laptop for sub 700€

PaulosK

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May 25, 2019
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Hello, I am looking to buy a laptop for sub 700€. I ve found plenty with 16 gb ram, intel core i5 11th generation/ryzen 5 5th generation (with iris xe or radeon 7 graphics) that fit my needs. The issue is that they all have onboard ram. Do you know any laptops with the specs mentioned before (with 512 gb ssd and over 7 hours of battery life) that dont have onboard ram?
 
Hello, I am looking to buy a laptop for sub 700€. I ve found plenty with 16 gb ram, intel core i5 11th generation/ryzen 5 5th generation (with iris xe or radeon 7 graphics) that fit my needs. The issue is that they all have onboard ram. Do you know any laptops with the specs mentioned before (with 512 gb ssd and over 7 hours of battery life) that dont have onboard ram?
I assume you want a 13/14" laptop as most of those have soldered RAM?
 

punkncat

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Even when I purchased my last laptop a few years back (8th gen i5) I was unable to find a "user serviceable" unit in the sub 15" space. I had to do quite a lot of digging to find a larger model that had the ability to add RAM and/or drives. Even in that case, one of the 8GB sticks in this model are soldered in. All I could do was add another stick. The model I chose was offered (as an upscale model) with more storage, and M.2 and 2.5" but picked the lower price/line model that came with a HDD. The pricing on it due to the "downgrade" was very attractive so I got it, another stick of RAM and a 2.5 SSD for it straight away. It is a Dell in the Inspiron line. All of the XPS units sold even at that time were configured as is for always (solder).

I have to admit that I have zero idea of that ability in regard to some of the "gaming" laptops out there. Might be worthwhile to pick and choose a few you might be interested in and see if you can find a more in depth review for it.
 
I have a 8th gen i5 14" with upgradeable RAM but it was very uncommon at the time and it's even more uncommon now. I believe the latest Inspiron 14 has upgradeable RAM though:
https://www.dell.com/en-uk/shop/laptops/amd/spd/inspiron-14-5425-laptop/cn54404sc#features-anchor

In fact at your price range it would be at the top of my list. I would go with the AMD option, the Iris Xe version is out of your budget and if the UHD was remotely adequate for your use case you wouldn't have mentioned Xe or Radeon.
Review:
https://www.notebookcheck.net/Dell-Inspiron-14-5425-in-review-Ryzen-5-office-laptop-offers-long-battery-life.638501.0.html
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKJ12lo8P1o


Memory specs:
https://www.dell.com/support/manuals/en-uk/inspiron-14-5425-laptop/inspiron-14-5425-setup-and-specifications/memory?guid=guid-e9d2ea83-38a4-431d-803c-96d63c1dbc34&lang=en-us&lwp=rt
 

punkncat

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Something I would mention in reference to two suggestions to the Inspiron line. There has been a well known "failure" in this line for a number of years where the charging port isn't secured well and has a tendency to come loose inside the case if you plug and unplug a lot or (heaven forbid) trip over a cord, etc.

If you are going inside the unit to make changes look for videos on the hot glue fix for that connector. Basically, just shores it up and alleviates the probability of it coming loose as easily.
 
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Something I would mention in reference to two suggestions to the Inspiron line. There has been a well known "failure" in this line for a number of years where the charging port isn't secured well and has a tendency to come loose inside the case if you plug and unplug a lot or (heaven forbid) trip over a cord, etc.

If you are going inside the unit to make changes look for videos on the hot glue fix for that connector. Basically, just shores it up and alleviates the probability of it coming loose as easily.
Are you saying it just becomes loose but still works? It's difficult to tell but it doesn't look like the jack itself is soldered to the motherboard, in which case it should be easy to fix if there was an issue?
 
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Yes, it is a small connector over in the corner of the case on many models. It continues to work properly, just with it loose you can't plug into it without resecuring it.
Oh ok that makes sense, if that's the case though I don't think it would put me off personally. If it was a soldered jack with a high failure rate I would be more concerned.
 

punkncat

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Oh ok that makes sense, if that's the case though I don't think it would put me off personally. If it was a soldered jack with a high failure rate I would be more concerned.

