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Deciding between these 2 laptops...help?


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#1 EPerd

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 08:58 PM

(TL;DR at the bottom)  

Firstly, I'd like to thank everyone who has been helping me along the way on this venture.  I have been trying to cram 10 years worth of computer technology into 2 weeks, and while I can't say I've been overwhelmingly successful--I can say I owe much of the successful learning that did occur to those of you in this forum and a few others who have had the patience and knowledge to help me out.  With any luck, this will be my last post regarding the matter of getting a new laptop.  To recap/update--I will make a quick list of specs I am seeking and uses, but ultimately I would simply like help deciding between these 2 options/companies.  Without further adu...

Desired price: $750-$1,125 USD

Desired specs:  
-16gb+ RAM (2 DIMM prefered, but not a requirement)  
-1tb+ HHD or SSHD (SSHD or HDD 7200 RPM preferred)  
-250gb+ SSD Pcie/NVMe (Good name brand preferred, not required--but must be at least somewhat reputable)  
- I7 8550u OR i7 7700hq processor (I feel like an i7 8550u would be ideal, but finding one with the other specs I want just isn't feasible atm, it seems)   
--a decent to good keyboard (num-pad is a HUGE plus, though not a deal breaker if it is absent)  
--15'-17' screen(15.6 is ideal)  
--Good to great WiFi connectivity  
--At least 1 USB 3 type C and 1 USB 3 type A port

Uses:  
--Moderate to heavy music creation/production with Sibelius and FL Studio.  I'll be doing just about everything aside from recording with them--may even record in the future, but I don't plan on it.  I'm getting external speakers, so the laptop speakers don't matter to me.  
--Moderate to heavy photo editing and random art creation.  I have a few meme pages on social media, and I make original designs for clothing, accessories, and other stuff.  I also would like to hone my skills and make cool posters...or something lol.  
-Light to Moderate video editing.  As of now, I just make silly videos with friends and family, but I am contemplating venturing into the realm of Youtube.  While I don't think I'll make a career of it, I do have a lot of ideas and would like to give some of em a shot (most of it will probably just entail random sketch comedy type stuff and debating.  Just trying to say I am confident that whatever I do won't be very graphic intensive).  
--School and Work.  A lot of writing, marketing oriented stuff, webinars/live streaming, excel and powerpoint will be semi-frequently used.  Taking my laptop to class with me is pretty important, so a decent-good battery is as well.
--STORING A LOT OF FILES.  Between work, school, music, writing, photo/video editing, on top of data from my own computer, I expect to have somewhere in the realm of 12,000+ media and document files within just my first year--and would like to hold onto whichever new laptop I wind up getting for 5+ (I'm told 6-8 is actually feasible--albeit pushing it--with the right specs and proper maintnence).  
--Multitasking.  More often than not, I will have 4 or 5 programs running in the foreground, which will usually include 4-8 tabs in firefox)  
--NOTE: I do not intend to do any gaming or 3d modeling/CAD stuff.

Initially, I narrowed my choices down to the Lenovo Legion Y720 and the Acer Predator Helios 300(which I would add an HDD/SSHD to).  Due to specs and pricing I decided against them.  Below I listed the 2 laptops that seem to best suit my needs for the price.  While I'm definitely open to more suggestions, I'd also very much appreciate if you could let me know which you think the best deal is out of these 2 as well.

("***" means they are or I at least believe they are the same in each option.  Ultimately, this is just to help anyone who wishes to make spec comparisons be able to do so more simply.  However,  if I am incorrect in my assumption that they are the same, I'd very much appreciate a correction :-) )

