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Looking for a New Laptop for School

I recently got a $1,500 voucher from my parents for my high school graduation. This voucher is to be used to buy a new laptop to take to college. So, I'm looking for the best laptop that both meets my needs and is $1,500 or less. Note that this money cannot be used for anything else. In case it helps inform your suggestions, I am planning on majoring in Computer or Electrical Engineering and possibly minoring in something software related. I may be willing to pay a bit more than the $1,500 if a good one is slightly over the limit.

 

My Needs:

High reliability.

Longevity. (I plan on using this for the next 4 years.)

Nice keyboard.

Some amount of durability.

Very good CPU and RAM for a high amount of responsiveness and speed (if there is one thing I hate, it simple web browsing and program loading feeling sluggish and unresponsive).

Good amount of storage.

Not an Apple Computer. I want some amount of versatility.

 

My Wants (Not required, but would be nice to have):

Capable of light gaming. Nothing too powerful, but enough to get by with older games and a few new ones. 

Capable of light emulation. Nothing more than PS1/PSP emulation. 

Good trackpad, for when I'm not using a mouse.

 

Any suggestions are much appreciated. 

 

Thank you ahead of time. 

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i'd probably start by looking at things that are described as "macbook killers" by reviewers, as a lot of the features you want (other than versatility as you mentioned) are things macbooks are good at

CPU: AMD 3600X

GPU: Nvidia 3070 (planned)

motherboard: MSI B500-A PRO

memory: G Skill Ripjaws V 2x8 GB 3600Mhz CL16

PSU: EVGA B3 650@

Case: NZXT H510

wireless network adapter: intel ax200

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Dell XPS 15 is always a good choice

My PCs:

VALENTINIAN : CPU: Ryzen 7 2700X || CPU COOLER : Corsair H115i Pro || MOBO : MSi B450 Tomahawk Max || GPU: ASUS GTX 1080 Ti Strix OC || RAM: 4x8GB Corsair Vengeance (3200) || SSDs: Samsung 970 Evo 250GB, Samsung 850 Evo 1TB x2 || PSU: EVGA G2 850W w/ Cablemod Black & White Cables || CASE: NZXT H510 White || MONITOR: Acer Predator X34A (1440p 100hz), HP 27yh (1080p 60hz) || KEYBOARD: GameSir GK300 || MOUSE: Logitech G502 Hero || AUDIO: HyperX Cloud Alpha, Logitech C920 || CASE FANS : 2x Corsair ML140, 1x BeQuiet SilentWings 3 120 ||

DIOCLETIAN III (HTPC) : CPU: Ryzen 5 1600 || CPU COOLER : Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition || MOBO : MSi X370 Gaming Pro Carbon || GPU: ASUS GTX 1080 Strix OC || RAM: 2x8GB G.SKILL Ripjaws V (3200) || SSDs: Crucial P1 500GB, Crucial MX500 1TB || HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB || PSU: Seasonic 650W w/ Black & Red Extensions || CASE: Phanteks P300 || Monitor: Samsung Q60 65" QLED (4K 60hz) || KEYBOARD: Logitech G613 || Mouse: Logitech G305 || CONTROLLER: Xbox One Controller x2 || AUDIO: Samsung Q60R Soundbar || Case Fans : 2x Cooler Master Masterfan Pro 120, Noctua NF-F12 iPPC-2000 ||

JUSTINIAN - Dell XPS 15": CPU: Core i7-9750H || GPU: GTX 1650 || RAM: 2*8GB 2666MhZ DDR4 SODIMM || SSD: 1TB M.2 PCIe || CASE: 15.6" Laptop with dBrand skin || MONITOR: 15" 1920 * 1080 IPS || KEYBOARD: Dell Keyboard || MOUSE: Logitech G305 White || AUDIO: HyperX Cloud II ||

OTHER : Dell Latitude (i7-6600U, 16GB RAM, 500GB SSD) ||

MOBILE : Galaxy S9 (64GB + 64GB uSD) || Galaxy S7 (32GB) || FitBit Blaze || iPad 7th Generation ||

CONSOLE : Nintendo Switch (Pro Controller x3, Joy-Con Grip x1, PowerA Enhanced Controller x1) ||

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First four requirements are where mac concentrates it’s strengths, and the last requirement of “versatility” is odd because macs are generally more versatile as they can run more OSes.  They’re more limited in other areas though so I guess it depends on the definition of versatile.  No Mac is no Mac though.  Something “Mac like” perhaps.  Low end razor blade to get unibody construction perhaps?

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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4 minutes ago, orbitalbuzzsaw said:

Dell XPS 15 is always a good choice

i agree. you can get 8gb ram, core i5 10th gen, and a 1tb ssd for right around $1500, as well as having a pretty good screen and touchpad.