When I went to buy mine at MicroCenter the salesman and I were looking at various models and I liked the feature set and full size keyboard with 10 key as we do a lot of number entry for work. As we are wrapping up the salesman was asking about extended warranty and kept tapping the charging port. I don't think he was allowed to come out and say anything but the tapping and facial features he was making during the up-sale attempt clued me in. I turned the unit on, made sure it worked and then immediately "voided my warranty" (lol) to go inside it and make changes.
 
When I went to buy mine at MicroCenter the salesman and I were looking at various models and I liked the feature set and full size keyboard with 10 key as we do a lot of number entry for work. As we are wrapping up the salesman was asking about extended warranty and kept tapping the charging port. I don't think he was allowed to come out and say anything but the tapping and facial features he was making during the up-sale attempt clued me in. I turned the unit on, made sure it worked and then immediately "voided my warranty" (lol) to go inside it and make changes.
Oh ok that's interesting, it's good to be aware of these things. Lol to voiding your warranty on day one, I'm not sure you'd be able to hide that one :p. I suppose my two cents would be, you can access it pretty easily to fix it if required and there are few options that don't involve spending notably more upfront. Other than the known jack issue can I ask what you think to the laptop?
 

PaulosK

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May 25, 2019
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Oh ok, I'm surprised you would have an issue with 15". I would think about what size laptop you want, do you need it to be light and easily portable?
i kinda need it to put it in my backpack, but most are 1.7kg and i can fit a 15" laptop in there, so not much of an issue. Obviously, a 14" would be better, but not a priority.
 

punkncat

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Oh ok that's interesting, it's good to be aware of these things. Lol to voiding your warranty on day one, I'm not sure you'd be able to hide that one :p. I suppose my two cents would be, you can access it pretty easily to fix it if required and there are few options that don't involve spending notably more upfront. Other than the known jack issue can I ask what you think to the laptop?
I have been mostly happy with it on an operational standpoint. I started using it for my everyday work machine, but utilize it with an external keypad, mouse, and monitor. I was using a Bluetooth keyboard that I like a lot but the receiver inside the laptop got sketchy about staying connected. It is the only actual problem I have had out of the unit.
Otherwise, I have it on W11, it runs and performs what I do for work commendably. Its built in keyboard is quite adequate but don't care for how small (resolution) the screen is. It has touchscreen but only because it came with not due to looking for that as a feature. The battery life is still acceptable for short runs off power. When on the road we use this with a DC to AC converter and network hotspot off the work phone and it does a commendable job performance wise, even for compressing and converting jpeg to pdf.
 
Nov 27, 2022
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I have a 8th gen i5 14" with upgradeable RAM but it was very uncommon at the time and it's even more uncommon now. I believe the latest Inspiron 14 has upgradeable RAM though:
https://www.dell.com/en-uk/shop/laptops/amd/spd/inspiron-14-5425-laptop/cn54404sc#features-anchor/backrooms game
In fact at your price range it would be at the top of my list. I would go with the AMD option, the Iris Xe version is out of your budget and if the UHD was remotely adequate for your use case you wouldn't have mentioned Xe or Radeon.
Review:
https://www.notebookcheck.net/Dell-Inspiron-14-5425-in-review-Ryzen-5-office-laptop-offers-long-battery-life.638501.0.html
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKJ12lo8P1o


Memory specs:
https://www.dell.com/support/manuals/en-uk/inspiron-14-5425-laptop/inspiron-14-5425-setup-and-specifications/memory?guid=guid-e9d2ea83-38a4-431d-803c-96d63c1dbc34&lang=en-us&lwp=rt
If you need to make changes inside the unit, look for videos that show how to fix that connector with hot glue. Basically, it just makes it stronger and less likely to come loose as easily.
 

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