM »
Well if I have to wait, I can accumulate enough cash to just to build a desktop. You really sold me on that Dell monitor in your stock build guide.  So I am kinda on the fence now.  Do I buy a laptop or wait a couple of months a build a true trading station?

Btw I hope you are still getting decent yields on your mining. Eth has been sitting comfortably above 300.

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Laptop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #36 on: September 05, 2017, 06:57:52 PM »
Well if I have to wait, I can accumulate enough cash to just to build a desktop. You really sold me on that Dell monitor in your stock build guide.  So I am kinda on the fence now.  Do I buy a laptop or wait a couple of months a build a true trading station?

Btw I hope you are still getting decent yields on your mining. Eth has been sitting comfortably above 300.

I should note that Intel's new quad-core mobile CPUs won't actually be any better than the CPU in the gaming laptop you identified (the Helios 300). You'll just be able to get a quad-core in a thin-and-light laptop.

So, I guess in this situation, I'd go for the laptop now, since you may actually have a bit of interest in gaming. Plus, you need its enhanced HDMI 2.0 output to drive that big Dell 3417 monitor! A standard HDMI port won't do it.

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Laptop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #37 on: September 08, 2017, 09:05:23 AM »
The Laptop Buyer's Guide has been updated for Fall 2017, and guess what... the Acer Helios 300 makes the cut - but only in the optional 2TB hard drive bundle!

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Re: The TBG Laptop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2017, 08:14:00 AM »
Hey Ari, I stilling lurking here for great info.  My wife's going back to post-graduate school and was wanting to get a "mini" laptop.  I'm really against chromebooks, but do you have any recommendations on one of these that runs a Windows based OS?

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Laptop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2017, 09:52:22 AM »
Hey Ari, I stilling lurking here for great info.  My wife's going back to post-graduate school and was wanting to get a "mini" laptop.  I'm really against chromebooks, but do you have any recommendations on one of these that runs a Windows based OS?

Have a look at the second laptop listed in the Fall 2017 Laptop Buyer's Guide - the Asus L403SA. I think it's the one you want. I feel the same way as you do about Chromebooks, but added one to this guide based on reader requests. But for the low-priced system I'd actually recommend to friends and family, it's the Windows-based Asus in the guide that is my top choice. Note that this is becoming a rare species, so get it while you can! Manufacturers seem to be abandoning the low-cost Windows laptop market entirely. Just not enough margin to make it worthwhile.

Secret

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Re: The TBG Laptop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #40 on: October 18, 2017, 05:10:57 PM »
She might argue the width being too much but I think she'd get annoyed at something smaller, plus having 1080 is a nice feature.  We had a few 12" macbooks in the past for toting around and I quickly tired of working on them.  Thanks for the link!


Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Laptop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #42 on: December 31, 2017, 03:18:16 PM »
Opinions on this Lenovo
https://www3.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/ideapad/ideapad-700-series/Lenovo-IdeaPad-720S-13IKB/p/88IP70S0893

I havenít found anything comparable at that $800 price point plus I get 15% off so thinking of pulling the trigger.  Itíll be a tote around work PC doing excel/word and handling video conferences.  The pci ssd seems like a big plus.

I think Lenovo is pretty unbeatable in this price range. I have the predecessor to this model (the 700), and love it. The fact that you can now get a 2.2lb slim-and-light laptop with a quad-core CPU for less than $800 is amazing. The one thing I don't like about Lenovo is they really muddy their product lines. The IdeaPad 720s is a traditional laptop, while the Yoga 720 (which is really the successor to what I have) is a touchscreen 2-in-1. Lenovo could do a better job with its product numbers to help distinguish the lines.

By the way, if you decide to get one of these, you can help support the forum by starting the purchase through one of the links in this post. Thanks!
« Last Edit: December 31, 2017, 06:02:45 PM by Ari Altman »

Secret

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Re: The TBG Laptop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #43 on: December 31, 2017, 08:28:17 PM »
Great to hear, it seemed like a good deal but wasnít sure if I was missing any competition.  I agree the whole thinkpad/ideapad/yoga/etc thing is confusing.  Iím not really i to the 2 in 1s though so Iím glad a lot of manufacturers are getting away from it.  Something about fingering up my screen bothers the heck out of me.