Question Help me choose between these 4 laptops

WimadS

Honorable
Dec 13, 2013
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10,510
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Hi all,

I am looking for a new laptop to serve me the coming 5 years in my work as a designer.
My current VAIO flip laptop cracked the screen out of nowhere (was very disappointed with the build quality from the beginning), and the touch/active stylus functionality is now disfunctional. And in any case its now 5 years old, so was starting to run into hardware limitations anyway (though it still does run well enough, could have gotten a year more out of it at least if it wasn't so crappily constructed).

So what am I looking for:

Budget: +/- €1400

I am a designer, so all graphic software like Photoshop should run smoothly. I do some light video editing as well, but not heavily nor regularly.
I do use 2D cad software regularly (AutoCAD/vectorworks).
I use 3D CAD as well, but that is more incidental. Doesn't have to run on optimal performance, but should run without hickups. (OnShape, Solidworks, Vectorworks 3D).
I do regularly use Dialux (3D lighting calculation software).
On occasion I do some programming in Max7, which can be demanding on CPU, and to lesser extent on GPU. This is where I'm starting to experience the limits of my current VAIO most clearly.

I do love the 2 in 1 laptop/tablet design with active stylus functionality of my VAIO flip, so that would be a big preference to have in my next laptop, though it is not an absolute must. I love doing my sketching work in Clips Studio Paint with the active stylus.

Build quality is also very important to me. My VAIO flexes like it is a piece of cardboard. Found out when opening to clean the fan, that half the screw threads that keep the body together had broken off. The hinge is also not solidly in place any longer... and its not like I did any outrageous stuff handling it. Design and specs were great, but I don't want anything like that crappy construction again.

I know for my purposes I will need a decent processor and dedicated graphics card, but am not sure how much is really required.
Portability is important to me, and right now it seems the maximum GPU I could get its a gtx1050, in a package that I still could stretch as portable and affordable. Is this sufficient for my intended use, without running into significant problems within 4-5 years?
If I give up on the 2 in 1 form factor, and stretch portability a bit further I could also find a GTX1060 within my budget. But I'd rather not give up too much in portability and 2 in 1 design if it isn't necessary.

Secondly, if I want the 2 in 1 functionality, a 4 core i7-8550U/8565U seems the maximum. If I let go of that form factor, options with hexa core i7-8750h also pop up within my budget. Currently I am running OK with a 5 year old dual core i7 U, which makes me think an 8th generation quad core i7 should serve me good enough for the next 5 years as well - is this good judgement?

So with this I narrowed down to the following four options. But can't decide because I'm not able to judge how much the GPU and processor power really matter in my case.

1. HP envy x360 15"
  • 4x i7-8550U; nvidia MX150 4gb
  • Looks great and most compact 2 in 1 solution of the 4, but don't know if MX150 will be sufficient. Construction seems very solid, and it looks great.
2. Acer spin 5 15"
  • 4x i7-8550U; nvidia gtx1050 4gb
  • Better graphics card then the HP. Slightly larger footprint than HP, but nothing significant. Construction is equally solid as the HP, and it looks quite nice as well.
3. Asus Vivobook Pro 15"
  • 6x i7-8750h; nvidia gtx1050ti 2gb
  • letting go of 2 in 1 form factor, but getting hexacore i7 in return. Ti version of gtx1050 is supposed to be better, but its only 2GB memory. Don't know enough about graphics cards to know how that affects performance... Construction is not as great as the former two, but still feels quite decent.
4. Medion Erazer x6807
  • 6x i7-8750h; nvidia gtx1060 6gb
  • No 2-1 design and on the edge of what I would still be OK with carrying around, but also a significant step up in specs from the 2 in 1 options. But do I really need that? If not I'd rather not give up the active stylus to draw with. I haven't found a physical store that carries it, so don't know how solid it is. Though other Medion laptops I found seem equally solid as the Vivobook.
(5. HP Zbook x2 14")
  • 4x i7-8565U; quadro M620 2gb
  • Between brackets because its not really an option (500 over budget), but included it anyway because the size and form factor is pretty much what would be ideal to me. And am curious on how the quadro M620 compares to the gtx1050 graphics card. Its marketed as a workstation card as opposed to gaming, which seems to fit my purpose, but don't know how it is positioned performance wise. If it is sufficient for my purpose I might wait out for a good deal on one.
So any advice on what specs are really needed for my purpose? It would help my descision greatly!
 
Last edited:

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
HP ZBook or Lenovo P models are good, but as you said, over budget for most models.

Asus is good but more for home use. Medion I am not too familiar with, I think they are a European brand that re-use models from Clevo/Sager.

I would either pick a lower spec workstation system to get the sturdiness, Lenovo ThinkPad T models for same reason, for pure speed with a bit lower reliability look for a gaming spec system like that Medion, Asus, Clevo, MSI, Sager brands. In the 1,000-1,500 range you can get a good CPU, above average video card and a 250-500gb solid state drive probably along with a larger platter drive for storage. The last 2-3 generations of Intel CPUs have all had good speeds in the real quad core and higher models.

Another option would be a Ryzen 5 or 7 laptop, those are pretty much always cheaper than Intel and still good speed.

For art stuff you can use a drawing tablet with a stylus.
 

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