CPU: AMD 3600X

GPU: Nvidia 3070 (planned)

motherboard: MSI B500-A PRO

memory: G Skill Ripjaws V 2x8 GB 3600Mhz CL16

PSU: EVGA B3 650@

Case: NZXT H510

wireless network adapter: intel ax200

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31 minutes ago, rapidkillerx said:

i agree. you can get 8gb ram, core i5 10th gen, and a 1tb ssd for right around $1500, as well as having a pretty good screen and touchpad.

nooooooo, don't get 8gb of RAM ever.

My PCs:

VALENTINIAN : CPU: Ryzen 7 2700X || CPU COOLER : Corsair H115i Pro || MOBO : MSi B450 Tomahawk Max || GPU: ASUS GTX 1080 Ti Strix OC || RAM: 4x8GB Corsair Vengeance (3200) || SSDs: Samsung 970 Evo 250GB, Samsung 850 Evo 1TB x2 || PSU: EVGA G2 850W w/ Cablemod Black & White Cables || CASE: NZXT H510 White || MONITOR: Acer Predator X34A (1440p 100hz), HP 27yh (1080p 60hz) || KEYBOARD: GameSir GK300 || MOUSE: Logitech G502 Hero || AUDIO: HyperX Cloud Alpha, Logitech C920 || CASE FANS : 2x Corsair ML140, 1x BeQuiet SilentWings 3 120 ||

DIOCLETIAN III (HTPC) : CPU: Ryzen 5 1600 || CPU COOLER : Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition || MOBO : MSi X370 Gaming Pro Carbon || GPU: ASUS GTX 1080 Strix OC || RAM: 2x8GB G.SKILL Ripjaws V (3200) || SSDs: Crucial P1 500GB, Crucial MX500 1TB || HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB || PSU: Seasonic 650W w/ Black & Red Extensions || CASE: Phanteks P300 || Monitor: Samsung Q60 65" QLED (4K 60hz) || KEYBOARD: Logitech G613 || Mouse: Logitech G305 || CONTROLLER: Xbox One Controller x2 || AUDIO: Samsung Q60R Soundbar || Case Fans : 2x Cooler Master Masterfan Pro 120, Noctua NF-F12 iPPC-2000 ||

JUSTINIAN - Dell XPS 15": CPU: Core i7-9750H || GPU: GTX 1650 || RAM: 2*8GB 2666MhZ DDR4 SODIMM || SSD: 1TB M.2 PCIe || CASE: 15.6" Laptop with dBrand skin || MONITOR: 15" 1920 * 1080 IPS || KEYBOARD: Dell Keyboard || MOUSE: Logitech G305 White || AUDIO: HyperX Cloud II ||

OTHER : Dell Latitude (i7-6600U, 16GB RAM, 500GB SSD) ||

MOBILE : Galaxy S9 (64GB + 64GB uSD) || Galaxy S7 (32GB) || FitBit Blaze || iPad 7th Generation ||

CONSOLE : Nintendo Switch (Pro Controller x3, Joy-Con Grip x1, PowerA Enhanced Controller x1) ||

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1 minute ago, orbitalbuzzsaw said:

nooooooo, don't get 8gb of RAM ever.

should be fine with his needs, but dell offers a ton of configs he could either go over $1500 and get both 16gb and 1tb, or go down to either 256 or 500gb and get 16gb for $1500

CPU: AMD 3600X

GPU: Nvidia 3070 (planned)

motherboard: MSI B500-A PRO

memory: G Skill Ripjaws V 2x8 GB 3600Mhz CL16

PSU: EVGA B3 650@

Case: NZXT H510

wireless network adapter: intel ax200

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8 hours ago, rapidkillerx said:

should be fine with his needs, but dell offers a ton of configs he could either go over $1500 and get both 16gb and 1tb, or go down to either 256 or 500gb and get 16gb for $1500

Absolutely worth losing the storage (you can upgrade that later) ,8GB is just not enough any more

My PCs:

VALENTINIAN : CPU: Ryzen 7 2700X || CPU COOLER : Corsair H115i Pro || MOBO : MSi B450 Tomahawk Max || GPU: ASUS GTX 1080 Ti Strix OC || RAM: 4x8GB Corsair Vengeance (3200) || SSDs: Samsung 970 Evo 250GB, Samsung 850 Evo 1TB x2 || PSU: EVGA G2 850W w/ Cablemod Black & White Cables || CASE: NZXT H510 White || MONITOR: Acer Predator X34A (1440p 100hz), HP 27yh (1080p 60hz) || KEYBOARD: GameSir GK300 || MOUSE: Logitech G502 Hero || AUDIO: HyperX Cloud Alpha, Logitech C920 || CASE FANS : 2x Corsair ML140, 1x BeQuiet SilentWings 3 120 ||