AVADirect
https://www.avadirect.com/Clevo-N850HL-15-6-Core-i7-NVIDIA-GeForce-MX150-Graphics-Custom-Laptop/Configure/11411418
$1,210 usd + $27.00 shipping (total, approx $1,240)
    -Model: CLEVO N850HL
-Screen:  15.6" Full HD IPS Matte***
    -Processor: Core™ i7-7700HQ 2.80GHz***
    -Video Card: NVIDIA® GeForce® MX150 2GB GDDR5 Graphics
    -Memory: KINGSTON 16GB Kit (2 x 8GB) HyperX Impact DDR4 2400MHz, CL14, Black, SO-DIMM Memory
   - Notebook Accessories: Built-in 2.0M FHD Web Camera***
    -M.2 Storage: SAMSUNG 250GB 960 EVO 2280, 3200 / 1500 MB/s, V-NAND, PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe, M.2 SSD
   - SSD/HDD Storage: SEAGATE 2TB / 8GB cMLC FireCuda ST2000LX001, 5400 RPM, SATA 6Gb/s, 128MB cache, 2.5-Inch OEM SSHD
   - Wireless Network Card: INTEL Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265, 2x2 Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.2, IEEE 802.11ac, 867 Mbps, M.2 2230, Wireless Card
    -Notebook AC Adapter: 90W 100/240V AC Power Adapter with Power Cord
    -Notebook Batteries: Standard 6 cells Smart Lithium-Ion battery pack 62WH (Included)
    -Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit DVD OEM
    -Sound Card:  Integrated Sound Controller
    -Warranty:  1 Year Standard Parts and Labor Limited Warranty for Clevo Notebooks
-inputs: ***  
1 HDMI™ output Port (with HDCP)   
1 external VGA Port  
1 USB 2.0 Port  
2 USB 3.0 Ports (Type A)  
1 USB 3.0 Port (Type C)  
1 Headphone Jack, 1 Microphone Jack, 1 RJ-45 LAN (10/100/1000Mbps)  
6-in-1 card reader (MMC/RSMMC/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC)

EXTRA PERKS exclusive to AVADirect:  
-Noctua thermal gel added
-runs 2 more tests than Eluktronics does before shipping out (sorry, i forget what they are called)

ELUKTRONICS
http://www.eluktronics.com/N850
    -Model: CLEVO N850(HJ)
$980+ $90-$105 for 2tb Firecuda SSHD (total, approx $1,080)
-Screen:  15.6" Full HD IPS Anti-Glare
    -Processor: Core™ i7-7700HQ 2.80GHz
    -Video Card: 2gb NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050
    -Memory: 16gb (8+8) DDR4 RAM 2 DIMM (Not sure what kind/brand, or even if it really matters)
   - Notebook Accessories: 2.0MP Full HD Webcam***
    -M.2 Storage: SAMSUNG PM961 pcie/nvme SSD
   - SSD/HDD Storage: They don't offer any i want. I'd be adding a 2tb SSHD myself for around $90-$105 (as shown above--not a big deal at all IMO)   - Wireless Network Card: Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 8265 2x2 + Bluetooth 4.2***
    -Notebook AC Adapter: 120 Watt AC Adapter w. power cord
    -Notebook Batteries: Standard 6 cells Smart Lithium-Ion battery pack 62WH (Included)
    -Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit DVD OEM
    -Sound Card:  Integrated Sound Controller
    -Warranty:  1 Year Standard Parts and Labor Limited Warranty for Clevo Notebooks
-inputs:***
1 HDMI™ output Port (with HDCP)  
2 Mini DisplayPort 1.2 output Ports  
1 USB 2.0 Port  
1 USB 3.0 Port (Type C)  
2 USB 3.0 Ports (Type A)  
1 Headphone Jack, 1 Microphone Jack, 6-in-1 SD Card reader

TL;DR:  Which is the better laptop deal out of the 2 I listed from AVADirect and Eluktronics? Is the $160 differense justified?

Any relevant experiences, tips, or advice are most certainly welcome!  Thank you for reading, for your time, and invaluable insights.  I will do my absolute best to pay it forward in the future.  93.

PS. I'd also like to say I spoke with 3 people from Eluktronics and 1 person from AVADirect over the past week and a half or so, and they were all very polite and helpful.
 



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#2 Kilroy

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 03:27 PM

You may have some difficulty adding a drive to the ELUKTRONICS machine as the secondary drive is listed as Storage Bay.  You may need a drive cage insert that fits into the Storage Bay slot.  There was a 1TB SSD/HD option there.

 

The difference is mainly the video card.  The 1050 is much better than the 150.

 

If you need a VGA port on it you need to go with the AVADirect machine as the ELUKTRONICS machine has HDMI and mini-display port.






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