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Notebooks Looking to replace macbook air (2013)

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by silk186, 16 May 2018.

  1. silk186

    silk186 Canadian

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    My wife is getting sick of the performance of her mid-2013 MacBook Air.
    13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen display 1440 by 900
    256GB flash storage
    1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Intel HD Graphics 5000)
    4GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory
    Weight: 2.96 pounds (1.35 kg)​

    She wants something small, light and responsive with similar battery life.
    Spec wise: prefer i5 quad core with at least 256GB SSD and 8GB memory.

    I was looking at the recent MacBook pros and wasn't that impressed. The new Dell XPS 13 is a candidate. I tried to get her to upgrade to the MBP during the student sale in September which has a discount and free set of Beats.

    Does the Dell XPS 13 have any competition? Should she be waiting for a sale or the release of a new MBP? She should be able to get a student discount through UCL. She likes the looks and feel of the air but said she isn't against windows.
     
  2. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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  3. TheMadDutchDude

    TheMadDutchDude The Flying Dutchman

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    I would be looking at the XPS 13 or even a Zenbook from ASUS. I have the latter and love it, though it is from the time before these low powered quads came about, so mine does lack a little grunt.
     
  4. silk186

    silk186 Canadian

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  5. silk186

    silk186 Canadian

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    The Zenbook looks very suitable as well. I hate the Asus website though as it is a pain to search. I hate looking for a laptop but the body, trackpad and keyboard or subjective. An 8th Core i7, 16GB, 512GB SSD so be enough to last her for a few years. An 8th gen i5 would work just as well.
     
  6. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    It didn't when I was looking. I have the last-generation XPS13 in Core i7/16GB/512GB/1080p flavour, and it's absolutely crackin'. Comfortable 18 hour battery life for light usage (though I'm running tweaked Ubuntu, so your mileage may vary), a screen that knocks the socks off my old MacBook Air, a smaller footprint, nice touchpad, functional if not very exciting keyboard (and I would have liked to see physical page-up/page-down keys in the empty space above the left and right arrows, IBM/Lenovo-style, but ne'er mind), plenty of grunt... Lovely beast.
     
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  7. silk186

    silk186 Canadian

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    That's what I was looking to hear. If I found something as good but cheaper I wouldn't mind but fewer choices make things easier. The Zenbooks do look nice though.

    This one is a contender if I can get it on a good deal New XPS 13 i7-8550U, 16GB LPDDR3 2133MHz, 512GB PCIe SSD and 13.3'' FHD (1920 x 1080) InfinityEdge display which is more appropriate thana 4k display and terms of screen size and battery life. £1,549.00 is a bit steep but a student discount should get it down to around £1300. Nothing on this things can be upgraded anymore so I want something that will last 5-7 years.
     
  8. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I had an Asus laptop (well, convertible tablet, technically) once. Once.
    I paid £1,413.60 for mine, which is identical to that one except it has the Core i7-7560U processor - and I definitely feel it was worth the cash.
    Yes they can: the XPS13 is fully accessible via a bunch of screws on the base, which gets you access to the battery (for when it stops holding a charge, as it inevitably will), PCIe Wi-Fi module, and NVMe M.2 slot (for when 512GB gets a little cramped). It's only the CPU and RAM you can't replace (well, without replacing the whole motherboard, anyway). Still miles better than Apple's glue-everything-down approach!
     
  9. silk186

    silk186 Canadian

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    That is worth considering if I should go with an i5 8GB 256GB and upgrade to a 1TB later ... may not be worth the trouble.
     
  10. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    Not really... There are some alternatives at 15 and 17 but in my experience at 13" dell is your best bet.

    EDIT: There's the Surface Laptop too, if you can get away with that funky fabricy covery MS decided to cover it with... [you may also be able to get a student/staff discount on one like with the apple and dell offerings]
     
    Last edited: 16 May 2018
  11. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    In fairness, that XPS 13 is an absolutely cracking bit of kit.

    I've just sent you a PM with a Dell discount code. It may not stack with your student discount ... but it's worth a go.
     
  12. silk186

    silk186 Canadian

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    Thanks, I will give it a try later.
     
  13. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    Also try topcashback and quidco. Again using the discount MAY invalidate the cashback. But I was able to get a workmate a refer-a-friend from my TCB, then he got something like 4% cashback, then he got 10% off, on an XPS13.
     
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  14. silk186

    silk186 Canadian

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    I'm thinking which XPS 13 9370 to recommend my wife - i5 8GB 256GB that I upgrade to 512GB SSD or the higher end i7 16GB 512GB SSD.
    The difference is £300. I'm not sure what the SSD upgrade would cost as I don't know that the 256GB model is and what it would sell for.
    Based on reviews, the i7 isn't that much faster and cuts battery life. After realising that both are 4 core 8 thread the i7 doesn't sound like much of an improvement.
    My wife is a grad research that is getting into script writing. She computer use is primarily web browsing, word processing and movies.

    Would the i7 and 16GB offer many benefits for her over the next 5-7 years or should I go with the base and upgrade the SSD myself?
     
  15. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    IIRC it's a Toshiba SSD in those [a new OEM samsung one retails for ~£85 and a 960 evo is ~£100 atm so you'd likely get less than that for whatever you pull out of the dell]... and a 500/512GB SSD would set you back £180 [Intel 760p or Samsung 960 evo].
     
    Last edited: 17 May 2018
  16. silk186

    silk186 Canadian

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    So I should chalk the £300 up to £100 for the SSD upgrade, £100 for the RAM and £100 for the CPU... or £180 for a 500GB 960 Evo (-£70 for the Tosh) and save £190 which is £160 with the student discount.
     
  17. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    The SSD can be upgraded/replaced at a later date... the CPU/RAM can't... so it's largely down to whether you think she'll need 16GB in the future, and whether it's worth paying the extra for it and the things you need to take to get it.
     
  18. silk186

    silk186 Canadian

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    That's what I'm trying to figure out. It seems that the i7 isn't much better than the i5 but I really don't know if 8GB will be enough in a few years. I upgraded to 16GB a while ago but I do far more with my computer than she does. Will 8GB be enough for a typical user over the next 5+ years? I think she is really being held back by the 4GB she has now. I don't want to cheap out but I also don't want to waste money.
     
  19. silk186

    silk186 Canadian

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    My wife is complaining that she want's to buy an XPS 13 now.
    Should I be waiting for a summer or back to school sale, or is 15% discount code as good as it gets?
     
  20. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    With the way things are with component prices I doubt they will be having a sale. And if they do it will all be a bit pointless. 15% is pretty decent.. Are they offering free shipping too? IIRC that was all I got on my Alienware (free shipping) but it was worth it because it was still a £50 saving. Tight buggers didn't include a keyboard or mouse though lol.
     

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