DIOCLETIAN III (HTPC) : CPU: Ryzen 5 1600 || CPU COOLER : Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition || MOBO : MSi X370 Gaming Pro Carbon || GPU: ASUS GTX 1080 Strix OC || RAM: 2x8GB G.SKILL Ripjaws V (3200) || SSDs: Crucial P1 500GB, Crucial MX500 1TB || HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB || PSU: Seasonic 650W w/ Black & Red Extensions || CASE: Phanteks P300 || Monitor: Samsung Q60 65" QLED (4K 60hz) || KEYBOARD: Logitech G613 || Mouse: Logitech G305 || CONTROLLER: Xbox One Controller x2 || AUDIO: Samsung Q60R Soundbar || Case Fans : 2x Cooler Master Masterfan Pro 120, Noctua NF-F12 iPPC-2000 ||

JUSTINIAN - Dell XPS 15": CPU: Core i7-9750H || GPU: GTX 1650 || RAM: 2*8GB 2666MhZ DDR4 SODIMM || SSD: 1TB M.2 PCIe || CASE: 15.6" Laptop with dBrand skin || MONITOR: 15" 1920 * 1080 IPS || KEYBOARD: Dell Keyboard || MOUSE: Logitech G305 White || AUDIO: HyperX Cloud II ||

OTHER : Dell Latitude (i7-6600U, 16GB RAM, 500GB SSD) ||

MOBILE : Galaxy S9 (64GB + 64GB uSD) || Galaxy S7 (32GB) || FitBit Blaze || iPad 7th Generation ||

CONSOLE : Nintendo Switch (Pro Controller x3, Joy-Con Grip x1, PowerA Enhanced Controller x1) ||

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19 hours ago, rojobahr said:

Not an Apple Computer. I want some amount of versatility.

I think you have good reasons for choosing a Windows laptop given your courses, but Mac laptops are plenty versatile and would otherwise tick the checkboxes here (now that they have good keyboards again, anyway).

 

Now, to be helpful: if it were me, I'd probably get the base Dell XPS 15, but customized with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.  It'd be just below your budget before taxes (be ready to pay the difference).   Not a gaming device outside of 2D titles and older 3D titles, but it would be portable for a laptop its size, last a while on battery, and shouldn't bump into memory or storage limits any time soon (since you probably won't be installing Call of Duty or Valorant on a rig like this).

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Alright, so I've narrowed it down to a Dell XPS 15, a Razer Blade Stealth 13 and a Razer Blade 15 (link below to a comparison txt file). I'm willing to spend about $100-$300 of my own money on top of the voucher to pay for this. My question now becomes, which one of these 3 is better/the better value for their price. 

 

Or is there another one that's better and around the same price as these?

 

In case you are wondering why I am even considering a GTX 2060 in a laptop for school use, I'm not sure if I'll need to use something like CAD for some of my classes. That, and because some amount of future-proofing would be nice.

 

Thank you.

Laptops.txt

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17 hours ago, rojobahr said:

Alright, so I've narrowed it down to a Dell XPS 15, a Razer Blade Stealth 13 and a Razer Blade 15 (link below to a comparison txt file). I'm willing to spend about $100-$300 of my own money on top of the voucher to pay for this. My question now becomes, which one of these 3 is better/the better value for their price. 

 

Or is there another one that's better and around the same price as these?

 

In case you are wondering why I am even considering a GTX 2060 in a laptop for school use, I'm not sure if I'll need to use something like CAD for some of my classes. That, and because some amount of future-proofing would be nice.

 

Thank you.

Laptops.txt 2.87 kB · 1 download

I would get either the 1650 maxq blade stealth, so the 2019 model, or the 1660ti razer blade 15. The 1650 and 1650ti are very similar in performance, as are the 1660ti and 2060. I personally don't see any reason to buy the xps over these unless you prefer the aesthetic and the 16x10 aspect ratio. Otherwise the blade offers far better gpu performance for the price. Could also consider the ASUS Zepherus G14 if you want even more cpu performance and on-par gpu performance as these options.

PC

Ryzen 5 2600 Stock

Sapphire Nitro+ Special Edition Radeon RX580 8GB (Would Recommend)

Gigabyte B450M DS3H (Don't recommend)

Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition

Corsair Vengeance LPX 2x8GB DDR4 3000MHz CL15 

Phanteks P300 (Would Recommend)

Kingston A400 240GB SSD

Seagate BarraCuda 1TB HDD

Corsair CX550M 550W  80+ Bronze

Deepcool FH-10 Fan Hub

3x BeQuiet Pure Wings 2

 

https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/marmour/saved/QTY3ZL

 

Peripherals

LG 24MK400H

Logitech G413 Carbon

Logitech G305 (AAA Adaptor - 10g reduction) (Would recommend)

Logitech Z150

HyperX Cloud II (Would recommend)

Moto G5 Plus (Webcam)

 

Phone

Pixel 3A XL (Would recommend)

 

*Useful Link* PSU Tier List: https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/1116640-psucultists-psu-tier-list/

 

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I've read that noise is a problem on the G14, with it getting loud even when idling. Is that a problem on the Blade 15 Adv, and how much of a problem is it on the G14? I think I've narrowed down my choice to these two, and noise can bother me if it's too much.

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